The NCAA began seeding the field in its tournament in 1979. The following year the old Big East was founded, and Georgia Tech joined the ACC fold. Since then the ACC certainly has enjoyed more ups than downs in postseason play.
The current tournament begins as an up, with one in 10 spots in the field occupied by ACC members Duke, Florida State, Louisville, UNC, Syracuse, Virginia and Virginia Tech. Inclusion of every squad with a winning mark in conference play is impressive, as well as further confirmation of the limits of relying the league’s overall strength to lift squads with breakeven records (Clemson, NC State).
This year’s seven entrants comprise nearly half of the league’s membership (46.7 percent).
The ACC reached the 75 percent level in 1986, 1987, 1989 and 1991 when it had eight teams. In three of those years, Duke made the Final Four (not ’87).
The league dipped below 55.6 percent of its members in the NCAAs only once between 1980 and 1998 – 1995, when four teams tied for first at 12-4 during the regular season (Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and Wake Forest) and no one else got in.
Many ACC teams are habitually seeded among the top four in their regions. That subtle sign of respect previously peaked in ’99 when the trio who did get invited were seeded No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3.
In keeping perhaps with the effects of climate change, that highwater mark was exceeded this season. As we’re well aware, Duke, UNC and UVa are all No. 1s, a first for the conference. Florida State and Virginia Tech are fourth seeds, giving the ACC as many teams seeded so high as it’s ever had.
ACC Teams In NCAA Tournament, Year By
Year Since Seeding The Field Began
|Year||In||Total||% In||Top Four
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