Since we’ve pretty much reached the halfway point of the regular season, and conference play is beginning across the land this week, we thought it would be worthwhile to take a moment to briefly check in on the six BCS conferences to see how its roundball citizens were doing this year.
Let’s start with the venerable ACC (who has had a great non-conference slate):
F4 Caliber. Really only North Carolina, and they may end up cutting the nets down this year if Wayne Ellington can have a masterful March from the perimeter. Duke is what it is – they’ll win 10-12 ACC games buoyed by the CIS advantage, and get a #2-#4 seed in March. But they are completely withouth any inside presence (esp. now that Zoubek is injured again), and that won’t play very well in March. The rest of the league are pretenders when it comes to the F4.
Most Likely to Collapse. Is there really any question? Clemson. Their recent history of monumentally epic nosedives, plus their heartbreaking loss against UNC on Sunday night, may conspire to psychologically destroy a fairly talented team. We’ll see. Their RPI is good at this point, so even a 7-9 ACC record could get them in.
Most Likely to Rise. Wake Forest. Largely because we don’t know what to expect from this excruciatingly young team. The moxie shown in Wake’s December comeback ACC win against Virginia Tech, in addition to last night’s dismantling of a solid BYU team, shows that this team has some promise. We predict an NIT finish, but maybe Dino Gaudio’s team is this year’s Virginia?
Who Else? Miami (FL), NC State and Virginia are all conundrums. Miami has looked the best so far, but none of these three have looked great. Yet all have enough talent to make a run to the NCAAs this year. If we were betting we’d say Virginia > Miami (FL) > NC State, but we really have no clue.
Biggest Disappointment. Maryland, Maryland, Maryland. This team has played uninspired ball all season long, and should really be a borderline NCAA team with the talent they have on the floor. Vasquez, Gist and Osby alone should have this team doing better than losing to the likes of American and Ohio at home. Get it together, Gary.