Major Bids, Minor Results

By L.A. Batchelor
Updated: March 22, 2009

GREENSBORO — Once again another NCAA men’s basketball tournament comes up and once again the Atlantic Coast Conference shows how overrated they really are.

The Conference that now runs from “The Sunshine State”, “Tobacco Road” to the “Crab Cakes” of Maryland, failed to get more than two teams through the first weekend of the “big dance”.

During the selection show, the debate was about how little the mid major conferences received in at large bid while the “major conferences” like the Big East, Big 12, Big 10, Pac 10, and ACC received most of the at large bids.

The Big East and ACC received seven bids, while the Big 12, Big 10 and Pac 10 all received 6 and a good number of the conference I mention still have many of their teams alive with the exception of the self proclaimed “Best conference in America”, the ACC.

Let’s take a look at the teams left in the tournament going into the second weekend of play (at the time the Sweet Sixteen was set):

1. Big East: Began with seven teams and have a record five teams in the Sweet 16.

2. Big 12: Began with six teams and have three teams remaining.

3. Big 10: Began surprisingly with six teams and have three remaining teams.

4. Pac 10: Began with six teams and have only one team (Arizona) remaining, but USC, Arizona State, Washington and UCLA all played their opponents close and Arizona, who most thought didn’t deserve to be in the tournament (Like Dick Vitale the ACC apologist) has played like a number one seed which speaks to how underrated their conference truly was.

5. ACC: Began with seven teams and have only two teams remaining which are the two typical teams they have in the Sweet Sixteen every year. The other five teams that lost over the weekend (Wake Forest, Maryland, Clemson, Florida State and Boston College), was either upset, overachieved, underachieved or just plain stunk which speaks to how OVERRATED THE CONFERENCE TRULY WAS!

The bad thing for the conference after seeing their two best and remaining teams left in the tournament in person, is that Duke is overrated and shouldn’t have been seed and only received their seed based on their reputation and a flawed North Carolina team that could have and should have lost to LSU if it wasn’t for the heroics of their all-everything guard Ty Lawson could lose to their next opponent, the fourth seeded Zags of Gonzaga.

I said to some friends and colleagues when the seedings were announced, the ACC received so many bids based on reputation and I was right.

Every year, the Vitales and ACC apologists like him, speak to the quality of play and depth of good teams and at the end of the day, either Duke or North Carolina win the regular season and/or the conference tournament and with Maryland as the exception, they are the only two programs that have won or have a chance to win the National Championship.

The ACC gets the accolades and the title of “Best in the Country” because most of their success has come from the state of North Carolina. You know the state that feels every boy and girl and girl is born with a basketball in their hand.

They think God somehow has ordain the state as basketball greatness or some kind of “round ball royalty”. NOT SO FAST. The claim that the ACC and their fans are so readily to brag about comes from outside of North Carolina when you consider Michael Jordan was born in New York and coaches like Roy and Gary Williams along with Coach “K” recruit most of their kids from the north east, mid west and west.

Someone mention on television “The Big East” is the best it’s been in 30 years and I am not ready to concur with that assessment but I also know the ACC year after year is vastly overrated and this year is no exception.

By the way, the remaining teams in the Sweet Sixteen are Gonzaga (West Coast Conference), Memphis (Conference USA) and Xavier (Atlantic-10).