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How Down Is ACC Basketball This Year? And The Big Finish

Brian: With the Boston College football season now behind us, many are starting to pay attention to college basketball. Or maybe after looking at BC’s 2-7 record, you’re conveniently skipping this season (either way). But over the course of the season you may hear announcers and pundits saying that the ACC conference is down this year in hoops. So just how far down is the conference as a whole?

Clearly losing this year’s Big Ten / ACC Challenge 8-4 didn’t help the national perception of the conference. Neither does early season losses to the ACC bluebloods Duke (63-85 at Ohio State) and North Carolina (80-90 vs. UNLV and 72-73 at Kentucky). And of course BC hasn’t done anything to give the conference a boost this year.

Here is the ACC’s performance data as told by Ken Pomeroy's ratings, including some early season losses.

Rank Team W-L Early Season Losses
4 North Carolina 7-2 UNLV (24), at Kentucky (2)
8 Duke 8-1 at Ohio State (1)
27 Virginia 8-1 TCU (172)
29 Florida St. 6-3 Harvard (43), Connecticut (19), at Michigan State (12)
51 Virginia Tech 6-3 Syracuse (5), at Minnesota (46), Kansas St. (41)
55 Clemson 4-3 Charleston (109), Coastal Carolina (128), South Carolina (132)
57 Miami 5-3 at Mississippi (80), at Purdue (18), Memphis (21)
62 N.C. State 5-3 Vanderbilt (38), Indiana (15), at Stanford (14)
75 Georgia Tech 5-4 Saint Joseph’s (78), LSU (120), Northwestern (52)
116 Maryland 5-3 Alabama (17), Iona (34), Illinois (40)
165 Wake Forest 6-3 Dayton (70), Arizona State (112), Richmond (60)
266 Boston College 2-7 at Holy Cross (210), UMass (121), Saint Louis (23), New Mexico (36), Penn St. (161), Boston U. (151), at Providence (123)

Not a pretty overall resume at all. So just how far down is the ACC this year? Is this the type of year where the conference can only realistically get 3-4 teams into the NCAA Tournament? Your thoughts?

Jeff: Often times there is an ACC team or two that enters the conference season undefeated. It is not always one of the top two teams that do it but it does happen regularly and Clemson accomplished the feat multiple times under Oliver Purnell. This season clearly no one will be undefeated when conference play begins. Add to that though, there are a lot of ACC teams that have losses to teams outside the top 100. Then there's BC, who already has 5 such losses. It is not pretty at all. If Boston College were sitting around or in the top 50 right now, the ACC wouldn't look so terrible. Maryland and Wake Forest would still be outside the top 100 but that would not be so unusual. The big problem is after Duke and UNC, there's no one else in the top 25 and a depressing mere 4 teams crack the top 50. It is going to be a rough year for the ACC come tournament selection time. This is a proud basketball conference that expects to get more than 4 teams into the dance every year.

Big Finish

Brian: Providence and coach Ed Cooley survived BC hoops on Thursday night. Rewind the clock. Would you rather have seen BC hire Cooley or Donahue?

Jeff: At the time I wanted Donahue more than Cooley. I'll reevaluate after next season.

Jeff: Winnable game Sunday for the BC hoops team. Do we go on a 3 game win streak before Harvard?

Brian: I want to say yes but have a feeling we might drop one of the next three.

Brian: Kansas fired Turner Gill and replaced him with ... Charlie Weis. Good move for the Jayhawks?

Jeff: Terrible move for the Jayhawks. They will not be relevant nationally.

Jeff: Pitt and Syracuse still won't arrive until 2014 despite all the Big East additions this week. Disappointed?

Brian: We'll see about that ...

Brian: Looks like U.C.L.A. AD Dan Guerrero's botched coaching search is finally over. Would you rather have seen BC keep Spaz for another year or go through a coaching search as well as U.C.L.A.'s has gone?

Jeff: I wanted Spaz out. But once the staff is decided on, I am going to find a way to spin it as a positive.

Jeff: Army/Navy today. Not so lopsided looking, who ya got?

Brian: Kinda like Army in this one. At least I think it'll be closer than Navy -7.

Brian: Last one. Heisman Trophy presentation tonight. Who should win, and who actually wins?

Jeff: RG3 wins. Andrew Luck should.