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Streak Pique

We had two responses to Bret Friedlander's suggestion that State's ACC win streak was
more imposing than Duke's, so here they are. The first is from James, the second from a


Let's examine this. You've contended that N C State had tougher
opposition in building their 27 game regular-season winning streak.

In 1973, the other teams in the ACC were:

  • North Carolina 8-4 in conference, 25-8 overall
  • Maryland, 7-5 and 23-7
  • Duke, 4-8 and 12-14
  • Virginia, 4-8 and 13-12
  • Clemson, 4-8 and 12-14
  • Wake Forest, 3-9 and 12-15.

Half the ACC opponents had losing records overall, and one of the
winners was one game over .500. Going head to head, Maryland
last year (13-3 and 28-6) was a tougher opponent than UNC for State,
Maryland '73 was comparable to UNC '99. As for the rest of the
league, 1999 had Clemson at 20-15, N C State at 19-14, Wake at
17-14. Three ACC teams had losing records.

The ACC was probably a tougher challenge for Duke in 1999 than in
N C State in 1973.

So, how about 1974? Maryland was an improved 23-5 and 9-3.
North Carolina was 22-9 and 9-3. So the top two opponents may
be comparable to 1999. The rest of the conference was, once again,
dogs: Virginia was fourth with a conference record of 4-8, but was
11-16 overall. Clemson was 3-9, 14-12, the most impressive of the
back of the pack. Wake was 3-9, 13-13, and Duke was 2-10, 10-16.

That said, consider the streak started in 1998, a much stronger
year than 1999. It included a win over Final Four bound UNC.

13 of N C State's 27 wins came against opponents that finished with
losing records overall. In contrast of Duke's 22 wins entering this
season, 6 came against teams that have losing records. Given that
Clemson will probably end up with a losing record, and maybe Georgia
Tech and Florida State, that's still only 9 of 29 wins.

Both streaks are impressive. But if you're going to belittle
Duke's streak because of weakness in the ACC, you need to examine
the alleged strength of the ACC during N C State's run.



Iit was interesting to read the article by Brett Friedlander about the two
streaks of State and Duke. He apparently doesn't remember his ACC History
because all of this talk about the ACC being weaker now and tougher then is
wishful thinking..

Let me address some points. in one part of the article Brett wrote-----"In
its undefeated season of 1972-73, N.C. State had to fend off challenges from
North Carolina and Maryland -- both of which won 23 or more games"

I guess he forgets that in 1998(when Dukes streak began), UNC won 34 games,
and the Terps won 21.The Heels even took 2 of 3 vs Duke. Is Brett suggesting
those weren't challenges?

He also forgets that in 99, the Terrapins posted the highest win total in
school history with 28 wins and the Heels still won 24 games...The problem is
neither could still challenge Duke last year despite their 20+ victory total
and top 25 rankings for both teams. That's not their fault, Duke was simply
sensational, but both of those teams were still very good, with Maryland being
a top 5 team in 99, and the HEELS a top 5 team in 98.I call that a challenge
when a league foe is ranked that high nationally.

So the notion that there were no challengers goes right out the window. But
there is a bigger picture here.. Brett forgets how weak the ACC was during the
Thompson run.

In 1973 only four ACC teams had above .500 overall records. The 4th place
ACC team was 4-8 in league play and 13-12 overrall. The other three teams
records? 13-12,12-14,12-15

In 1974, the same exact thing with the 4-8 ACC finishers having losing
overrall records except for Clemson who was an impressive 14-12..The 4th
place team that year was 4-8 and 11-16 overrall and that was Virginia.. I
mean come on, if a 4-8 record gets you an upper echelon ACC finish what does
that say about league strength?

So, the question is how about the other ACC teams during Dukes run in the
late 90's outside of UNC and Maryland.

Well. in 1999 Clemson went 20- 15, NCSU went 19-14 and Wake went 17-14, All
three of these teams had winning home ACC records last season, the problem
was they couldn't win on the road. Sure these weren't great teams, but compare
them to those 1973-74 ACC lower echelon teams and these come out way ahead.

And as for 1998,Wake went '16-14,Clemson 18-14,GA Tech 19-14, FSU,18-14, and
NCSU 17-15.. Only Virginia had a losing overall record.

BTW the 4th place finisher in the ACC in 1998 and 99 had a 7-9 conference
record. the 4th place ACC finisher in 1973 and 74 was 4-8 in the league.

What does this indicate?  That the ACC wasn't as tough then as some may have
thought and that the 4-9 ACC teams the last 3 years were much better teams
than their 4-8 1973/74 ACC counterparts.