A lot was made about the kinda new look ACC coming into the season. Things like having traditional powerhouses, Duke and North Carolina, already there as well as adding some more of those types of program (Cuse, Pitt), made many think that the Atlantic Coast Conference might be the best basketball conference ever assembled. Which still might be true, but just not for this year.
Oddly enough, though, as people started to trash the league or complain about whatever it is people complain about when things don’t live up to their expectations, it was a team that didn’t get nearly the amount of the pub as others that would win the ACC. Yes sir, that’s right. The Virginia Cavaliers are officially your 2014 ACC regular season champions.
ACC traditionalists or folks who thought the former Big East Conference schools would run through the league with no problem might want to relax. It is only one year, with a program that isn’t bad, who does happen to have a lot of talent on it.
People (casual fans) will use Virginia winning the ACC as proof that the league was horrible. Sure, Virginia doesn’t have a guy who will be a top-five pick in the upcoming NBA Draft, but they do have something most other ACC teams don’t, multiple players who can score buckets in a hurry and at any time.
As Virginia closed in on their first ACC regular season title in over three decades (1981), I saw some weird information coming out. Stuff like the ACC Tournament being where the real ACC champ is crowned and things of that nature. Which, technically, is true. However, that shouldn’t diminish what Virginia did this season just because they aren’t the name brand you expected to win the whole shebang.
What will be interesting going forward, though, is how Virginia does in the ACC Tournament as well as how the traditional powers react. Will Virginia winning the regular season title result in some on the court shenanigans? Probably not. But that hasn’t stopped Twitter from either dismissing the ACC because of this or folks excusing their favorite ACC team by diminishing the regular season.
Congrats, Virginia. Can’t say I know what this means or how I am supposed to feel about this, as everyone but people in your camp are telling me that this isn’t a big deal.
But it is, because three decades.