Saturday, March 21, 2009
I'm not going to focus on how Maryland got blown out by Memphis. It was sad, but not really that surprising. I'm hoping that Vasquez will now stay around another year and lead a solid, experienced Maryland team deep into the tournament. But we'll all have to wait and see on that and how the new recruits turn out. Those are worries for next season. Right now my question is what happened to the ACC?
The ACC fielded seven of their twelve teams in this tournament. The only conference with a higher percentage of its teams going to the tourney is the Big 10 with 7 of 11 teams. Yes, even the unstoppable Big East did not bring more teams than the ACC or Big Ten. The Big East has approximately half of all Division I teams, so they should earn at least 7 bids on any given year. But the ACC decided not to show up for the tourney. Yeah, we had the numbers, but not the wins.
Only three teams were able to advance to the second round. Maryland, UNC and Duke. Of those teams, so far only UNC has sealed a spot in the Sweet 16. Maryland got blown out and Duke is still playing as I'm writing this. This is just pathetic. With so many top ranked teams the ACC should be fielding more than one or two teams in the round of 16. Maryland was the only bubble team of the ACC and even they managed to win their first game. They even won in an upset. I mean it's not that surprising that Clemson choked, but Wake and Florida State, what happened there? Yes, we should kick Boston College out of the ACC immediately. I whole heartily support that. But unfortunately, I can't blame them for the down year for the conference.
The ACC has a total of 10 National Championships, and you may as well start betting online that they are going to win a few more. The Big East has 8, three of which were won by teams before they were a part of the giant Big East. So shut up Big East, a few good seasons does not make you a totally superior conference. You need a few more years and National Championships to earn that. But damn it ACC, stop making my argument so hard. Even the Big Ten is doing better this year. And that's just sad since the ACC regularly schools the Big Ten in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. So when pitted against each other in the tourney when it counts you think the ACC could make a game of it. The ACC should not be the conference that upsets are expected against.
So shape up ACC. I expect better things from you next year. Relying on Duke to represent the conference is just disgusting. I'm torn between my natural desire to want Duke to lose and my desire to have more than one ACC team in the Sweet 16. Maryland preformed above expectations. Where are the rest of you?