This past Saturday in ACC play started with the Tar Heels being shown up on their own floor against Louisville. While the manner in which the loss took place was devastating to UNC faithful, everything else that’s happened in conference play since then has proven that the conference this year is going to be a dog fight. With each Triangle team losing their games, lower-ranked teams showing their fangs, and everything in-between, how do the power rankings shake out this week? Let’s dive in and find out.
1. #4 Virginia Cavaliers 16-0 (4-0)
After the first five minutes of the game Tuesday night versus Virginia Tech, the Cavaliers took control and never looked back. UVA ran off to a 81-59 victory over a very good VT team. Unless teams can figure out this Cavalier defense, Virginia will emerge as the clear favorite for the ACC regular season crown.
Next game: 1/19/19 at Duke
2. #1 Duke Blue Devils 14-2 (3-1)
Monday night’s home overtime loss proved that the Blues Devils are not untouchable, especially with illness and injury to two of their starters. With their big game looming against Virginia, will Cameron Reddish and Tre Jones start this Saturday? And if not, will they even play?
Next game: 1/19/19 vs. Virginia
3. #9 Virginia Tech Hokies 14-2 (3-1)
Tuesday night, the Hokies had a chance to make a serious statement early in league play. They fell well short in Charlottesville, but this team still has a chance to be competitive come March.
Next game: 1/19/19 vs. Wake Forest
4. #12 North Carolina Tar Heels 13-4 (3-1)
The Heels won an ugly one at home, but they sure did not make it easy against the Irish. Carolina must find a way to be more efficient on offense and continue to limit turnovers, especially with three of the next four on the road.
Next game: 1/19/19 at Miami
5. Syracuse Orange 12-5 (3-1)
With their big upset in Durham, the Orange have jumped up in the power rankings and placed themselves in a competitive 3-1 spot in conference play. Their next two games are against seemingly lesser opponents and could really determine the trajectory of this team.
Next game: 1/19/19 vs. Pitt
6. Louisville Cardinals 12-5 (3-1)
Despite an evenly matched second half, the Cards got the early jump on Boston College last night and took care of business down the stretch. With a 3-1 record, Louisville is now in the thick of it in the conference.
Next game: 1/19/19 at Georgia Tech
7. #11 Florida State Seminoles 13-4 (1-3)
After a heartbreaking home loss versus Duke, the Seminoles were vulnerable and suffered a stunning 75-62 loss at Pitt. FSU remains this high in the power rankings because of their previous successes, however an upset or two in their favorable upcoming schedule could drop them much lower.
Next game: 1/20/19 at Boston College
8. #17 NC State Wolfpack 14-3 (2-2)
After their bounce back win against Pitt, the Wolfpack laid a first-half egg against Wake Forest, leading to 71-67 upset at LJVM. NCSU fought hard in the second half, even bringing it to a one-point deficit with just over a minute to play.
Next game: 1/19/19 at Notre Dame
9. Pittsburgh Panthers 12-5 (2-2)
Pitt’s big win over Florida State puts their league record at .500. This is important considering that they play at Syracuse and host Duke within a four day span.
Next game: 1/19/19 at Syracuse
10. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 10-7 (2-2)
After an impressive win at Syracuse, the Yellow Jackets did not do much of anything last night in Clemson, less a late first-half surge to cut the Tiger lead to five at the break. With two home games before their gauntlet, it will be interesting to see where GT goes from here.
Next game: 1/19/19 vs. Louisville
11. Notre Dame Fighting Irish 11-6 (1-3)
Tuesday’s opportunity to beat a struggling Carolina team was squandered in the second half. There were certainly glimpses of a team that could get things together down the stretch, but they have to find some wins soon to keep pace in the middle of the ACC pack.
Next game: 1/19/19 vs. NC State
12. Miami Hurricanes 9-7 (1-3)
After starting 0-3 in the conference, the Hurricanes earned their first league win of the season against Wake Forest. If the ‘Canes want to make something of this season, they need for it to happen in short order with a grueling schedule through the end of the month.
Next game: 1/19/19 vs. North Carolina
13. Wake Forest Demon Deacons 8-8 (1-3)
The Deacs pulled off the upset against ranked NC State, but they sure did not make it easy on themselves. Up 42-27 at the half, Wake Forest won by just four. With two road games against Virginia Tech and Virginia coming up, can WF create a streak of beating ranked opponents?
Next game: 1/19/19 at Virginia Tech
14. Clemson Tigers 11-6 (1-3)
It was never in doubt last night in Littlejohn as the Tigers got the jump on Georgia Tech. Clemson scored 14 unanswered points to start the game and never trailed for a second to grab their first conference win of the year
Next game: 1/22/19 at Florida State
15. Boston College Eagles 9-7 (0-4)
Despite Ky Bowman logging all 40 minutes against Louisville, not a single three pointer fell for him last night. The Eagles are the last team to go winless in conference play.
Next game: 1/20/19 vs. Florida State.