In a little over a month from now, the ACC regular season will be over. Most teams have played nine out of the eighteen conference games, so it’s safe to say we’re at the halfway point. At this critical midterm, here are the ACC Power Rankings:
1) #2 Virginia 20-1 (9-0)
Virginia is not only the lone undefeated team in the ACC, they’re also the only team with less than one conference loss after Louisville’s OT defeat against Miami. After their win over Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium, it might be time to start wondering if Virginia might actually be able to run the table. But their toughest remaining test may well be their next game...
Last Week: W 65-63 @ Duke
This Week: vs. Louisville 1/31, @ Syracuse 2/3
2) Louisville 16-5 (6-2)
Louisville is undefeated in regulation in the ACC. Going into this week, their only loss was at a Clemson team that looks better every week. They added an overtime loss at Miami this past Wednesday before taking care of business against Wake Forest. Still, as shocking as it may be it’s difficult to argue against ranking them second. They’re the only two-loss team in conference play in the ACC. We’ll see how for real they are on Wednesday.
Last Week: L 75-73 @ Miami (OT), W 96-77 vs. Wake Forest
This Week: @ Virginia 1/31, vs. Florida State 2/3
3) #20 Clemson 18-4 (7-3)
Why does Clemson get the nod over Duke? Simple. Both teams have lost to Virginia and NC State in conference play. Clemson’s other loss was at UNC, and Duke’s other loss was at Boston College. UNC may be skidding right now, but they’re still a touch higher on the pecking order than BC. It’s safe to say Clemson has bounced back from that woeful 36-point showing against UVA.
Last Week: W 72-70 @ Georgia Tech, W 82-78 vs. UNC
This Week: @ Wake Forest 2/3
4) #4 Duke 19-3 (7-3)
It speaks volumes about how bonkers this college basketball season has been that the #4-ranked team in the nation is ranked #4 in these power rankings. And no, it’s not just bias! Duke has a chance to show it belongs on top of these rankings in the next month of the season: both games against UNC still loom, as well as an extremely interesting matchup against Clemson in between.
Last Week: L 65-63 vs. Virginia, W 88-66 vs. Notre Dame
This Week: @ St. John’s 2/3
5) NC State 15-7 (5-4)
A game and a half separate the top four from the rest of the pack, so unless something really weird happens, it looks like the double-byes for the ACC tournament are set. After that, it’s a crapshoot. Two games are all that separate nine teams between fifth and thirteenth in the standings. And at the head of that pack is fittingly the Wolfpack themselves, with wins against Duke, Clemson, and UNC to hang their hats on.
Last Week: W 72-68 @ Pittsburgh, W 95-91 @ UNC (OT)
This Week: vs. Notre Dame 2/3
6) Florida State 16-5 (5-4)
The Noles are one of only three ACC teams currently on a win streak of at least three games (Syracuse and Virginia are the others). Their marquee win in conference play is undoubtedly the squeaker against UNC, and if they can pull off another upset against Virginia in a week’s time, watch out. Before that, though, they have a tricky two-game road trip to take care of.
Last Week: W 88-77 vs. Georgia Tech, W 103-94 vs. Miami (OT)
This Week: @ Wake Forest 1/31, @ Louisville 2/3
7) #19 North Carolina 16-7 (5-5)
Last Week: L 95-91 vs. NC State (OT), L 82-78 @ Clemson
This Week: vs. Pittsburgh 2/3
8) Virginia Tech 15-6 (4-4)
The trio of teams at 4-4 are difficult to separate, but Virginia Tech gets the nod above the other two. Although they only played once in the week since the last edition of these power rankings, they took care of business at Notre Dame. The second half of their schedule is an absolute monster, though: it includes Duke twice, an away game at Virginia, and home for Clemson.
Last Week: W 80-75 @ Notre Dame
This Week: @ Boston College 1/31, vs. Miami 2/3
9) Miami 15-5 (4-4)
Next is the Hurricanes of Miami, who played a pair of overtime games this past week: a win at home over Louisville and a loss at Florida State. You could argue they deserve to be in the #8 spot, and you’d probably be right. There’s not a lot to separate these two teams, but seeing as they play each other later this week, we should be able to definitively rank one over the other next week.
Last Week: W 78-75 vs. Louisville (OT), L 103-94 @ Florida State (OT)
This Week: vs. Pittsburgh 1/31, @ Virginia Tech 2/3
10) Syracuse 15-6 (4-4)
As mentioned above, Syracuse is on a three-game winning streak. But two of those games are against 0-9 Pittsburgh, and this streak came after a four-game losing streak. Cuse feels like it’s been a bubble team for the past thousand years by this point, and they look like one again this year. Their remaining schedule, though, has plenty of opportunities for them to solidify their spot in the Big Dance.
Last Week: W 81-63 vs. Boston College, W 60-55 vs. Pittsburgh
This Week: @ Georgia Tech 1/31, vs. Virginia 2/3
11) Boston College 13-8 (3-5)
From this point on, none of the teams in these rankings have won in the past week. So Boston College gets the nod next for a few reasons. They only played one game in the last week, a road loss to Syracuse. Of their five conference losses, three were to teams ranked at the time. And of course: they beat Duke when Duke was #1. That gives them a lot of clout.
Last Week: L 81-63 @ Syracuse
This Week: vs. Virginia Tech 1/31, vs. Georgia Tech 2/4, @ Notre Dame 2/6
12) Georgia Tech 10-11 (3-5)
The Yellow Jackets are in the midst of a four-game skid, but three of those games came against Virginia, Clemson, and UNC. Nothing to be ashamed up, although that 3-1 start in conference play, with a win over then-ranked Miami, feels like a dream now in Atlanta. You know what else feels like a dream? The Heels’ last win was against the Yellow Jackets.
Last Week: L 88-77 @ Florida State, L 72-70 vs. Clemson
This Week: vs. Syracuse 1/31, @ Boston College 2/4
13) Notre Dame 13-9 (3-6)
It could be worse, though. Notre Dame started 3-0 in conference play and has since lost all six of their games. That skid has largely coinsided with the loss of Bonzie Colson for what now realistically looks like the rest of the season, unless the Irish can fight their way into a deep postseason run.
Last Week: L 80-75 vs. Virginia Tech, L 88-66 @ Duke
This Week: @ NC State 2/3, vs. Boston College 2/6
14) Wake Forest 8-13 (1-8)
Wake’s only conference win was almost an entire month ago, a 73-67 home victory against Syracuse. Since then, the schedule has handed them some brutal Ls, including a pair against Duke and a home loss against Virginia. It lightens up from here on out though, as the only currently ranked opponent the Demon Deacons will play in the regular season is Clemson at home.
Last Week: L 84-70 vs. Duke, L 96-77 @ Louisville
This Week: vs. Florida State 1/31, vs. Clemson 2/3
15) Pittsburgh 8-14 (0-9)
The Panthers are the only winless team in conference play, and if I’m being honest I gotta say I forget they’re even the ACC every now and then. If I’m being really honest...I’m terrified of that game this weekend officially turning this season into a Season From Hell.
Last Week: L 72-68 vs. NC State, L 60-55 vs. Syracuse
This Week: @ Miami 1/31, @ UNC 2/3