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ACC Basketball Mid-Term Report

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Last season John Gasaway began tracking how conference teams performed against each other. If you not sure why that's important then read  this. The ACC doesn't play an evenly distributed schedule, so some teams have played seven games and some have played eight. FSU has played eight, this is a Seminoles site, and so this is the end of the first half of league play. For this round I added Pythagorean expectation which predicts the number of wins a team should have. The results so far are after the break:

The ACC through February 3rd – Pythag: see above - Pace: possessions per 40 minutes - PPP: points per possession - oPPP: opponent points per possession - EM: efficiency margin (PPP - oPPP) (For a primer on tempo-based stats read this)

 

W-L

Pythag

Pace

PPP

oPPP

EM

Duke

7-1

7-1

69.0

1.13

0.94

0.19

North Carolina

6-1

6-1

71.0

1.05

0.95

0.10

Virginia Tech

5-3

6-2

65.6

1.07

0.97

0.10

Clemson

4-4

6-2

64.6

1.06

0.98

0.08

Florida St

6-2

6-2

68.3

0.98

0.91

0.07

Georgia Tech

3-5

5-3

69.4

0.99

0.96

0.03

Maryland

4-4

5-3

68.9

1.00

0.98

0.02

Miami

2-6

3-5

63.8

1.04

1.09

-0.05

Boston College

4-4

2-6

65.9

1.09

1.16

-0.07

Virgnia

3-5

2-6

61.3

0.96

1.05

-0.09

NC State

2-6

2-6

67.8

1.03

1.13

-0.10

Wake Forest

1-6

0-7

70.3

0.86

1.16

-0.30

 

Duke: Duke is outscoring conference opponents at nearly twice the rate of the next best team. Barring a collapse (or another team’s unexpected ascension – see UNC) they’ll be the #1 seed in the ACC tourney.

North Carolina: After a sluggish start capped off by an embarrassing loss to Georgia Tech, the Heels have suddenly caught fire, with an EM of .22 over their past four games. Losing Larry Drew to transfer (took his ball and went home) will hurt, but if they can maintain a similar pace the rest of the way they’ll likely be playing their season finale (vs Duke) for the top seed.

Virginia Tech: I pointed out last time that VT’s slow start was due to poor luck. They’re still playing well, but will need some luck the other way to get their record back to where it should be.

Clemson: The unluckiest team in the conference, with two 1-possession losses on the road, as well as a 6 pt loss. They’re likely headed for a 10-6 record.

Florida State: After skating through the first quarter FSU has picked up the pace and now deserves their record. This is solely due to playing not only the best defense in the conference, but the best defense in the country relative to conference opponents.

Georgia Tech: You could say they’re unlucky, you could say they’re schizophrenic, and either way you might be right. I say they’re coached by Paul Hewitt.

Maryland: Average offense and average defense makes you an average team, regardless of how much your head coach screams at the referees.

Miami: The top seven teams in efficiency margin all play at least average D. The bottom five do not. Miami may be slightly better than their record indicates, but they’re earning their losses by forgetting to play defense.

Boston College: Considering their defense is matched by Wake Forest they’re lucky to be 4-4 in conference. A great offense is being squandered by a miserable defense, and they won’t finish .500 in conference without something changing.

Virginia: When the Hoos hired Tony Bennett they weren’t looking for slow, ugly and bad, but that’s what they’ve got. Luckily he’s a better coach than that and as he gets more of his own guys they should improve, at least on the ugly and bad parts.

NC State: By all accounts Sydney Lowe is a stand up guy. I’m sure he’ll make a great assistant somewhere.

Wake Forest: They may have escaped the "worst ACC team ever" label by beating Virginia, but of all the Big-6 and mid-major schools they’re being outscored at an unmatched pace. 2-14 would be considered a success at this point.