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Breaking Down the ACC

Now that we are fully into the conference schedule it is time to take a gander out how the conference is shaking out midway through the season.

Dean Smith Division

1. North Carolina(17-0, 2-0)

The question facing the Heels at this point is whether the first half against NC State is a harbinger of things to come for the rest of the season or the 2008 version of the Arizona game a year ago. Georgia Tech will be the recipient of that answer on Wednesday night.

2. Duke(13-1, 1-0)

Duke shook off their offensive woes to pummel Virginia at home. The first real in-conference test comes on Wednesday night when Duke travels to Tallahassee. These two team do not usually have nice things to say about each other and the FSU crowd should be rocking in anticipation of the Devils visit.

Rick Barnes Division

3. Clemson(13-3, 1-1)

Clemson laid an egg versus Charlotte before coming back to take FSU in two overtimes. There is little doubt given the way Clemson played UNC they have the parts to be near the top of the ACC. They will have plenty of chances to prove it first by playing NCSU at home, who will be trying to prove something themselves and at Duke on Saturday where Oliver Purnell will likely bring his own timekeeper.

4. Miami(14-1, 1-0)

Miami passed the first test of conference play handling Georgia Tech at home. Now they will spend the next two games on the road going to Boston College and NCSU. As much as I would like to think of BC as a major indicator of Miami's prowess, one can never be sure with Eagle team will show up. Will it be the one that lost to Robert Morris or the one that thrashed Wake Forest by nearly forty points. Then again a road win in the ACC is a road win in the ACC and BC is still an upper half of the ACC team. So losing at BC is not going to be tragic for Miami and winning would be a precious road win. What happens at NCSU on Saturday is probably a bigger concern.

5. Boston College(11-4, 2-0)

Despite the bad losses out of conference, BC is 2-0 with one road win(at Maryland) and the beatdown of Wake Forest who really looked like a better team prior to that game. Now BC has to deal with Miami and losing at home is not a good idea in the ACC especially with a road trip to UVa in the offing.

6. Florida State(12-5, 1-1)

While FSU has been inconsistent out of conference, they have played well in the ACC beating Georgia Tech on the road and taking Clemson to the brink in double overtime, also on the road. Now FSU gets a chance to prove their merit with Duke coming in. A win versus the Devils could be a huge boost since the three games the following week are all game the Noles are capable of winning putting them at 5-1 early in the conference schedule.

Pete Gillen Division

7. Virginia(10-4, 0-1)

I still think UVa is a good team regardless of what happened in Durham and at Xavier for that matter. Charlottesville is going to be a tough place to play and looking at the way the league is unfolding here, they at least have an All-ACC PG running the show which has to be worth something. UVa gets VT then BC at home this week and the opportunity to right the ship.

8. Wake Forest(11-4, 1-1)

In my last ACC update I lumped Wake Forest in with NCSU and Maryland as one of the worst teams in the ACC. Having mulled it over I realized that the loss at BC might have been just a bad game and also Wake does have a win in the ACC even if it is over VT. So I will put them eighth because on one level I still think they have a chance to be decent. They beat BYU fairly handily and probably just caught an off day at Chestnut Hill. A trip to Maryland this week should be informative.

9. Virginia Tech(10-6, 1-1)

Let's see something good to say about the are 1-1 in the ACC!

Les Robinson Division

10.(tie) Georgia Tech(7-8, 0-2)
Maryland(10-4, 0-2)
NC State(11-4, 0-1)

I am not sure how you differentiate between these three outside overall win totals. NCSU has a few good wins on their non-conference slate including Seton Hall and Villanova. Maryland has a win over Illinois. Georgia Tech does not have any worth talking about. As far what we have seen in the ACC, GT has played both Miami and FSU close. NCSU did not even show up in the first half versus UNC and Maryland fell late to BC and VT. In other words this is a Best Looking Pig Contest at this level and there level of ugliness seen from all three of these make them equally putrid in the eyes of most basketball fans.