As we sit here on the eve of the First Four, games in Dayton we can look back on the college basketball regular season. We have heard, and I believe, that this years ACC basketball conference was the best basketball conference ever. There were arguments made that it was the best basketball conference EVER!
That topic will be debated in offices, around grills, and on bar stools for years to come. It is now incumbent on the teams that made the Field of 68 to PROVE that they were the best conference. We all hate hearing the SEC football fans chant S E C. But while fans were chanting those letters, they were winning bowl games and championships. To be considered the best conference in any sport you have to prove it in the post season. I am not talking about the NIT or CIT. It’s all about the NCAA tournament.
The ACC has a legitimate shot at winning. North Carolina, Duke, and Louisville can win the National Championship. Out of those 3 teams I see North Carolina with the hardest route to get there. Duke is playing lights out and won the ACC tournament. Louisville has been in the top 10 all year. All of these teams should cruise to the Elite 8. Then you look at the rest of the ACC. Most of these teams should win at least 1 game in the tournament. Miami’s draw is tough. They pull Michigan St. in the first round. Michigan St isn’t the team it usually is, but Tom Izzo is still the coach and he always has his team ready for the tournament. Florida State, a trendy pick for a 1st round upset, needs to win.
I hope Wake Forest wins that First Four game and gets Cincinnati, which is a winnable game for the Demon Deacons. Notre Dame should beat Princeton, which sets them up with a possible match-up against West Virginia. Virginia Tech plays Wisconsin, which should be a game of contrasting styles and if the ACC is going to prove that they were the best basketball conference, Virginia Tech needs to win that game. Finally that brings us to Virginia.
They have not been playing well lately and I have them losing to UNC-Wilmington. The clash of styles is obvious and Virginia has had issues scoring this year and Wilmington plays an uptempo type game and can score.
If the ACC is to prove that they were the best basketball conference this year, the opportunity is on their plate. They need to have the majority of their teams to make the Sweet 16, have at least 2 Final Four teams, and for the ACC to prove they were the best, the National Champion needs to come from the conference.