It's the Monday after the first round of the NCAA tournament and the ACC is almost completely out of 'meaningful' post-season play. If it wasn't for the fact that UNC has won it's first two games in the tournament by an average of 35 it might have appeared as though ACC teams were not participating this year. In fact, what happened is that the lack of size (Duke), free throw shooting (Clemson), and talent (Miami) prevented each of these teams from getting to the Sweet 16. The true bench mark of College Basketball. Reaching the Sweet 16 allows every coach and player to take a sigh of relief. If you play in a BCS conference (ACC, Big Ten, Big East, SEC, Big 12, Pac-10) and you reach the Sweet 16 you can exhale. For the most part, your fans are just appreciative and will cheer their mouths off for you come Thursday or Friday. All you have to do is relax and play. The coaches for these teams are also at ease. They no longer have to consider their future with the program, or they're support from the staff (if this were in question0. In some cases, they might even receive a contract extension. It's a win win. Yes, these teams are expected to do whatever it takes to reach the final four but unless they go in to the tournament as a 1 seed they are excused if they fall short. Reaching this level is also a huge deal for non-BCS conference teams (everyone else), but for different reasons. These coaches will undoubtedly get interviews for open positions at BCS conference schools, and he might take one of those opportunities, so whatever success that school will have needs to happen now. Who knows if the next coach will be as successful. Also, these schools usually have a ton of upperclassman. This almost ensures that for many their Sweet 16 appearance will be their last opportunity to play big time college basketball, or any type of basketball viewed by more than (10,000 + people). Under the given circumstances usually the more talented BCS conference teams prevail. A lot of this has to do with their superior talent but the extraneous factors will more than likely play a roll in decided the victor. Who would you take your chances on? The confident big conference team with future NBA'ers and program stability or the poised small conference team with experienced players and a coach at the cusp of taking their career to a new level?....It's question posed every march and this year is no different.
ACC's road to the Final Four
Next up for the Tar Heels.....
#4 Washington State on Thursday.
followed by (with a Win) the winner between
#3 Louisville and #2 Tennessee
ACC Ballers Dunk of the Week....
North Carolina's Sophomore forward Deon Thompson throwin' down off the feed from Danny Green.