We’re now more than a week into the start of ACC play, and the conference, as a whole, makes less sense today than it has in a long time.
Let’s start with the obvious: No. 9 Louisville – a team that is talented enough to get to the Final Four and good enough to win the ACC, not to mention beat the likes of No. 25 Indiana, No. 6 Kentucky and No. 20 Purdue – is currently sitting at 0-2 in the league, the only winless team in the ACC.
And we’re just at the beginning.
Boston College entered the year as the team picked to finish dead-last in the conference as long as Georgia Tech didn’t beat them to it (more on the Jackets in a second). They kicked off ACC play by blowing out Syracuse, a preseason top 25 team coming off of a trip to the Final Four. Syracuse, after the loss to BC, smacked around Miami on Wednesday just three days after Miami did the same to N.C. State, who blew out a No. 21 Virginia Tech team that was three days removed from giving No. 8 Duke a beatdown.
Using the always-accurate transitive property, Boston College should be 88-point favorites when they play the Blue Devils on Saturday.
Georgia Tech opened up their season by playing North Carolina and Duke in back-to-back games. They beat the No. 14 Tar Heels by 12 points despite being 18 points underdogs while losing to Duke on Wednesday by a whopping 53 points; they were one basket away from getting doubled-up. So if BC is 88 points better than Duke, then UNC might as well not even make the trip to Beantown to play the Eagles.
My larger point is this: There are just two teams in the ACC without a loss yet this season, Notre Dame and Florida State, and just two more teams, Virginia and Wake Forest, that have more than one loss, meaning that ten of the teams in the conference are 1-1 on the year. We talked all throughout the preseason about just how good, how deep and how balanced the ACC can be this season, and that was while we were under the assumption that A) Boston College and Georgia Tech weren’t going to be beating the likes of Syracuse and UNC, and B) that Grayson Allen wouldn’t trip Coach K into needing to get back surgery (or something like that).
The team we thought was going to be the best in the league may be coming back to the pack. The two teams were thought were going to be bottom-feeders are better than anyone expected.
Which means that weird results are going to be the norm, and that the ACC is going to have more than their fair share of upsets.
You better be able to protect your home court, because if you can’t there are a lot of good teams in the ACC that could find themselves on the wrong side of .500 in conference and, thus, the wrong side of the bubble on Selection Sunday.
It’s going to be awesome.