During 2023 Annual ACC basketball kickoff, Commissioner Jim Phillips addressed expansion, exposure and the addition of California, Stanford and SMU to the Atlantic Coast Conference. Essentially, the ACC will now have 18 teams fighting for an ACC Championship in men’s football and basketball. And while historically every ACC school participates in the annual conference basketball tournaments, if it’s up to Phillips, that may not always be the case.
“I don’t know that we would invite 18 teams to an ACC men’s or women’s basketball
championship,” Phillips said. “I don’t feel like that’s something that we should do. I think you’ve got to earn your way to play-in. I think about the most prestigious postseason basketball tournaments in the country, and if you don’t get to a certain threshold, then you just don’t make it that year.
Yes, we have seen crazier things happen with conference re-alignment, injuries, and teams meshing well right before tournament play. Teams on the bubble needing marque quad one and two wins will certainly be affected if the conference moves to not allowing all 18-teams into the post-season tourney, but I agree with not allowing a team that finished 5-15 to attend. Participation in one of the most prestigious post season tournaments should not being a participation award like your typical pee-wee softball team. The ACC has had 20 different teams reach the Final Four since 1997 (outside of 2020 COVID). None of those teams had records below .500 entering March Madness.