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Mar
16
2014

The last ACC Bubble Analysis for 2014 and the case for the Virginia vs Duke winner to be a Number 1 seed.

bubble

The NCAA Tournament field will be set in less than 24 hours. With that said let’s take one last look at where the ACC teams stand…

Let’s start with who’s not going to the NCAAs.

Maryland, Miami, Wake Forest , Georgia Tech, Notre Dame, Boston College and Virginia Tech you’re not on anybody’s NCAA lists. Sorry better luck next year…

Clemson you’ll get a look, but with an RPI of 79 despite a 20-12 record, you are headed to the NIT.

Now it’s gets tougher. We’ll look closer at the ACC’s locks and bubble teams.

Locks

(7) Duke (26-7) (13-5) Projected Seed – Win Sunday 1 Lose Sunday 2

Last 10 – (8-2)

Good Wins – (85) Eastern Michigan, * (14) UCLA, * (9) Michigan, * (11) Virginia, (54) N.C. State, (53) Florida State, * (39) Pittsburgh, (78) Maryland, * (16) Syracuse, * (25) UNC, (54) N.C. State, (79) Clemson

Bad Losses – (136) Notre Dame, (111) Wake Forest

Notes – Villanova, Kansas, Wisconsin all played themselves out of a number 1 seed during their conference tournaments. Who’s left to vie for that 4th number 1 seed? It’s Louisville, Michigan, Duke and Virginia. If Duke beats Virginia they obviously move ahead of the Hoos, but what about Louisville and Michigan? Louisville is currently ranked 18th in the RPI. KenPom has the Cards 2. How much does the committee weigh the RPI? Enough to keep the Cardinals from a one seed.

Is Michigan in the picture? Last I looked Duke beat Michigan head to head. Duke also defeated the Pac 12 Tourney Champion and the ACC regular season champion twice should they beat Virginia tomorrow plus the Big 10 regular season champions Michigan. Honestly, I don’t think there should even be a debate between Duke and Michigan. Michigan didn’t beat a top 40 team out of conference. Duke has 2 such wins.

(11) Virginia (27-6) (16-2) Projected Seed Win Sunday 2 Lose Sunday 3 

Last 10 – (9-1)

Good Wins – (52) SMU, (64) N.C. State, (53) Florida State, (53) Florida State, * (25) North Carolina, * (39) Pittsburgh, (78) Maryland, (79) Clemson, (86) Missouri St., (16) Syracuse, (39) Pittsburgh, (53) Florida State

Bad Losses – None

Notes – If you aren’t considering Louisville, because of a shaky RPI, and Virginia beats Duke are the Cavaliers ahead of Michigan? With Duke I think it’s quite clear they are a 1 seed with an ACC Tournament title, but Virginia is trickier. The Cavaliers are still ahead of Michigan in both human polls. Is that enough? I don’t know. If Virginia had beat Wisconsin or VCU I’d have them ahead of Michigan, but I think the Cavaliers need a Michigan loss to gain that 1 seed. With a Virginia win, and a Michigan loss the Cavaliers should get the East’s top seed.

(16) Syracuse (27-5) (14-4) Projected Seed 4

Last 10 – (6-4)

Good Wins – * (5) Villanova, * (30) Baylor, * (50) Minnesota, (63) California, (68) St. Johns, (93) E. Michigan, * (25) North Carolina, * (39) Pittsburgh, * (7) Duke, (79) Clemson, * (39) Pittsburgh, (55) N.C. State, (91) Indiana, (78) Maryland, (54) Florida State, (85) Eastern Michigan

Bad Losses  – * (205) Boston College, (157) Georgia Tech

Notes – Syracuse has a fantastic resume, but their recent play has really hurt them. They lost their only ACCT tournament game to N.C. State and that dropped them to a 4 seed. From overall number 1 to a 4 seed in just a handful of weeks.

(25) North Carolina (23-9) (13-5) Projected Seed 6

Last 10 – (8-2)

Good Wins – * (22) Michigan St., * (18) Louisville, * (17) Kentucky, (75) Richmond, (79) Clemson, (55) N.C. State, (78) Maryland, * (39) Pittsburgh, *(7) Duke, (54) Florida State, (55) NC State

Bad Losses – (152) UAB, (110) Miami, (111) Wake Forest

Notes – By the end of tomorrow North Carolina could potentially have have wins over 4 major conference tournament champions. If Kentucky, Duke and Michigan St. win Sunday the Heels would turn the impressive trick. Everything good and bad about the Heels was on display against Pittsburgh in that ACCT loss. UNC played awful fell way behind then mounted a furious charge. The Heels are just as likely to go the Final 4 as lose in the first round. They’ll enter the tourney a 6 seed.

(39) Pittsburgh (25-9) (11-7) Projected Seed 7

Last 10 – (5-5)

Good Wins – * (41) Stanford, (55) NC State (78) Maryland, (79) Clemson, (78) Maryland, (79) Clemson, * (25) North Carolina

Bad Losses –  None

Notes – Pittsburgh had a nice run in the ACCT, and they are a lock for the NCAAs. The win over UNC I think gets them off the dreaded 8-9 line. If the Panthers play like they did this weekend, they’ll be a dangerous team in the Big Dance.

Bubble But In

NONE

Bubble But Out

(54) Florida State (19-13) (9-9) 

Last 10 – (5-5)

Good Wins – * (23) UMASS, * (12) VCU, (78) Maryland, (79) Clemson, * (39) Pittsburgh, (78) Maryland

Bad Losses – (110) Miami

Notes – If Iowa is a lock with virtually the same resume, then why isn’t Florida State. Please someone explain how Iowa has a better profile than FSU. I’m all ears…

(55) NC State (21-13) (9-9) 

Last 10 – (5-5)

Good Wins – *(42) Tennessee, (78) Maryland, (54) Florida State, (96) Eastern Kentucky, * (39) Pittsburgh, * (16) Syracuse

Bad Losses –  (111) Wake Forest, (110) Miami

Notes – Tennessee appears to be in the field with a 21-12 record. N.C. State has 1 more loss and the same number of wins, plus they beat Tennessee on their home floor and the Vols have 4 losses outside the top 100. Tennessee is ahead in the RPI, but how can you argue the Vols are more deserving than N.C. State?

The 15 point home loss to Miami 2 weeks ago will haunt the Wolfpack. In the end I think FSU and N.C. State just miss the field, but if Iowa and Tennessee are in I won’t understand it.

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