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2018 NCAA Tournament: ACC On The Decline?

In some ways yes.

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Duke v Kansas
OMAHA, NE - MARCH 25: Marvin Bagley III #35 of the Duke Blue Devils tips off against Udoka Azubuike #35 of the Kansas Jayhawks to start overtime in the 2018 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament Midwest Regional at CenturyLink Center on March 25, 2018 in Omaha, Nebraska.
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

When the ACC missed placing a team in the 2018 Final Four the result was regarded by neutral observers and league adherents as unfortunate, but no big deal. Well, maybe the misfire was more significant than is generally recognized.

Sure, this is the first time in four years the league failed to place a team in the Final Four. By that most recent measure the shutout could be construed as little more than a stumble in a continued march at the forefront of the game.

On the other hand 2018 marks the fifth time in eight seasons there was no ACC representative in the Final Four,

Go back a little farther, and that was balanced by ACC teams winning four NCAA titles and sending six teams to the Final Four over the past decade.

Still, that production was a notable dropoff compared with the previous 18 years, when the ACC had 22 Final Four representatives.

Since 1990 the ACC produced 25 Final Four entrants, 125 percent of the output of the Big 10 and the combination of Duke and Carolina. But an argument can be made that the ACC has declined in Final Four prowess since it began adding Big East teams in 2005.

From 1990 through 2004 the nine-team league sent 17 squads to the Final Four in 15 years, a 113 percent success rate. From 2005 through 2018, a 14-year span, the league -- which grew to 11, then 12, then 15 teams -- sent eight squads to the Final Four in 14 seasons. That’s a 57.1 percent success rate, handsome but almost exactly half as good as that earlier period.

Just saying.

FOUR-WARD
Final Four Entrants Since 1990
(2018 Participants in Bold)
No. School Members Or Years
25 ACC North Carolina (11), Duke (9), Georgia Tech (2), Maryland (2), Syracuse
20 Duke/UNC 1990, 1991 (2), 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2016, 2017
20 Big 10 Michigan State (6), Michigan (4), Ohio State (3), Wisconsin (3),Indiana (2), Illinois, Minnesota
17 SEC Kentucky (7), Florida (5), Arkansas (2), LSU, Miss State, So Carolina
13 Big East Connecticut (5), Syracuse (3), Villanova (3), Georgetown, West Virginia
11 UNC 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2016, 2017
11 Big 12 Kansas (6), Oklahoma State (2), Oklahoma (2), Texas
9 Duke 1990, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2010, 2015
9 Pac-12 UCLA (4), Arizona (3), Stanford, Oregon
8 Kentucky 1993, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015
6 Michigan St. 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2010, 2015
7 Kansas 1991, 1993, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2012
5 Florida 1994, 2000, 2006, 2007, 2014
4 UCLA 1995, 2006, 2007, 2008
3 11th Seeds Loyola (2018), VCU (2011), George Mason (2006)

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