ACC basketball not changing anytime soon
Mar 9, 2012
This isn't about how Syracuse and Pittsburgh have been denied access to the conference, it is a look at how two teams have been so dominating that it isn't going to change anytime soon. The stat that most ACC fans know off the top of their head is that Duke and North Carolina have combined for 14 of the last 15 ACC tournament titles, the only blemish was Gary Williams 2004 Maryland team. Dig a little deeper and you'll find that in 23 of the last 25 years that UNC or Duke have made the finals and 8 of those 25 years have seen those two teams play each other for the title.
Duke has made the Tourney Finals 16 times, UNC 15, the next closest to them in that span? NC State and Georgia Tech each with five appearances. And looking at the conference this year, those numbers aren't likely to change as long as the two men calling the shots at those schools stick around. Age is a factor when you talk about Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams sticking around, but all indications they have a lot of tread left on the tire. So why would anyone think that there will be new teams to usurp power from the top dogs?
Not to say that a team can't rise up and have a mini-run of success. NC State is bringing in a monster recruiting class, Leonard Hamilton has Florida State in a place where his program can compete with the powers and Syracuse and Pitt aren't going to be push overs once they finally gain admittance, and there have been others that have had a small run. Wake Forest in the Childress/Duncan era went back to back in the tournament, but that was 17 years ago.
The main culprit is the bottom of the conference has become so bad, there is no way that talent will beat the "Powers That Be" consistently in the next few years. Georgia Tech, Boston College and Wake Forest are years away from being competitive. that was the hallmark of the ACC, the 8 or 9 team would have been a top team in other conferences, not it is a story if they can score 60 points in a game. Carolina and Duke still land top talent, will land top talent and when Roy and Coach K hang it up, those jobs will be more desirable than any other job in college basketball. Not to say the programs are on autopilot, but they are cruising at a different altitude, the next men up just have to keep the schools on course because they are name brands.
The bottom line, when it comes to the next five to six years, there is no reason to think it will look any different than it does now. Even this year, Duke and Carolina have advanced to semi-final Saturday and more than likely one of them will be playing on Sunday, which as you now know, is nothing new.