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The ACC Deserves Seven Bids

There's been a lot of back and forth about how many bids the ACC should get,
but as far as we're concerned, they should get as many as they can, because
around the country, the number ot truly tournament worthy teams is really unusually

While we don't claim to be experts, you can make a few conclusions: 1)
the PAC-10, the Big Ten and the Big 12 are not what they usually are. When
you add in the conferences which will get one bid, and the conferences like the
MAC, which has two powerful teams, we really only count 61 teams we'd bother
inviting - and that's assuming the ACC gets seven, the Big East five, and the
S.E.C. six.

For instance, we really like the A-10. But frankly, they suck: Temple
is in second place in the Eastern division at 11-10. In the West, Dayton
is out front and legitimate, but second place goes to George Washington, third
to Richmond. They could make an argument, but better than Florida State or

The Big 12 might get five, but why would Texas Tech get a bid over an ACC
team which has played a much tougher schedule?

The Big East is solid, and should get five bids. Word to those who
think they've drafted a great new league, though: in the C-USA, DePaul and
Marquette are mediocre again. Cincinnatti is 17-3, and Louisville is 17-4 though
slumping. But look at the rest of the Big East. St. John's has
imploded; Georgetown is thoroughly mediocre, Rutgers is no better; B.C. is
somewhat better but not great, and Villanova, Notre Dame, and West Virginia are
not lighting the world on fire.

The PAC-10 is a complete joke this year. It's no wonder Stanford hasn't
lost; they haven't had any real competition. They've more or less mastered
Arizona these days, and the only other team aside from those two which is more
than one game on the good side of .500 is Oregon. Half the conference has losing

The SEC is solid, with Kentucky, South Carolina, Florida, and Vandy all
likely in from the East, and Mississippi State and LSU from the West.

It's hard to find many other conferences which should get multiple bids,
particularly when you consider that UNC, without question, could win the
tournament. They have the talent; they haven't been able to harness it
correctly, and they'd have to get hot. But would you want them in the
second or third game? Make them a 5 seed, for argument's sake, and put them
against any other conference's top seed, and it's a very tough game. Find
another conference where you can say that about the #6 team.

When you look carefully, it's even hard to justify most conferences, other
than the real power conferences, getting more than one bid. The A-10
has two worthy teams, the MAC and the MVC each have two worthy reps, and
the Mountain West has some toughies. But for the most part, especially
considering the weakness of the PAC-10 and the Big Ten, where do the bids go?
There are a lot of weak conferences and an awful lot of lame second and third
place teams out there. Here's a fun exercise: run through the standings
and see what conference leader could beat the ACC's sixth-place team.
Oklahoma State? Maybe. Pitt? Maybe. Wisconsin? Doubt it. Utah State? Doubt
it. Memphis? Maybe. Air Force? Trick question. The guy there is
clearly a gifted coach. Stanford? Our money would be on UNC in that one.
Kentucky? It was a buzzer-beater this year. Gonzaga? Maybe.

The point is, you can go that way or through the Top 25, and you can't find a
team that the sixth-place team in this conference can't beat. For that
matter, would anyone bet their house on St. Joseph's vs. UNC?
We're not trying to make their case for them, but they are the sixth place ACC
team currently, and they have wins over #5, #16, #18, and very near misses at #1
and #8.

The point is is that the ACC is unusually strong this year. They
deserve as many bids as they can get, and if someone is left out - besides the
obvious two stragglers - it's a travesty.

America East

  • Vermont


  • St. Joe's
  • Dayton

ACC (7)

  • Duke
  • N.C. State
  • Georgia Tech
  • Wake Forest
  • FSU
  • Maryland
  • UNC

Atlantic Sun

  • 1 Bid TBD

Big 12

  • OSU
  • Texas
  • Kansas
  • Oklahoma

Big East

  • Pitt
  • UConn
  • Providence
  • Syracuse
  • Seton Hall

Big Sky

  • 1 Bid TBD (Best record: 13-10)

Big South

1 Bid

Big Ten

  • Wisconsin
  • Michigan State
  • Illinois

Big West

  • Utah State, 20-1


  • 1 Bid TBD


  • Memphis
  • Cincinnatti
  • Louisville
  • Charlotte

Horizon League

  • 1 Bid TBD

Ivy League

  • 1 Bid TBD


  • 1 Bid TBD


  • 1 Bid TBD


Kent State & Western Michigan should make the field


  • 1 Bid TBD; only one team is over .500


  • So. Illinois & Creighton have likely earned bids


  • Air Force
  • Utah
  • BYU

Northeast Conference

  • 1 Bid TBD


  • 1 Bid TBD


  • Stanford
  • Arizona

Patriot League

  • 1 Bid TBD

Situational Ethics Conference

  • Kentucky
  • South Carolina
  • Florida
  • Vandy
  • Mississippi State
  • LSU


  • 1 Bid TBD; ETSU might get at-large if they lose conf. tourney


  • 1 Bid TBD


  • 1 Bid TBD

Sun Belt

  • 1 Bid TBD


  • Gonzaga


  • UTEP