Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Duke gives ACC a lift

Karl Hicks, the ACC's associate commissioner in charge of men's basketball, was smiling Sunday night shortly before he left Reliant Stadium in Houston.

"We're still dancing," Hicks said after Duke defeated Baylor 78-71 to get to the Final Four.

The Blue Devils' deep run has improved the ACC's record to 7-5 in the NCAA tournament. Aside from Duke, the ACC didn't fare well in the tournament.

Maryland, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest each won one game, but the Blue Devils were the only one of the ACC's six teams to survive the second round. But getting a team into the Final Four gives the ACC some credibility and helps make the ACC's record similar to those of some other power conferences.

The Big 12 (8-6), Southeastern Conference (6-4) and Big East (8-7) all have records that are just barely over .500 in this tournament where upsets by mid-major teams seemed to be the norm.

That means the Big Ten, which is 10-4 with Michigan State in the Final Four, has been the big winner thus far. But there's more out there for the ACC to accomplish.

Duke, the only No. 1 regional seed remaining in the tournament, has a chance to win an NCAA title and give the ACC back-to-back titles by different teams after North Carolina won in 2009. That also would give the ACC half of the NCAA titles from 2001 to 2010, with two apiece by Duke and the Tar Heels, and one for Maryland.

There's no doubt that the ACC overall in the NCAA tournament in recent years. But there are a lot of conferences that would be proud of five titles in 10 years, and rightly so.

Ken Tysiac


aka David said...

What was the complete next to last sentence?