An All-ACC Final Four Isn’t So Far-Fetched

AP Photo
The Associated Press

Going straight Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) meant good things for your bracket.

The conference boasts a 12-1 record in the tournament. Duke, Virginia, Syracuse, North Carolina, Miami, and Notre Dame all made the Sweet Sixteen. The Fighting Irish did so after tipping in a basket against Stephen F. Austin with less than two seconds left. Since the ACC teams play outside of their conference in the Sweet Sixteen, a chance exists for 75 percent of the teams in the Elite 8 coming from the conference. The conference sees an outside shot of witnessing an all-ACC Final Four.

This big wins mean big money for the ACC. ESPN’s Darren Rovell writes:

Each game played in this year’s tournament is worth $265,791. That money is paid out in each of the next six years (2017-22), with the number for each game, or unit, growing each year of the payout. When multiplied times six, the total worth of a game played in this year’s tournament will be at least $1.59 million…. the ACC has 13 units from 13 games played and is guaranteed another six units from Sweet 16 games. Nineteen units will add up to more than $30.3 million over the six-year payout.

Pitt stands as the lone loser from the ACC among the seven teams selected for the tournament.

No Final Four has ever witnessed all four teams hailing from one conference. The only instance of a conference sending three teams to the Final Four occurred in 1985. Villanova, Georgetown, and St. John’s (alongside Memphis) made it to the last weekend of March Madness, with Ed Pinckney’s Wildcats besting Patrick Ewing’s Hoyas in the finals.

Is this ACC better than that Big East?

“You know I’m never going to say that,” Jim Boeheim, who coached in both, told reporters after Syracuse’s win this weekend. “It’s a very good conference, there’s no question about it. And as I’ve said many, many times we came from a great conference before and we’re in a great conference now. And I think it’s going to get better in the future from what I’ve seen.”