Thursday, February 17, 2005

Gut reaction to future ACC hoops schedule

The future ACC hoops schedule was released and things look great from here. I am still very happy with the move the ACC and think the New Big East is a mess with plenty of duds on the basketball schedule. However, some BC fans are griping. I decided to tackle the main complaints and look at them from a “good news, bad news” perspective.

  • Miami and Va. Tech are listed as our “primary partners.” This means that we will play home and homes with them every year (or at least for the first three years of the new sched). It is also to be expected as the three schools are the newbies and considered to have little basketball traditions amongst the ACC hoop snobs. Good news: despite their recent upswings, we know we can compete against these two programs. Winning three out of four will not be unexpected, gives us a good head start on conference records and put us in a good position for an NCAA bid. Bad news: unless we really change the fan culture with this season’s run, these teams will draw middling interest from local fans. People expect Duke and UNC and are getting the Hokies and the Canes (great in for football, ho-hum for hoops).

  • The rotating partners system. This groups the teams outside your “primary partners” into three groups “home and home,” “home” and “away.” Good news: This lessons the blow when there are some powerhouse teams, as you might not play them all twice and might just have to face some of them at home. Plus these groups rotate and enable the players and fans to see every conference foe at home over four years. Bad news: attendance…again. Limiting the powerhouses helps the record but hurts interest.

  • 16 game regular season. Some called for an 18 game schedule, which would have provided more conference match-ups. Good news: This frees up BC’s schedule. We can add cupcakes. We can add more regional games to help cost. We can renew old Big East rivals like Georgetown or Villanova. Bad news: this is just more fuel for the fire that will come if BC ever wins a regular season ACC title. Because most likely we’ll hear “they only played Duke [insert conference power here] once and filled their schedule with New Hampshire and Maine.”

    The critics can harp but that won’t change my opinion. This is progress and there is no reason we can’t compete with this set up.

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