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ACC Regular Season Review

Let’s take a look at the ACC Media’s preseason predictions (back in October), my pre-ACC predictions (end of December), and the final regular standings to see how team’s did against expectations:

1  unc unc unc EVEN
2  duke duke duke EVEN
3  fsu uva fsu EVEN
4  uva VA TECH uva EVEN
5  nc state fsu miami -1
6  miami miami VA TECH -4
7  clemson nc state clemson EVEN
8  maryland maryland nc state +3
9  wake clemson maryland +1
10  VA TECH wake ga tech -1
11  ga tech ga tech wake +2
12  bc bc bc EVEN

*The difference between where the ACC Media picked the team to finish, and where they finished seeding-wise.  The difference matches the team listed in the Media column.

It is interesting to note two things:

  1. Wow – the media was right on for the most part (and they made their picks BEFORE the season started, mine were right before conference play started).  They slotted the top 4 exactly right, and 6 of 12 overall.  And they were within one spot on 9 of 12 teams…
  2. Virginia Tech and nc state were the two teams they were the most off on, VT to the negative side (4 spots off) and state finishing 3 spots better than predicted.

wake also did better than expected, finished 2 ahead of their predicted spot, although in reality they finished tied for last.

I’m going back to my more mathematical way of picking next year – it weighs experience very highly.

In terms of how teams did, I’d say the following:

  1. unc proved they are the best team.  They should have swept duke and would have if it weren’t for a choke job in Chapel Hill and a clutch shot by Rivers.
  2. duke was lucky to be 13-3.  Could have easily lost 5 home games this year (all 3 ACC losses were at home… they went 8-0 on the road).
  3. florida state is clearly the 3rd best program in the ACC right now.  They’ve finished 3rd three years in a row and in the top 4 four years in a row.  But they also lose 6 seniors, including their entire front court.  We’ll see if they can keep it up next year, but I predict they slide to the middle of the pack.
  4. uva really wanted to fall out of the top four.  Keep in mind they haven’t made it to ACC Semi-Final Saturday since 1995, but now all they have to do is win one game on Friday to make it.
  5. nc state is on the rise.  They bring in a stud recruiting class next year.  If C.J. Leslie stays, they’ll be a challenger for 3rd place next year.  The key is Leslie, otherwise, they’ll be too young.  See, they got rid of Lowe and did 3 games better than he ever did in Gottfried’s first year.
  6. miami did a solid job under Larranaga.  This was the year they were expected to take a leap forward, and after a rocky start, they hit their stride after starting 1-3 in the ACC.  They won at duke, and beat fsu at home.  They should be really solid next year, too, they don’t lose much.
  7. clemson way overachieved in ACC play.  They aren’t that good, but found a way to go 8-8 in the league.  Heck, they lost 3 games in their own state, but had a shot at 4th place going into the final weekend.  Brownell appears to be a solid coach.
  8. maryland, even at 6-10, they did well.  Turgeon is a solid coach (they had almost no talent coming in) and likely will bring the terps back in a few years.  I bet Stoglin stays since he is a liability on defense.   Look for them to improve next year.
  9. wake forest – wake won 3 more ACC games than last year, but all 4 came against the bottom 4 teams in the ACC.  So they have to prove they can beat a decent team next year.  They aren’t ready to contend for the top half next year, but could improve.  But Bzdelik is the worst coach in the ACC.
  10. VA TECH – they were young.  We expected too much.  But tied for last in the ACC is a huge disappointment.  Next year is Bust or Brackets – we gotta make the NCAA Tournament.
  11. georgia tech will move back into their old/new arena and should have a decent recruiting class.  But they have no talent returning.  They’ll struggle again next year.
  12. boston college was 4-4 at home, but 0-8 on the road.  With 9 freshmen and a transfer, they well exceeded my expectations.  These guys aren’t athletic but Donahue is proving he’s a solid coach (though a below average recruiter).  They should be better next year.

This post was written by:

- who has written 1284 posts on Tech Hoops.

Niemo is a member of the VT Class of '98. While not a professional journalist by any stretch, Niemo analyzes and breaks down every minute of Hokie hoop action. He also researches topics of interest such as Hokie recruits, program revenue, statistical data on the team, previews VT opponents, and discusses his favorite bourbons/Scotches. In addition to his passion for Hokie hoops, Niemo has attended 126 straight VT football home games (every game since '94), eclipsing the 100 mark in September of '09 and recently attended his 20th consecutive VT/uva game. During the final home basketball game of his senior year, he was brought onto the court and was awarded 2 passes to the Atlantic 10 Basketball Tournament in Philly during a timeout for being a "Super Fan" during his time at VT. The Hokie Bird made the award on behalf of Athletic Director Jim Weaver. Niemo was known to be in the front row of every home game with his familiar red afro hairdo.

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4 Responses to “ACC Regular Season Review”

  1. Chris-Atl says:

    Good article Niemo. Actually, it probably benefited the media not to have seen us play our pre-ACC schedule. If they had they probably would have put us higher as well. Our pre-league performance fooled most. I was also very optimistic about our ACC chances at that point.

  2. Maybe Brownell is able to get the best out of his players, and that’s part of being a good coach. But x’s and o’s, he’s one of the weakest I’ve seen. The guy can’t draw up a play to save his life. Also, for the NC State pushing for 3rd argument, I am not convinced Duke and UNC are 1,2 next year. If everyone leaves that is predicted to they will be young. VERY young. I know I shouldn’t doubt them. Granted they reload yearly. But I just have a feeling. If they lose as much as predicted and State returns Leslie, they’ll be top-2 in my mind.

    • Niemo says:

      True, duke and/or unc could fall off next year… but I’m not picking it. I learned a long time ago to pick them 1 and 2… makes you look smart 80-90% of the time.


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