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More Bids, And How To Get Them

The ACC wants more bids, but you still have to win enough games to get in. Here's a quick breakdown of where everyone is and should be.

  1. Boston College: A bit down at the moment, but Al Skinner should have them in on a regular basis.
  2. Clemson: On the rise. They might not make it every year, but still consistently.
  3. Duke: An annual presence.
  4. Florida State: Hasn't happened much, has it?
  5. Georgia Tech: Another year out and Paul Hewitt will get some heat. Tech should be in every year.
  6. Maryland: Things are looking a bit grim in College Park.
  7. Miami: Frank Haith has things on the right path. Expect Miami to become an annual invitee.
  8. N.C. State: Team chaos. Who knows? State has a lot of work to do.
  9. North Carolina: It'd be a huge shock if they miss anytime soon.
  10. Virginia: Dave Leitao hasn't made much of a case yet. That may not change soon.
  11. Virginia Tech: You have to admire their tenacity and Greenberg's ability to build in an out-of-the-way program.
  12. Wake Forest: After a year of turmoil, the Deacs are set for a big turnaround.

The ACC should be able to count on six bids on more or less an annual basis. Right now it's Duke, UNC, Clemson, Wake, and Miami, with Virginia Tech not that far away and B.C. in a slump. You'd certainly hope for better from State, Virginia, Maryland, and Georgia Tech. FSU? Wake us up when it happens.

A lot of it, as we've said, comes down to coaching. Just take a gander down the top half of the Big East: Thompson, Brey, Pitino, Calhoun, Crean (well not anymore), Huggins, Dixon, Wright, and Boeheim. All of those guys know what they're doing (the bottom half is somewhat less accomplished).

If we had the power to make executive decisions for the good of the conference, we'd start by getting rid of Paul Hewitt and Gary Williams. Coaching as they do in two of the ACC's media markets, they have a different responsibility and they're not getting it done. We'd also send Leonard Hamilton on his way and look for someone who, like Billy Donovan, sees potential in a school which hasn't had huge success in basketball. Dave Leitao and Sidney Lowe would be on notice, and especially Lowe: better show some progress, and fast. His first season was exciting; his second was a disaster.

For Maryland, we'd go hard after Mike Brey. He's done a solid job at Notre Dame after a brilliant turn at Delaware. He'd recruit the hell out of Northern Virginia and the D.C./Baltimore corridor. People underestimate what he did for Duke, but look at how much talent he brought out of Virginia when he was recruting for Coach K. He could surpass that at Maryland.

For Tech? Just for fun, we'd be tempted to go after Dennis Felton. But since that won't happen, we'd certainly make a run at Jeff Capel. We'd also try for Kevin Stallings at Vandy, Sean Miller of Xavier, and Jamie Dixon of Pitt. Dixon would have no reason to go, really, but he's a guy you'd have to talk to.

Florida State? Tough call. If Oliver Purnell didn't have a job he'd be great there. We'd definitely consider Josh Pastner, who just moved from Arizona to Memphis, where he's now working for John Calipari. How about former Maryland assistant Jimmy Patsos? He's doing a great job at Loyola, where no one ever wins.