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:
|10||VA TECH||wake||ga tech||-1|
|11||ga tech||ga tech||wake||+2|
*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:
- 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…
- 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:
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.