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The ACC is definitely not the league it used to be.....

It does not seem that long ago the ACC was a dominant basketball league, with a numerous teams ranked in the top 25, dominant players at every position on the floor, and an intensity and excitement was evident every conference game. Phenomenal players of the past like David Thompson, Michael Jordan, Johnny Dawkins, Ralph Sampson, and James Worthy helped place a stamp on the ACC as a premier conference in men’s basketball. More recently, Christian Laetter, Tim Duncan, Juan Dixon, Shane Battier, help solidify the idea that the ACC has dominant talent and dominant teams. Within the past few years however, there has been a dramatic drop off in talent for ACC teams and decrease in the overall competitiveness of the league as a whole.

A great example of the ACC and its downfall can be seen by looking at the results of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. From 1999-2008 the ACC was successful each of those years at winning the challenge including handily beating the Big Ten (by more than two games) four of those ten years. However the tide has turned, with the Big Ten beating the ACC the past three years. This season was the worst showing for the ACC, as they only won four of the twelve contests.

Even the current league standings show, the ACC is not the league it used to be:

Standings

Conference

Pct.

PF

PA

Overall

Pct.

PF

PA

Home

Away

Neutral

Last 10

Streak

Duke

5-1

.833

75.5

68.0

17-3

.850

80.2

68.8

10-1

4-1

3-1

8-2

W 1

Florida State

5-1

.833

74.5

65.0

14-6

.700

72.3

62.0

10-1

3-4

1-1

7-3

W 5

North Carolina

4-1

.800

73.8

65.8

17-3

.850

84.5

66.6

13-0

2-2

2-1

9-1

W 2

NC State

4-2

.667

72.5

67.5

15-6

.714

75.9

68.6

11-3

2-2

2-1

8-2

L 1

Virginia

3-2

.600

58.2

49.2

16-3

.842

64.4

50.1

10-1

4-1

2-1

8-2

W 1

Maryland

2-3

.400

67.2

70.2

12-7

.632

68.3

68.9

10-2

0-3

2-2

6-4

L 3

Miami

2-3

.400

64.0

65.0

11-7

.611

70.9

67.2

8-2

2-5

1-0

6-4

W 1

Clemson

2-3

.400

67.8

65.8

10-9

.526

64.8

59.7

7-4

2-4

1-1

5-5

W 1

Wake Forest

2-4

.333

59.7

70.5

11-9

.550

67.2

70.0

7-4

3-3

1-2

5-5

L 1

Boston College

2-4

.333

57.8

68.7

7-13

.350

60.6

68.4

6-6

0-4

1-3

4-6

L 3

Virginia Tech

1-4

.200

57.6

61.8

12-8

.600

67.7

60.5

8-4

3-4

1-0

5-5

L 1

Georgia Tech

1-5

.167

59.2

68.5

8-12

.400

62.4

62.5

4-6

3-4

1-2

2-8

L 4

There are currently only five teams with a winning record in conference and only two teams ranked in the ESPN/College Coaches poll (Duke is 6th and UNC is 8th). Seven teams have a scoring defense of 65ppg with Wake Forest leading the league in allowing opponents an average 70 points per game. It is very difficult to win basketball games giving up so many points a game unless you have a very productive offense. Sadly, only two teams (UNC and Duke) have shown the ability to have an offense to cover defensive shortcomings, as both teams average over 80 points per game. Even scarier, are some recent conference game scores:

FSU defeats UNC 90-57

NC State defeats Wake 76-40

Virginia defeats Georgia Tech 70-38

Virginia Tech defeat Virginia 47-45

As an ACC fan, I hope the conference will soon return to the dominant level of play of the past, earning back the respect of the men’s basketball fans and community. While this year definitely does not look promising for the league, hopefully the parity and intense competitive fire against conference foes will start to emerge next season, bringing the ACC back to the top of men’s basketball, where it belongs.

Shana White is a blog contributor for Gold Star Games.

Ed: No spam links, thx

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