For the second year in a row, UNC is the sole ACC participant in the Sweet Sixteen. This comes after 27 consecutive seasons with 2 or more conference representatives making it out of the NCAA Tournament’s first weekend. In fact, it would be three years without multiple teams if expansion had not brought in BC a few years back:
2008: UNC 2007: UNC 2006: BC, Duke, 2005: Duke, UNC, NCSU 2004: Duke, GT, Wake 2003: Duke, Maryland 2002: Duke, Maryland 2001: Duke, Maryland 2000: Duke, UNC 1999: Duke, Maryland 1998: Duke, Maryland, UNC 1997: Clemson, UNC 1996: GT, Wake 1995: Maryland, UNC, Virginia, Wake 1994: Duke, Maryland 1993: FSU, UNC, Virginia, Wake 1992: Duke, FSU, GT, UNC 1991: Duke, UNC 1990: Clemson, Duke, GT, UNC 1989: Duke, UNC, NCSU, Virginia 1988: Duke, UNC 1987: Duke, UNC 1986: Duke, GT, UNC, NCSU 1985: GT, Maryland, UNC, NCSU 1984: Maryland, UNC, Virginia, Wake 1983: UNC, NCSU, Virginia 1982: UNC, Virginia 1981: UNC, Virginia 1980: Clemson, Duke, Maryland
Naturally, the media has lined up to take shots at the conferences and its fall from grace. David Teel takes his shots at the conference in Wednesday’s Daily Press, arguing the problem is more individual than collective:
Maryland has earned one NCAA bid in the last four years as Gary Williams struggles with rampant staff turnover; Georgia Tech has failed to gain traction under Paul Hewitt, and North Carolina State ran off a quality coach in Herb Sendek.
Clemson progressed this season, but coach Oliver Purnell never has won an NCAA tournament game; Virginia regressed and faces an iffy future without Sean Singletary; Virginia Tech has a two-time ACC coach of the year in Greenberg but hasn’t made consecutive NCAA appearances since 1985 and ’86.
If Dino Gaudio coaches as well as he recruits, Wake Forest has a chance to rebuild; Boston College enjoyed seven straight postseason bids, six of them NCAA, before this year’s decline; Florida State is mired in mediocrity, while Miami fights institutional apathy.
Which leaves the most curious case: Duke.
Since winning the 2001 national championship, the Blue Devils have not defeated a top-four seed in the NCAA tournament. Moreover, Duke has lost to a lower seed in six of the last seven years.
Once the masters of March, the Blue Devils dropped five of their final 11 games this year, eight of their final 12 last year.
Duke desperately needs a serviceable big man, and its fans are entitled to question whether coach Mike Krzyzewski’s three-year involvement with the 2008 Olympic team has compromised the Blue Devils.
Tags: acc basketball