A few years ago the Big East was so big they had teams winning 5 games just to win a conference tournament. And it was possible because those teams at the bottom of the conference were still stacked rosters. Now the ACC is that conference. While the basement dwellers at Boston College probably won’t win a game in conference, they still managed to scare the shit out of North Carolina. And Wake Forest isn’t winning on the court but the recruiting is coming along nicely. Georgia Tech has the ability to get in there somewhere but is currently lost as a program without much to play with or look forward to.
Add on NC State and Florida State with big-time recruits coming in after a big year of new players coming in to Tallahassee already. Then there’s Syracuse and Pittsburgh having down years but with the talent to get things going quickly if they add a key player or two.
Buzz Williams is slowly turning Virginia Tech around and Brad Brownell has had some monster wins for a Clemson program really desperate to turn the corner. Then you consider blue-bloods Duke and Louisville and with all the different shit going on you’d think they were having bad seasons too. Nope.
That leads us to the top of the current standings with Virginia, Miami, Notre Dame, and North Carolina. Carolina is the obvious choice for the conference elite this season and while they haven’t been amazing, they certainly have the ability to take over games. Mike Brey has somehow coaxed a good start out of the Irish even without many scholarship players and injuries more often than not.
Virginia keeps churning out very good teams and that shouldn’t stop any time soon. This particular one is efficient and athletic and has a handful of viable options when a bucket is needed late in the game. Then they’re Jim Larranaga at Miami. He’s taken this team to similar heights of the team with Kenny Kadji and Shane Larkin and several others who had a great team game as well as a knack for finding ways to win games.
While North Carolina looks like a runaway for the regular season title, any number of teams could pull offer victory in the conference tournament. Duke, Virginia, Miami, and Syracuse are my picks for potential surprises at the ACC tournament.