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MX News Update 2024

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ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi speaks with Brad Brownell, ACC Coaches

AMELIA ISLAND, FL- Brad Brownell has repeatedly made it clear that he felt the ACC didn’t get the respect it deserved last season.

The ACC was once considered the premier basketball conference, but in recent seasons, rightly or not, the league has lost some of that luster, and part of that could be thanks to legendary coaches like Roy Williams, Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Boeheim . retire. Despite this, the ACC still saw Clemson make a run to the Elite Eight and NC State all the way to the Final Four, with neither team finishing in the Top 4 of the regular season standings.

With so much emphasis being placed on NET Rankings, which are heavily influenced by strength of schedule, coaches within the ACC are doing what they can to strengthen their schedules in an effort to regain some of that luster.

“I think it will still be good, still be competitive,” Brownell told The Clemson Insider during the ACC spring meetings. “We need our league to continue to provide enough Quad 1 and 2 matches so that if you make the bubble you don’t come up short at the end, almost like what happened to us a few years ago.”

“This year our competition was clearly underestimated. NC State, the tenth place team in our league is going to the final four. We finish fifth or sixth, whatever it was, I think sixth, and we go to elite eighth. And I’m hopeful and it looks like our competition is going to be pretty good again.”

At the ACC’s spring meetings this week, the league brought in an outside voice, ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi, to give coaches an idea of ​​what they can do to strengthen the conference.

“We met with Joe Lunardi without our men’s basketball group,” Brownell said. “He did a little deep dive and gave a taste of the teams in our league. He seems to think the competition is looking pretty good again this year.

Regardless of perception, Brownell thinks the league, as well as his own team, are in a good place moving forward. The Tigers have no conference matchups at home with Memphis and road games against Boise State and rival South Carolina on the docket, as well as the ACC-SEC challenge.

“You cross your fingers as a coach and hope your schedule is as tough as you need it to be, or want it to be,” Brownell said. “To give yourself enough good games to give yourself a chance to make the tournament.”

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