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Hokies Lag Behind ACC in NCAA Tournament "Units"
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, TSLMail #478, April 1, 2011

North Carolina and Duke dominate the ACC in basketball. We can tell that by watching the ACC Tournament each season, and we can also tell by looking at the number of "units" earned in the NCAA Tournament since expansion.

"Units" are shares of revenue distributed by the NCAA for each game played in the NCAA Tournament. Each game played equals one unit. A team can earn a maximum five units in the NCAA Tournament (making it to the National Championship Game doesn't earn you an extra unit). If you make a play-in game and win it, then your second game of the NCAA Tournament doesn't count as a unit.

This year one unit was worth an estimated $239,664. Here's a look at what the four ACC teams who made the Big Dance earned for the conference.

"Units" Earned by ACC Teams in 2011
School Units Worth
Clemson 1 $239,664
Duke 3 $718,992
FSU 3 $718,992
UNC 4 $958,656
Total 11 $2,636,304


Clemson won their play-in game, so their next game didn't count as a unit. Duke and Florida State advanced to the Sweet 16, and UNC made it to the Elite Eight before falling to Kentucky.

It's not uncommon for North Carolina and Duke to prop up the ACC in NCAA Tournament revenue. The ACC has earned 87 units since conference expansion, with the Tar Heels and Blue Devils earning over half of them by themselves.

"Units" Earned by ACC Teams Since 2005

School

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

Total

% of Total

UNC

5

2

4

5

5

0

4

25

28.7%

Duke

3

3

1

2

3

5

3

20

23.0%

BC

0

3

2

0

1

0

0

6

6.9%

Maryland

0

0

2

0

2

2

0

6

6.9%

FSU

0

0

0

0

1

1

3

5

5.7%

GT

2

0

1

0

0

2

0

5

5.7%

NC State

3

2

0

0

0

0

0

5

5.7%

Wake

2

0

0

0

1

2

0

5

5.7%

Clemson

0

0

0

1

1

1

1

4

4.6%

Miami

0

0

0

2

0

0

0

2

2.3%

Virginia

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

2

2.3%

VT

0

0

2

0

0

0

0

2

2.3%

Total

15

10

14

10

14

13

11

87


North Carolina has won two National Championships and advanced to another Final Four since expansion, and Duke has won a National Championship as well. Other than that, the ACC hasn't done a whole lot in basketball.

Boston College made the Sweet 16 in 2006, while NC State made it in 2005. Florida State made it this year. Maryland, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Clemson, Miami, Virginia and Virginia Tech have never advanced past the second round of the NCAA tournament. In fact, the Hurricanes, Hoos and Hokies have only made the NCAA Tournament once since expansion.

Tech, UVA and Miami are responsible for 2.3% each of the ACC's 87 units since expansion. Old school ACC purists believe that expansion has hurt the conference in basketball, and if you base it on units earned in the NCAA Tournament, you can argue that it has. Tech and Miami have combined to earn a total of four units. Duke has earned twice as many units as Tech, Miami and Boston College put together.

The bottom line is that this conference has to get better in basketball. They have to start putting more teams in the NCAA Tournament. Four teams made it this year, and Clemson barely snuck in as a play-in team. Think about that for a second … if the NCAA Tournament had not expanded this year, the ACC might have gotten just three teams in. That's unthinkable, especially to those old school basketball guys in the state of North Carolina.

The ACC has been in need of some coaching changeover, and we are going to get some. Paul Hewitt was fired at Georgia Tech, and replaced by Dayton coach Brian Gregory. Sidney Lowe was fired at NC State, and the Wolfpack should have a replacement sometime next week. Hopefully the coaching talent will keep improving, which will mean more NCAA Tournament appearances. That will mean more money for everyone.

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