March 02, 2008 |

I’ve been guilty of looking at the Atlantic Coast Conference based on reputation.

In fact, on Friday, I got into a “discussion” with Ken Zalis about the ACC. The argument was Maryland versus Davidson, and I’m still not convinced if Ken has an argument, but the ACC is not very impressive right now.

Duke and North Carolina are clearly the best two teams in the conference, and two of the best two teams in the country.They’ve clearly established themselves at the top of the food chain of the Atlantic Coast Conference. Even though Miami hold a win over Duke and Maryland has a win over North Carolina, there’s no one in the conference that stacks up to either of these two teams.

Having said that, you have to question how good the conference really is. The next three teams in the conference are, at best, questionable.

If you take a look at Clemson, Maryland, and Virginia Tech, I’m not sure if they add up to the other third, fourth, and fifth place teams is the major conferences.

The teams in those positions in the Big East are Connecticut Notre Dame and Marquette. There’s no question in my mind that the “Big Three” of the Big East would win a round robin played between the six schools.

Baylor, Kansas State and Texas A&M leave a lot of doubt for me. I think Baylor is solid, but not spectacular, Kansas State could very well produce the second freshman player of the year in as many years, and Texas A&M are a mystery.

That sounds a lot like the three ACC teams. I think the three teams in the ACC could beat two of the teams in the Big 12, but Kansas State could defeat all three ACC teams because of no answer for Michael Beasley.

The ACC owns the Big 10 in the challenge that the two conferences play in at the beginning of the season, so let’s not have that conversation.

Finally, it’s the Clemson, Maryland, and Virginia Tech versus Washington State, USC, and Arizona State.

These three teams almost mirror one another. I would put Washington State, slightly, ahead of the other five, but Va. Tech has the ability to beat any of the PAC 10 teams.

This is not the formular the the Selection Committee will use to invite teams to “The Dance,” but that’s what makes March fun. We can always, unofficially, declare who’s number 1.