If you've watched the College World Series on even a semi-regular basis over the last 10 years, you've probably heard that an ACC team hasn't won college baseball's national championship since Wake Forest did so in 1955.
That sounds bad on the surface, but when you dig deeper, it may seem even worse.
From 2006-2010, the ACC had 12 CWS participants -- the most of any conference. Over that span, the Pac-10 had five fewer representatives and won two national titles. The SEC had eight representatives in those five years and also had two championships to show for it. And just for good measure, the WAC had only one participant (Fresno State in 2008) and, you guessed it, one title to match.
But this is much larger than a five-year problem. We're talking 55 straight seasons without a title, which seems like an odds-defying drought for a conference of the ACC's caliber. So, just how unlikely is it?
With eight teams in Omaha every season, assuming each has an equal chance of winning the championship, any one team has a 12.5 percent chance of taking home the trophy (and an 87.5 percent chance of not doing so).
Not counting this year's two ACC representatives (Virginia and North Carolina), the conference has had 37 teams play in the CWS since its last national title. Given the odds just mentioned, that means the combined probability of the ACC not capturing a baseball championship since 1956 is a mere 1.6 percent.
(The simplest way to define the calculation: it means that all 37 teams independently needed to not win the title. Each team has an 87.5 percent (7/8) chance of falling short of the title after reaching the CWS. The chances of all 37 teams falling short is the product of the individual probabilities -- .875 ^ 37 -- or about 1.6 percent.)
Needless to say, the ACC is due.