July 19, 2004

The best part of the year is creeping closer.: Andy Katz lists his 50 best teams for the upcoming college basketball season. Could be a banner year for the (new, watered down) ACC, with 3 of the top 4, 4 of the top 10, and 5 in the top 15.

posted by tieguy to basketball at 02:00 PM - 15 comments

Well, shit. Everyone from the old, concentrated, ACC is on that list except for Clemson. Eight ACC teams in the NCAAs? Bwah?

posted by LionIndex at 03:51 PM on July 19, 2004

Well, no, that's 50 best teams... given the number of at large bids, only the 40-ish best teams make it into the tourney, often less.

posted by tieguy at 04:19 PM on July 19, 2004

I can't wait til somebody gripes about the unbalanced schedule. So which team gets to duck Wake and UNC the second time around?

posted by mbd1 at 04:37 PM on July 19, 2004

I've been griping about the unbalanced schedule for months. Do I count? :) I mean, hell, I grew up wearing miami orange and green (and still have a pair of boxers in that color around somewhere) and I still think the whole thing sucks.

posted by tieguy at 04:38 PM on July 19, 2004

I'm just a UVa homer--they're the last ACC team on the list. But they're still #36, thus making the top 40!

posted by LionIndex at 04:42 PM on July 19, 2004

I predict this will be a banner year for Arizona. They have one of--if not the--hardest schedules in the country to prepare them for tournament time, some senior leadership, two world championships team members, and the memory of last year's fiasco to fuel them. LINK

posted by rushmc at 10:02 AM on July 20, 2004

Yeah, I think it sucks too, but maybe I should have written "I can't wait til somebody terps about the unbalanced schedule."

posted by mbd1 at 11:32 AM on July 20, 2004

I'm looking forward to seeing what Syracuse does this year. They were such a young team when they won the national championship in '02. Carmello and McNamera were freshmen and Warrick was a sophomore. It's painful to think that they probably could have repeated last year, and been heavy favorites again this year, if 'mello hadn't gone pro...

posted by crank at 09:08 PM on July 20, 2004

You can't really play that kind of 'what if' game anymore, though... well, I mean, you can, but... would 'melo in 2003 have beaten Boozer, J-Will, and Dunleavy in their senior season? Would Duke have lost a single game in 2000 or 2001 if Maggette and Brand had played alongside J-Will, Dunleavy, Battier, and Boozer? Ugh. Now I'm making myself bitter :) On a more positive note for Syracuse fans :), the Big East may in the long run become a better basketball conference than the ACC, if the pressures to become a 12-team football conference don't wreck things. it gained a lot more than it lost in the recent shenanigans.

posted by tieguy at 09:24 PM on July 20, 2004

Oh well I was really just thinking about Syracuse, not considering that other teams would be better if they kept their players around longer too. I guess that's the way the game is going though... Looks like the days of the sure-bet-top-10-draft-pick senior leading his team to the title are pretty much over. Emeka Okafor was probably as close as we'll come, and he was only a junior (but he did actually graduate). He looked old beyond his years in a few games with that bad back of his...

posted by crank at 10:01 PM on July 20, 2004

the Big East may in the long run become a better basketball conference than the ACC I second that... if you look at it as a trade, in basketball strength, Cincinatti and Louisville bring a lot more to the table than VT and Miami. I still think BC is crazy to go to the ACC but I guess they need the money.

posted by YukonGold at 09:03 AM on July 21, 2004

From a pure financial perspective, being in the best basketball conference is not as attractive as being in the best football conference. Which is why the ACC just ditched the title as the former to become the latter. So BC's move is fairly understandable. Why the ACC took BC instead of a school with real rivalries and geographic ties is harder to understand- it's not like ACC basketball or football is ever going to be anything higher than the fifth most popular sport in Boston, whereas in florida and north carolina the ACC is now the #1 sports franchise. (I still think they should have made a hard play for UF, or maybe tolerated ECU's weakness.)

posted by tieguy at 11:35 AM on July 21, 2004

It all comes down to Billy Edelin for Syracuse. When that guy's on the court, they win.

posted by filthyboy at 11:43 AM on July 21, 2004

I think it should have been Temple instead of BC. 1. It's a decent basketball program and 2. An almost guaranteed football win for Duke every year (to silence their objections).

posted by trox at 12:17 PM on July 21, 2004

haha. In my most humble opinion, Duke's objection was not because football is going to get even more crushed than they currently are being crushed, but rather mostly because Duke's basketball is a key part of the university's marketing, self-image, and alumni relations, and so anything that weakens basketball (which this will) is anathema. Duke would happily stop fielding a football team altogether, or just forfeit all games, if that meant that the ACC could continue to be the #1 basketball conference.

posted by tieguy at 12:41 PM on July 21, 2004

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