It’s been a strange ACC basketball season so far. Teams like Duke and North Carolina possess incredible high-end talent that hasn’t lived up to expectations, Clemson and Pitt have seemingly come out of nowhere, the wheels have fallen off Notre Dame and Florida State, and Louisville is Louisville. There’s plenty to dissect from our dear friend Mr. Pomeroy’s projections, from a Syracuse and conference perspective.
First of all, where the Orange sit in these projections says all too much about the state of the program and the lack of respect it is currently being given. Despite being an 8-seed, SU has the 10th best chance to win and a measly 0.7% chance to pull off a miracle run to the ACC title. Never say never, I guess? But in hindsight, this isn’t that surprising.
We’ve had the same conversation every year for the past nine years. Thanks to the Big East glory days, SU fans expect Jim Boeheim’s bunch to always be near the Dukes and North Carolinas of the world at the top of the pack. If the past few weeks have taught us anything, Syracuse is nowhere close to being in that class, and one Twitter user has been keen to remind people of that.
Yikes. The overarching theme here is that Syracuse is closer to noted college basketball powerhouses Boston College and Georgia Tech as opposed to the blue bloods. And Boeheim wonders why people are upset.
Looking at the conference as a whole, as brutal as it may be, one word describes the ACC this season. And that word is mid. Clemson, NC State, and Pittsburgh all overachieved this season yet still find themselves behind North Carolina and Duke. Both the Tar Heels and Blue Devils have talent out the wazoo, yet you would think otherwise given their performance in certain games. Mid.
Let’s end this by remembering what Boeheim rambled about in his Media Day presser. He went on and on about how the Big Ten “sucked” in the Tournament, and how because three ACC teams made fairly deep runs that made it the best league in the country. For his and the conference’s sake, he better hope we see a similar result this season. Heck, there have even been rumblings that the Mountain West as a whole is better than the ACC this season. Imagine thinking that about five years ago.
It’s going to be a fascinating week in Greensboro. It’s hard to predict what will happen to Syracuse as well as the entirety of the conference. But that’s why it’s the most wonderful time of the year.