The Atlantic Coast Conference is in the midst of its worst year in recent memory. As of now, what used to be college basketball’s premier only has three teams in the top 25, which happen to be the only locks for the tournament as of now. However, the conference can squeeze some more teams into the field.
Duke, Florida State, and Louisville will all hear it’s names called on Selection Sunday. North Carolina, Wake Forest, Miami, Pittsburgh, Virginia Tech, Clemson, Notre Dame, Boston College and Georgia Tech will not be in the field of 68 unless they win the conference tournament. Which leaves three teams on the bubble in the ACC: Virginia, Syracuse, and NC State.
After losing over 70% of its scoring from their national championship run, the Cavaliers still have tournament hopes despite having a down year. Virginia is currently 17-7, with a 9-5 in conference record. Although Tony Bennett’s team is the most likely ACC bubble team to make it in, a decent run in the ACC tournament would not hurt, especially if it adds on wins over either Louisville or Duke in the upcoming weeks.
NC State currently sits at 7-7, 16-9 overall. The Wolfpack has had an interesting ride of a season, with some quality wins but a lot of bad losses. NC State is currently the 60th ranked team in the NET, which is nearing NIT territory. However, it has the most opportunity out of the bubble teams in its conference to boost its resume, as it faces Duke twice and has a contest against Florida State. Two wins in those three tough matchups, and sweeping the rest of its schedule, and NC State could be hearing its name called.
Syracuse seems unlikely to get in, but from the past few selections, it is easy to tell the committee likes the Orange. ‘Cuse is just 14-11, 7-7 in the ACC, with its best win coming at Virginia in Charlottesville. Syracuse has a chance to boost its resume with a win at Louisville tonight, but the Orange blew a similar opportunity last Saturday in Tallahassee. At 64th in the NET, the Orange need to win out and make it deep into the ACC tournament to make it into the field.
If all goes right for the ACC, it will have five teams in the tournament. All three of these teams making it is almost impossible, as runs in the ACC are necessary to be selected.