32 Conferences in 64 Days: Atlantic Coast Conference

The 2019-20 season will not be a talking point for the ACC in the future. All the ACC haters and major conference haters will be upset that the conference will be back. The ACC would have gotten 3-4 teams in the NCAA Tournament, they will be back to their usual 7-8 teams in the 2020-21. the ACC will be better and a weaker mid major at large contenders will help the ACC get back to their top 3 conference status.

  1. Virginia (2 Seed) 5 Overall
  2. Duke (2 Seed) 8 Overall
  3. Florida State (7 Seed)
  4. Louisville (8 Seed)
  5. North Carolina (8 Seed)
  6. Maryland (9 Seed)
  7. Miami (FL) (11 Seed) Last 4 Byes
  8. Virginia Tech (12 Seed) Last 4 in
  9. Syracuse (12 Seed) Last 4 in
  10. Clemson Next 4 Out
  11. NC State Next 4 Out
  12. Georgia Tech
  13. Boston College
  14. Notre Dame
  15. Pitt
  16. Wake Forest
  1. Virginia- With no March Madness in 2020 Virginia enters as the defending champions again. Virginia was a big part of the historically bad ACC 2020 season but with a great recruiter class and only losing one starter. Except the Cavaliers to be on battling for the top spot in the ACC with Duke and possibly a 1 seed.
  2. Duke- The Blue Devils had 3 players go in the NBA draft this past spring. But as always Coach K reloaded with talented freshmen. But unlike past years there is no obvious NBA top 5 draft pick on this team. Duke will still be in the conversation for a 1 seed and fighting with UVA for the ACC title but there will have to get production from more than just their starters this season. It might take a couple of games to mesh as a team, but you can except to pencil the Blue Devils into their usual spot come March.  
  3. Florida State- While there is a decent drop off from the top 2 teams from the next group of ACC teams. Leonard Hamilton’s squad returns all but one player from his rotation last season. He also grabbed the highest rated recruit in program history in Scottie Barnes. The Seminoles will be around the bottom of the top 25 rankings and no one will talk about them per usual. This program deserves more respect and I think it is possible for them to get up in the top 15 if the ACC is better than experienced.
  4. Louisville- The Cardinals were looking like the powerhouse in the ACC last season until they went into a downhill spiral for 2 weeks in February. They were one of the most interesting team in the conference heading into Greensboro. They were a tournament team last season even with the funk they had. They lost a lot of talent but got a big grad transfer in Carlik Jones from Radford. Chris Mack will have the team in the postseason, but it will be interesting to see if they can compete with the cream of the crop in the ACC
  5. North Carolina- The Tar Heels would not have been at large bid team last season. That statement seems crazy to even type out. They lose the only player that was worth much on the hardwood last season in Cole Anthony. Big man Garrison Brooks will have to keep up the role as leader of this squad. UNC is a tough team to track but I trust Roy Williams to have this team ready to start getting back the program into form. They have a large range of possibilities, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up a top 4 seed in March.
  6. Miami (FL)- Jim Larranaga’s program was a steady at large bid team but they were a combined 29-34 the last 2 seasons with no projected March Madness bid. Projecting them to be At large bid again this season might been a bit optimistic. Sophomore guard Isaiah Wong needs to step up and be a team leader. With Cincinnati transfer Nysier Brooks the Hurricanes will be hovering around the bubble. A couple of wins versus the ACC teams above them and they will be safely in the tourney.   
  7. Virginia Tech- Mike Young’s first season in Blacksburg has low exceptions going into the season. Even with a 7-13 league record, the season was a huge success because of one game. The Hokies went to Maui with a 6-0 record (playing mostly cupcakes and Clemson) matchups up with preseason #1 Michigan State and pulled the upset. Ending the season on a 2-11 run is not ideal but those good start to the season is good to build on for the upcoming campaign. Except to see VT in the bubble talks all of March.
  8. Syracuse- Guess what…. Syracuse is going to be on the bubble again. They lost Elijah Hughes to going pro, but they return a core nucleus full of upperclassmen. Jim Boeheim’s best teams are experienced rosters who are experts in running the 2-3 zone. This team will be great defensively and they have more offense talent than they have had the past few years. The Orange probably will be going to Dayton and will be a hot topic on Selection Sunday.
  9. Clemson- The Tigers are returning most of their roster from a 9-11 conference record. Clemson fans should just focus on football as they usually do. This roster could not break through to a winning record in a watered down ACC. Aamir Simms will be in the hunt for a conference all American but that will be a bright spot in a sub-par season. The ceiling for this team is sneaking into the big dance If they can upset some teams but I don’t see it happen.
  10. NC State- Wolfpack fans hoped new coach Kevin Keatts brought his program building skill that he used to build up UNC Wilmington the past few seasons. 2018-19 wasn’t as good as some people excepted with some bad losses but they did have big wins (Beat Duke by 20 and won at UVA). Taking the positives and not losing much production is a good recipe for this rebuilding program. They won’t be in the top half of the ACC, but they will take steps towards getting bad there.
  11. Georgia Tech- Josh Pastner has not been able to find any offense in Atlanta. It has been 10 years since GT has been in the NCAA tournament. With a starting lineup of all upperclassmen, Pastner needs to improve, or he will start being on the hot seat. I just do not see where the Yellow Jackets will be able to find the offense to be able to compete with the top half of the conference.
  12. Boston College- Most of college basketball media seemed to believe that Jim Christian would have been fired and the COVID saved his job. The Eagles have been terrible for many seasons now and they will be bottom feeders in the conference yet again. The way that Christian was on the chopping block in March 2020, wouldn’t be surprised if he is fired in the middle of the season.   
  13. Notre Dame- The Fighting Irish were highly projected going into 2019-20 season. Only getting 20 wins but a .500 record in conference in a below average ACC was not enough. Mike Brey had the program as an ACC mainstay in March but that is just not the case anymore. Losing their best two players in John Mooney and TJ Gibbs and not replacing them with equal pieces. I do wonder how many more bad seasons before Brey is on the hot seat.
  14. Pitt- Jeff Capel is another hire that got an ACC program excited but there has been no progress in getting the Panthers any better. Capel did come into a program that was a forest fire because of Kevin Stallings. Ithiel Horton, the Delaware transfer will have to be one of the best offensive players in the ACC for Pitt to be any good this season.  
  15. Wake Forest- I think Steve Forbes coming over from ETSU is a great hire for the Demon Deacons. Tough to see much about this team. They have 2 transfers that are still wanting for word from the NCAA on their waivers to play right away. Forbes will need a couple season to build this program back up and it will be interesting season to see how good they can be this season.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: