The ACC has limped through the first half of the conference schedule. So letâ€™s see if it looks as bad as it feels:
We have looked at the NCAAT bubble many times over the last several years. Based on those observations, Iâ€™ve developed the following criteria for ranking the teams:
IN = RPI <40 and a minimum of 0.500 in the ACC
OUT = RPI >65
BUBBLE = Anything in-between those two extremes
– In case you havenâ€™t noticed, the ACC really sucks this year. In fact, itâ€™s the weakest the conference has been since 2000. The ACC currently ranks fifth in the countryâ€¦just behind the Mountain West in two different on-line RPI sites.
– Here is a graph that illustrates just how much the ACC has dropped off compared to last year (when the ACC was the third ranked conference).
With losses to Harvard, Yale, and Rhode Island, no one expected BC to take the conference by storm this year. However, there are several things worth discussing (beyond their recent slide, losing four of the last five games to fall onto the Bubble).
BC has the 39th ranked OOC SOS per CBS Sports. If you have never looked at OOC schedules before, I encourage you to take a look and see what a â€œchallengingâ€ OOC schedule really looks like. (Hopefully, you picked up on the sarcasm.) As Iâ€™ve said a bazillion times before, you donâ€™t have to schedule Top-25 teams to build a strong OOC schedule. Just eliminate those horrid programs that State always seems to schedule and the ranking will take care of itself.
There is no downside to playing an OOC schedule like BCâ€™s:
– If you have a good team, then the wins in the ACC season will give you a good RPI ranking and you can secure a decent NCAAT seed before the ACCT even starts.
– If you donâ€™t have a good team, then it doesnâ€™t really matter anyway. Even if you build a bloated record on the Savannah States of the world, you will be exposed as a fraud by the ACC schedule and youâ€™ll still be sitting home after the ACCT.
– If you have a Bubble team, then you have given yourself a chance to acquire a few more Top-50 wins to help out your overall resume.
BCâ€™s losses to Yale, Harvard, and RI illustrate why the NCAA Selection Committee is justified in including SOS in the RPI calculation and in their selection process. The dregs of the basketball world are never going to beat an ACC team. But those teams in the middle might sneak up and surprise you. Teams that take a â€œriskâ€ by playing those teams in the middle, deserve a â€œrewardâ€ for beating them instead of cupcakes. (From Jerry Palm – About 75% of the NCAAT teams are seeded within one spot of where you would predict based solely on RPI.)
FSU has a really unimpressive resume for a team that was ranked in the AP Top-25. They do have a home win against Duke, but their only other Top-50 win was also at home against BC (#43 and fading). Since they donâ€™t play BC again this season, you can be sure that BC will have no bigger fans than FSU between now and the ACCT.
The only Top-50 games left for FSU before the ACCT are against UNC (twice). One win over the Heels and a 10 win ACC season should be enough to secure an at-large bid before the ACCT even starts.
VT and Maryland
The difference in these two teams comes down to last nightâ€™s resultsâ€¦a road win versus a home loss. Both teams have exactly one Top-50 win – #44 Penn State. If you throw in Clemson, any of these three teams could make the NCAAT, but will most likely enter the ACCT still needing Top-50 wins to secure a bid.
It looks unlikely to me that more than one from this group stands a chance at making the NCAAT. Itâ€™s not hard to imagine a scenario where the #5 and #6 seeds in the ACCT could have a really rough road to make the NCAAT. Round 1 of the ACCT will be against the bottom of the ACC…where the win counts as nothing special. Round 2 could be against two bubble teamsâ€¦which might not be all that impressive. Bottom line: I can see a scenario where a bubble team would need an appearance in the ACCT finals to secure an at-large bid. (Remember that VT has won on Friday in the ACCT and still not received an at-large bid.)
To date, State has a grand total of three wins against teams ranked in the Top-200 (#30 George Mason, #72 Miami, #127 ECU). End Discussion.
Their free-fall continues having lost six of seven games in 2011. Has anyone seen the posters that were trying to argue that Stateâ€™s win over Miami was a â€œgoodâ€ win?
One of the first pieces I wrote at SFN covered common mistakes made during internet â€œanalysisâ€ of Stateâ€™s teams. I briefly thought about rehashing the claims made over the last two seasons into the outline of that piece, but then decided against it. The horse is nearly dead and there is no reason to beat it any more.
If life doesnâ€™t interfere, Iâ€™ll do one more of these updates in the days just before the ACCT starts and weâ€™ll see just how depressing the ACC is going to look in this yearâ€™s NCAAT. Friendly reminder – Keep the comments on the topic of the ACC season and NCAAT projections.
This article originally posted on Thursday, February 3rd but remains relevant and relatively unchanged to allow us to feature it again on Saturday.