Six of its teams are in the 2016 NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16, setting a record. It broke its own record a year ago when it put five of its teams in the Sweet 16.
Its conference’s record in the NCAA tournament since last season is 29-6, including a record 17 wins in last season’s tournament.
Oh, and its team is the defending national champions – and made a return trip to this year’s Sweet 16.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The last two regular seasons’ “best conference” title has gone to the Big 12 – which was well-deserved, by the way. After all, three of its teams have spent time in the top five in both the AP and Coaches’ polls (Kansas, West Virginia and Oklahoma). Kansas is the tournament’s overall top seed.
However, the Big 12 has faltered greatly in both last year’s and this year’s tournaments. Only three of its seven tournament teams are in this year’s Sweet 16.
Meanwhile, the ACC has defending champion Duke, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Virginia, Syracuse and Miami in the Sweet 16. UNC and Virginia are top seeds in their respective regions, and could possibly have a rematch in the Final Four.
Hell, if Louisville did not give itself a self-imposed postseason ban, we could very well be looking at seven teams in the Sweet 16.
And you know the haters have been out in full force last night and earlier today. The sad part was it came from the sports media, who should know better.
Here’s an example of the tomfoolery:
Six Sweet 16 teams for the ACC is a new record. ACC went 12-1 this weekend, though its teams did not beat anyone seeded seventh or better.
— Jeff Eisenberg (@JeffEisenberg) March 21, 2016
That would be Jeff Eisenberg from Yahoo! Sports.
Look, the ACC has had its surprises. And, yes, a few breaks gave gone its way. In 13 games thus far, the ACC has not faced a team seeded higher than No. 7.
But was it Syracuse’s fault that title favorite Michigan State got thoroughly out-played by Middle Tennessee State? Was it Notre Dame’s fault that Stephen F. Austin (that’s “SFA” to you, dammit!) curb-stomped West Virginia? Was it Duke’s fault that Baylor lost to Yale?
In the meantime, ESPN’s Eamonn Brennan wrote a piece praising the ACC. He even suggested getting a trademark for “ACCweet 16”.
He better jump on it before I do…