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Hitting the Skids

ACC teams that were really, truly awful - and a lot very recently

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Under Armour Reunion
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 12: Jerome Robinson #1 of the Boston College Eagles drives to the basket against Danjel Purifoy #3 of the Auburn Tigers in the first half of the Under Armour Reunion at Madison Square Garden on December 12, 2016 in New York City.
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Things are looking up for Boston College. A little bit. Maybe.

Against Auburn of the SEC on Dec. 12, the Eagles won on a last-second put-back by big man Nic Popovic. That improved BC’s record to 5-5 in the nonconference portion of its schedule.

The Eagles followed with a win over mighty Sacred Heart, 82-75, led by 32 points from guard Jerome Robinson. Boston College now has two outings remaining before embarking on ACC competition. It plays Fairfield in Connecticut on Wednesday, then returns home to take on Providence, a former partner in the Big East. The Friars won by 15 in an early December game in 2015-16.

Coming home is less comforting for BC than for many teams. After its loss to Hartford -- that school’s first victory ever against an ACC opponent -- the Boston Globe’s Jonathan Wiggs wrote that “with just 2,274 fans in the stands, Conte Forum felt as lifeless as the team they were watching.” Another writer described the home crowd at an earlier game as “dismal”.

The Eagles average about 2,700 fans per contest, 2,000 behind Georgia Tech, the next-puniest draw in the ACC. Conti seats 8,606.

Last season’s defeat by Providence was one of 25 suffered by Jim Christian’s second BC club. The Eagles entered league play with a 7-6 record, then got shut out, losing all 18 regular-season ACC contests and an ACC Tournament matchup with Florida State.

The final 7-25 record constituted the most losses ever by an ACC squad, matching the 0-18 league mark as the worst ever.

Strikingly, and almost without notice, five of the last six seasons, and the last three in a row, an ACC team suffered at least 22 defeats. Considering there have only been 16 squads that lost 20-plus games in conference history; that only seven teams dropped 22 or more; and that there’s been no previous, concentrated series of flops that match the last six years, this is worthy of further discussion.

Most Overall Losses By An ACC Team, Single Season
W-L School Year In ACC Avg Pt. Diff
7-25 Boston College 2016 0-18 -9.3
8-24 Wake Forest 2011 1-15 -10.0
4-23 Georgia Tech 1981 0-14 -15.8
3-23 Virginia 1961 2-12 -15.3
11-22 Virginia Tech 2015 2-16 -4.1
9-22 Virginia Tech 2014 2-16 -4.1
9-22 Boston College 2012 4-12 -9.4

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