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Birth of an ACC Conference Dynasty?

College basketball is full of great conferences with great teams. However, there are but a couple teams in these conferences that usually stand out. For the Big 12 conference, Kansas, Kansas State, and Texas are the three teams that are usually in the hunt for the Big 12 conference title. Oklahoma did have its shining year with Blake Griffin, but not much after that. For the ACC, Duke and North Carolina steal the show. With the exception of Miami last year, Duke and North Carolina are usually the two teams battling for the conference title. After the changes made this year, Duke and North Carolina will no longer be the top two teams in the race for ACC supremacy.

Notre Dame, Syracuse and Pittsburgh have been added to the ACC, propelling this already great conference to new heights. The competition factor in this conference is going to be better than ever before. Miami shocked everyone last year by its great season that rivaled Duke and North Carolina. From now on, the question of who will win the ACC will be up in the air. All three new additions to the conference have plenty of March Madness experience and all have good recruiting classes. According to Rivals.com, five of the top 30 recruiting classes came from ACC teams, including Duke (5), Syracuse (11), North Carolina (13), North Carolina State (15) and Notre Dame (20). These five schools snagged 15 of the top 150 recruits in the country. Duke led the recruiting class for the ACC by getting #4 rated 6’8 SF Jabari Parker (Simeon High School/ Chicago, Illinois).

One would have to think that at least eight of these ACC teams will be in March Madness, making it the dominant conference in college basketball. According to Rivals.com, nine ACC schools were in the top 30 recruiting classes in 2012 and several teams have players returning. For UNC, all four top 150 recruits from 2012 are returning and will be joined by three top 150 recruits this year, including #16 rated 6’8 PF Isaiah Hicks (J.F. Webb High School/Oxford, North Carolina). For NC State, they return two of their top 150 recruits from last year and add three top 150 recruits this year.

The shooters in the ACC are going to make it a very interesting conference to watch and are going to make the competition for top team in the conference very tough. 6’5 G Jerian Grant (Notre Dame) will be a great addition to the ACC in shooting. Last season, Grant averaged 13.3 ppg and made Notre Dame dangerous around the perimeter. 6’6 G P.J. Hairston for UNC is another lethal shooter in the ACC, averaging 14.6 ppg last season. This is going to be a very strong conference that seemingly can only be rivaled by the Big 12 conference.

According to Rivals.com, the Big 12 conference also had five schools in the top 30 recruiting classes of 2013, including Kansas (2), Baylor (16), West Virginia (23), Oklahoma State (25) and Iowa State (27). Kansas led the recruiting class for the Big 12 by snagging #1 rated 6’7 SF Andrew Wiggins (Huntington Prep/ Huntington, West Virginia). Going back to my last article dealing with the one and done system in college basketball, these players need to stay! Conferences are filled with great talent this year making the conference realignments very interesting to watch. Conference titles are going to be up for grabs and no conference is going to have a clear winner.

The ACC conference title will see more competition than ever before.  The addition of Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame could make this conference a dynasty and could easily become to college basketball what the SEC is to college football or even better.  In 2014, Louisville, the reigning National Champions, will join the conference and make it even more dominant than it is going to be this year. The sky is the limit for this conference and its potential dominance in college basketball cannot be measured. Louisville Head coach Rick Pitino will enjoy being in a conference that offers the most competition in the game. Most teams in this conference bring in top talent recruiting classes and this will make for great competition within the conference. Don’t be surprised if you see more and more top recruits coming into the ACC in the near future. Syracuse Head coach Jim Boeheim, Duke Head coach Mike Krzyzewski, North Carolina Head coach Roy Williams and Louisville Head coach Rick Pitino always have great recruiting and now that they are all in the same conference, even more recruits will be drawn to the ACC. The strength of this already great conference is about to reach new heights because of conference realignments and strong recruiting classes from its top coaches.