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Dec
14
2014

ACC Bubble Analysis for December 14, 2014

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The non-conference portion of the college basketball is drawing to a close. If you picked up a couple of good non-conference wins, great! If not then there is a lot of work to be done from now until in March. The ACC is solid through the top 6 teams, and then it’s total chaos. The bottom of the conference is just bad this year.

Now about those bubble teams…

In my ranking system, any RPI top (100) win is a good win and any RPI top (50) obviously worth more. Any losses outside the RPI top (100) is considered a bad loss, and outside the RPI (150) are even more damaging. I’m not counting future results only if I think a team would make the NCAA’s if selections were made the day of the post.

Teams get a “*” for top 50 good wins or “*” greater 150 losses.

My RPI rankings come from, CBSSportsline.com.

This is going to be a weekly article, where I seed the ACC teams where I think they’d placed if the tournament started the same day as my posting.

Locks

(4) Duke (8-0) (8-0) Projected Seed 1

Last 10 – (8-0)

Good Wins – * (21) Wisconsin, * (42) Michigan St., (64) Stanford, (68) Temple

Bad Losses  – None

Notes – Duke is building a great resume. The win at Wisconsin will be one of the best all season. They would easily be a 1 seed, if selections were today. Elon won’t be a problem, but Connecticut will provide another chance at another quality win this week.

(5) Virginia (9-0) (0-0) Projected Seed 1

Last 10 – (9-0)

Good Wins – * (11) VCU, * (38) Maryland, (46) George Washington, (84) Rutgers

Bad Losses – None

Notes – Virginia has a solid body of work to open the season. If Kentucky, Duke, and Arizona are 3 of the 1 seeds, why wouldn’t Virginia be the fourth one seed at the moment? They should enter ACC play undefeated. This week is a game with Cleveland St.

(13) Louisville (8-0) (0-0) Projected Seed 2

Last 10 – (8-0)

Good Wins – * (27) Ohio State, (82) Minnesota

Bad Losses – None

Notes – The Cardinals don’t have quite the resume Virginia and Duke do, so I seeded them just a hair lower. Louisville plays UNC-Wilmington Sunday, but they shouldn’t give Louisville much problem.

(41) Miami (9-1) (0-0) Projected Seed 6

Last 10 – (9-1)

Good Wins – * (36) UNC-Charlotte, * (36) UNC-Charlotte, (81) Illinois

Bad Losses – None

Notes – The Hurricanes have been the ACC’s nicest surprise this season. I like the backcourt, and Jim Larranaga is one of the most underrated coaches in the country. Eastern Kentucky and a good Providence team are this week. The win at Florida will look better as the season continues.

(148) Notre Dame 10-1 (1-0) Projected Seed 7

Last 10 – (9-1)

Good Wins – * (42) Michigan St, (49) UMASS

Bad Losses – None

Notes – Notre Dame is too good a basketball program to miss the NCAAs for a second straight year. This looks like a solid team with already a couple of quality wins. Purdue will be a nice home test next Saturday.

(23) North Carolina (6-3) (0-0) Projected Seed 8

Last 10 – (6-3)

Good Wins – (83) North Carolina Central (95) Davidson

Bad Losses – (120) Iowa

Notes – North Carolina has wins over Florida and UCLA that will eventually be top 100 wins. The Iowa home loss looks shaky, and the Tar Heels look a notch below the Louisville, Duke, Virginia grouping. Ohio State this week is a big game for the Heels.

Bubble But In

(35) NC State (8-2) (1-0) Projected Seed 12

Last 10 – (8-2)

Good Wins – * (15) Boise St., (56) Richmond

Bad Losses – (131) Purdue, (101) Wofford

Notes – Each year you want to overlook NC State, but Mike Gottfried always seems to put together a decent team. That was a tough loss for NC State against Wofford. One-Tenth of a second was the difference from a game winning shot. That’s the kind of loss that could haunt a bubble team all season. Tennessee, and West Virginia are this week, I’d like to see Wolfpack win both of those to put the Wofford loss behind them.

Bubble But Out

(102) Pittsburgh (6-3) (0-0) 

Last 10 – (6-3)

Good Wins – None

Bad Losses –  (129) Indiana, * (211) Hawaii

Notes – That Hawaii loss is going to look awful all year long for Pitt. I think the Panthers will be on and off bubble throughout the season. Right now they are not a NCAA team. There are just not any quality wins on the board for them. The Kansas State may be one before the season is over. Manhattan and Oakland at home should provide a chance for a couple of wins this week.

(85) Syracuse (6-3) (0-0) 

Last 10 – (6-3)

Good Wins – None

Bad Losses –  None

Notes – Syracuse will look a lot like Pittsburgh this year. They will be on and off the bubble the whole season. Louisiana Tech is dangerous this week, and then there is a game with Villanova. If the Orange could go 2-0 this week, it would really help  as the season progresses. The Cuse already got the win over Louisiana Tech Sunday.

(65) Georgia Tech (6-2) (0-0) 

Last 10 – (6-2)

Good Wins – * (43) Rhode Island, (59) Georgia, (88) Northwestern

Bad Losses – * (187) USC-Upstate

Notes – Georgia Tech’s resume on the surface isn’t bad. There are 3 top 100 wins. If the Jackets hadn’t lost to USC-Upstate at home, honestly I’d have them in the field. I don’t think think there is enough perimeter shooting to give the Jackets a legit NCAA shot, but we will see. Appalachian St. and Vanderbilt are this week.

(180) Clemson (6-3) (0-0) 

Last 10 – (5-3)

Good Wins – * (18) LSU, * (19) Arkansas

Bad Losses – * (248) Winthrop

Notes – I don’t know what to make of Clemson. They have two solid wins over LSU and Arkansas, but there is a loss to Winthrop and Gardner-Webb. There is also a win over Auburn. A rivalry game with South Carolina is this week.

(107) Boston College (6-3) (0-0)

Last 10 – (6-3)

Good Wins – (78) Providence

Bad Losses – None

Notes – Boston College is an interesting team. They’ve been more competitive than I expected. A game with USC is this week. Any team with a Oliver Hanlan type player is dangerous.

Only if they win the ACC Tournament

(175) Wake Forest (4-5) (0-1)

Last 10 – (4-5)

Good Wins – None

Bad Losses –  (217) Delaware St.

Notes – Danny Manning’s first season at Wake Forest is going to be a long one I believe. If they could defeat Florida this week, that could open some eyes.

(247) Virginia Tech (5-4) (0-0)

Last 10 – (5-4)

Good Wins – None

Bad Losses – (143) Radford, * (235) Appalachian St.

Notes – Virginia Tech isn’t equipped to make a NCAA run this year, but Buzz Williams will eventually get the Hokies there. Citadel and VMI at home this will give an opportunity to build some confidence.

(193) Florida State (4-5) (0-1) 

Last 10 – (4-5)

Good Wins – None

Bad Losses – * (144) Nebraska,* (148) Notre Dame

Notes – The losses to Notre Dame and Nebraska aren’t really bad, but the Noles have still lost 5 times in their first 9 games. This is the worst team Leonard Hamilton has fielded in years, and with Aaron Thomas out for the year, the Noles will likely spend most of the season near the bottom of the ACC standings.

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