The Atlantic Coast Conference is providing thrill after thrill this season. And we're not just talking about the undefeated in league play nationally ranked teams like Duke, Wake Forest, and Clemson.
One need only check out the gritty determination of Sidney Lowe's Wolfpack, the humongous Seminoles of Florida State, or the cool and athletic Maryland Terrapins to see the ACC has recovered from two straight down seasons.
The Current ACC Rankings:
1(Tie)– Duke 2–0
1(Tie)– Clemson 2-0
3(Tie)– Wake Forest 1–0
3(Tie)– Maryland 1–0
5(Tie)– Virginia Tech 1–1
5(Tie)– Virginia 1–1
5(Tie)– Miami 1–1
5(Tie)– Boston College 1–1
9(Tie)– Florida State 0–1
9(Tie)– N.C. State 0–1
11(Tie)– Ga Tech 0–2
11(Tie)– UNC 0–2
The undefeated top four teams seem to be cruising toward the NCAA tournament, and no doubt several other teams will join them from the ACC before all is said and done.
This is a good example of how things run in cycles, the ACC has been down for the past two seasons, the Big East has been up, and so this year we have a situation where folks believe the Big East is hands down the best conference.
Before crowning the Big East as most likely to produce the national champion this season, let's recognize that the ACC has several teams capable of moving deep into the tournament.
It is hard to go against the grain and stand on your own two feet when making projections. It's difficult to change hard–headed people, particularly when ratings–based networks are pouring "informed opinions" onto the screen to manipulate rankings.
Looking up and down the leagues, it seems the undefeated in conference ACC teams of Duke, Wake Forest, Clemson, and Maryland can compete with the undefeated in league play Big East squads of Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Marquette, and Louisville.
The larger number of overall teams does obviously give the Big East an edge in the middle of the two conferences. However, the last place team in the ACC, North Carolina, defeated the last place team in the Big East, Rutgers, by 22 points last month. Advantage at the bottom has to go to the ACC.
There is no doubt the Big East is a tremendous league and will more than likely produce the National Champion with No. 1 ranked Pittsburgh, UConn, Syracuse, Georgetown, and other top teams. That's reasonable.
Please recognize the ACC is nobody's whipping boy, and with the improved league play of this season, look for the ACC to have teams that factor in the national title chase.