For years the Atlantic Coast Conference held the perception of being a basketball conference and not a football conference. Much of that has changed as the conference has morphed and shifted, but one thing hasn’t changed – the ACC can play some serious hoops.
Duke Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski seems to believe that as much as anyone, and thinks the conference isn’t being given its due coming into NCAA Selection Sunday. From an ESPN.com report –
“I’ll get in trouble probably for saying it. Like the Atlantic 10, they’re a really good conference. I hear people saying there are six teams in there. Come on. I mean, they’re good, but put them in our conference and go through the meat grinder that our conference has to go through. But really … our league should get more respect. The fact that Pitt comes in here and people are saying they have to do something, come on. Come on, man. I don’t get it. The Clemson team we played [Friday] night is a heck of a basketball team.” – Duke’s Coach K on ACC tournament bubble teams
Honestly I have serious doubts that Coach K will get in trouble for anything he says, being the grand pontiff of college basketball, but he does have a point.
The ACC really does have the same flag to wave during basketball season that the SEC does during the football schedule – playing an ACC basketball schedule should get you some extra points with the voters and selection committee.
Duke is playing the Virginia Cavaliers for the ACC title today, and we’re talking about a Virginia team that won the ACC regular season, and has gone pretty much unheralded all season. The last time the Cavs went to an ACC tourney final was 1994, and they haven’t won it since 1976.
Coming into Sunday’s games, ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi has five ACC teams projected to make the Big Dance, putting them behind the Big 12 (seven), Pac-12 (six), Big Ten (six) and Atlantic 10 (six) as teams he has picked.
It’s easy to see Coach K’s gripe.