ACC BB – One More Week

This was sort of a strange weekend for ACC basketball:

  • No matchups between teams fighting for a two-round bye.
  • Saturday had five games with the visiting team favored in each game. (Miami was the only upset winner.)

But some things remained the same:

  • Clemson suffers yet another close loss.
  • Sunday had two games where bubble teams were playing for a big road win and neither delivered.

So with one week left in the regular season, this is where everyone currently stands:



Good Week (2-0) – UNC, Miami, FSU, VT

Bad Week (0-2) –Duke, Clemson, GT, BC, Pitt

In most years, the top 50 wins by SYR, Clemson, GT, and even Pitt would be good enough to be positioned on the good side of the bubble. But things aren’t exactly normal this year. Every ACC team that’s currently on the bubble (or close to it) has an enormously large number of losses.  (We’ll explore this last observation closer next week.   But for now we can state the obvious….that ain’t good.)

I don’t know what the Selection Committee thinks about a losing record against teams ranked 51-100, but it certainly isn’t a good thing.

In the 12 team ACC, VT once had a good enough conference record to get a first round bye, won their first game in the ACCT, and still didn’t get an at-large bid. Back then I received some flak for saying that VT needed a big win in the ACCT….but they did and they didn’t get it. So we saw another Greenburg trip to the NIT. I say all of that as proof that you need Top 50 wins and WF is coming up shy on that end.     State with Sendek showed that you don’t need many good wins, but WF is falling short of even that meager standard.



In the past, I’ve changed the start date of the graph to reduce clutter. But this year, the jumbled mess shows just how little numerical difference there are between the top teams. Even with the clutter, you can still see Duke stumble and recover. You can see ND climb, fall, and then rebound as well as UVA’s recent struggles.

It’s been over a month since FSU beat someone of significance (L’ville on 1/21) so they’ve slipped a little too.

It’s always nice to see teams climb from the muddled middle into the under 40 club. Hopefully VT and UM can stay there.

I’m surprised at how long it took WF to fall into the Bubble Graph, but here they are. The news doesn’t get any better for the remaining teams on the Bubble Graph. Clemson and Pitt are slowly sliding into obscurity. After a remarkable turnaround, both SYR and GT are stumbling down the stretch. So here’s the summary table with last week’s results added to the mix:

Miami is currently riding a four-game winning streak and had an outstanding week with wins @UVA and Duke at home. You would tend to think that they should have a NCAAT bid locked up. But Miami finishes on the road against VT and FSU and they aren’t going to be favored in either game. If you start tossing around worst-case scenarios, I wouldn’t bet a paycheck that Miami could lose three straight and still get a bid. But 1-1 next week should guarantee their spot in the NCAAT.

VT is comfortably in for now. Last week I forgot to mention that VT lost its leading rebounder (Chris Clarke) in the win against UVa. That’s on top of losing a forward and reserve center earlier in the season. They’re down to a seven-man rotation plus a walk-on giving a few minutes here and there. Since losing Clarke, they are 3-1. That probably sounds a little more impressive that it actually is since the wins were against Pitt, Clemson, and BC. But they played a good game in their loss at L’ville even with their personnel losses. VT finishes at home against Miami and WF so you have to like their chances at a NCAAT bid.

SIDE NOTE: This looks like a good site for tracking injury reports.

SYR had a nice five-game winning streak to get into the Bubble conversation (and actually pass GT in the Trend Graph). But since then they’ve gone 1-4 to fall back to the very back edge of the Bubble Line. Their only win in the last five was over Duke, which was good but they needed more out of the last three weeks. With only one game this week (home against GT), SYR is also going to need something noteworthy out of the ACCT to make the NCAAT.

WF only played one game last week (win over Pitt) and the story has pretty much stayed the same all year…tough schedule, no real embarrassing losses (depending on how you judge getting swept by Clemson), and not enough big wins. They’re definitely not IN today, but a couple of big wins over the next two weeks would change that. They’re going to have some chances to get those big wins, so it’s really up to WF to figure out which post-season tournament they’re going to play in.

At the halfway point of the ACC season, I showcased GT’s big turnaround and pointed out that their big wins were all at home. Since then, GT has gone 0-4 on the road (losing at Clemson, WF, Miami, and ND) along with a home loss to State. (ie NOT TOO GOOD). With games against Pitt and SYR this week, they’re going to need something out of the ACCT to make the NCAAT.

Both GT and SYR have six losses to teams that probably won’t be in the NCAAT. I don’t know where the magic line is, but the Selection Committee chairman has trotted that stat out in the past when explaining why some team was left out.



The professors have finally started updating more frequently:

If you paid attention during my summary of The Dance Card and the RPI tables above, then you won’t be surprised to see that Miami has jumped above VT with a higher RPI Ranking and with one more Top 25 win than VT.

Syracuse and WF are still hanging around with a realistic shot if they can get some upsets down the stretch. Recent stumbles have probably moved GT and Clemson too far back for a realistic shot. If all goes well, we’ll take one more look at the bubble teams before the ACCT starts next week.



Just as I was beginning to hope that L’ville could catch/pass UNC, UNC beats them in Chapel Hill. With the win over Pitt on Saturday, UNC is guaranteed at least a tie for the regular season title.

Here’s the summary table of the Top Six sorted by ACC standing:

Duke (probably) and UVA (almost definitely) have stumbled enough down the stretch to be headed for a Wed game in the ACCT.  That game is probably not going to be as easy as past years.

With four games left between the Top Six, there’s still room for shuffling back and forth in the conference standings. The best case scenario for Duke would appear to be a tie for a spot straddling ACCT Tue/Wed and then hope for the best in the tie-breakers.

Unless something extraordinary happens, it looks like Tuesday’s teams are pretty much finalized too.



The regular season wraps up Saturday, March 4 giving everyone at least three days off before the ACCT starts in Brooklyn on Tuesday, March 7. Here are the remaining games:

I’ll be out of town on business next week, but hopefully I’ll still be able to take one last look at the Bubble before the ACCT starts.

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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Home Forums ACC BB – One More Week

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    There’s one week left in the ACC regular season. So here’s a look at where everyone stands.
    [See the full post at: ACC BB – One More Week]


    Nice review. The league is making itself rather cut and dry at this point, barring a tourney run by someone (likely Cuse if anybody).



    The teams that had a chance at making things interesting failed big time as soon as they left home…even against the bottom of the conference. Except of course, both Miami and VT stepped up. But they’ve done so well that they’re almost locked into the NCAAT and thus less interesting to follow.

    All of this shows up in the RPI Table under the record over the previous 12 games. VT and Miami have winning records. WF and SYR are 6-6 and everyone below that has losing records. The college season is just long enough to mostly separate the contenders from the pretenders.

    If power teams with records slightly over 0.500 get selected over mid-majors with gaudy records with few/no good wins (real mid-majors and not low-majors)…then the post-selection squealing might become deafening.


    Lunardi has some interesting thoughts on teams with losing conference records.

    Still, you can understand why the sub.-500 conference record maxim exists: Teams like these simply don’t get into the NCAA tournament that often. Whether via correlation or causation, the precedent seems clear.

    Meanwhile, one way or the other, the 2017 NCAA tournament has 32 at-large spots to fill. Something is going to give. Stay tuned.


    Lunardi points out this article on

    With an automatic bid available to only 32 teams in the NCAA tournament, the 36 schools left jockeying for open spots need as many wins, and as many quality wins, as possible. Several teams waiting to hear their name called on Selection Sunday this year will have at least 10 losses. Some will have even more.

    The most losses any at-large team in the tournament ever had is 14, which has happened 11 times (five in 2011 alone). takes a look at those 11 clubs and points out a few this year that could be in the tournament’s double-digit loss boat … if they’re lucky:

    Who knew the ncaa put up blog entries?


    And just like that UVA holds the vaunted unx attack to 43 points. For the game. I do like more offense than UVA typically produces, but damn, it would be nice to hold the Holes under 50 for 40 minutes.

    43 points is the lowest point total under ORW.


    Hokies knock off the Canes. Now in a three way tie for 6th. Buzz Williams was a tremendous freaking hire.


    National Views:

    9 ACC teams in their bracket (8 obvious + Syracuse)

    “Work left to do” – WF, SYR, GT

    Lunardi moves UM to lock status and says VT “should be in”. Interesting discussions about the rest of the ACC contenders/pretenders all with “work left to do”. Which basically lines up with our discussion here.

    9 ACC teams in their bracket. They have WF as “last four in” and Syracuse in “first four out”.

    CBS breaks their bubble down differently than ESPN.
    “In for Now” – no ACC teams
    “On the Fence” – WF and SYR
    “Work to Do” – no ACC teams

    Both have written off Clemson and Pitt…though it took much longer than it took me. ESPN gives GT a paragraph and CBS doesn’t mention them (that I could see).

    Clemson plays State and BC this week at home. I wonder if a 2-0 week would get Clemson some ink?


    And just like that UVA holds the vaunted unx attack to 43 points.

    Uncle Roy gets another ‘gift-wrapped’ game exactly when he needed it…

    His Team has been suffering from arrogance and lack of energy for significant parts of the season…
    The first big move for the Holes was our game in the Nose Dome…. but that could only carry the Holes for so long…

    Now with only one regular season game left… Coach will ‘use’ last night’s game as the perfect tool to ramp his kids up for the Tournaments…

    Uncle Roy’s rabbit foot has definitely been on his side this season…

    Good Coaching always means “Turning a negative into a positive”….

    That ought to be one of the first questions on the Job Application Form at NCState…

    Coach, tell us how you turn ‘negatives’ into positives’, please….

    #NCSU-North Carolina's #1 FOOTBALL school!

    The ACC will likely get 8 teams in: UNC, Louisville, Duke, UVA, FSU, Miami, VT and Notre Dame. If there is a 9th ACC team, it would be either Syracuse or GT. With their coach and zone defense, plus playing in Brooklyn, don’t count the Orange out, especially after last season.

    Despite last night’s results, I still think UNC is the league’s best team and Miami is the league’s most underrated team, while Duke and FSU are the ACC’s most overrated teams. Duke’s great only if the 3s are falling; FSU can’t shoot outside the paint. The only ACC team that I expect in the FF is Louisville unless UNC gets an easy road.

    A major help to the ACC’s large representation in this season’s NCAAT will be the B1G. That league is a mess, and the ACC should get more teams in than the B1G and the SEC combined.

    Bill Walton’s “Conference of Champions” to me is the strongest league at the top, with 3 teams having a legit shot at the FF. The Big XII has the nation’s best team in KU plus 2 other teams that could end up in Phoenix as well. Not so anyone else.

    There is simply way too much talk about how great the ACC is this season. I think Louisville, UNC and UVA will be Sweet, but it’ll quickly go sour shortly after that for Swofford’s new and improved ACC.


    What? Our beloved Wolfpack isn’t going to the tournament? Hasn’t anybody listened to ESPN talk about what a great coach we have? After all that, it’s hard to believe we’re not at least on the bubble.

    Communism is not love. Communism is a hammer which we use to crush the enemy. Mao Zedong


    GT jumps up 10 spots on The Dance Card with a home win over Pitt. A jump that big from a mediocre win appears to support the conclusion that the Bubble is extremely weak this year.

    (But it seems like someone proclaims that the Bubble is weak every year.)


    We had one good bubble, maybe, in the last 8-10 seasons. And that’s it. Forget about expanding from 68, if anything you should make the “First Four” ALL games amongst the last at-large teams (this would also make getting a 1/2 seed a better reward, since the 15 and 16s wouldd be marginally weaker).


    Forget about expanding from 68

    I remember the year that the possibility of expanding the NCAAT to 96 teams got kicked around. I took the Dance Card’s list as an easy way to pick the sorts of teams that would end up in an over-expanded NCAAT. If anyone doubts BJD’s conclusion, take a look here:

    The Extra 31 (Who Would Have Made If It Was A 96 Team Tournament)


    Huge win for the Deacs over Lville.


    The win really helps WF on the Dance Card but didn’t make a big jump in RPI rankings. Syracuse hangs close. GT/Clemson not looking too good.



    Lunardi has 10 ACC teams in. Including Wake.


    Wake has a huge game vs Va Tech this weekend.

    Win that one and their ticket is punched. Lose it and they may have to win @ least 2 in the ACC tourney. Manning has his team in a gott-ish position (for Gott’s first 4 years.)

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