A lot of analysts - and bloggers/average Joes such as myself - had been contending that the ACC was the best conference in basketball. At the very least, they seriously challenged the Big East - a conference with 8 more teams - for conference dominance. And of course, the numbers were in the ACC's favor: they were the #1 conference in terms of RPI. So of course it was a strong showing in the first round of the NCAA tournament, right?
Not so much.
Now the bad news. Those are the only teams that moved on. The ACC had 7 teams in the tournament. Clemson lost in the final seconds to Michigan. Wake Forest, a team with arguably top 5 (at least top 10) talent, was beaten by Cleveland State. Boston College lost by 17 to Southern Cal. Florida State lost in overtime to Wisconsin. Even worse, all of these games were upsets - Clemson, Wake, Boston College, and FSU were all higher seeds than the team they lost to. Not a great start.
So, the ACC went 3-4 in the first round. That number is useless unless compared to other conferences. So, here you go:
Big East: 6-1
Big Televen: 4-3
Big 12: 6-0
Well, at least we're better than the SEC.
What we learn by this? Nothing much. In a head to head, if the ACC's 7 went against the Big East's 7, I'm taking the ACC's (that's actually been proven). But against the Big 12's? Or the Pac-10's? Those matchups won't happen. This is as close as we'll ever get. And the results aren't encouraging. This is certainly a far call from the #1 RPI conference that the ACC was.
Of course, this could change. This was one round. Who knows? Maryland could beat Memphis, Missouri, and UConn while Duke and UNC win their brackets. Then the ACC would look pretty great. But what we have now isn't the best knowledge. Again, there's no real meaning to this, other than I found it interesting that one of the best conferences had one of the worst showings.