Some teams are just better than their records indicate, however factors like strength of schedule, injuries and the inconsistency bug can give them a bad rap. Some of the teams listed are teams whom I believe to be better than what their records are, as well as potential sleeper teams to take their conference tournament by storm and punch their ticket into the field of 68.
Clemson Tigers (15-12, 83rd Strength of schedule) – A roller coaster ride is possibly the best way to explain the Tigers season thus far. The ups and downs of this season are almost head scratching. I mean, the Tigers opened the season 1-3, with a loss at home to the Winthrop Eagles and a neutral game loss to the Gardner-Webb Bulldogs. After that, they go on a 7-2 stretch with marquee wins over the LSU Tigers and a ranked Arkansas Razorbacks. Then, conference play begins and they have gone a respectable 7-8 thus far with big road wins over the Pittsburgh Panthers and North Carolina St. Wolfpack, as well as a good home win against the Syracuse Orange. There’s some more head scratching losses too, but I’ve dissected enough of the Tigers. They either show up and one of the toughest teams or they simply don’t.
NC State Wolfpack (16-11, 3rd Strength of schedule) – Another ACC team, however with a more legitimate reason as to why they have a mediocre record. Their strength of schedule is 3rd best in the nation, so despite being five games over .500%, there are plenty of marquee games that have them as a team probably headed to the NCAA tournament. The Wolfpack have only a few iffy losses, but I don’t even think losing to the Wofford Terriers is that bad. The problem is that the game was at home, same with the loss to Clemson. However, they have a plethora of solid wins and none bigger than beating the Duke Blue Devils at home, who were the number two team in nation at the time. Other solid to good wins include the Boise St. Broncos, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs, Pittsburgh Panthers and a road win over the ranked Louisville Cardinals. So, despite the Wolfpacks record now, it should be more appealing come season end with only the North Carolina Tar Heels as the only ranked game left and then the bottom dwellers of the ACC remaining.