What a week for the ACC Basketball Power Rankings. With much of the league on hiatus or playing a limited schedule for the end of the semester, there may not have been much movement expected. However, there were some big wins and losses by teams in the conference last week, and it led to some shuffling in the order. Check out where the North Carolina Tar Heels and the other ACC teams sit in Week 6.
1. #19 Florida State (9-0)
The Seminoles jumped up four spots to take the number one position in the ACC Power Rankings. They are new to the polls this week, coming in at no. 19 in each. Last Monday, Florida State took down then-ranked no. 5 Florida on the road in Gainesville. Florida remained in the polls this week after a win versus a ranked Cincinnati team, making the FSU win look better than it otherwise would after Florida dropped a game to Loyola-Chicago. The ‘Noles should be able to take care of business until an extremely difficult start to conference play.
2. #6 Miami (8-0)
The primary justification for the undefeated and top ten ranked Hurricanes remaining at number two this week is their big win at no. 12 Minnesota, but it’s not looking as impressive as it did in late November. After their loss to Miami, the Golden Gophers dropped two of three and have fallen out of the polls. Nevertheless, Miami is undefeated with a favorable schedule until a conference clash with Florida State in early January.
3. #7 North Carolina (8-1)
Last Wednesday, the Tar Heels were dynamite behind the arc against Western Carolina, and went into the exam break feeling good about their jump shots. Even so, there is still a lot of work to do in the frontcourt and taking better care of the basketball. There are simply too many turnovers from a veteran backcourt. UNC faces one of their toughest tests of the non-conference schedule in a true road game against Tennessee this Sunday.
4. #4 Duke (11-1, 0-1 ACC)
The Blue Devils are last in the ACC. The loss versus Boston College hurts their power ranking more than a couple of November wins against Michigan State and Florida. Only three Boston College players scored in double-figures, but Duke’s six-man group could not do enough against BC as a whole. Come January, it will be interesting to see how much these six players have left in the tank. The team from Durham has the week off and returns to the court next Wednesday.
5. #16 Virginia (8-1)
West Virginia’s biggest lead against Virginia last Tuesday was eight points. This game was tight throughout, and despite grabbing a couple of leads, the Cavaliers could not get the win in Morgantown. The loss did not hurt the ‘Hoos much in the polls or this ranking, dropping just one spot from last week in the AP Poll and gaining a spot in the power rankings.
6. #18 Notre Dame (8-2)
Matt Farrell made a three pointer to tie the game with 24 seconds left against Ball State. Ball State responded with a three pointer of their own with just 1.7 seconds left to finish off the upset of Notre Dame in South Bend. In a similar situation with Duke, this loss hurts the Irish more in the power rankings than what helped their credentials in their victory against Wichita State.
7. Virginia Tech (9-1)
Since their ugly loss against Saint Louis, the Hokies have rattled off seven straight. Buzz’s squad won in convincing fashion against much lesser opponents this past week. The real test comes this Saturday, as VT travels to Rupp Arena to take on no. 8 Kentucky.
8. Syracuse (8-1)
Their win against UConn was never in doubt, and the final score of 72-63 was much closer than the actual game. The Orange face off against another old Big East rival in Georgetown this weekend.
9. Louisville (6-2)
The Cardinals bounced back from their two losses against Purdue and Seton Hall with two wins versus Siena and Indiana. Their 71-62 victory against the Hooisers was much closer than the score shows. Louisville held just a three point lead with less than a minute to play, but were able to seal the victory through a timely basket and crucial steal.
10. Clemson (8-1)
Clemson handled Samford easily this past week and hold steady in the tenth spot. This Saturday, the Tigers have an opportunity to make a splash when they battle no. 22 Florida in the 24th annual MetroPCS Orange Bowl Basketball Classic.
11. NC State (8-2)
The Wolfpack hosted a blockbuster matchup in their annual “Heritage Game” last Saturday, inviting the storied University of Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos to soak in the rich tradition of State College on the hardwoods of historic Reynolds Coliseum. Kevin Keatts even had Sidney Lowe’s red jacket tailored for the occasion. Let’s see what Wes Miller and UNCG can do when they travel to PNC Arena this Saturday.
12. Boston College (7-3, 1-0 ACC)
Atop the ACC standings are the Eagles of Boston College! With their defeat of the Dookies, BC is now halfway to the total number of conference wins in their past two seasons. The Eagles have three games to continue to improve before their second conference game at the end of the month versus Virginia.
13. Wake Forest (6-4)
After stumbling out of the gate, the Demon Deacons have won five straight, most recently a 109-80 victory over Army last Friday at the LJVM. Wake is off this week and is back in action next Monday versus Coastal Carolina.
14. Pitt (5-5)
The Panthers did not quit against no. 18 West Virginia last Saturday, despite being down 30 in the first stanza and as much as 17 in the second half. Pitt whittled the WVU lead to four within six minutes left in the game, but the offense went stagnant with three and a half minutes to go.
15. Georgia Tech (4-4)
The Ramblin’ Wreck’s wheels have fallen off after a last-second loss to Wofford. The good news? The Yellow Jackets are not last in the ACC (that’s Duke).
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