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The ACC Race Is Now Officially Interesting

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If you were paying attention on Saturday, Florida State went to Duke and performed great public service by sending the Cameron Crazies away forlorn and heartbroken on a three at the buzzer. The Seminoles ended Duke's 45-game home win streak but more importantly set up what could be a four way battle for the top of the ACC between UNC, Duke, Florida State and Virginia.

After FSU beat UNC by 33, the conventional wisdom was the Seminoles, who had a series of questionable losses coming into ACC play, benefited from a fluke game. Many, including myself, expected the Noles to play like utter crap in the next game vs Maryland then get it handed to them in Durham. That didn't happen. FSU dominated Maryland and was exceptionally resilient playing Duke at home. Every time it looked like Duke had taken control of the game, FSU fought back. With two wins over the preseason favorites for one and two in the ACC, FSU is in a great position to challenge for first in the ACC. UNC and Duke will be in the mix as will Virginia which played well at Duke and has shown no signs of being anything but a solid team. While UNC should have acquitted itself better in Tallahassee, the fact FSU has now won in Cameron at least says UNC didn't get smacked around by a crappy team. Depending on how the rest of the season goes, that loss may mere end up being a loss and that's it.

As of this morning KenPom had UNC, Duke, FSU and UVa each projected to finish with a 12-4 ACC mark. If that would happen(and it is still a longshot) you would have a repeat of 1995 when UNC, Maryland, UVa and Wake Forest all finished 12-4 in league play. Also of note is these four teams are ranked in the top 25 according to KenPom. UNC is #8, Virginia #14, Duke #15, FSU #23. While the ACC is really weak towards the lower half, the evidence right now is the top four are good teams. For all the talk of the ACC being a weak conference, there will be nothing easy about winning the ACC with four solid teams battling it out at the top.