One of the refreshing things about this college basketball season is that the traditional powers are having down years. Kentucky stinks. Duke is just okay. Kansas, North Carolina, and Michigan State aren’t what they typically are. The top-10 features Gonzaga, Baylor, some Big 10 schools, and newcomers Bama and Houston, which is cool to see.
What’s not cool to see is Josh Pastner saying this:
Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner: "Really 11 teams from the ACC tournament should be in the NCAA tournament every year. This is the best league in the country."
— Mike Barber (@RTD_MikeBarber) February 22, 2021
Georgia Tech head coach Josh Pastner: “This league [the ACC] is so good. There should be 10 to 11 teams in the NCAA Tournament every year, minimum nine. It’s the best basketball league in America.”
— David Cunningham (@therealdcunna) February 22, 2021
We must be approaching March. Here comes a Power Five coach to talk about how good his conference is.
For starters, the ACC is not the best league in the country. Not even close. The Big 10 is better this season. I’d take Michigan, Ohio State, and Illinois over UVA, Florida State, and Virginia Tech, which are the top-three ACC schools. Iowa would probably also beat those schools.
The Atlantic Coast, beyond those three teams I mentioned, features the following powerhouses:
- 14-7 UNC
- 11-5 Louisville
- 13-5 Clemson
- 13-6 Syracuse
- 10-8 Duke
- 11-8 Georgia Tech
- 10-9 NC State
- 9-11 Notre Dame
- 9-9 Pitt
- 6-11 Wake Forest
- 7-13 Miami
- 3-13 Boston College
Going by Pastner’s suggestion, we’d be bringing Notre Dame and NC State to the big dance. Notre Dame played a tough schedule, but has a grand total of zero quality wins on their resume. NC State lost by double digits to St. Louis. These are very average, middle-of-the-pack ACC teams.
Maybe you feel different, but I don’t think any one conference should have more than 7-8 teams in the dance. 11-8 Georgia Tech may beat your typical mid-major team, but the Yellowjackets ain’t winning the tournament, and therefore we don’t need 10 ACC teams to displace smaller, more interesting teams. Same thing with the rest of the Power Five conferences. Over the years, the cream typically rises to the top, but the early round parity has come a long way in March Madness, which is what makes things interesting and entertaining. The gap is not what it used to be.
Pastner should apologize for this ridiculous opinion, and if he doesn’t, he’s cancelled.