Last Look at the Bubble


Well we’ve reached the end of the regular season and this will be our last bubble/conference update of the year.   Doing these weekly updates has skewed my normal outlook on the season.   Other than State wins, I found myself pulling for whatever outcome would lead to an interesting conversation.   Obviously, I shouldn’t have wasted the energy because we’ve ended up with one of the most boring bubble situations that we’ve ever discussed.


UVA pulled together a great regular season based on the easiest conference schedule in the ACC.   They played the minimum number of games against the other teams with a bye until Friday AND played two of those three games at home.    (I’ll try to get more out on the effect of the unbalanced schedule before the ACCT kicks off.)     Of the top 4, UVA looks to me like the only team with a chance of getting a one-seed if they win the ACCT.

Syracuse looked pretty good on Sunday, especially considering they lost two horrible games at home over the last couple of weeks.    Duke stumbled against WF (trap game on the road) and then extracted revenge against UNC.   Both teams are playing for something between a two and a four-seed.

UNC managed to climb all of the way out of the hole that they dug and then fell into.   They’re playing for something between a three and a six-seed.   Overall, the top of the ACC is quite respectable, but it gets ugly really quick:


Pitt is in the exact same position that they were in on Jan 1…they haven’t beaten anyone worth discussing.   Based on the Dance Card, the win (ie gift) in Clemson moved them one spot further from the NIT than they were on Friday afternoon.   One of the things that I like about the Dance Card is that math doesn’t have a memory…the results are what they are.   While there might be room to question whether or not Pitt deserves a bid, the Dance Card’s results show where Pitt stands in regards to past tournament selections.

Another thing that I like about the Dance Card is that evaluating Pitt is more like looking at a third-place mid-major than the normal ACC team on the bubble.   Their one Top 50 win against a bubble team and 5th place in an overall weak conference is certainly not a good resume.    The best thing that I can find on their resume is that their worst loss was to #66 State.    So the Dance Card provides a better estimate of their position than any of the examples we’ve used from the past (which are mostly the Herb bubble teams).

FSU has two top-25 OOC wins and pretty much nothing else.    The loss to SYR moved them to about five spots below the Dance Card bubble line.   While Pitt needs just enough to stay ahead of the other bubble teams, FSU needs ACCT wins to climb over several to make the NCAAT.   The question is whether or not a win on Friday would be enough.

UMD’s win against UVA matches Clemson’s lone quality win…which gives both teams one quality win more than State (who beat three bubble teams).    So how many wins do these three need?    Before we get to that, let’s look at this table and see if it contains any useful information:


Several things that stood out to me:

–        There were slightly more upsets in the second half of the season.

–        It will be interesting to see if Duke’s and SYR’s bad losses impact their seeding.

–        Five of the six teams playing on Wed in the ACCT have a win against the top four in the ACC.  From my seat, that says more about the top of the ACC than it does the bottom.

–        Miami and WF’s upsets will lead to speculation about the Thursday games.   However, their records show that both are vulnerable to being upset on Wednesday.

The main conclusion that I draw from the upset table, is that the middle of the ACC is extremely weak.   To me, this places the odds of any of the 5-9 seeds playing on Sunday in fractions of a percent.

If one (or more) surprising upsets were to occur, then it will be interesting to discuss what it means.   However the odds of anything interesting happening are so small that I just can’t find the energy to seriously discuss it.   For today, I’ll leave the discussion of those chances to any of our resident Jim Carrey’s.


About VaWolf82

Engineer living in Central Va. and senior curmudgeon amongst SFN authors One wife, two kids, one dog, four vehicles on insurance, and four phones on cell plan...looking forward to empty nest status. Graduated 1982

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This topic contains 37 replies, has 17 voices, and was last updated by  Wulfpack 1 year, 8 months ago.

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    Well we’ve reached the end of the regular season and this will be our last bubble/conference update of the year.   Doing these weekly updates has skew
    [See the full post at: Last Look at the Bubble]



    The acc tournament is our last hope. To have a shot at an at-large bid we will have to advance to sunday…and will probably need to have beaten duke on Saturday to get there…so the odds are indeed very slim



    The odds are clearly extremely slim. But with Warren, anything is possible. We’ve shown we can play with anyone in the league (sans UVA – but I am sure we can play with the Hoos). However, we can also lose to anyone. We are not consistent. Going to be interesting, hopefully.



    A lot of people draw more from a close loss than I do. Three losses to RPI 100+ teams deserve at least as much attention when evaluating State.



    Just FYI, Lunardi currently has Pitt in as a 10 seed.



    I don’t think Pitt slips lower than that unless they lose on Friday (which they easily could)…at which point they likely go to Dayton.

    FSU, State, Clemson, and Maryland all likely get in if they make the finals. But as VA noted, that’s unlikely enough not to devote much brainpower to analyzing.



    And The Dance Card has 15 teams ahead of us, including FSU. Going to have to make a big run and hope all the favorites win.



    That’s a fuckton of teams to jump, but I think all those resumes are fairly close. Adding Syracuse and Duke wins to State’s resume would still set us apart, methinks.



    Just FYI, Lunardi currently has Pitt in as a 10 seed.

    Without the Dance Card, I would have to wonder if that was an honest evaluation or based on everyone’s opinion from a month ago. (Which is what I meant when I said that math has no memory.) Personally, I would put Pitt at a 11 or 12 seed…but it’s all just guesses until the conference tourneys finish.



    TJ has earned ACCPOY but it might be interesting to see how a snubbed TJ plays this week.



    Half Empty
    ACC top tier loses to lower tier teams, “top tier sucks”

    ACC middle tier loses to top tier and some lower tier – “middle tier sucks”

    ACC lower tier sucks by definition

    Half Full
    ACC is better than people think (we’ll see in postseason)



    What stood out to me: Wake is tough at home.


    Prowling Woofie

    What stood out to me: Wake is tough at home.

    Especially when allowed to travel…



    ACC middle tier loses to top tier and some lower tier – “middle tier sucks”

    You left out the middle tier’s poor performance against quality OOC opponents.

    The “middle tier sucks” is not “half-full”, it’s just a realistic assessment.



    Personally, I would put Pitt at a 11 or 12 seed…

    ^Agree. I think their miracle at Clemson helped them more than most people realize. Lose that one, and Pitt is more than iffy.

    Lose on Thursday to Wake or ND and it is really dicey.



    First of all thanks to VaWolf for a season of sobering looks at the ACC.

    The main thing that has killed the ACC the past few years is our crappy performance outside the league. It used to be that the entire conference would roll up wins outside the league which would give everyone’s RPI a boost.

    I have to say I’m impressed that Gott continues to schedule aggressively. When your SOS number is in the 20’s you don’t have to apologize to anybody for your schedule.

    One win is easy to see happening. Two wins is certainly possible, but I don’t think anybody is wiring money to Vegas to get down on us to make the semi-finals. Three wins and we are approaching CC Harrison territory.


    Alpha Wolf

    I hate to say this, but poor officiating might cost us a bid. Put Warren on the line at Syracuse for an and-one, and give UNC the foul against Warren in Raleigh, we’re probably dancing.

    Yes, we could conceivably have pulled out both of those games, but damn, it’s been heartbreaking to see a team with lesser talent play its heart out against heavily favored opponents and be in a position to win only to have the curse that is ACC officiating cost the team chances to close out those wins.

    The worst part of it is that the conference will never, ever admit they’ve got a problem. People say that expansion hurt the conference, but I think that in reality, the blatant favoritism hurts even more. Gone is the ACC identity of “anyone can beat anyone” — it’s nigh on impossible to pull out close wins when the officials are favoring the top teams when it matters the most.



    Gone is the ACC identity of “anyone can beat anyone”

    Yes… this has been true for the last too many years for too many good reasons….

    But… “Expansion” doesn’t on it own exacerbate that; expansion restores that … especially when that “one day soon” — the day they have the big retirement party comes.

    And we can see it coming…

    The Orange was the “best team” in the conference until we played them up there… look at their record since..

    #ForEightNineteenYears? #WeGottDis.pack! #STATEment




    I hate to say this as well.
    The year may have been boogered by 3 costly passes in the closing seconds of 2 games.

    Every coach’s nightmare is to see the ball go to the sideline in the midst of the trap.

    A pass to Lee and to Barber v.’Cuse, and to Warren v.***

    Just sayin’. Jane and Dan need not debate it.



    Gone is the ACC identity of “anyone can beat anyone”

    Really? Just because it didn’t happen for the Pack (at least not yet) doesn’t mean it didn’t happen for others. It did. See:

    Wake over Duke
    ND over Duke
    Clemson over Duke
    BC over Cuse
    GT over Cuse
    Maryland over UVA
    Wake over UNC
    Miami over UNC



    ^Thanks for doing the homework there Wufpack

    And Things will be even more interesting next year….
    when ‘DaVille gets added to the mix…

    It’s GOTT to be all good for the PACK…

    because you play to the level of your competition unless you have %$#*&ies (insert p-word here if you like) leading your program…

    and that it is clearly no longer the case in Raleigh.


    Mr. Dog…
    what you said… or

    5 more rebounds…
    5 more free throws…
    5 less turnovers…

    in a half a dozen games this season.

    #ForEightNineteenYears? #WeGottDis.pack! #STATEment



    ^^^ “Jane and Dan need not debate” – good one, funny, funny SNLs.



    How long does the Karl Hess punishment last?



    Fo’eva in Raleigh. That’s the way it had to be.
    That’s the way the peeps at State mean it to be.

    Blackballed…Means blackballed.



    I can’t find where I wrote the quote attributed to me, but maybe I wrote that somewhere.

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