We’re into the heart of the ACC schedule, and it will be very interesting to see which teams make a move as we head into the final full month of the regular season. This won’t be the year that the conference puts eight or nine teams in the NCAA Tournament, but there are several teams in the middle of the standings that are capable of upsetting one of the teams near the top, so don’t tune out!
Here is the full list of teams in the ACC and where they stand heading into this week.
1. North Carolina Tar Heels (No change)
UNC ended its four-game losing streak against Georgia Tech with their 93-81 victory at the Dean Dome on Sunday. This came as little surprise to those that have seen these two teams play this year, and there’s little doubt that the Tar Heels are the strongest team in the ACC right now. They also beat NC State 74-55 on Thursday night.
2. Duke Blue Devils (No change)
Duke crashed Maryland’s party on Wednesday night, beating the Terrapins 74-61 on the night they dedicated their court to former head coach Gary Williams. The Blue Devils then defeated St. John’s 83-76 Saturday in Durham. The wins led to an interesting decision — guard Austin Rivers being named the conference’s Player of the Week.
Austin Rivers named ACC Rookie of the Week. Was it his 39% shooting or the 7 turnovers that put him over the top?—
Michael Rogner (@RunTheFloor) January 30, 2012
3. Florida State Seminoles (No change)
FSU only had one game this week, a 75-52 road blowout victory against Wake Forest, so they didn’t do much last week. Unless, of course, you’re a Florida State fan who has seen past teams earn huge victories, only to see them lay an egg in the next game. Consistency is huge this time of year, and it was music to an FSU fan’s ears to see them beat up on Wake.
4. Virginia Cavaliers (No change)
Finally, the matchup we were waiting for took place last week — Virginia knocked off NC State 61-60 on Saturday, proving that they deserve to remain above the Wolfpack in my rankings. What’s more, they did it in Raleigh. I’ll state the obvious and say I think the Cavs are excited for that matchup with the Seminoles this Saturday.
5. NC State Wolfpack (No change)
The Wolfpack did not have a good week, losing to UNC and Virginia. But what team would jump them in the rankings? There really isn’t one, and I’m not going to chastise NC State too much for losing to two teams that are ranked above them. A win would have gone a long way, but their losses weren’t too bad.
6. Maryland Terrapins (No change)
The Terps lost their home game against Duke, but they recovered quickly to beat Virginia Tech at home Saturday, getting a 73-69 victory that ended their three-game losing streak. At 3-4 in the ACC, they should beat Miami Tuesday, and a tough test against UNC will lie ahead in College Park after that.
7. Clemson Tigers (Up 1)
The Tigers notched two wins this week to improve to 3-3 in conference play. They’re doing a good job of defending Littlejohn Coliseum this season, and their wins over GT and Wake Forest in Clemson this week helped to bolster their strong 3-1 ACC record at home so far. Unfortunately, they have to hit the road this week for games at Virginia and Virginia Tech.
8. Virginia Tech Hokies (Down 1)
The Hokies did not have a good week — a home loss to BYU and a road loss at Maryland has the fan base talking about a replacement for head coach Seth Greenberg. Every week, the “Who could we get to make this program better” chatter seems to grow, and I don’t blame VT fans for craving a better product on the basketball court.
9. Miami Hurricanes (Up 1)
Miami had a solid week, even if they were only beating the two worst teams in the conference. They took care of business, beating Georgia Tech and Boston College on the road. Both of those wins were by at least 15 points. Their three ACC losses were to teams ranked in the top 5 — maybe the ‘Canes deserve a little bit of credit.
10. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (Down 1)
Wake is now 2-5 in ACC play with losses this week to FSU and Clemson. They weren’t even close in either game, and their only win in the last three weeks was at Boston College. The Deacons look like they may have a little bit of potential, but they keep losing. That’s going to lead to a fall in my rankings.
11. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (No change)
Brian Gregory is working his tail off to get this team turned around, but they were handed two more losses this week, both by double-digits. In fact, four of their six ACC losses have been by double figures. Wednesday night’s road game at FSU will be tough, and then they host Boston College at home this weekend. If they can’t win against the Eagles, they’re really in trouble.
12. Boston College Eagles (No change)
BC has now lost four consecutive games after losses to Virginia and Miami last week. They’re now 2-5 in the conference and 7-14 overall. Even with all their misfortunes, they could climb out of the cellar of my Power Rankings with a win over Georgia Tech Feb. 4.