Sunday, February 14, 2021

Bubble watch - ACC

Is it just me, or is this conference a bit of a tire fire this year?  There's a lot of mediocrity, and a lot of teams pooling around .500 overall.  The distribution of wins in conference play really aren't seeming to help anyone.  And it means signature win chances within conference play goes away.  It's a perfect storm to ensure you get the minimum amount of bids.

The unbalanced schedule really stands out in a conference like this, when your access to a signature win chance is so limited.  Most years, there's enough strong teams at the top that bubble teams get enough chances.  This year, with no high-end resumes, everyone suffers downballot.

I think there's a strong chance someone not listed on this page goes on a run and makes the tournament, though.  


Virginia (15-3) (11-1) NET 6 SoS 53
Vital signs:  3-2 vs. Q1, 5-0 vs. Q2, 6-3 R/N
Signature wins:  @Clemson, Ga Tech, and Notre Dame?  meh
Bad losses:  N-San Francisco

Not nearly enough resume heft given what you'd normally expect from an ACC leader.  3 line based on name and reputation seems about right here.

Virginia Tech (14-4) (8-3) NET 33 SoS 63
Vital signs:  3-2 vs. Q1, 4-2 vs. Q2, 5-3 R/N
Signature wins:  Virginia, N-Nova, @Notre Dame?
Bad losses:  @Pitt and PSU?

With a couple of truly signature wins, they're in decent position.  Really, outside of NET ranking, isn't this resume better than Virginia's?  Maybe a couple more dumb losses, but some good wins to balance it out.  I would like to see more depth of quality wins, though.

Should be in

Florida St (11-3) (7-2) NET 25 SoS 84
Vital signs:  2-2 vs. Q1, 4-0 vs. Q2, 1-2 R/N
Signature wins:  @Louisville, Florida, Clemson?
Bad losses:  UCF

Not a lot going on as far as road games on this resume.  I'd like to see them shore that up before calling them a lock.  Still, all the other metrics are generally good enough to make the field, but I'm pretty whelmed by the overall resume.  I'm starting to catch a trend here where the entire ACC is a bit poor this year.

Louisville (11-4) (6-3) NET 34 SoS 42
Vital signs:  0-3 vs. Q1, 7-0 vs. Q2, 3-3 R/N
Signature wins:  Va Tech?  Seton Hall?  @Pitt?
Bad losses:  @Miami

The classic beat-who-you're-supposed-to-beat resume.  I can't imagine making the field without a Q1 win, but if they keep their nose clean, they just might.

Clemson (13-5) (7-5) NET 45 SoS 17
Vital signs:  3-5 vs. Q1, 6-0 vs. Q2, 4-4 R/N
Signature wins:  N-Alabama, FSU, N-Purdue
Bad losses:  @Duke and GT?

Probably fine.  No real bad losses, won enough quality win chances, piled up some neutral site wins to buttress that part of the resume.  They've got very winnable road games coming up, which can make the difference between the 4 line and the 9 line.


North Carolina (12-7) (7-5) NET 56 SoS 65
Vital signs:  1-6 vs. Q1, 5-1 vs. Q2, 6-7 R/N
Signature wins:  @Duke, Syracuse, N-Stanford?
Bad losses:  @NC State

I have no idea what to do here.  They simply must have better quality wins to make the tournament, period.  But 6 road/neutral wins already can't miss, right?  I feel like any analysis is pointless given their upcoming schedule, it will form a significant portion of their overall resume.

Syracuse (12-6) (6-5) NET 52 SoS 111
Vital signs:  0-4 vs. Q1, 2-1 vs. Q2, 2-5 R/N
Signature wins:  VT, @NC State, and uh...
Bad losses:  Pitt

Practically a courtesy listing.  There's nothing here.  And everything behind them in the conference isn't much better.  This is not a deep ACC bubble.

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