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Undefeated ACC Road Teams: Finally, the Answer

Date: 2/29/2012

Duke Basketball  
Posted By: Matt

Okay, so one thing was certain in the "Wake" (heh) of Duke's signature and delivery on its 8-0 ACC road finish on Tuesday night in Winston-Salem: the Blue Devils had gone undefeated on the road in ACC play.  

Equally certain: no one out there could figure out how many times that had happened previously.  Fumbling ESPNU PBP announcer Carter Blackburn vacillated between saying that Duke had done it three times previously, Duke had done it twice previously, and it had only been done three times previously in the ACC, all by Duke.  Postgame media accounts of the game today were also all over the map.  I know the Tools went undefeated on the road just a few seasons ago (2007-2008?), so obviously, everyone's clueless.    

The likely problem?  The ACC Media Guide, also known as Swoffie's Handy Paean to UNC-CH and Slight Mention of 11 Other Random Programs, contains no fewer than 19 pages on the week-by-week rankings of each ACC school in the Associated Press poll (honestly, does anyone give a flying fig?), but can't find the space to discuss this far more impressive and important information.  So no wonder everyone's lost.  This requires actual shoe-leather!  

So here we go.   

Boston College has never gone undefeated on the road in the ACC in its brief tenure. 

Clemson - - and this won't shock anyone given the 0-for-Chapel Hell stat - - has never gone undefeated on the road in the ACC. 

Duke has gone undefeated on the road in the ACC *four* times.  The seasons in question?  1962-1963 (but the team did lose to Miami (FL) on the road that season - - should we count it?  Just kidding), with a 7-0 ACC road record; 1998-1999, of course, with an 8-0 road record; 1999-2000, with an 8-0 road record (the team lost only once, at home to MDCP), and this season, with the nifty 8-0 road record.  In case you're wondering, the 1991-1992 team lost twice on the road, at Wake and at NCCH, their only two losses of the season, both with an injured Bobby Hurley; the 2000-2001 team lost at Virginia by two points (its only road ACC loss of the season; we actually split road/road with both MDCP and NCCH that season), and the 2009-2010 team suffered all three of its total ACC setbacks on the road, to the now-unlikely, always-unseemly trio of GIT, NSCU (remember that fun one?) and MDCP.  Total: FOUR.

Florida State - - nay.  Never done it. 

Georgia Institute of Technology - - you're kidding, right?  No, they have never gone undefeated on the road in the ACC.

Maryland, College Park - - nope!  They came close in their national championship year, 2001-2002, going 15-1 in the ACC, but that one loss was at Duke.  Aw.  No wonder Lenny Elmore hates Duke so much.  Never done it.  

Miami (Florida) - - no.     

North Carolina-Chapel Hill - - yes.  Wow!  And this is where I imagine some Bluehairs are getting mad, because how hard was it to remember, if you're paid to write about ACC sports, that the 1956-1957 Twink edition went undefeated, period?  So that's one, 1956-1957.  The Tools also did it in 1975-1976.  And in 1983-1984 (when they were 14-0 in the ACC overall).  And in 1986-1987, when they were also 14-0.  And again, as I suspected, in 2007-2008, when they authored both of their ACC defeats at home.  So five times total.  Is this why Duke Infominions don't want to talk about this?  It doesn't diminish our team's accomplishments one iota to acknowledge that the Tools have accomplished this feat also.  Total: FIVE.        

North Carolina State - - I expect we'll get any remaining ones here.  Yes.  The formerly impressive Wolfpack did it both in 1972-1973 (in fact, that team carries another fun trivial distinction - - it was undefeated overall, but didn't get to prove its mettle in the NCAAs, thanks to Norm Sloan's overreaching during the recruitment of David Thompson) and 1973-1974 (when they won it all).  Total: TWO.   

Virginia - - None.  I know, shocking that this never happened during the Jones/Macrocephapete/Lameao Era, isn't it?   

Virginia Polytechnic Institute - - noooo.  Silly.   

Wake Forest - - nope, not once - - not even with four years of Tim Duncan.  Well done, Lil' Davey!

So the answer, which for some reason seems to have eluded the ACC sports media, is that ACC teams have gone undefeated in conference road play eleven times.  North Carolina-Chapel Hill has done it five times, Duke four including this season, and North Carolina State twice.  


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Posted by: CDG Date: 3/2/2012 10:37:17 PM  
This is just awesome Matt! I am not sure what is more impressive: the research involved (which is awesome!) or the fact that people who get PAID to do this were not able to do it. We are truly spoiled here at TD.

Getting ready for the Holes tomorrow... GTHC! Can't wait!

Posted by: Matt Date: 3/1/2012 6:16:56 AM  
The graphics were correct each time, but Blackburn described the achievement three different ways., only one of which was correct.

Then there was this from the Durham Herald Sun's Duke beatwriter on Wednesday:

"Having won all eight of their ACC road games, the Blue Devils (26-4, 13-2 in ACC) became just the fourth ACC team to accomplish an unbeaten league record. Duke has done it three times, the last in the 1999-2000 season."

Yikes. Two stats, both wrong. Was it that hard to differentiate between when the conference last played 14 league games (now a solid two decades ago) and when it played 16?


Posted by: Steve!! Date: 2/29/2012 11:59:59 PM  
I watched the ESPN telecast tonight as I wasn't home last evening, so I tried to pay attention to the different stats. The confusion stems from the graphics differentiating between 7-0 and 8-0 records.

As Matt has pointed out, before this season, Duke has gone undefeated on the road in conference three times, they had gone 8-0 twice, and three teams had gone 8-0 on the road in the ACC (Duke twice, UNC once).

So the ESPN graphics appeared to always be correct, but confusing none the less.

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