The ACC, as a conference, has been down and out for the last decade and if it wasn’t for Duke and North Carolina, the Atlantic Coast could easily be the WAC of the East Coast. Although the WAC is competitive, their level of competition isn’t at an elite level; as their conference continuously ranks in the mid-teens each season for the past five years. When it came to college basketball, the ACC and the Big East were known as the best two conferences in the nation for years (due to the production of better round ball talent along the East Coast, preferably from New York down to the Carolinas). However, the Big East is dominates the recruiting battle for superior talent along the coast, especially from the DMV (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) area, which places them over the ACC and among the top of all the other conferences in the country. For a major conference with a historically great tradition to be ruled by two programs, or better yet, being carried by two programs in Duke and North Carolina, it’s unacceptable. And for the committee of the ACC to sit back and collect the funds from two institutions’ performances during tournament play, and believe everything is merry, is embarrassing. The ACC expanded their nine-team conference in 2004 when they added Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College, but they need to make something happen again, in which George Mason should be the headliner.
Compared to the Big East in wins and losses from outside their conferences play (before the NCAA Tournament) the ACC totaled 137 wins, while the Big East finished with 182. The 45 additional wins from the Big East is due to the four additional programs they have over the ACC, but to lose more games than the Big East (ACC loss 62 and the Big East loss 60) is baffling.
Mason, who finished with a 27-7 record (16-2 in the Colonial Athletic Conference), has a RPI (Rating Percentage Index, a system which is used to rank collegiate programs based on upon their wins, losses and strength of schedule) ranking 19th in the nation which makes them a major player and most importantly, they recruit well, especially from the DMV area.
The main reason why Mason probably won’t be welcomed by the ACC is because the institution does not have a football program, as all their current teams do. If that’s a concern of Mason not having a football program, George Washington(a member of the Atlantic-10) could be added because they don’t have a football program. The ACC could include two other institutions to their liking and if the Big East can have programs without football (St. Johns, Marquette, DePaul, Providence, and Seton Hall) or have football programs on a different subdivision (Georgetownand Villanova), then the ACC should allow it as well.
Whether or not if the ACC add new programs or their programs make some improvements, the conference can’t allow the Blue Devils and Tar Heels carry them. It’s embarrassing to have only two programs managing a major conference in college basketball for such a juggernaut that the ACC once was.
The Big East made changes to compete against the ACC in basketball, and now they surpass them. And if Mason isn’t the answer (as the Colonial Athletic earned two at-large bids for the 2011 NCAA Tournament), the ACC needs to come up with an answer. Having four out of the 12-teams from the ACC for the 2011 NCAA Tournament is totally unacceptable for their standards.
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