ACC, Pac-12 basketball's bad starts not helping case for respect

ACC, Pac-12 basketball’s bad starts not helping case for respect

If the ACC and Pac-12 want respect in March, they need to earn it in the regular season.

Each of the past two years, surprise runs in the men’s NCAA tournament have brought about March conversations around how to evaluate the strength of conferences. The Pac-12 was much maligned in 2020–21 when a UCLA team that finished 13–6 in conference play was sent to the First Four, then showed out in the Big Dance with three Elite Eight teams. And in ’21–22, jokes about a one-bid ACC were all the rage until the league sent three to the Elite Eight and two to the Final Four. In both years, the Big Ten produced nine NCAA tournament bids, yet across the two tournaments sent just one total team to the Elite Eight (Michigan in ’21).

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