Schwedelson: In the ACC, anything goes and no one knows

September 16, 2020 by admin

first_imgAll it took was a week for the Atlantic Coast Conference to be flipped upside down.Boston College beat Syracuse, which beat Miami, which beat North Carolina State, which beat Virginia Tech, which beat Duke, which beat Georgia Tech, which beat North Carolina, which beat Clemson, which beat Wake Forest, which beat Boston College.Deep breath.The ACC wheel of confusion continues to spin two weeks into conference play and it has no sign of stopping. Boston College, projected as the worst team in the league, is 2-2. Duke, Virginia and Louisville, projected as top contenders, have an identical 2-2 conference record. The only teams unbeaten in ACC play are Florida State and Notre Dame, which weren’t even ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 until the third and fifth week of the season, respectively.The more one tries to make sense of the ACC, the less sense the league makes. It presents Syracuse (10-7, 2-2 ACC) with a chance and a challenge — depending on how you look at it — because in the ACC this year, anything goes. And with 14 regular season conference games left, there’s no telling where the Orange will land in March.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textAfter the Orange lost six of its first 14 games of the year, SU beat Miami and Pittsburgh back-to-back. All of a sudden, Syracuse catapulted into the middle of the conference’s pack. Word spread throughout the ACC, leaving some with only one explanation. Published on January 13, 2017 at 2:20 pm The result is a hodge podge of speculation and guessing where Syracuse will slot in at the end of the year. No one can predict the future, especially in this league. But it’s more than likely the Orange ends up somewhere in the middle, since, you know, that’s where every team in the ACC will be.“I just think it’s incredibly hard to win a game in this league,” Virginia Tech head coach Buzz Williams said. “… And I think it’s just going to stay clumped together because it’s so hard to win a game.”What’s in store for Syracuse remains to be seen. In the last 14 games, there will likely be lots of wins and lots of losses. The roller-coaster ride is sure to continue. And in a league where no one knows, you best just buckle up.Paul Schwedelson is a senior staff writer at The Daily Orange, where his column appears occasionally. He can be reached at pmschwed@syr.edu or @pschweds. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Entering Thursday, the ACC had 11 teams in the top 50 in Ratings Percentage Index, also known as RPI. It’s a ranking system used by the NCAA Tournament selection committee. The Big Ten had seven teams and the Southeastern Conference had six teams, just more than half the number of the ACC.“(The ACC) was one of the places I wanted to be,” said Syracuse’s Andrew White, who transferred this offseason from the Big Ten’s Nebraska, “just because you face the best programs, the best players and the best coaches in the country and that’s where you want to step your game up.”There’s no denying that the ACC is the best conference in college basketball. How that affects the Orange can be interpreted in different ways.SU is currently on the outside looking in based on most NCAA Tournament projections. But with seven games remaining against AP Top 25 teams, the Orange has more than enough opportunities to play its way back into contention.“Fortunately there’s a lot of tough games in this league,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said, “that you can get a chance to win if you play well.”The problem for SU, though, is that as all the ACC teams beat up on each other, the top teams in the league aren’t as highly regarded as they once were. At the start of the season, four ACC teams resided in the top 13 in the AP Poll, including two in the top six. Now, there isn’t a single ACC team in the top six. There are six ranked teams, one more than at the start of the year, but if top dogs keep losing, the quality of a win against a team like Duke, Virginia or North Carolina isn’t the same. Those top teams may still be good enough to beat Syracuse and the teams that are beating them are better than once thought.According to CBS Sports, nine ACC teams are projected to get into the Tournament. ESPN’s projection has 10. Neither include Syracuse. With a late-season surge from the Orange and others, the ACC could match the Big East’s record 11 Tournament teams in 2011. But that would mean SU has to rack up quality wins and in the topsy-turvy ACC it’s hard to distinguish which opponents actually make for those.last_img

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