Five ACC teams got in the NCAA Tournament. Clemson wasn’t among them.

No real surprise there. 

All the prominent bracket guessers have had the Tigers on the outside looking in on the bubble for a while now. 

That still doesn’t make it right.

Brad Brownell’s team won 23 games, set a school record with 14 conference victories, passed the eye test and made history as the first ACC team to get snubbed by the NCAA Tournament after posting a .700 league winning percentage.

And that’s not all. Among their victories are 6 against teams that are in the field of 68, including a hat trick vs. league rival NC State.

Yes, they have 3 horrible losses – a fact that will inevitably show up multiple times in the comment section of this column. Two of them, however, came early in the season when star big man PJ Hall was still working his way back from offseason knee surgery and one of those was in a rivalry game to South Carolina.

Clemson’s exclusion has made it the poster child for the need to tweak an NCAA’s NET rankings metric that penalizes teams much more harshly for bad losses – especially those in November and December – than they’re rewarded for good wins.

Want another example of how flawed the NET is?

OK, how about the fact that Clemson wasn’t even the ACC team that came closest to joining the 5 that did make it into the bracket.

They were only No. 4 among the last 4 teams out. North Carolina, warts and all, was 1 place higher at No. 3.

Had the Tar Heels been able to hold onto an 8-point 2nd half lead against top overall NCAA seed Alabama at the PK Invitational in Oregon on Nov. 27 rather than losing in 4 overtimes, they would almost certainly still be playing.

Their season ended when they declined a bid to the consolation National Invitation Tournament, officially making them the first team to miss out on the postseason after starting the year ranked No. 1.

That’s not the only bit of ACC history made Sunday.

With recently crowned tournament champion Duke heading to Orlando as the No. 5 seed in the East Region and NC State seeded 11th in the South, where it will begin play in Denver, there won’t be any North Carolina-based teams playing in the 1st- and 2nd-round pod held at Greensboro Coliseum.

It marks the first time in 10 such NCAA events that has happened.

There’s still a chance that an ACC team could return to the scene of last week’s conference tourney. But Pittsburgh, the No. 11 seed in the Midwest, will have to beat Mississippi State in the First 4 in Dayton on Tuesday to get there.

Regular season co-champions Virginia and Miami are the other 2 ACC teams to make the NCAA field.

The fact that neither is higher than a 4 seed means that the conference will once again be in a position of having to prove its detractors wrong, just as it did last year when 3 of its 5 tournament teams made it to the Elite 8, with UNC and Duke advancing all the way to the Final Four — and UNC to the title game.

Here’s a closer look at what to expect once the music starts and this year’s dance gets underway:

Easiest path: Duke

The Blue Devils are one of the hottest teams in the country, having won 9 straight. Their successful run through the ACC Tournament was made all the more impressive by the fact that they had to beat teams with 3 different styles in 3 days – an ability to adjust on the fly that will be extremely helpful moving forward.

While Jon Scheyer’s team won’t get the benefit of playing in the friendly confines of Greensboro and are playing on the dreaded 5-12 line, they should be able to handle Oral Roberts in their NCAA opener. It would then potentially face a limping Tennessee, which has lost 6 of its past 10 in the 2nd round before a likely Sweet 16 showdown with Big Ten champ Purdue.

The Boilermakers would present a difficult challenge, but with 3 7-footers in their rotation, the Blue Devils are among the few teams in the nation with the size to bother Purdue’s Zach Edey, the likely national Player of the Year.

Toughest draw: Virginia

The Cavaliers can play defense with the best of them, but they’re struggling on offense right now. They only managed 49 points in their ACC Tournament final loss to Duke and barely shot better than 30%.

They’ll face an opening-round challenge against a veteran Furman team that has already set a program record with 27 wins, won the Southern Conference Tournament and plays an aggressive fast-paced style while averaging better than 81 points per game.

Things won’t get any easier if Tony Bennett’s team survives and advances. Its 2nd-round matchup would be against either Mountain West champion San Diego State or arguably the best mid-major in the field, 31-win College of Charleston.

And, oh by the way, the top seed and potential Sweet 16 opponent in UVA’s region is Alabama.

Biggest variable: Miami’s health

Miami, which made it to the Elite 8 a year ago, looks to have a great chance of at least repeating that run – if not more – in the Midwest bracket. The biggest question is whether big man Norchad Omier will be available. And if he is, how effective will be after injuring an ankle in the opening minute of the Hurricanes’ ACC Tournament semifinal loss to Duke.

Omier tied for 3rd in the ACC in rebounding at 9.7 per game and is Miami’s most polished low post option.

If he’s even close to 100%, coach Jim Larrañaga has to like his draw – a 1st-round date with 12th-seeded Drake, Indiana or Kent State in the 2nd with a potentially hobbled top seed Houston in the Sweet 16.

How far can they go?

Although NC State and Pittsburgh have the talent to string together multiple wins and get to the Sweet 16, the Wolfpack and Panthers can consider their tournament a success simply by getting to the 2nd round.

Miami has proven itself capable of beating anyone if their lineup is intact while Virginia’s ability to shut down teams with its suffocating pack line defense – and the national championship experience of point guard Kihei Clark – make them a tough out no matter who they play.

Duke, however, is the ACC team most likely to go deepest into March.

The Blue Devils are brimming with confidence, still growing offensively and have the size and length at every position to cause problems for the teams seeded above them in their bracket. Although their ceiling is probably the Sweet 16, it would not be a shocker to see them find a way to get to Houston and a return trip to the Final 4 that would once again spoil the narrative of a subpar ACC.