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  1. #1

    Duke Regular Season ACC Title Watch

    This is the first thread I've started, and I expect the haters to come out firing with two takes:

    1. There's no such thing as an ACC regular season title.

    2. Even if there was, the regular season doesn't matter.

    To those points, I say, "I don't care." I don't care what's officially recognized, I don't care that there's a (very slightly) imbalanced schedule, and I don't care that most people will forget the regular season once the tournament starts. I recognize that the NCAA tournament is a far bigger prize, but I think it's crazy that we don't value regular season conference play way more than we do. It's the only mark of sustained excellence in this sport—everything else is a small sample, single-elimination tournament where luck plays a huge factor in success or failure. National titles are wonderful, but even for Duke they're rare, and we should experience more pride and joy over how the team plays in the grueling cauldron of ACC play.

    This will sound pretentious, but I'll risk it—I started following European soccer for the first time this year, and it's opened my eyes to the way we think about success in American sports. We're an enormous country, so playing true round robins in regular season sports used to be impossible, and with the amount of money involved in playoffs across all sports, it makes sense how the systems have evolved and expanded. But it's complete madness that the regular season is seen as nothing more than positioning for the postseason. Winning the league in European soccer is a huge prize, and I wish it was that way here too. Not only does it make more sense, but I really think viewing things that way would make us better fans who are more attuned to the challenges not just of peaking in March, but of grinding out wins on a day-to-day basis.

    All that said, Duke hasn't finished first in the ACC regular season since 2010 (and hasn't had a solo first place since 2006), but this year we have a great chance, and are currently the only undefeated team in the ACC (even better, the joy-killing, soulless, pseudo-basketball machine calling themselves UVA have already lost twice). I think, for the first time in a decade, this team is going to win the conference the hard way. Let's enjoy the ride!
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  2. #2
    First- are you the “real” Shane Ryan?
    Second- is this some sort of double reverse jinx post? 🤣

    Post what you want- DBR will make more. 🙄

  3. #3
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    Hard for me to disagree with anything you said; well-stated.
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    Only tourists but the view is nice"

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  4. #4
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    I have always valued the regular season "best record", even once the conference schedule went unbalanced. I am not sure it's "slightly unbalanced", but I guess we always have the advantage of not having to play ourselves.

    If we don't win it this year, it will be extremely disappointing. FSU and Louisville have to play each other twice, and Louisville has to play the fading Hoos twice as well. Assuming that the Heels continue to be pitiful, it's ours for the taking, assuming we keep winning.

    We have a chance to post an unseemly, gaudy, regular season record if we stay healthy and keep playing the way we are playing.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneRyan View Post
    All that said, Duke hasn't finished first in the ACC regular season since 2010 (and hasn't had a solo first place since 2006), but this year we have a great chance, and are currently the only undefeated team in the ACC (even better, the joy-killing, soulless, pseudo-basketball machine calling themselves UVA have already lost twice). I think, for the first time in a decade, this team is going to win the conference the hard way. Let's enjoy the ride!
    duke largely got scroogled by scheduling in '11, '13, and '15, though, and last year every ACC loss was attributable in large amount to injury, losing the NPOY for half the season and half the team for syracuse.
    oof

    "If you don't address the things you're not doing well when you're winning the winning will eventually stop."

    -David Cutcliffe

  6. #6
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    No problem here -- we have laundry in the rafters of Cameron for regular season titles.
    Sage Grouse

    ---------------------------------------
    'When I got on the bus for my first road game at Duke, I saw that every player was carrying textbooks or laptops. I coached in the SEC for 25 years, and I had never seen that before, not even once.' - David Cutcliffe to Duke alumni in Washington, DC, June 2013

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by ShaneRyan View Post
    This is the first thread I've started, and I expect the haters to come out firing with two takes:

    1. There's no such thing as an ACC regular season title.

    2. Even if there was, the regular season doesn't matter.

    To those points, I say, "I don't care." I don't care what's officially recognized, I don't care that there's a (very slightly) imbalanced schedule, and I don't care that most people will forget the regular season once the tournament starts. I recognize that the NCAA tournament is a far bigger prize, but I think it's crazy that we don't value regular season conference play way more than we do. It's the only mark of sustained excellence in this sport—everything else is a small sample, single-elimination tournament where luck plays a huge factor in success or failure. National titles are wonderful, but even for Duke they're rare, and we should experience more pride and joy over how the team plays in the grueling cauldron of ACC play.

    This will sound pretentious, but I'll risk it—I started following European soccer for the first time this year, and it's opened my eyes to the way we think about success in American sports. We're an enormous country, so playing true round robins in regular season sports used to be impossible, and with the amount of money involved in playoffs across all sports, it makes sense how the systems have evolved and expanded. But it's complete madness that the regular season is seen as nothing more than positioning for the postseason. Winning the league in European soccer is a huge prize, and I wish it was that way here too. Not only does it make more sense, but I really think viewing things that way would make us better fans who are more attuned to the challenges not just of peaking in March, but of grinding out wins on a day-to-day basis.

    All that said, Duke hasn't finished first in the ACC regular season since 2010 (and hasn't had a solo first place since 2006), but this year we have a great chance, and are currently the only undefeated team in the ACC (even better, the joy-killing, soulless, pseudo-basketball machine calling themselves UVA have already lost twice). I think, for the first time in a decade, this team is going to win the conference the hard way. Let's enjoy the ride!
    Depends on the definition of "hard". (Ha, before I continue, I will say a good try by you, but one can never predict the DBR response, which very often includes semantics.) Technically, if you have the best team, it's actually harder to win the single-elimination ACC tournament. Because the (now) 20-game regular season gives you a greater sample of games for your superiority to manifest itself, whereas one bad day in the tournament and you're done. Now, here I'm using "harder" to mean lower probability of happening, of course, but maybe you mean something akin to "over a longer period of time" in which case yes, obviously the regular season title would be harder under that definition.

    Anyway, I would estimate that Duke has something like an 80% chance of winning the regular season at this point if we stay healthy, but we're probably an underdog to the field for the ACC tournament.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Dat View Post
    I have always valued the regular season "best record", even once the conference schedule went unbalanced. I am not sure it's "slightly unbalanced", but I guess we always have the advantage of not having to play ourselves.

    If we don't win it this year, it will be extremely disappointing. FSU and Louisville have to play each other twice, and Louisville has to play the fading Hoos twice as well. Assuming that the Heels continue to be pitiful, it's ours for the taking, assuming we keep winning.

    We have a chance to post an unseemly, gaudy, regular season record if we stay healthy and keep playing the way we are playing.
    we've gone undefeated in conference play before (16-0). I don't know if 20-0 is feasible, but this might be the best year to make it happen! FSU, Louisville, and UVA are certainly formidable opponents, and much of the middle tier of ACC teams this year are capable of excellent games when properly motivated. I'm not predicting an undefeated ACC slate this year, but I do believe Duke is well positioned to earn the #1 seed in the ACCT. We've already got a 1-game lead on FSU and L'ville, and a 2 game lead on UVA.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by sagegrouse View Post
    No problem here -- we have laundry in the rafters of Cameron for regular season titles.
    100% this. K always talks about the importance of raising banners. Well, we get to raise a banner if we win the regular season title.

    It's worth emphasizing that regular season titles are clearly of non-trivial importance to K. Back in 2010, he had the team cut down the nets in Cameron after securing the regular season title in the rout of UNC to both symbolize its importance and also motivate the team to do some more net cutting. In 2012 in his pre-UNC speech to the Crazies, K again talked about the fact that we'd claim a share of the regular season title with a win (many interpreted his speech as even giving the Crazies tacit approval to storm the court to celebrate such an accomplishment were it to happen, which of course it unfortunately didn't).

    We have been screwed out of the regular season title by tough scheduling at a few points in the past decade. This year, the schedule is in our favor (as I mentioned elsewhere we only play Louisville and FSU once, at home, and only play UVA once, although on the road). It's time we took advantage of that.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuse View Post
    First- are you the “real” Shane Ryan?
    Shane looks good in blue.



    PS...Duke fans don't like the "regular season champions" thing only when the folks down the road win it.
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  11. #11
    Well, let's see. Bart Torvik currently gives us a 77% chance at being the sole ACC Regular Season champion, which is probably about the highest you'll ever see for a Duke team that's only 5-games into the conference slate.

    Sticking with Torvik, there are only games left on the schedule that Duke has a <80% chance of winning; vs UL (79%), @NCSU (79%), and @UVA (78%).

    There are only two other teams that are really remotely capable of winning the ACC this year. Louisville has 7 games left with a <80% chance at winning, including @Duke (21%), @NCSU (64%), @FSU (46%) and @UVA (64%). Florida State has 8 of those games.

    It would surprise me if Duke stayed relatively healthy and wasn't the 1-seed in the ACC tournament this year.

  12. #12
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    You're not wrong. Regular season matters, and the ACC regular season championship does exist, but let's just make sure we have our priorities straight:

    1. National Championhip
    2. Final Four
    3. ACC Tournament Championship
    4. ACC Regular Season Championship
    5. In-Season Tournament Championship(s)

    This is the way.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by kAzE View Post
    You're not wrong. Regular season matters, and the ACC regular season championship does exist, but let's just make sure we have our priorities straight:

    1. National Championhip
    2. Final Four
    3. ACC Tournament Championship
    4. ACC Regular Season Championship
    5. In-Season Tournament Championship(s)

    This is the way.
    You have spoken. (wisely, too)
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by kAzE View Post
    You're not wrong. Regular season matters, and the ACC regular season championship does exist, but let's just make sure we have our priorities straight:

    1. National Championhip
    2. Final Four
    3. ACC Tournament Championship
    4. ACC Regular Season Championship
    5. In-Season Tournament Championship(s)

    This is the way.
    I was having this debate with a friend. Would you rather win the ACCT and split with UNC, or lose the ACCT but sweep UNC on the season? One hangs a banner, the other tastes sweeter.

    Also, doing a little more reading on Bart Torvik's site; it seems like 18 wins is basically a guaranteed sole ACC Regular season champion (95.4%). 17 wins gives duke an 82.2% chance at being the sole winner.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ndkjr70 View Post
    Also, doing a little more reading on Bart Torvik's site; it seems like 18 wins is basically a guaranteed sole ACC Regular season champion (95.4%). 17 wins gives duke an 82.2% chance at being the sole winner.
    How is 18 wins not a 100% chance?
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by CameronBornAndBred View Post
    How is 18 wins not a 100% chance?
    20 game season
    oof

    "If you don't address the things you're not doing well when you're winning the winning will eventually stop."

    -David Cutcliffe

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by kAzE View Post
    You're not wrong. Regular season matters, and the ACC regular season championship does exist, but let's just make sure we have our priorities straight:

    1. National Championship
    2. Final Four

    3. ACC Tournament Championship
    4. ACC Regular Season Championship
    5. In-Season Tournament Championship(s)

    This is the way.
    Yeah, it'll be nice and all to hang a banner for the regular season title, and I'll give the team a nice golf clap for it, but it's been 5 years since we've made a Final Four (and won the national title, obviously). We've certainly been close a couple of times since then, but yeah, the program needs to get to Atlanta this season.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by uh_no View Post
    20 game season
    Ahhh, forgot they added 2. Thanks
    I was thinking "I'm no mathematician, but..."
    Q "Why do you like Duke, you didn't even go there." A "Because my art school didn't have a basketball team."

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ndkjr70 View Post
    I was having this debate with a friend. Would you rather win the ACCT and split with UNC, or lose the ACCT but sweep UNC on the season? One hangs a banner, the other tastes sweeter.
    While individual seasons may vary, I think the answer is generally ACC championship > record vs. UNC, but ESPECIALLY if we beat UNC in the ACCT. But in terms of record against UNC specifically in relation to the overall success of the season, I think it depends on the season, and also on what happens later in the postseason.

    Some examples

    2014-15: We swept UNC in the regular season, but lost in the ACCT to Notre Dame, but then won the National Championship. Even though we didn't win the ACCT, this about the best outcome you can hope for.

    2016-17: We split with UNC in the regular season, but win the ACCT, going through UNC. Then we lost in the 2nd round of the NCAAT to South Carolina. Even though we went 2-1 against UNC and won the ACCT, I can't ever remember feeling more bitter about the outcome of a season than this one. To make things even worse, UNC wins the title.

    2017-18: Split with UNC in the regular season, lost to UNC in the ACCT semifinals, lost in the elite 8 against Kansas. We go 0/3 on championships, 1 overtime loss from reaching the FF, and have a losing record to UNC. Worst possible outcome.

    2018-19: UNC swept us in the regular season, but we win the ACCT, going through UNC. We ultimately lose in the elite 8 by 1 to Michigan State. Even though we had a losing record against UNC (because exploding shoe reasons), we beat them in the postseason en route to a championship. I think this outcome is preferable to the 2016-17 situation, even though we had a winning record against UNC that year.
    Last edited by kAzE; 01-13-2020 at 04:44 PM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ndkjr70 View Post
    Would you rather win the ACCT and split with UNC, or lose the ACCT but sweep UNC on the season? One hangs a banner, the other tastes sweeter.
    This is a no brainer. The ACC Championships in 2017 and 2019 tasted incredibly sweet. The 2017 ACC Championship in particular, as the NCAAs ended in such a terrible fashion following an injury plagued season, was incredibly sweet and somewhat unexpected.

    A Championship is the answer for me every time.
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