Wednesday, March 10, 2010

basketball roundtable: tournament edition

In honor of the upcoming ACC tournament, Clark at the very descriptively named ACC & SEC Blog put together a little roundtable. You know the format by now - compilation will occur at the aforementioned site either late this week or early next.

1. The national perception is that the ACC is down this year. Duke has been in the top 10 all year, but no one else has come close. Does the conference deserve this reputation? Why or Why not?

Yup. And it's not just because UNC isn't one of the top teams. Obviously it's a down year when the ACC loses the Challenge for the first time in history, for starters, but there also just isn't that lineup of dominant players the league usually has. Normally you're happy to take anyone with an ACC tourney bye and pit them against all but the best of the best in any league, but that's not doable this year. VT is a flawed team and probably no more than an 8 or 9 seed in the tournament if they go, and they have an ACC tourney bye. Says something.

2. Does Duke have what it takes to make a run to a National Championship? Why or Why not?

I don't think Duke is the best team in the country, but they're definitely good enough to get to the Final Four and hang with the top dogs, and once there, you can't ever count out Coach K.

3. We know Duke and Maryland are in, but who else gets in from the ACC? Will we see any surprises on Selection Sunday?

FSU is in, and probably two of the three following: Wake, Clemson, VT. Clemson is in the weakest position because they never beat either VT or Wake, and their one really shiny spot on the resume is a narrow escape over Butler at home, which may not help. I think a first-round upset loss to NC State would bounce them, and they may also need to beat FSU after that. The winner of Wake-VT guarantees themselves a spot; the loser will be anxiously watching the selection show. It's helped that so far there haven't been any mid-majors stealing a spot they shouldn't have (Wright State, for example) so there's room on the bubble. I think ultimately it's a five-bid year for the ACC.

4. What is the biggest surprise of the season (good or bad)?

I definitely did not see Maryland sitting atop the ACC standings tied with Duke.

5. A couple of teams have had disappointing seasons. Whose seat is the hottest?

There's no other answer here but Paul Hewitt. A couple coaches might be looking over their shoulders (BC's Al Skinner, NC State's Sidney Lowe) but Hewitt has consistently proven himself to be the one coach in the ACC able to squeeze NIT seasons out of NCAA talent.

6. Who is your player and coach of the year? Why?

Can't argue with the selection of Greaseball Greivis as the ACC POY. He's too much of a complete player not to get it, and there's nobody else in the ACC that can make that claim, Malcolm Delaney's immature bellyaching notwithstanding.

And as much as I hate to give the Twerps a sweep of these awards, Gary Williams has to be the COY. We're long past the point where you're allowed to give it to Kryz....uh, Coach K, although if you ever do anymore, it might as well be now. But Maryland is the team that outpaced expectations the most.

No comments: