Going .500 doesn’t sound like anything special in any league. But in the ACC this year in college hoops, that should be just enough to get a team into March Madness. In a year of extreme competition, just winning half of your ACC games is impressive, and if we are actually picking the best teams, should mean you make the cut. Just look at the Virginia-Virginia Tech and Louisville-Syracuse games over the last two nights. Teams that look to be around .500 have consistently played tight games and often won against the conference’s powerhouses, and these two overtime games are perfect examples of that.
Miami, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, and Wake Forest will be the schools on the bubble as the talks with Joe Lunardi pick up, and if all of them end up making it in, the ACC will put in 11 teams – an incredible number considering most conferences only have 12 teams total. There truly are no off nights in the conference as even the bottom feeders in the conference have impressive wins over top teams. Only one team, Boston College, is under .500 overall, and N.C. State is next at 14-12 overall despite a 3-10 record in conference play. That just shows you how dominant this league has been when compared to other competition.
There are six ranked teams in this conference, and probably four or five that are capable of winning the national championship. Usually there are one or two teams that have a little bit of separation from the rest of the ACC at this point, but not this year. The only one that sort of stands out is North Carolina because of their undefeated mark at home, however, they only have one fewer ACC loss than Florida State, Louisville, Virginia (who it still has two meetings remaining against), and Duke. The ACC is still very much up for grabs, and it is extremely unlikely that the regular season winner also takes the tournament. It seems, however, that the ACC has to capture the national championship this year after narrowly missing out last year (sorry for that reminder UNC fans).