ACC Power Rankings
1. North Carolina
4. Florida State
6. Notre Dame
7. Virginia Tech
9. Syracuse/Georgia Tech
11. Wake Forest
12. North Carolina State
15. Boston College
Coming off a double-digit road loss at Miami might look bad, but this Tar Heel team had won seven in a row beforehand. Roy William’s squad is undefeated at home in ACC play, and has two more home games this week against Pittsburgh tonight and Notre Dame on Saturday. Look for them to be at #1 in the power rankings again next week.
The Cavaliers have won five straight in conference, feeding off the lower half of the ACC. They lost a thriller 61-59 on the road Sunday at Villanova, showing the college basketball world that this UVA team can compete with anyone. Virginia will host Va Tech on Wednesday and travel to Syracuse on Saturday, looking to keep pace with UNC a top the conference.
The Cardinals are winners of six of their last seven and just beat Pittsburgh and NC State by a combined 191-111. They've been without Quentin Snider for the past four games but haven’t broke stride with the absence of one of their co-captains. Louisville has just one game this week, at BC, before a quick turnaround game at Virginia on Monday.
After a 12-game win streak the Seminoles have now dropped three of five. Last week, after achieving #6 in the AP poll, FSU lost at Georgia Tech by 22 and at Syracuse by 10. There’s no doubt of the NBA-level talent on this roster, but is this recent lull a sign of things to come? Many analysts had picked the ‘Noles as an elite eight or even a final four team, and now they will have to start dealing with adversity, really for the first time all season. Next up for FSU is a rivalry game at Miami on Wednesday.
The Blue Devils continue to be inconsistent in ACC play. After a second half annihilation of Miami it seemed as though they had turned a page, but then two days later Duke lost at home to NC State…But now Duke is feeling confident again, a desperate comeback at Wake Forest and an all around solid performance at Notre Dame has the Blue Devils looking for their first three-game win streak of the ACC season, as they head back to Cameron Indoor Saturday for a date with Pittsburgh.
The Irish need to get back on track. After starting the season 16-2, they have dropped four of five, and during their current three-game skid they have yet to shoot 43% from the field. Their next game is at UNC, as the Irish will try to hand the Tar Heels their first home conference loss of the season. Notre Dame needs to find their stroke again on offense if they want to keep pace with the teams near the top of the ACC.
The Hokies are another inconsistent team experiencing recent success. Va Tech has won three of four, and even though those wins have come against Georgia Tech, Clemson and Boston College, the ACC is so tough this year that those wins cant be overlooked. The Hokies are a solid, well-coached team, with Buzz Williams at the helm this group has a lot of potential. But their next five games (at UVA, at Miami, vs UVA, at Pitt and at Louisville) will show us just how much this team can compete.
After dropping four of their last five, the ‘Canes have regained their confidence thanks to a close win against BC and a blowout victory of UNC. Miami finishes up a three-game stretch in Coral Gables Wednesday night when they face off against rival FSU. A win against the ‘Noles and a win this weekend at NC State (two winnable games) could see the ‘Canes reenter the AP top 25. And hell, if Bruce Brown can play like he did on Saturday against UNC, this Miami team could be a contender come tourney time.
The Orange have certainly flown under the radar this year, but after back-to-back wins they’re tied for sixth in the ACC. ‘Cuse notched their first victory over a ranked team this season by beating FSU 82-72 last Saturday. Syracuse heads on the road Wednesday to play NC State, and it could be a turning point for the Orange, who are 0-4 on the road in conference (and lost all four by double-digits).
The ACC’s surprise team of the year. The Yellow Jackets started conference play by beating North Carolina 75-63 (they were underdogs by 17.5), but it was considered a fluke. But Georgia Tech is tied for sixth in conference and coming off a blowout win over FSU and a buzzer beater vs Notre Dame. So far the Yellow Jackets have been the gift that keeps on giving, and we’ll see if they can stay hot this week as they travel to Clemson and Wake Forest.
Wake is 0-6 against ranked opponents this year, including 0-4 in ACC play. The Demon Deacons are going to need some key wins down the stretch if they want a chance to be dancing in March. They still have games at Notre Dame, at Duke, and vs Louisville, all ranked teams that could give Wake a much needed boost if they could pull off an upset. Wake plays at BC today and at home against Georgia Tech on Saturday.
North Carolina State:
The Wolfpack have been disappointing this season. They haven’t won two games in a row in 2017 and have a daunting schedule ahead (including at FSU, vs UNC, vs Notre Dame and vs Virginia). Dennis Smith Jr. can only will a team to victory so many times. NC State would need to put on quite a run over the next 4.5 weeks to make the NCAA Tournament (they won’t). The Wolfpack host Syracuse on Wednesday and the ‘Canes on Saturday.
Once upon a time the Tigers won nine straight this season. But over the last month they have as many wins as their football team, one, as that win streak was followed by six consecutive losses (four against ranked teams). This Clemson team has more talent than the other teams ranked this low and they’ve kept games tight against the ACC’s best, but they need to find ways to win. Clemson finally got their second conference victory on Saturday against Pittsburgh, and this week they host Georgia Tech Wednesday and travel to FSU on Saturday.
The Panther are alone in last place in the ACC with just one win (somehow that win coming against UVA by double-digits). They have now dropped five straight, including a 55-point pummeling at home against Louisville. Pittsburgh has dug too deep a hole and has too tough a schedule to salvage this season; they still have to play at UNC (today), at Duke (Saturday), vs FSU, vs UNC and at UVA. I believe Pitt will finish this season in last in the ACC, behind even BC.
The Eagles have kept many games closer than expected this year, sadly that doesn’t really mean anything. BC has dropped five straight and seven of their last eight. The best thing for the Eagles would be to get a big upset before the regular season concludes, and try to build off some momentum for the ACC tournament. BC gets Wake at home today and Louisville at home on Saturday.