The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

Archive for the tag “Boeheim”

The ACC School Mount Rushmores: Syracuse

The Confidential has been having some fun with league-wide coaches Mount Rushmores.  Football and Basketball, plus polls for each of football and basketball to share your thoughts.  In fact, it was so sufficiently fun and controversial that we are going to do school-wide Mount Rushmores now.  And we will only put three people on the list, leaving you–our readers–to comment as to who should be the fourth.  We will not do polls anymore.  For today, let’s go with the school that has been with the ACC a very short time: Syracuse.

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ACC & The Olympics

You were probably expecting an article about how the ACC teams do in the non-revenue/Olympic sports.  After all, we devoted several posts to performance in the revenue sports.  See here, here, and here.  No, this article is much more simple.

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Boeheimian Rhapsody

Check out this new video involving Syracuse, Jim Boeheim, and some good laughs:

Don’t forget that the Confidential’s very own MCaffrey named his team Boeheimian Rhapsody in our bracket contest. See here.

Great job by all!



ACC Fans… Are You Rooting For Syracuse and Louisville?

There is no secret here… Syracuse is joining the ACC later in 2013 and Louisville will be joining in 2014.  While the two went to bowls games this past season in football, both schools are known for having near-elite, if not elite, basketball programs.  It is not the least bit surprising that Syracuse and Louisville are part of this Final Four.  The question is whether YOU, the grizzled ACC fan raised on a rivalry with the Big East, will be rooting for Syracuse.

The Confidential will argue that you should  A Syracuse-Louisville matchup will look that much better for the 2013-2014 preseason.  Recruiting battles can be won by these two schools if they meet in the Championship game. Sure, these recruiting battles may be won anyway–but why not want them to have every edge.  You WANT these programs to be good.

The SEC is a great football conference because it is so very deep.  The Big East has been a great basketball conference because of its depth.  The ACC needs to put together that kind of basketball depth too.  The football should be deep, but it just is not there yet. Until the football teams rise up in out-of-conference games and the best programs stop getting upset, the ACC will have to ride its basketball teams.

Well, that starts this weekend.   Syracuse and Louisville may not have placed in the ACC standings in 2012-2013 (except here, of course), but they will be soon enough.  The better they do, the better for the ACC.

So you tell us… if you are not a fan of Syracuse or Louisville, are you going to be rooting for your future ACC brethren this weekend?


Things the Confidential Would Like to See In College Hoops…

Everyone is a critic.  Everyone has an opinion.  But not everyone has this forum for sharing it.  So here are the things the Confidential would like to see in College Hoops.  In no particular order:

  • How about an elimination of the timeout/timeout stuff during basketball games?  If a team calls a timeout with 16:20 left in the half, it must be a timeout that lasts for a commercial break.  Does anyone really need 30 seconds of play in between commercial breaks?  It is almost as bad as the NFL with its… commercial, kickoff, commercial crap.
  • Call us crazy, but we WANT to see Andy Enfield of Florida Gulf Coast go to USC.  First, it would be nice for someone to kick the crap out of Steve Alford, who left Iowa and has now left New Mexico.  We get that the 10-year contract means very little, but at least give it a year.  Not a week.  So the Confidential would love to see Dunk City shift over to L.A.  Second, Enfield plays an exciting brand of basketball.  That is needed on the West Coast.  Good fit.  Third, his wife has had motherhood take away from her modeling career.  Being back in the LA area would be nice for her.  Granted, if they do not want it, so be it.  But, if they do, it is fine with the Confidential.
  • How about some props for Jim Boeheim–perhaps even a few mea culpas by the talking heads?  A fourth final four, in four decades.  This team is not one of his most talented, but defense counts and they are very talented defenders.  An excellent tournament run.
  • Some prayers for Kevin Ware.  Plenty of people get injured each day, but not all of them have to do it in the floor in front of thousands and on TV in front of millions.
  • Charles Barkley retiring from the CBS host gig for March Madness.   His opinions are not that insightful.  Frankly, they are not even accurate.  While Barkley deserves credit for being opinionated and having the guts to share that opinion, even better would be if his opinions included sound basketball analysis.  He may know the NBA game, but there have to be 1,000 guys who know the college game more.
  • Give credit to Rick Pitino.  He has wasted a ton of time in the NBA, but still has 7 Final Fours.

What do YOU want out of college hoops?  Let us know.

The ACC Has At Least Two Final Four Teams to Root For

As the march to Georgia Tech’s hometown of Atlanta continues, fans of the ACC can be certain that they will have at least two teams to root for.  By beating Marquette handily in yesterday’s Elite 8 game, Syracuse ensured that there will be someone from on that side of the bracket to root for.  Meanwhile, there is no doubt that one of Duke or Louisville will be heading to Atlanta too.  So ACC fans can be certain that they will have a rooting interest for two of the teams next weekend.  But that just leads to two more questions.

#1.  Who are you rooting for in today’s game between the Blue Devils and the Cardinals?

For Duke fans, that is easy.  For Louisville fans, that is easy.  But if you are a fan of one of the other thirteen schools, who are you going to be cheering for?  Is the Duke hatred so strong that you are leaning Louisville?  As a future ACC member, it would be fine to root for Louisville anyway.  Then again, they currently represent the Big East (or the leftovers, or whatever they are being called right now)?  And then there is the coaches–some people have strong feelings about Coach K and Rick Pitino.  The one thing that is clear is that both are excellent coaches.  Should be a great game today.

#2. A similar question arises out of the Michigan-Florida matchup.

The Big 10 is becoming the New York Yankees of college sports–throwing their money around without any regard for making sound decisions or the “Butterfly Effect” impact on the rest of college sports.  If that is not bad enough, how can anyone root for the Michigan Wolverines?  The cockiest of all the Big 10 fanbases, the program brought us the Fab 5, and then sanctions for apparently having bought the Fab 5.  And the football team is full of self-worth and entitlement, despite once thinking that hiring Greg Robinson was a step in the right direction for a defense.  But the other option is Florida–rival to Florida State and Miami.  Not exactly the most modest of fan bases either.  And Billy Donovan had his own core of players that, much like the Fab 5, provided two years of outstanding play.  At the very least, it is difficult to dislike Billy Donovan and his Michigan counterpart, John Beilein.

So, you tell us, who are you rooting for in today’s Elite 8 matchups?

The Syracuse Free Fall Continues

It was not that long ago that Syracuse fans were all in a tither over the fact that the 2012-2013 Orange hoopsters were not getting enough national respect.  As the season approaches its end, it would appear that it was these vocal fans, rather than the poll voters who received the targeted criticism, that were incorrect.  After all, Syracuse is on a 4-6 streak in its last 10 games.  The only wins were home games against Providence, St. John, and Notre Dame (by far, the best win/game during that stretch), as well as a road game against Seton Hall.  The Orange have gone from a potential #1 seed to wondering what it would take to land a #4 seed.

As this author is a long-time Syracuse fan, it is easy to see the folly in the fans questioning the pollsters.  History has shown better Syracuse teams getting upset in the first round of the Big Dance, as well as worst teams making a run.  Really, who cares whether a team is ranked #1 or #3 in a December poll?  Who cares whether Joe Lunardi has Syracuse as a #2 seed in January?  There are only two things that matter: (a) making the Big Dance; and (b) winning during it.  Everything else is secondary.  Worrying about respect is rather pathetic and no fan of any program should worry about it too much.  And this one does not.

But, as a long-time Syracuse fan, the flaws with this team were always rather apparent.  Only one bona fide shooter on the team–James Southerland.  And he has come up cold in key moments more often than not during his career.  Kind of the opposite of Gerry McNamara, who saved his best for the big games and big moments.  More like an A-Rod.  The Arkansas game was a big showcase for Southerland; unfortunately, it was more of an anomaly on the season.  Even worse, however, is the lack of ANY offense from the big men.  That allows other teams to focus on the already-weak outside shooters.  And the smart Big East coaches, with talented teams and good schemes, has Syracuse averaging less than 60 points per game in their 6 conference losses.  Moreover, while Michael Carter-Williams may have NBA scouts drooling, that potential is nowhere near being realized.  He is still a sophomore, and not all sophomores go from backup guard to NBA player in the transition year (spoiled by Dion Waiters?).  So it is what it is.  This was never a top 5 team and it was silly to think otherwise.

Yet, before any Syracuse fans go looking for a tall building to leap off of… keep in mind that this team is not nearly as bad as a three-game losing streak or 4-6 streak indicates.  The losses this season are to 21-8 Temple (N), 23-4 Georgetown (H), 24-5 Louisville (H), 21-7 Marquette (A), 22-7 Pittsburgh (A), 19-9 Connecticut (A), and 18-11 Villanova (A).  The Big East losses are against teams with at least a .500 conference record.   Only Villanova has any chance of missing the Big Dance based on performance (UConn, of course, will miss it for other, NCAA sanction reasons).  So this is not a Syracuse team that is losing to bottom feeders.  And Syracuse is not getting blown out in losses either–the average margin of defeat in the losses is less than 7 points.  And the defense has remained quite good.  In the Big Dance, the opponents will be teams that likely have not faced the length and athleticism of the 2-3 zone.  So if the defense is good against teams/coaches that see it every year, just wait until the other opponents have to face it.   If Syracuse can lower its opponents scoring by 5 points and hit one more three-pointer, a 7 point loss becomes a victory.  So all is not lost.

Most importantly, a game against DePaul looms.  DePaul is a team that Syracuse can and should beat.  If it cannot, it might be time to panic.  But if Syracuse can win, maybe they can start building some confidence and momentum back.  And the Big East tournament provides yet another opportunity to right the ship. As UConn showed a few years ago, you can be terrible down the stretch, but get hot in March and win it all.  Free fall or not, it’s not over until it is truly over.


Get your Big East Conference Tournament tickets here:

Big East Basketball Tournament – All Sessions

ACC fans, get your tournament tickets here:

ACC Basketball Tournament – All Sessions

Syracuse-Georgetown Day!

Syracuse fans are thrilled to be going to the ACC next year.  But one of the downsides is the end to a rivalry like this.  Over the years this has been THE game for both Syracuse and Georgetown fans.  Today at 4pm on CBS the last ever Big East game at the Carrier Dome between these two storied programs.

Football rules college athletic decision making – but don’t tell that to the 34,000 fans that will pack the Carrier Dome today. With the nation’s longest home winning streak on the line, what Syracuse fan doesn’t remember the last game at Manley Field House when John Thompson concluded with saying Manley Field House was officially closed?  How about the Classic 1990 game where JT was ejected?

This ranks up there with NC-Duke.  All Big East fans will miss this rivalry.  Today will be college basketball at its best.  I hope all the ACC fans get a chance to take a look at this game today and see the Carrier Dome experience as new rivalaries get set to begin next year.

Anyone with other great SU-Georgetown moments they remember?



Louisville to ACC, According to Sources

As an update to yesterday’s report, ESPN is now reporting that the ACC voted to add Louisville.  If true, this is a great move for many reasons, such as:

  • It likely makes Florida State happy and shows a break away from the North Carolina/Virginia monopoly on decisions (whether real or perceived).
  • Louisville has strong (pun intended) football and basketball programs.  Rick Pitino joins Coach K, Roy Williams, and Jim Boeheim in the ACC.  Heck, maybe Jim Boeheim will even say that he likes this move?
  • Louisville is improving academically.  Probably.  Hopefully.  Maybe.  Doubtfully.  Who cares?  This is not just about academics anymore.
  • It likely makes Florida State happy.
  • Importantly, Louisville was desired by the Big XII, whereas UConn was not.  There is more urgency to add a team needed by the Big XII.  UConn should be there if/when the ACC needs to expand again.
  • All the other reasons mentioned in the ESPN article.  Indeed, that article almost looks like the ACC wrote it, doesn’t it?  ESPN cares about its investment in the ACC.
  • It likely makes Florida State happy.

West Virginia fans will not be couch burning mad over this, but they certainly will not be couch burning happy.  Perhaps will see some ottomans lit on fire due to the hypocrisy of rejecting WVU because of academics, but then taking Louisville.

The Confidential feels sorry for Cincinnati, UConn, USF, and to a lesser extent Navy.  These schools submitted applications to the ACC, but were not accepted.  Yet.  Again, conference realignment is far from over.  So these schools should avoid despair.

ACC Basketball Rankings: Week 1

While there is plenty of football left to be played, basketball is now started.  Here are the Confidential’s ACC basketball rankings in Week 1:

  1. Syracuse (1-0).  With a win over ranked San Diego State, in San Diego, the Orange rightfully claim this spot.  For now.
  2. North Carolina State (1-0).  The Wolfpack destroyed Miami (Ohio), retaining the #2 position easily.
  3. Duke (1-0).  Duke beat a cupcake, but the polls had North Carolina leapfrog them.  Too soon for that.
  4. North Carolina (2-0).  Although North Carolina beat two cupcakes to Duke’s one, plenty of season left for a true justification to swap the two teams.
  5. Notre Dame (1-0).  The Fighting Irish struggled to beat Evansville.  But they won.
  6. Pittsburgh (2-0).  The Panthers are off to a good start.  Last year started strong too, until it imploded.
  7. Virginia Tech (2-0).  The Hokies are off to a 2-0 start, including a nice win over Rhode Island.  
  8. Miami (1-0).  Miami started the season with a struggle to beat Stetson.  Baby steps.
  9. Boston College (1-0).  This team had so much difficulty last year–every win is worthy of note. 
  10. Wake Forest (1-0).  The Demon Deacons are young, but undefeated!
  11. Georgia Tech (1-0). The Yellow Jacket’s season started nicely with a win over Tulane.
  12. Clemson (1-0).  The Tigers really took care of Presbyterian to start off the season.  Up next is Furman.
  13. Maryland (1-1).  The Terps played very well against Kentucky.  Look for this team to start rising up the rankings.
  14. Virginia (1-1).  No shame in losing to George Mason.  The defense is as good as ever.
  15. Florida State (1-1).  You cannot lose at home to South Alabama and expect to be ranked ahead of any teams.  Sorry Seminoles.

So there it is.  Agree?  Disagree?

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