We're still a good 3+ months away from the NCAA Tournament, but it's getting to the point where it's time to think about how many ACC teams are going to be making the big dance. Unfortunately for the Fighting Irish, the Notre Dame basketball team isn't getting there. Not without some very strange happening.
One of the reasons it's a certainty that Notre Dame basketball won't be making the NCAA Tournament is because the conference is very, very good. Right now, sitting on Christmas Eve Eve there's a ton of squads that are still holding out hope for a berth.
So who are the ACC teams that are most likely headed for March Madness fun and excitement, either by winning the conference or getting an at-large bid? We'll start with the easiest way to tell a school is headed to the postseason, which is NET ranking.
The Clemson Tigers are currently the ACC team with the highest NET ranking, despite not yet playing a killer schedule. They do have one really good win against then-23rd ranked Alabama. They also have a loss to Memphis. They're pretty solidly in the NCAA Tournament as of now.
Duke's regular season record might not be as pristine as Clemson's but the Blue Devils have wins over Michigan State and most recently, Baylor to pad their resume. They are going to need to do better in the ACC than they started out, as one of their three losses is to Georgia Tech.
Like Duke, the Tarheels' early season record doesn't look great, but they've also played a decent slate. They're ranked 11th in the country despite those three early season losses. They've got wins over Arkansas, Tennessee and #7 Oklahoma. Their only losses are all to Top 25 teams. They're in the NCAA Tournament.
The Cavaliers have suffered a couple of hits with the losses they've taken, but sitting at 35th in the NET rankings, it certainly seems as though they'd make the tournament, all things considered. They are on the cusp enough where some bad losses could shoot them down the rankings though.
As things stand now, the Pittsburgh Panthers would get into the NCAA Tournament, however their NET Rating shows some weakness. That's thanks in large part to a schedule that doesn't have a lot of tough games and the ones that were tough they've lost. They're going to need to get quite a few ACC wins to stay "in."
The Hokies are in for now, but like Pitt, they're not boasting all that many big wins against good teams. They've also been beaten sadly by FAU. They're gonna need to make some runs in the ACC to stay in the "in" section.
The Hurricanes are likely the last team in the ACC to make the NCAA Tournament if the season ended today. Miami's win over the Notre Dame basketball team is doing a lot of work as far as where they stand in the conference. If they're not worthy, things could shake out quickly.