Sunday, March 15, 2009

ACC champs

What a great weekend. Minneapolis has returned to being a warm, wonderful city thanks to the 50+ degree weather that is rapidly melting the massive snow banks. And Duke has returned to being a top tier program by winning the ACC tournament. It isn't like Duke was bad the past two years, but those teams didn't have the talent level to win the ACC. This Duke team does have the talent and after an early February swoon they have really come together the past 9 games.

I think the Duke team should be considered to be the final 1 seed. Before I get to that case lets run through the teams that are locks for the other three 1 seeds. I think everyone can agree that UNC should be a 1 seed for winning the ACC regular season. Louisville also has to be a 1 seed due to the fact that they won the Big East regular season and tournament. Pitt should be a 1 seed as well thanks to the fact that they are the top ranked team in the RPI and have beat UConn twice. After that I think their is an argument amongst 3 teams for the final #1 seed. Here are those teams with their resume:
  1. Memphis - The Tigers are 31-3, but they play in the 10th best conference, which if you are curious means that C-USA is behind conferences like the Mountain West, A10 and Missouri Valley. The reason they have 3 losses is because they have only played three top 25 teams (winning only 1). Their two best victories all year were against Tennessee and on the road to Gonzaga, which isn't all that impressive. They might be a top 4 team or even the best team in the NCAAs, but they haven't played or beaten anyone really good. That and the fact they are the 7 ranked team in the RPIs means I think they have to be a 2 seed.
  2. UConn - The Huskies were the 3 ranked team in the Big East and lost their first game in the Big East tournament. Sure they went 27-4 and have a ton of Nba ready talent, but a strength of schedule of 30 hurts them. There is no question they are a good team that had a good year, but I don't see how they can be a 1 seed without winning some type (regular or tournament) of championship.
  3. Duke - The case for Duke is simple. They played the 3rd toughest schedule, finished 2nd in the best conference (RPI rankings) during the regular season, won the ACC tournament, and are a team on the roll winning 8 of their past 9 games. If you want to go more in depth of the type of roll they are on those past 9 games are a good barometer. Only 2 of those games were at Cameron with 4 games being on the road and 3 games being in a neutral location. Also, 7 of 9 games were against teams that are currently projected to make the tournament, which doesn't count a really tough road game against a Virginia Tech team that I think should (but probably won't) make the tournament. Oh yeah if you need another reason Duke should be a top seed then I would check out the RPI ranking and look at the 2nd slot. They have lost 6 games and their are a lot of people that don't like Duke, but that isn't reason to give a team with a less impressive resume a top seed over Duke.

The selection show is less than 2 hours away and I am curious to see where the Blue Devils are going and who they are playing. More analysis will be coming after I get a chance to see the bracket. This really is the best time of the year.

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