Monday, January 17, 2005the ACC is only due four bids to the NCAA Tournament, I remind my readers that the conference is also guaranteed not a single trip to the Final Four. This post brought to you by the History Channel and John Feinstein's November column in the Washington Post.
In the winter of 1980, the Atlantic Coast Conference was loaded with talented basketball teams. Night after night the top six teams took turns beating each other and, as January became February, there was considerable concern that the ACC wouldn't get all the NCAA bids it thought it deserved. And so, the politicking began.
"The ACC is so strong," Duke star Gene Banks declared one day, "that if six teams get into the NCAAs, all of them will make the Final Four."
Okay, so Banks wasn't a math major. The ACC got five bids that year, and the sixth team -- Virginia -- won the National Invitation Tournament. It was, without question, the best league in the country that season. Banks, however, was just a little bit off in his calculations.
The ACC didn't send to the Final Four all five teams that got in, or even a more plausible four. Or three, two or one.
It sent none.