Published on February 21st, 2014 | by Thompson0
Why the ACC is College Basketball’s Best Conference
If we’ve learned anything in the last week, it’s that the ACC is college basketball’s best conference. Boston College (6-19) knocked off top-seeded and undefeated Syracuse (25-1) in overtime. North Carolina (19-7) outplayed Duke (21-6) in the second half to win on their court after edging Pitt (20-6). Now Duke will play Syracuse on Saturday and attempt to continue their streak of 30 straight home wins in what will be one of this year’s best games. I can’t say it’ll be the best because Part I was so damn good. Some might say I’m reaching, but I assure you I’m not. Here are just a few reasons why the ACC is tops in the country:
There are more people who hate Duke than love any other single team, and Duke plays on ESPN all the time…and for good reason. Duke/Syracuse Part I drew the fourth largest television audience for college basketball on ESPN since 2002. Duke also played in two of the other games on the list. Saturday’s rematch is sure to surpass the audience of Part I.
NCAA Tournament Bids
The ACC will send at least six teams to the NCAA tournament, and maybe seven if Florida State (15-11) or Clemson (16-9) can figure it out. The Seminoles nearly knocked off Michigan (18-7) and, who many believe to be the best team in the country, Florida (24-2)…in Florida! Clemson, of course, beat Duke.
Better at the Top
But the top of the ACC is the cream of the crop. There are currently three ACC teams ranked in the AP Top 25 (two in the top five), with two more on the way in UNC and Pitt. Gonzaga and Michigan will fall off the list. No other conference has more than three teams ranked in the Top 25.
Better at the Bottom
The mere fact that a lowly Boston College (6-19) can upset the top team in the country proves the ACC is the deepest conference in college basketball. You don’t see TCU (8-16) beating Kansas, or Washington State (8-17) beating Arizona (24-2). Even ACC bottom dweller Virginia Tech (9-16) played ACC leader Virginia (22-5) to a four-point loss at home.
Strength of Schedule
10 of the 15 teams in the ACC are ranked in the top 50 for strength of schedule. If you stretch it to the top 64, 12 ACC teams make the list. That’s nearly the entire conference! Winning in the ACC is harder than in any other conference because they schedule the best.