ACC Basketball: A Decade in Review and Prediction for the New ACC
The ACC records for the last decade of football was posted by acaffrey earlier this week so I thought it would be fun to see the numbers for the basketball side of the conference. I believe the biggest surprise over the last decade of ACC basketball has been the emergence of Florida State as the third winningest program in the conference behind Duke and North Carolina, a period that includes an ACC tournament championship for the Noles.
1. Duke 123-39 76%: Arguable one of the most successful decades in conference history. Duke has won at least 10 conference games in 9 of the last 10 years. During the last decade Duke has won one NCAA title, 3 ACC Regular Season titles, and 6 ACC Tournament titles.
2. North Carolina 117-45 72%: The baby blue (UNC) and navy blue (Duke) have dominated the conference in hoops. Although Duke has a better conference record, North Carolina won 2 NCAA titles during the Roy Williams era (which started in 2003-04). The Heels have also won 6 ACC Regular Season titles and 2 ACC Tournament titles during that time.
3. Florida State 85-77 52%: How in the world did the biggest name in ACC college football climb so high in the basketball centric ACC? Leonard Hamilton. Hamilton’s teams consistently play above their talent level through hard work and relentless defense. However, FSU could be hit the hardest from the most recent conference expansion as the competition for 3rd place in the conference gets considerably tougher.
4. Maryland 81-81 50%
5. Miami 67-79 46%: Another “football” school in the top half of the conference. Jim Larranaga and the Hurricanes had a “once in a decade” season last year. Can history repeat itself moving forward?
5. Boston College 60-70 46%: BC started conference play by winning 21 of their first 31 games, but have fallen on hard times winning only 11 contests in the last two years.
7. Virginia Tech 65-81 45%: A perpetual “last team out” on the bubble. Virginia Tech has had 5 winning seasons over the last 10 and has been competitive in basketball play.
7. NC State 73-89 45%: The biggest underachiever in the conference? There is plenty of optimism in Raleigh after two nationally ranked recruiting classes heading into Mark Gottfried’s second year. The next step will be translating potential into wins.
9. Clemson 72-90 44%: The Tigers competed in four consecutive NCAA tournaments from 2007-2010, but only won one game. The last time the Tigers have won an ACC Tournament Championship? 1939!
10. Wake Forest 68-94 42%: While Tim Duncan continues to lead the San Antonio Spurs in the NBA, Wake continues to slide into the bottom third of the conference. After two sub .500 seasons in Winston-Salem Jeff Bzdelik is on the hot seat.
11. Virginia 67-95 41%: A team considered to be on the rise after a few rebuilding years. It will be interesting to see if the momentum gained from an 11 win season in 2012-13 can carry over to next year’s campaign.
12. Georgia Tech 60-102 37%: The Yellow Jackets have not had a winning conference season for 9 consecutive years. What in the Stephan Marbury is going on? The only team with over 100 conference losses in the last decade. Amazing.
New World Order?
It’s clear that the ACC was top-heavy with Duke and North Carolina winning considerably more games than the third place Noles. The impact of Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, and Louisville to the basketball hierarchy will be significant. I believe the increased profile of the conference will help programs like Florida State, Virginia, and NC State attract top recruits and energize the respective fan bases. However, some schools will drop down from the increased competitiveness.
Here’s my prediction for the next decade: (let the debate begin)
National Championship Contenders: Duke, UNC, Syracuse, and Louisville
Consistent NCAA Tourney Teams: Pittsburgh, NC State
On the Bubble Teams: Notre Dame, Florida State, Virginia
Can you say NIT: Virginia Tech, Miami, Georgia Tech
Always Rebuilding: Wake Forest, Clemson, Boston College