ACC Basketball Power Rankings: 1/29
1. Duke Blue Devils (LW: 1) 18-2 (7-1)
Last Week: W @ Pitt 79-64, W vs GT 66-53, W @ ND 83-61; Next Week: vs St Johns 2/2
Mid-point outlook: Positive, the young-but-talented Blue Devils have been battle-tested, winning 4-straight since their upset loss to Syracuse, including a victory over a top-5 team in Virginia, and double digit victories over Pitt, GT and Notre Dame. Duke now sits alone atop the conference.
2. Virginia Cavaliers (LW: 2) 18-1 (6-1)
Last Week: W vs Wake 68-45, W @ ND 82-55; Next Week: @ NC State 1/29, vs Miami 2/2
Mid-point outlook: Positive, the Cavaliers appear to be poised for another run at an conference title. This season, however, they have company at the top of the ACC. If they can keep pace with Duke, another #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament should be in play for UVA.
3. North Carolina Tar Heels (LW: 3) 15-4 (5-1)
Last Week: N/A; Next Week: @ GT 1/29, @ Louisville 2/2
Mid-point outlook: Positive, the Tar Heels have been holding their own so far with their combination of youth and experience. UNC has the talent to make a run come March, and they are still in the running for an ACC title.
4. Louisville Cardinals (LW: 4) 15-5 (6-1)
Last Week: W vs NC State 84-77, W @ Pitt 66-51; Next Week: @ Wake 1/30, vs UNC 2/2, @ VT 2/4
Mid-point outlook: This rebuild is ahead of schedule, and Chris Mack has his team climbing up the conference and national rankings. Their schedule will be tougher down the stretch, but don’t be surprised if the Cardinals are still hanging on to the top tier at the end of the regular season.
5. Virginia Tech Hokies (LW: 5) 16-3 (5-2)
Last Week: W vs Syracuse 78-56; Next Week: @ Miami 1/30, @ NC State 2/2, vs Louisville 2/4
Mid-point outlook: Positive, VT recovered from some early bumps in the road to return back towards their preseason expectations. A strong 22-point victory over the hottest team in the ACC (Syracuse) could be a key moment in their season.
6. Syracuse Orange (LW: 6) 14-6 (5-2)
Last Week: W vs Miami 73-53, L @ VT 56-78; Next Week: @ BC 1/30, @ Pitt 2/2
Mid-point outlook: Positive, although the Orange’s win streak was cut short by VT. In the games prior, Syracuse saved their best basketball for when the ACC’s best venture up north to the Carrier Dome.
7. NC State Wolfpack (LW: 7) 16-4 (4-3)
Last Week: L @ Louisville 77-84, W vs Clemson 69-67; Next Week: vs Virginia 1/29, vs VT 2/2
Mid-point outlook: Neutral, The Wolfpack are a textbook middle-of-the-road team: they are scrappy, can give top teams plenty of trouble, but are still susceptible to any team.
8. Florida State Seminoles (LW: 9) 15-5 (3-4)
Last Week: W vs Clemson 77-68, W @ Miami 78-66; Next Week: vs GT 2/2
Mid-point outlook: Neutral, the former top-10 team had an abysmal start to ACC play, but have turned it around, closing out the month of January with wins over Clemson and Miami. Last year’s Sweet 16 squad still has plenty of work to do to ensure a spot in the postseason.
9. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (LW: 11) 11-9 (3-4)
Last Week: W vs ND 63-61, L @ Duke 53-66; Next Week: vs ND 1/22, @ Duke 1/26
Mid-point outlook: Neutral, after a tough non-conference slate, the Yellow Jackets have managed to maintain a spot in the middle of the conference, thanks to wins over Syracuse, Wake Forest and Notre Dame.
10. Pittsburgh Panthers (LW: 8) 12-8 (2-5)
Last Week: L vs Duke 64-79, L @ Louisville 51-66; Next Week: @ Clemson 1/29, vs Syracuse 2/2
Mid-point outlook: Negative, Pitt was able to sneak by Florida State and Louisville, but have lost their other 5 ACC games by an average of 15 points.
11. Boston College Eagles (LW: 13) 11-7 (2-4)
Last Week: W @ Wake 65-61; Next Week: vs Syracuse 1/30, vs ND 2/2
Mid-point outlook: Negative, although Ky Bowman has put the team on his back to the tune of 2 consecutive wins, the Eagles have otherwise struggled so far.
12. Clemson Tigers (LW: 10) 11-8 (1-5)
Last Week: L @ FSU 68-77, L @ NC State 67-69; Next Week: vs Pitt 1/29, vs Wake 2/3
Mid-point outlook: Negative, This season has been a major disappointment for a team looking to take the next step. Their lone conference win was against Georgia Tech.
13. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (LW: 12) 11-10 (1-7)
Last Week: L @ GT 61-63, L vs UVA 55-82, L vs Duke 61-83; Next Week: @ BC 2/2
Mid-point outlook: Negative, Every recent season in South Bend seems to be derailed as a result of a devastating injury to a crucial big man. This year’s victim was Rex Pflueger, and the Fighting Irish have yet to recover.
14. Miami Hurricanes (LW: 14) 9-10 (1-6)
Last Week: L @ Syracuse 53-73, L vs FSU 66-78; Next Week: vs VT 1/30, @ UVA 2/2
Mid-point outlook: Negative, This season has gone completely off of the rails. The Canes started the season with a depth problem, which only got worse as the season went on. Now Miami is only capable of competing with conference opponents for 1 half each game.
15. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (LW: 15) 8-11 (1-6)
Last Week: L @ UVA 45-68, L vs BC 61-65; Next Week: vs Louisville 1/30, @ Clemson 2/3
Mid-point outlook: Negative, Wake’s season hasn’t been as much of a disappointment as the other teams near the bottom of these rankings, as this was expected to be a rebuilding year for Danny Manning’s squad. However, an 8-11 overall record is nothing to smile about.