It’s been awhile since we’ve talked, so lets try and make some sense out of this league, shall we? Here are this weeks ACC Power Rankings:
T-1. Carolina 18-3 (6-1)
It would be unfair and a clear example of recency bias if I ranked either Carolina, Florida State or Notre Dame ahead of one another. The Tar Heels were the last of the three to lose, so traditional polling would suggest that they be ranked on top. Well, this isn’t the AP poll, thank goodness. Let’s not forget that this Tar Heel team had a dreadful afternoon in Midtown Atlanta —to an admittedly decent Georgia Tech team—but has been surging ever since, highlighted by a double-digit defeat over FSU in the Smith Center.
Triangle media have even gone as far to describe the Tar Heels as “boring”, which should not be taken as an insult given the drama swirling around the other programs in the Triangle. If Carolina being boring means a six-game winning streak, improving by the day, and the only team in the area above .500 in the league, then let’s strive for boredom. #KeepCarolinaBoring
This Week: vs. Virginia Tech 1/26; at Miami 1/28
T-1. Florida State 18-2 (6-1)
The Seminoles only loss of the ACC season came on the road in Chapel Hill and shouldn’t be used against this young and disturbingly deep team. Leonard Hamilton’s Noles followed up the loss by handing Notre Dame its only loss of the conference slate. This certainly feels like one of those years where on Selection Sunday, FSU will be the sexy Final Four pick out of the ACC. I for one wouldn’t want to see this team next week, let alone in March.
This Week: at Georgia Tech 1/25; at Syracuse 1/28
T-1. Notre Dame 17-3 (6-1)
Simply put: Mike Brey can coach his ass off. Let’s all recognize that Notre Dame is the only program in college basketball to have reached the Elite Eight in the past two seasons. The departure of Demetrius Jackson would’ve been cause for concern at the point guard position but the vast improvement of Matt Farrell has dispelled any preexisting concerns. The combination of Farrell, V.J. Beachem, Steve Vasturia, and Bonzie Colson has Brey looking at a legitimate shot at an ACC regular season crown.
This Week: vs. Virginia 1/24; vs. Duke 1/30
4. Virginia 15-3 (5-2)
I said earlier that Carolina should strive to be boring, well that’s exactly what Tony Bennett’s program has been since the dismissal of forward Austin Nichols. I’m interested to see if Marial Shayok can continue to be a solid scoring option to London Perrantes. Also, an interesting week awaits the Hoos with trips to South Bend and Philadelphia.
This Week: at Notre Dame 1/24; at Villanova 1/29
5. Louisville 16-4 (4-3)
I won the support of Louisville fans with this tweet:
It must be nice if you're Kentucky to play all of these mediocre teams in conference and lock up NCAA seeding by the end of January.— Julian Council (@JulianCouncil) January 21, 2017
I’d like to point out the fact that I’d rather watch Kentucky-South Carolina play than any Louisville game. Louisville basketball=unwatchable.
This Week: at Pitt 1/24; vs NC State 1/29
6. Virginia Tech 15-4 (4-3)
Buzz Williams has sweated Virginia Tech back to relevancy. Beware of this Hokie team.
This Week: at Carolina 1/26; vs. Boston College 1/29
7. Wake Forest 12-7 (3-4)
CONGRATULATIONS WAKE, YOU WON YOUR FIRST ACC ROAD GAME IN OVER 1,000 DAYS! Seriously, I’m happy for Danny Manning and this program. I think I’ll always wonder what could’ve been for this program had Skip Prosser’s heart not given out on that summer jog.
This week: at Syracuse 1/24; vs. Duke 1/28
8. Duke 15-5 (3-4)
Well, the “odds on favorites” are now sub-.500 in the ACC after the program’s first loss at home to NC State since 1995. Subsequently, Coach K didn’t coach that game either. I still don’t know what to make of this team. The Blue Devils have played one game all season with their full compliment of players—-vs Boston College—-but still haven’t had a full roster with K on the sidelines. At this point, it seems that this is who they are and all of the preseason media hype—-as it typically is—-was all for naught.
I wouldn’t dare count the Devils out, but there’s only so much time left in the season to get right, especially for a team lacking quality wins on its resume.
This Week: at Wake 1/28; at Notre Dame 1/30
9. State 14-7 (3-5)
The Wolfs found a way on Monday night to exorcise the demons in Durham. Mark Gottfried has taken a ton of heat in the past few weeks for the team’s poor play, particularly on the road, but has preached about his team getting better. Finally, he saw results. Dennis Smith Jr. will give them a chance every night, but it will be dependent on whether guys like Abdul-Malik Abu, Maverick Rowan, and Terry Henderson can follow suit enough to stay on pace for an NCAA bid.
I’ve been put on the record that if State wants to, they can be one of the Top 4 teams in the ACC. I’m not sure if I still believe that, but a win in Cameron certainly points in the right direction. A win at Louisville will to follow would only bolster my fading beliefs, but we all know how things tend to go after they have a big win over Duke or Carolina...
This Week: at Louisville 1/29
10. Georgia Tech 11-8 (3-4 ACC)
Josh Pastner has three ACC wins, give him the ACC Coach of the Year award. Also, don’t be shocked if this team clips either Florida State or Notre Dame this week.
This Week: vs. FSU 1/25; vs. Notre Dame 1/28
11. Syracuse 11-9 (3-4 ACC)
I’m not sure who’s more disinterested with Syracuse basketball, myself or Jim Boeheim? Also, the NCAA should give him back his damn wins.
This Week: vs. Wake Forest 1/24; vs. Florida State 1/28
12. Boston College 9-11 (2-5 ACC)
This basically sums up Ky Bowman, Jerome Robinson and Boston College winning basketball games this year. The Eagles are led by two North Cack natives who have made it a goal to terrorize their home state foes. Not sure why Bowman is mad because he had a football scholarship to UNC. Maybe people now believe Mark Gotffried. Either way, solid job by Jim Christian this year in Chestnut Hill if you forget the losses to Fairfield and Hartford...I don’t.
This Week: at Miami 1/25; at Virginia Tech 1/29
13. Miami 12-6 (2-4 ACC)
The Canes got Jimmy Tilde his 600th and immediately forgot how to defense in Winston-Salem and then offense in the second half at Cameron. Overall, this is a young and decently talented Miami team, so you get what you get each night. Never be shocked by what they do.
This Week: vs. Boston College 1/25; vs. Carolina 1/28
14. Pitt 12-7 (1-5 ACC)
Opening Day approaches and soon Kevin Stallings will get to see his son and former Diamond Heel Jacob play for the Pirates at beautiful PNC Park. All jokes aside, I really don’t think the Panthers are that bad, it’s just a product of this year’s league.
This Week: vs. Louisville 1/24; vs Clemson 1/28
15. Clemson 11-8 (1-6 ACC)
This by far Brad Brownell’s most talented team at Clemson since taking over in 2011 and it also appears to be his most lazy when it comes to defense. The Tigers have built themselves a meteoric size hole to climb out of and I don’t see an NCAA tourney bid in sight given the aforementioned strength of your newly married into the family cousin’s ACC.
P.S. Is it a coincidence that since Brownell lectured Roy the Tigers haven’t won a game?
P.P.S. Is it a coincidence that since Clemson football won a national championship that this team hasn’t won a game?
This Week: at Pitt 1/28