After reading John Feinstein's article (ACC Fights Losing Battle, March 21) I find it hard to believe this is the same man who did an excellent job of reporting college basketball for The Washington Post this season.
If Mr. Feinstein believes that NCAA tournament record is the only way to compare conference strength "top to bottom," is Mr. Feinstein saying the Missouri Valley Conference was stronger than the ACC last year? Missouri Valley Conference champion Indiana State and runner-up New Mexico State combined for a 4-2 NCAA tournament record. The ACC was 0-2. Is Mr. Feinstein saying the Metro Seven was a stronger conference this year than the ACC this year because their NCAA record is 7-2 compared with 6-5 for the ACC? Mr. Feinstein knows the ACC is a stronger conference "top to bottom" than these conferences and obviously better than a lot of other conference if over 70 percent of the conference has been selected for postseason play the past two years.
To compare the ACC and Big Ten "top to bottom" the following criteria should be considered: out of conference record, regular season and postseason; head-to-head competition and number of teams selected for post season play. The ACC's out of conference record, regular season and postseason, was 90-16, 85 percent this past season. The Big Ten's record was 93-26, 79 percent. The ACC and Big Ten met six times, the ACC won three, the Big Ten won three. Seven Big Ten teams were selected for postseason play compared with six for the ACC but, remember, that's 70 percent of the Big Ten, and 75 percent of the ACC.
The evidence presented here seems to contradict Mr. Feinstein and his Big Ten dominance theory. The ACC argument is a formidable one.