When North Carolina fell to Kansas in the Midwest Regional final, that assured a second straight season in which the ACC failed to send at least one men's team to the NCAA Final Four. Even worse, it marked the fourth time in seven years the league was excluded from the game's biggest stage.
For the longest time the ACC was as much a feature of the Final Four weekend as CBS television. From 1981 through 2005, a period of a quarter-century, only four years went by (1985, 1987, 1996, and 2003) without an ACC representative in the national semifinals.
The conference's Final Four prominence stretches back even farther. Over the 36 years from 1975 -- when multiple entrants from the same league were first admitted to the NCAA tournament -- through 2010, the ACC had 31 teams advance to a Final Four.
Ten of those squads came away with national championships - Duke in 1991, 1992, 2001, and 2010; Maryland in 2002; North Carolina in 1982, 1993, 2005, and 2009; and N.C. State in 1983.
Like much else regarding ACC basketball, that prowess currently is at low ebb. But if there is a tide in the affairs of men, as some famous sportswriter once offered, then we can anticipate a rebound sooner or later.
Maybe when Pitt and Syracuse join the league.
ACC Final Four Teams Since NCAA Field Expanded In 1975
|2004||Duke, Georgia Tech$|
|1991||Duke*, North Carolina|
|1990||Duke$, Georgia Tech|
|1981||North Carolina$, Virginia|
* Won NCAA title.
Duke Basketball Blue Book
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