January 18, 2014

From 0-3 in the ACC to the NCAA tournament: a history

Six ACC teams since 1990 have recovered from 0-3 league starts to make the NCAA tournament. North Carolina is hoping to join them.

In my weekly ACC notes column, I write about how rare it is for teams that start 0-3 in the ACC to make the NCAA tournament. And it is indeed rare.

North Carolina, at 0-3 in the ACC for the first time since 1997, is hoping to join some exclusive company.

Since 1990, 119 ACC teams have played in the NCAA tournament. Of those 119 teams, only six started 0-3 in the conference. Those six teams:

2005-06 Boston College

1999-00 Maryland

1996-97 North Carolina

1995-96 Maryland

1995-96 Duke

1989-90 Virginia

Those Duke and Virginia teams lost their first four conference games.

With a victory against Boston College today, the Tar Heels would improve to 1-3 in the ACC. Here’s a list of teams since 1990 that have been 1-3 in the ACC before going on to make the NCAA tournament:

2008-09 Boston College

2007-08 Miami

2006-07 Maryland

2005-06 Boston College

2004-05 N.C. State

2003-04 Maryland

2003-04 North Carolina

2000-01 Virginia

1999-00 Maryland

1997-98 Florida State

1996-97 North Carolina

1995-96 Maryland

1991-92 Wake Forest

Of course, the last time that UNC started 0-3 in the ACC, it went on to reach the Final Four in 1997. That team had no shortage of talent, what with Antawn Jamison, Vince Carter and others.

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