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They Won't Get Nine

Dave Sez linked to a bit of reporting by Al Featherstone the other day on the ACC's  bid to get nine teams in the NCAA, complete with numerous coaching quotes talking up the competitiveness of the conference.

Well, it's not going to happen. They'll most likely top out at six, with Georgia Tech (can't win on the road), Florida State (can't win down the stretch) and Clemson (can't win, period) playing like they are. But even if the Southern-fried portions of the conference do get their act together in the next week and a half, nine teams is a bit of a stretch. Card Chronicle goes into more detail in talking about the Big East, but the bottom line is nine teams open up the possiblity of a Sweet 16 in-conference meeting, and while that may happen someday, it will take an overwhelming show of strength from a conference to get the NCAA to risk it.

Although, nine of twelve teams is only 75%, and the league did manage six of eight four times after the league expanded to 64 - in 1986, 1987, 1989, and 1991. The conference won 5 of 6 first round games in three of those four years, too. Maybe they will get to slip a couple of extra teams in there...