Coach K: ACC deserves respect

Mike Krzyzewski believes so-called bubble teams from the ACC are better than what the rest of the country has to offer when it comes time to making the final selections for the NCAA tournament.

Coach K stated his case after Duke defeated North Carolina State, which is on the tournament bubble, in the ACC semifinals Saturday.

"I said to [N.C. State coach Mark Gottfried] at the end of the game, 'I hope you guys get in. I don't understand it.' They won at Tennessee. They probably should have beaten Syracuse twice," Krzyzewski said. "I think they've played a really good schedule, and they've got one of the best players in the country. ...

"I'll get in trouble probably for saying it. Like the Atlantic 10, they're a really good conference. I hear people saying there are six teams in there. Come on. I mean, they're good, but put them in our conference and go through the meat grinder that our conference has to go through. But really ... our league should get more respect. The fact that Pitt comes in here and people are saying they have to do something, come on. Come on, man. I don't get it. The Clemson team we played [Friday] night is a heck of a basketball team."

North Carolina State (21-13, 9-9) is on ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi's list of next four teams out heading into Selection Sunday. The Wolfpack, who won four of their last five games, boast the conference's player of the year in T.J. Warren, who scored 21 points in the 75-67 loss to the Blue Devils.

Entering Sunday, Lunardi projects five teams from the ACC to make the NCAA tournament, putting the conference behind the Big 12 (seven), Pac-12 (six), Big Ten (six) and Atlantic 10 (six) as teams picked to make the tourney. Lunardi also projects five teams from the American to make the field of 68.