ACC Basketball Update (2-12)

Photo by Amrita Malaur of The Technician


Well that was a disappointing week. Not shocking, but still disappointing.

The NCAA released their Top 16 on Sunday. I don’t understand why they release this list, but here’s what they’re thinking about the ACC so far:

  • UVA – #1 seed in South Regional
  • Duke – #2 in East
  • UNC – #3 in West
  • Clemson – #3 in East

It’s too early to get worked up over the fine details, but the linked article gives the exact ranking of their Top 16. With UNC at #12 overall, you have to wonder where they would be without the 2-0 record for last week.




  • The trend graphs tend to get rather messy in Feb. I usually only pay attention to the last three data points for each team to look for any emerging trends. If they get really messy, I’ll drop off a few weeks at the beginning of conference play, but I prefer to have the whole ACC season available.
  • When ESPN got their RPI data straightened out last Monday, I updated the graphs. There were minor changes to FSU’s and BC’s position on our graphs, with FSU staying in the Bubble Zone even after their win @L’ville. In other words, not anything that most State fans would care about.
  • I expanded the “IN” graph into the top end of the Bubble Zone to capture the ups and downs of FSU, SYR, and L’ville all in one graph.

UVA suffered a big upset at home on Sat against VT, but still managed to hold onto their #1 ranking.

Clemson had two breaks this week…Pitt at home and then the weekend off.

If you look at Duke’s graph, you will see that they started falling after 1/26. I doubt anyone in Durham is panicked, but absolutely no one should be talking about a #1 seed any more. Here are the details on their fall from on high:

UNC’s 2-0 week moved them back up in the rankings.

Miam’s followed up a win at home against WF with a loss on the road to BC…not a good week for their RPI Ranking.

Since our last update, Louisville had games on Mon, Thurs, and Sun. In total, they had four games in eight days. I don’t think that I’ve ever seen anything similar.  Luckily, the Thurs and Sunday games weren’t that taxing. But no one could have predicted that before the season started.All of the AD’s should be on the ACC’s case to make sure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else ever again.

Louisville’s roller coaster season is a perfect example of why I do these trend graphs…to help point out teams that need a closer look to figure out what’s going on. Here’s their ACC season in chronological order:

Building RPI

Falling into the Bubble Zone

Remaining Schedule


So basically, L’ville’s ups and downs are a function of their schedule. They win the ones that they are supposed to win, only one of the 50/50 games, and no upsets. Looking forward, L’ville now has the toughest part of their conference schedule left to face. With only one Top 50 win on their resume, they need some big wins. Luckily they will have plenty of opportunities left to prove that they deserve a spot in the NCAAT.

Just after I write them off, SYR pulled off a 2-0 week that included a win over L’ville on the road. Looking pretty good for now.

FSU had a disappointing 0-2 week with a loss to UVa at home and to ND on the road.

VT had a great week going 2-0 with a big upset in C’ville. They’ve moved nearly to the good side of the Bubble but have a rough schedule down the stretch.As you can see in the RPI Summary Table down below, they have a Greenburg-type OOC schedule hanging around their necks. If not for that, I would say that the win in C’ville would have moved them into the “lock” category with a 9-9 conference record. But back in the real world, I wouldn’t be comfortable with a win over GT plus one more to get them a guaranteed bid.

ND pulled out of their seven-game losing streak with two wins at home against BC and FSU.

State’s 0-2 week moves them towards the outer edge of the Bubble. They might not be at the very edge of the Bubble, but they’ve got a good view of the NIT from where they’re at.

BC got a nice win at home against UM to move back towards the Bubble. They’re still out for now, but are staying within shooting distance.



State is sitting at 6-6 in conference which is much better than anything I expected at the start of conference play (especially with the #6 conference SOS in the country). They are in a pretty good position to finish with a 9-9 conf. record, which is often good enough for a NCAAT bid. But with State’s terrible OOC schedule, they have nearly fallen off the back edge of the Bubble even with a .500 conference record.I would not expect 3-3 from here to improve State’s RPI enough to feel comfortable about an NCAAT bid. If memory serves, this is the third week in a row that I’ve made that same observation. So far, I see no reason to change my mind.


Like State, SYR is sitting at 6-6 with six to play. But unlike State, if they can win any three of their remaining games then I think that they are IN. The only problem is that four of their remaining games are against teams that pretty much already have a NCAAT bid wrapped up.Once again we see that a good OOC schedule pays dividends….9-9 in the ACC looks to be good enough for SYR even though they are tracking to have one of the three easiest ACC schedules.



I don’t think that I’ve mentioned Clemson recently other than to talk about losing Grantham for the remainder of the season. They’ve done well since then by winning three of four. That’s partially because of their schedule, but they did win the rematch against UNC without Grantham.Their remaining schedule has two games against FSU in a two-week span and three games at home. Not an easy schedule by any means, but not as difficult as several other teams we’ve already discussed.


 ND just about waited too long to pull out of their losing streak. I wouldn’t bet large sums of money that they can go 4-2 down the stretch to get to 9-9, but we’ve all seen stranger things.I would bet a large sum of money that 9-9 and Bonzie playing in the ACCT would be enough to get the Irish into the NCAAT.



Ever since UNC’s three-game losing streak, has picked SYR as State’s second toughest game over the second half. Let’s hope that KK has worked on their zone offense since the Pitt game. This is quite simply a game that both teams need badly.

Just in case you haven’t been watching WF, they hung close with UNC at home and beat SYR and FSU in Winston. Over the years, I’ve come to dread trips to W-S (and Chestnut Hill).

This week’s selection of worthwhile games is much improved over last week. Matching up BC/Pitt and GT/WF almost automatically adds four games worth watching to the schedule.

I don’t remember more ACC games being shown on Sunday after the Super Bowl is over. But we had three games yesterday and two more this week.  I checked the remainder of the ACC schedule and State/FSU is the only game on 2/25….which is the last Sunday of the regular season. (The last day of regular season play is on the next Saturday, 3/3.)

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 Basketball Update (2-12)

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    Well that was a disappointing week. Not shocking, but still disappointing.
    [See the full post at: ACC Basketball Update (2-12)]


    Thanks again for the good info. Pack needs a good 2 win week which is a tall order imo with two road games. But Stranger Things and all that.


    I’m with you Va in that getting to 9-9 doesn’t just get us in because our OOC SOS is so dreadful. We have the top line games, but we need the overall RPI. Get two out of three (top line, RPI and overall schedule) and you’re likely in, but right now we are missing two out of the three.

    I knew this week would be tough because VT and UNC were both good teams that were still hungry. Syracuse is the same, and it is on the road against a zone. It’s going to take another top level effort like we had against Arizona, Duke or UNC in order to come out with a win.

    I hate to say it, but I think we need to beat Syracuse. Even if we were to beat BC, WF and GT (no guarantee), I don’t think we’re in if we lose the rest. We pretty much need no slip ups and at least 1 of 3 against Syracuse, FSU and Louisville. It’s doable, but it’d be best if we somehow got that road win (road is better for the RPI) against Syracuse. Pushing them out would also help us get in.


    This fan base may learn to appreciate the importance of the non-conference schedule this year. For far too long I’ve heard these arguments that the non-conference didn’t matter, just in in the ACC and it takes care of itself. The issue is that too big of a hole can be dug to climb out of. Sure, many of those years when I was talking about this (Sid, Gott), we didn’t end up with a winning record, so the point was moot.

    This year we’re on the bubble and would have really benefited from the benefit of a harder schedule to the numbers. It is not like this was unforeseen, as I’d kind of thought we’d have 2-3 non-conference losses and go .500 in the league. That’s right what we’re on track for.

    Today according to KenPom, we’re 344 out of 351 on the non-conference strength of schedule. The only solace is that fellow high-major bubble teams Mississippi State, FSU, VT, KState and Penn State are all at around 320+. It may come down to head to head within this group, and we’re 1-1. FSU will be huge.


    This fan base may learn to appreciate the importance of the non-conference schedule this year.

    Don’t be so sure. The Herbavores never did.

    For far too long I’ve heard these arguments that the non-conference didn’t matter, just in in the ACC and it takes care of itself.

    SYR’s resume from last year is the perfect counterpoint to this flawed line of thinking. Combine a horrible OOC SOS with one of the weakest ACC schedules and you end up with SYR’s resume from last year….something like 6 Top 50 wins and an RPI ranking near 80.


    Good writeup. Thanks VA Wolf.

    Anybody here anything on Batts? Supposedly KK said it was a coach’s decision that he didn’t play. Heck, all we needed was a couple of stops to win that game. I think Batts could have done that with 10 minutes of playing time.

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


    Thanks VA, as always your analysis is spot on! I think KK learns from the scheduling issue. At UL he didn’t have to worry about scheduling. At UNCW the only way you get in is to win your conference. So hopefully he learns that two or three of these games need ot be against better competition.

    44, I thought the same thing as you with Batts. His defense was one of the reasons we went on that run of wins, odd his PT just stopped.


    It looks like the Dance Card puts State right on the edge:


    So hopefully he learns that two or three of these games need ot be against better competition.

    It would be more productive to eliminate most/all of the 200+ games than to just change a few out for tougher teams.


    Hello Lynchburg!
    After last week, how are you doing up there twix and tween the ‘hoos and ‘Hokies ?

    Holding your own I’m sure, as they’re too busy talking to and about each other to pay State any attention…

    It looks like the Dance Card puts State right on the edge:

    Given the way we played last week… This says more about the teams theoretically below us than about us….

    We’re gonna play better this week unless Stranger Things happen….

    GO PACK!

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

    how are you doing up there twix and tween the ‘hoos and ‘Hokies ?

    Holding your own I’m sure, as they’re too busy talking to and about each other to pay State any attention…

    That’s pretty much always the case. Though both sides enjoy it when State can beat UNC or Duke.


    ^It could be worse…

    When I went down to Tallahassee in ’78… Everytime I told someone I graduated from NC State… they asked…
    “Oh! is that is Chapel Hill?”

    GO PACK!

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

    If we play the three home game the way we did Saturday in the loss we should go 2-1. That means we would need to go 2-1 on the road as well. If it was anybody other than WF and GT I’d say no way. We still have a chance. We could even go 3-0 at home, but I doubt it as well as UL and FSU normally defend.

    As for the value of the OOC SOS, Gott demonstrated that in his first season. He scheduled well for bubble situations.


    Better shape than I thought we’d be in, I am encouraged!


    The very best thing Gott did was schedule. Given the attention to detail given to the schedule, I wouldn’t at all be surprised if that wasn’t a delegated task. Isn’t that normally done by the Director of Basketball Operations?

    I suspect this year’s schedule was built with Keatts having no expectation of actually being on the bubble. The Battle of Atlantis was locked in as was Penn State, so it kind of made sense to schedule up a bunch of exhibition quality games to get the system in.

    We’ll learn more about Keatts’ scheduling philosophy next year. I think he’s confident enough to schedule well.

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