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Posted at 12:10 PM ET, 02/ 4/2011

Talkin' Terps: The ACC's perceived downward trend

By Matt Bonesteel

I linked to this story in the Winston-Salem Journal earlier today, but I think it's a good conversation starter.

Do you think the perception of the ACC as being down this season is correct? If so, do you see this as a trend or merely a blip, that all conferences have their down years (just as most programs have their down years)?

Maryland Coach Gary Williams, for one, says it's simply a matter of bad public relations.

In his most recent projected NCAA tournament field at The 68, Eric Prisbell has five ACC teams in: Duke, Boston College (barely), North Carolina, Florida State and Virginia Tech, which would be right about the average for the ACC over the past 10 NCAA tournaments (5.3).

ACC NCAA TOURNAMENT BIDS BY YEAR
2010: 6
2009: 7
2008: 4
2007: 7
2006: 4
2005: 5
2004: 6
2003: 4
2002: 4
2001: 6

By Matt Bonesteel  | February 4, 2011; 12:10 PM ET
Categories:  Gary Williams, Men's basketball  
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Next: Defensive coordinator Don Brown to leave Maryland for Connecticut

Comments

The RPI is way overrated. The Sagarin is much more accurate.

http://www.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin/bkt1011.htm

ACC has won the last two National Championships and 5 of the last 10. I must say, that's hardly a downward trend.

Posted by: steven09 | February 4, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Florida State, Va Tech, and BC...no Maryland?!?! I know, we are young and we dont have any shooters and the seniors didnt step up and Gary doesn't cheat. I guess we'll just wait till next year and *hope* for something better then bad excuses.

Posted by: sjp879 | February 4, 2011 12:57 PM | Report abuse

It's a down year in that the ACC has only one real National Championship contender (Duke) instead of the 2 or 3 they usually have. It's like they switched places with the Big East for the last two seasons. Usually the Big East only has one TRUE contender (Syr, Pitt, Nova, WVU) and the rest are simply bracket fillers or bad teams. Everything goes in phases.

The ACC has had at least one final four representative in 8 of the last 11 Final Fours. I don't think it ever REALLY has a down year.

Posted by: fushezzi | February 4, 2011 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Any team in the upper half of the ACC is a contender.

There is still a third of the season to go, and more than half the ACC season is left.

Maryland is ranked only two spots below VT in the Sagarin. There is no shame in losses by a young team against Illinois, Temple, Villanova and Pittsburgh......or Duke (twice). There's six of the losses.

The Terps win the next two. The next five after that will tell a big story. How much have they grown? How bad do they want to go dancing?

Posted by: steven09 | February 4, 2011 1:31 PM | Report abuse

I think the ACC is having a down year, but I don't think it is a trend. As much as expansion has supposedly helped ACC Football, is has subsequently hurt ACC basketball in ways I don't think people realized when it happened. The biggest problem with the ACC right now is unbalanced conference schedules. The year the ACC got 7 of the 9 teams into the dance, there were a lot of teams that were in the 8-8/9-7 range that beat each other up, and all beat up on the two teams that didn't make the dance. Every team played each other twice (home and away), and it was easy to tell the good teams from the bad.

Now with unbalanced schedules, everybody doesn't get that return game, and the schedule does not even have a symetry to it anymore (the Terps will have played Duke, Wake, BC, and VaTech twice before playing Miami or UNC once). Home court is probably worth 6-8 points in most venues in college basketball, so 2 teams that might be relatively equivalent cannot be fairly distinguished if they only play once. There's also the problem of schedule strength in that some teams will have different conference strengths of schedule from year to year. Maryland always has the luxury of playing Duke twice in the current system, but also the hinderance of playing UVA twice every year. This year, the Terps are saddled with playing Wake twice, bringing down their RPI. Every year, only 5 of the teams in the ACC will have to play the best or worst teams in the conference, and that can really affect the teams in the middle, like what has happened to VaTech the past 2 years.

The ACC has also gone through a lot more turnover than other major conferences. Players have left early or transferred, plus teams have not done a good job recently replacing their seniors when they graduate. There's also been a lot of turnover in the coaching ranks. After Coach K and Gary, the next longest tenured coach is Paul Hewitt, who is probably coaching his last season at GaTech. Seth Greenburg and Frank Haith, the next most tenured coaches, are probably nearing the end of the line as well. Sidney Lowe is almost certainly done after this year. With three new coaches this season (BC, Clemson, and Wake) along with Bennett last season, there could be more than 60 percent turnover in the coaching ranks in the past 3 years. No conference in the nation could sustain success through that kind of coaching turmoil.

Conferences are going to naturally go through ebbs and flows. The 80's were dominated by the ACC, Big East, and Big Ten. The 90's were dominated by the ACC, Pac-10, and SEC. The 00's were dominated by the ACC and SEC. It looks like the 10's will be dominated by the Big East and Big Ten.

It's also unfair to look at the total number of ACC teams in the NCAA as a measure of success. With mid-majors earning at-larges more regularly, that cuts into the potential big conference births.

Posted by: Russtinator | February 4, 2011 1:41 PM | Report abuse

ACC will be vindicated once again in the NCAA tourney. Happens every year.

I see these teams getting bids:

Duke
UNC
FSU
VTech
MD

BC...frankly I don't understand how they are even in part of the discussion. With losses in 4 out of the last 5, with losses this season to Yale, Harvard, Rhode Island, Miami, they shouldn't be rated so high. I predict MD gets revenge in BC and that seals their fate: NIT bound for BC.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 4, 2011 2:03 PM | Report abuse

And yet, MD LOST to BC.

Yikes........

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | February 4, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

And at home, nonetheless.

Double whammy.

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | February 4, 2011 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Of course, the ACC is not what it once was.
Sweet Sixteen teams from the ACC.
2010=Duke
2009=Duke,UNC
2008=UNC
2007=UNC

Posted by: lkfkd876 | February 4, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

There is also a reason Maryland was 13-3 last year in conference and just awful out of it.

Posted by: lkfkd876 | February 4, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Anderson or Edsall screwed up big time. Don Brown is going to UCONN. The football situation is turning into a disaster. UVA is going to own Maryland in two years.

Posted by: Chief2 | February 4, 2011 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Yeah Poop, that was probably our worst loss of the year. I think we'll get revenge up in Boston.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 4, 2011 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Don't know if it's a long-term trend, but of course it's down. Terps have zero wins against top 50, and simply can't make 3s, which is fatal in the modern era. Duke is blown out by St. John's. (Easy to analyze: SJ harassed every shot, making Duke unable to get good looks, esp. 3s (1-21 until garbage time). Duke is not a very good team-- blown out by the 9th-11th best in the Big East-- and it's the class of the ACC. BC is mediocre (beaten by Yale, blown out at BC by UNC), FSU is a bad team, and the rest (incl. Clemson and GT) are terrible. But for reputation, ACC would get 3 bids (Duke, UNC, VT). Truth is, nobody in the ACC has excelled for years except Duke and UNC, and this year Duke is only good and UNC is only pretty good. This year the ACC is a mid-major. That "raid" of the Big East didn't go so well. The BE has been ascendant and the ACC progressively worse every year since.

Posted by: JiminVA1 | February 4, 2011 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Don't know if it's a long-term trend, but of course it's down. Terps have zero wins against top 50, and simply can't make 3s, which is fatal in the modern era. Duke is blown out by St. John's. (Easy to analyze: SJ harassed every shot, making Duke unable to get good looks, esp. 3s (1-21 until garbage time). Duke is not a very good team-- blown out by the 9th-11th best in the Big East-- and it's the class of the ACC. BC is mediocre (beaten by Yale, blown out at BC by UNC), FSU is a bad team, and the rest (incl. Clemson and GT) are terrible. But for reputation, ACC would get 3 bids (Duke, UNC, VT). Truth is, nobody in the ACC has excelled for years except Duke and UNC, and this year Duke is only good and UNC is only pretty good. This year the ACC is a mid-major. That "raid" of the Big East didn't go so well. The BE has been ascendant and the ACC progressively worse every year since.

Posted by: JiminVA1 | February 4, 2011 4:27 PM | Report abuse

"Terps have zero wins against top 50"

Not true my friend

Posted by: Barno1 | February 4, 2011 4:31 PM | Report abuse

We're gonna smoke BC in their building but that doesn't mean we get in. I give us even odds. I thought we played pretty hard against Duke but Singler was money they needed it in the 2nd half.

Posted by: zucko | February 4, 2011 4:34 PM | Report abuse

You are right Barno. I have no perspective. I feel punch drunk. My post GTech comments were delusional. Interesting that you didn't address my comments about this NOT being fun. Is anyone enjoying this season. It's getting close to unwatchable...

Posted by: petecard | February 4, 2011 9:51 AM | Report abuse

Pete, I wouldn't call them delusional...I'd say your comments post duke game were the comments that seems a little off. Do you seriously think this team is headed for a 7-9 acc season? I can't see it.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 4, 2011 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Barno1, my error. I'm frankly surprised that Penn State (46) is in the top 50. Anyway, 1 win against #46 won't get a bid.

Posted by: JiminVA1 | February 4, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Do you seriously think this team is headed for a 7-9 acc season? I can't see it.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 4, 2011 4:43 PM
------

Save this, just in case.......

Posted by: P00PY_MCP00P | February 4, 2011 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I won't forget it Poop. We can take a look at that comment along with the rest in 5 weeks.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 4, 2011 8:21 PM | Report abuse

The Terps have played poorly and that literally has sealed their fate.

Dino, Sean, and Adrian stink. They are not good senior players, and should be benched in favour of our younger freshmen.

Posted by: mi6-007 | February 4, 2011 8:21 PM | Report abuse

Come on people-let's be real here. I love my Terps but all the talk of the ACC being kings of basketball is such a joke. If you mean that 2 programs in the ACC (UNC and Duke) are great then you have something. But let's face it, other than those 2 schools the Final 4 would be deserted of an ACC school 90% of the time, especially in the last 20 years!

A true GREAT conference looks like the SEC in football = 5 Consecutive National Championships with FOUR DIFFERENT teams. Now That is a Conference that deserves bragging rights.

Posted by: frencha012981 | February 4, 2011 9:13 PM | Report abuse

stop with the young team nonsense.. This team had three seniors, a junior, and their best player a sophmore at the start of the year. due to lack to talent freshmen have pushed their way into more playing time.. this is hardly a young team

Posted by: restonhoops | February 5, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

"As much as expansion has supposedly helped ACC Football, is has subsequently hurt ACC basketball in ways I don't think people realized when it happened. The biggest problem with the ACC right now is unbalanced conference schedules."
-->But has it really helped football? It's increased the revenue through the championship game and Miami is a national brand name and VTech increases the competitiveness of the league, BC isn't a bad team and increases the league's footprint into the northeast. So how I rank the football BCS conferences:1)SEC 2)Pac-12 3)Big Ten 4)Big 12(or w/e they will call it) 5)ACC 6)Big East

Not worth the expansion if you ask me, even if only for football purposes, but especially since it's a basketball league.

Posted by: break20 | February 5, 2011 3:16 PM | Report abuse

stop with the young team nonsense.. This team had three seniors, a junior, and their best player a sophmore at the start of the year. due to lack to talent freshmen have pushed their way into more playing time.. this is hardly a young team

Posted by: restonhoops | February 5, 2011 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Restonhoops, the guy who has no connection to UMD whatsoever except for having once lived in the state of Maryland, thanks again for your asinine commentary. Yeah this team isn't young at all, lol...well except if you look at total number of minutes played by our returning players, the fact that none of the 3 seniors ever started regularly for the Terps prior to this year, and the fact that we have 3 freshman in the regular rotation. Nah, not young at all...

Restonhoops how's that Maryland diploma working out for you? Oh that's right, I forgot you never went to MD.

Posted by: Barno1 | February 5, 2011 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Oh look its Barnie going after another Terp fan that doesnt drink the Garylover koolaid and actually can think for himself, big surprise coming from a snot nosed little computer geek that hides behind a computer.

Sorry Restonhoops, but there are other Terp fans like you out there, that are frustrated with the lack of success, recruiting, and wins against good teams that Gary is now leading this program too. Unfortunately, there are also blind little buttplugs like Barno that arent ok with MD fans being upset with the fact that we are headed towards our 4th NIT in 8 years, they will find some fact in their geek database to try and say its ok. Or they will tell you we have had a bunch of TOP 25 recruiting classes and Garys doing a great job, yet we havent been ranked in the TOP 10 for years??? We havent gotten past the 2nd round of the NCAA in 8 years??? 4 NITs in 8 years???? Really??? GARY is a great coach???? Lets see, Gary gets TOP 25 classes, but cannot coach his teams to play and get ranked in the TOP 10? So either he is a bad coach with good recruits or a great coach with bad recruits? See, it can go around in circles for years with these idiots.

Facts are, we dont get the TOP recruits that I have listed before but BARNO and RUSS seem to think we dont need them and that they dont help teams win championships, since we are so experienced with our 1 Nat Champ in 20 years under Gary, we should just settle for 3 and 4 star role players, while Duke, UNC, Gtown, Cuse, Nova, get the Top Recruits from the DC area and Gary doesnt.

Last year, the year that BARNO and RUSS, the experts, want to gloat about, because Gary won ACC coy and GV won poy,,,,what was our record before the ACC season started??? who where we beating and who did we lose to??? Think hard guys, come on experts. Great we tied Duke for a reg season title, then lost in the first round of the ACC tourn and the 2nd round of the NCAA tourn,,,how did Duke do? But hey, GV and Gary got their individual awards, so great season right,,,,morons!!!

Yeah, jordon williams is in the running for POY, who cares if we cant compete or win against Top teams or if we end up in the NIT???? Good that we have one good player in a weak league, wouldnt it be nice if Gary actually had a 5 star recruit to go along with him and the other role players, oh thats right, we dont need the Top recruits according to BARNO and Russ,,,because 4 NIT's in 8 years is ok with them, GARY is god!!!

Sad that these guys can be considered Terps fans when they are really Gary fans,,,,they would love to have the team name switched to Garyland Terps,,,,instead of seeing us get a coach that could recruit and get us competing for ACC and NCAA titles or even getting us deep into the NCAA's. Like us Garyhaters want.

Posted by: cm88 | February 7, 2011 3:16 PM | Report abuse

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