Despite the pain of losing Eric Lockett, Sacha Killeya-Jones, and Greg Fishel in the same day, we still have the joy of beating Syracuse and getting more on the right side of the NCAA Tournament bubble. In most years, a team would feel pretty bad about having an RPI of 106 and their signature win being a 5-6 SEC team. But this year we have the NET, which just kicked us up to 31 after the Syracuse win. KenPom has us at 39. It also helps that the Big East seems determined to send only three teams to the big dance. The Pac-12 might send just one. We’re three home wins away from 9-9 or better in the ACC and none of the remaining home opponents are top-100 teams. Joe Lunardi has a 3-9 Big 12 team as the last team in and a 4-9 Big Ten team as the first team out.
So whatever happens in Durham, let’s take care of business at home, okay? If we can pull that off, Kevin Keatts would be one of the few coaches to make the tournament in both his first two years. Chris Holtmann (Ohio State) and LaVall Jordan (Butler) may get there too. You can also be impressed with how Will Wade (LSU) and Mike Hopkins (Washington) are doing in year two. Was anybody else hired in 2017 that’s worth mentioning? I can’t remember.
Anyway, here is how all ACC teams are doing in the NET versus four key stats:
1. Efficiency (your points per possession minus your opponents’ points per possession)
2. Adjusted Winning Percentage
3. Opponents’ Winning Percentage
4. Opponents’ Opponents’ Winning Percentage
We’re sandwiched between Clemson and Florida State in most stats. The notable exception is the Opponents’ Winning Percentage, which is 50% of the RPI formula. That will get slightly better. Even Boston College is an improvement when your power non-conference opponents are teams like Penn State and Vanderbilt.