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Barry Jacobs On The Sweet Sixteen

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The ACC has two teams in this year's Sweet 16, North Carolina and N.C. State. Such representation is nice, to be sure, but no big deal. Not compared to other leagues, or even to recent showings by the ACC.

Certainly the ACC's 2012 participation pales in comparison with the Big East and Big 10. Between them, with four teams each, those conferences supplied half of the teams in the Sweet 16.

But those are larger leagues. Well, the Big East is larger, anyway.

The last time the ACC had four teams in the regional semifinals was - 1995.

And the ACC did have three teams in the Sweet 16 just last season. That's recent.

Of course three reps is an aberration for the New, Improved, 12-member ACC. In fact, 2005 and 2011 were the only times since expansion the conference managed as many as three teams in the Sweet 16.

The paucity of ACC participants dates back nearly two decades. Four times from 1990 through 1995 the ACC had a quartet of squads reach the Sweet 16. That was back when the league had eight and then nine members. Since '95 the ACC has seen no more than three squads make so deep an NCAA penetration in any season.

Over those 17 seasons the league had as many as three participants in the Sweet 16 just four times - 1998, 2004, 2005, and 2011.

For the longest time, the ACC annually sent at least two teams to the Sweet 16. That unmatched string, which began in 1980, lasted until 2007. North Carolina was the sole ACC survivor to get that far in '07. Also in 2008. Duke was the lone ranger in 2010, advancing all the way to the national championship.

One more thing. Remember the parity that supposedly swept the NCAA in recent years? Not hearing much about it this March. Just two teams from outside the power conferences advanced to the 2012 regional semis. That's the fewest since 2005.

SURVIVED TO ADVANCE
ACC Teams In Sweet 16 Since 1990

Sweets School Years Included
1 Boston College* 2006
2 Clemson 1990, 97
16 Duke 1990, 91, 92, 94, 98, 99, 2000, 01, 02, 03, 04, 05, 06, 09, 10, 11
3 Florida State$ 1992, 93, 2011
4 Georgia Tech 1990, 92, 96, 2004
7 Maryland 1994, 95, 98, 99, 2001, 02, 03
0 Miami** None
14 North Carolina 1990, 91, 92, 93, 95, 97, 98, 2000, 05, 07, 08, 09, 11, 12
2 N.C. State 2005, 12
2 Virginia 1993, 95
0 Virginia Tech** None
4 Wake Forest 1993, 95, 96, 2004
* Joined ACC in 2005-06.
$ Joined ACC in 1991-92
** Joined ACC in 2004-05

SWEET DREAMS
Conferences Listed By Total Teams In Sweet 16, 2000-2012
(Variations In Membership Included)

League  2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 2000-09
Big East 4 2 2 5 3 2 4 2 3 4 2 1 3 29
Big 12 2 1 2 3 2 2 1 2 3 3 4 1 2 23
ACC 2 3 1 2 1 1 2 3 3 2 2 2 2 20
Big 10 4 2 3 2 2 1 X 3 1 2 2 3 3 19
Pac-10 X 1 1 1 3 3 2 2 X 1 3 4 1 20
SEC 2 2 2 X 1 3 2 1 2 2 1 2 3 17
Other 2 5 5 3 4 4 5 3 4 2 2 3 2 29

Since 1990, By League:
57  Big East
55  ACC
47  Big 12
43 SEC
41  Big 10
38  Pac-10

2012:
Big East 4 Cincinnati, Louisville, Marquette, Syracuse
Big 10 4 Indiana, Michigan State, Ohio State, Wisconsin
ACC 2 North Carolina, N.C. State
Big 12 2 Baylor, Kansas
SEC 2 Florida, Kentucky
Pac-10 0
Others: 2 Ohio, Xavier
2011
ACC 3 Duke, Florida State, North Carolina
Big East 2 Connecticut**, Marquette
Big 10 2 Ohio State, Wisconsin
Big 12 1 Kansas
Pac-10 1 Arizona
SEC 2 Florida, Kentucky*
Others: 5 Butler*, BYU, Richmond, San Diego State, VCU*
2010:
ACC 1 Duke**
Big East 2 Syracuse, West Virginia*
Big 10 3 Michigan State*, Ohio State, Purdue
Big 12 2 Baylor, Kansas State
Pac-10 1 Washington
SEC 2 Kentucky, Tennessee
Others 5 Butler*, Cornell, Northern Iowa, St. Mary's, Xavier
* Reached Final Four.
** Won NCAA title.
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