In a conference boasting the likes of Duke, Louisville,North Carolina and Syracuse, there’s one team that’s standing out above all those. The Virginia Cavaliers are one of the best teams in the country and looks to be the class of the ACC.
With Virginia, it’s all about defense. Virginia’s pack line defense has befuddled foes ever since head coach arrived on campus. This year has been no different as Virginia is fifth nationally in defensive efficiency, second in field-goal percentage and second in points per game.
That kind of defense keeps the Cavaliers competitive in every game and if they’re able to continue to do this all year, they might be on their way to the Final Four.
Stock Up: Kentucky. This is the only team with better defensive numbers than Virginia. Kentucky’s size, length, athleticism and skill makes it the heavy favorite to win the national championship.
Stock Down: Pac-12. I thought the league was on the cusp of a basketball renaissance, but it looks like its going to take a step back this season. If it weren’t for the surprisingly good season for Utah, the Pac-12 would really be in trouble.
Stock Up: Wichita St. The Shockers clearly aren’t undefeated this year, but they’re still a real threat to go to the Final Four. They have one of the best backcourts in the country and can play with anybody.
Stock Down: WAC. Quietly, the biggest loser in conference realignment. The WAC went from having teams like Utah, New Mexico and BYU to Grand Canyon, Utah Valley and Cal State Bakersfield. Even the MEAC has a better RPI as a conference.
On to the bracket
Last Four In: Mississippi, Kansas St, Tennessee, Washington
Last Four Out: Colorado St, Texas A&M, Ohio St, Alabama
It’s good for games through 1/19/2015.
1.Kentucky16.Grand Canyon/North Florida Louisville
8.Old Dominion9.Oklahoma St
5.Texas12.Green Bay Jacksonville
6.Iowa11.Xavier Columbus, OH
3.Notre Dame14.Murray St
7.SMU10.NC State Pittsburgh
1.Duke16.St. Francis(NY) Charlotte
5.Oklahoma12.Western Kentucky Jacksonville
6.Indiana11.Tennessee/Kansas St Columbus, OH
5.San Diego St12.Tulsa Seattle
3.North Carolina14.Stephen F. Austin
1.Virginia16.North Dakota St/Colgate Charlotte
5.West Virginia12.Wofford Pittsburgh
6.Baylor11.Michigan St Portland
3.Utah14.North Carolina Central