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ACC Gets Record Six Teams Into The Sweet Sixteen

Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

And just think. Louisville self-imposed a postseason ban or it could very well be seven of the NCAA Tournament's 16 teams left.

UNC, Virginia, Miami, Notre Dame, Duke and Syracuse all moved into the regional semifinals with wins this weekend. That beats the previous record of five which was held by the ACC in 2015 and the Big East in 2009. Pitt was the only casualty giving the ACC a 12-1 mark after two rounds of the NCAA Tournament.

Now Twitter being what it is means there is a contingent attempting to throw shade the ACC's success by pointing out those teams reached the Sweet Sixteen. This argument misses critical context.  For one, UNC, Virginia, Miami, Duke and Notre Dame all played double digit seeds in the first round because their regular season success earned them that right. It is true Duke, Miami, Syracuse and Notre Dame drew #12, #11, #15 and #14 seeds in the second round but those teams beat #5 Baylor, #6 Arizona, #2 Michigan State and #3 West Virginia to advance. In that respect the ACC did what teams in other conferences couldn't do: Win games they were supposed to win.

Another reason the seed argument is dumb lies in the fact we all kept hearing how awesome these lower seeded teams were until they lost then the number beside the school name suddenly matters again. Stephen F. Austin which beat West Virginia and lost to Notre Dame was #24 in KenPom. Wichita State was a trendy pick by some while others were pretty high on Yale. Middle Tennessee beat a national title co-favorite in impressive fashion so acting as though that wasn't a good win for Syracuse is a little silly.

You might be asking whether we should really invest this much into conference fandom and doesn't that make us too much like SEC fans? Point taken except we generally hope the rest of the league(except Duke) does well because it further validates what UNC did this season. Or as I put it on Twitter.