It seems that leading up to the NCAA tournament every year the experts talk about how much of a down year it has been for the ACC. The conference always seems to be “less powerful” than in previous years and certainly not as strong as the mighty Big East. Once again, the 2011 NCAA tournament has proven the naysayers wrong with three of the ACC’s teams reaching the Sweet 16. That’s more than any other conference in college basketball.

Teams in the ACC have a combined record of 7-1 in this year’s tournament. The mighty Big East has played to a 9-9 record.

Maryland Terps basketball coach Gary Williams talked about the underrated ACC in a radio interview on ESPN 980 he did last week. Williams pointed out that teams in the ACC have won five of the last 10 national championships and has the most wins in the NCAA tournament by any conference over the last 20 years. Liz Clarke of the Washington Post transcribed coach Williams’ comments.

“I think you can look at a lot of areas of promotion. You have to self-promote. You can’t worry about how that looks, or whether people will say well you’re just talking about yourself or whatever, because the other leagues do it. In other words, you watch the Big Ten games, you watch the Big East games, and they’re not afraid to say how good they are. They’re not afraid to say in November that we should have 11 teams this year in the NCAA tournament and that’s what they wound up with in the Big East. And the Big Ten, for them to have seven and the ACC four, it’s not right. You look at scores, you look at everything you want to compare.

Given its successes, it’s amazing that the ACC is constantly overlooked. Do you think they need to advertise themselves better?