I think I’ve finally figured this league out. Here are this weeks ACC Power Rankings:
1. Carolina 23-5 (11-3)
The Tar Heels sit 3-1 in the midst of a brutal stretch to end the ACC season. The loss of sophomore guard Kenny Williams to a knee injury puts a bit of a damper on the team’s national title outlook, but it isn’t something that they can’t overcome. The Heels will need to remain focused with Louisville headed to town on Wednesday, followed by a potential trap game at Pitt.
This Week: 2/22 vs. Louisville; 2/25 at Pitt: 2/27 at UVA
2. Louisville 22-5 (10-4)
Louisville basketball is still unwatchable but damn if they don’t keep winning games. Rick Pitino is a Hall of Famer for a reason and he’s shown it with his Cardinals playing the past few weeks without starting point guard Quentin Snider. Sophomore guard Donovan Mitchell should be on your ballot for first-team All-ACC. If he’s not, then why do you have a vote?
This Week: 2/22 at UNC; 2/26 vs Syracuse
3. Duke 22-5 (10-4)
We always knew that Duke would eventually “turn it around.” The national narrative has flipped enough for Vegas to put the Devils back on top as favorites to win the national title. For the seven-game winning streak and the improved play of Jayson Tatum, Duke is only defeating its opponents by 6.9 PPG. There’s a lot to like about this team, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them drop a few in these last four, particularly with three of those games coming on the road.
This Week: 2/22 at Syracuse; 2/26 at Miami
4. Notre Dame 21-7 (10-5)
Notre Dame lost some games, now they’ve won a few.
This Week: 2/26 vs Georgia Tech
5. Florida State 22-6 (10-5)
Florida State is the type of team to put up 109 and 95 points on Clemson and NC State and then follow that up by losing on the road by double-digits to Notre Dame and Pitt. Leonard Hamilton’s team has scary talent, but eventually they’ll run out of games in Tallahassee.
This Week: 2/25 at Clemson
6. Miami 19-8 (9-6 ACC)
Not much to say here, other than this team should be in the tournament, unless disaster strikes.
This Week: 2/25 vs. Duke; 2/27 at Virginia Tech
7. Virginia Tech 18-8 (7-7 ACC)
My heart goes out to Hokie standout Chris Clarke. His absence will make it difficult for the Hokies to solidify their bid to the NCAA’s. Like others in this league near the bubble, two more wins and they should be fine.
This week: 2/21 vs. Clemson; 2/25 at Boston College; 2/27 vs. Miami
8. Georgia Tech 16-11 (7-7 ACC)
Hand Josh Pastner the trophy. Also, this team has a legitimate shot at getting into the dance. If the Jackets are able to take care of business at home and finish at 9-9 in the conference it would be hard to see a team that has home wins against Carolina, Florida State, Notre Dame, Syracuse, and a road win at VCU, being left out of the field.
This Week: 2/21 vs NC State; 2/26 at Notre Dame
9. Syracuse 16-12 (8-7 ACC)
New York’s College Team has decided to go on a three-game losing streak at the wrong time. Jim Boeheim’s team sits squarely on the bubble, and with Duke and Louisville left on the schedule, they could play their way out prior to hosting the ACC tournament in Brooklyn.
This Week: 2/22 vs. Duke; 2/26 at Louisville
10. Virginia 18-9 (8-7 ACC)
People will have you believe that the Hoos are in total free fall mode after Monday night’s overtime loss to Miami, but I wouldn’t go that far. Sure, Virginia has lost four-games in a row at that’s to cause concern. But if you look closer at those losses, you’ll see a double OT loss on the road at rival Virginia Tech, followed by a tough loss at home to Duke, a blowout at Carolina, and then last night’s overtime loss to Canes. The larger concern is over the teams ability, or lack thereof, to score the basketball consistently. In their past three losses, Virginia is averaging 48 PPG. Yes, Tony Bennett like to play a slow, methodical type of offense, but 48 points isn’t going to cut it. Good thing they have State next.
This Week: 2/25 at NC State; 2/27 vs. UNC
11. Wake Forest 15-12 (6-9 ACC)
Wake is the most frustrating team to watch in the ACC. They are so clearly talented but still a young team unable to close out games and win on the road. Still, if they can win out I think that this team could find its way into the dance.
This Week: 2/22 vs. Pitt
12. Clemson 14-12 (4-10 ACC)
Somehow, every time I look at Joe Lunardi’s bracketology, he has the Tigers in the field. How? I have no clue. Clemson seemingly has lost every close game that it has been in this season. Meaning this team could easily be Top 4 in the ACC. But ‘you are what your record says you are’ and it says that they’re not a tournament team and that Brad Brownell is probably in trouble. I heard that this guy who coaches at VCU went to Clemson...just a thought.
This Week: Two close games that they’ll probably lose
13. Pitt 15-12 (4-10 ACC)
This Pitt team is clearly talented enough to get to the tournament. The problem is Kevin Stallings is their coach. Jamie Dixon, the unquestioned best coach in the program’s history became unappreciated and now has TCU squarely on the bubble. Yeah, that TCU. You make the bed you lie in, Pitt. Therefore, I don’t feel sorry for you.
This Week: 2/22 at Wake; 2/25 vs. UNC
14. Boston College 9-19 (2-13 ACC)
Sure, BC hasn’t won a game since January 11, but they’re not as embarrassing as the team down in Raleigh.
This Week: Doesn’t matter, you’re not watching
15. NC State 14-14 (3-12 ACC)
Since everyone is giving their take on the NC State job here’s mine:
I’ve long thought that NC State was a Top 15 program in America. State has all of the things that should make a program successful: Great facilities, excellent fan support, and a natural recruiting base. Now, national media types will look at this program and say that it can’t compete because of its proximity to Carolina and Duke.
If you know your ACC history, Wolfpack head coach Everett Case basically invented ACC basketball and dominated the league’s early years. This is the same school that boasts the greatest college basketball player of all-time in David Thompson and ended UCLA’s national championship streak in 1974. We also are very familiar with Jim Valvano and the magic of the 1983 team.
What we’ve forgotten is the fact that before Coach K turned Duke into what they are today, State was the power program next to Carolina in the ACC. I wasn’t alive then, but I’m sure national media gasbags weren’t talking about how Duke couldn’t compete because of the proximity of Carolina and State.
Scandal, NCAA sanctions, and the ouster of beloved coach Valvano led the Wolfpack into this 20+ years of futility. You can place a lot of that blame on coaching and gross incompetence within the athletic’s department. Herb Sendek was solid for the Pack during his tenure, taking the team consistently to the NCAA tournament, but rarely having much success once getting there.
Many have called Wolfpack fans crazy for running Sendek out of town. There’s certainly an argument for that, if you’re willing to ignore Sendek’s record since leaving Raleigh. The one question that I will ask is: Would you as a Carolina fan put up with that lack of success in March? The answer is a resounding hell to the NO.
AD’s Lee Fowler and Debbie Yow both have botched coaching searches to their name which led to Humpty Dumpty a.k.a Sydney Lowe and Mark Gottfried to roam the sidelines for the past decade. Lowe essentially did the program a favor, while Gottfried brought in enough talent and had some success, but he was fortunate to get to the dance as often as he did.
For the sake of State fans and for the overall entertainment and quality of the league, I sincerely hope that they can find a coach who can bring respect back to a program that has great tradition. For Carolina fans, I would be concerned if UNCW’s Kevin Keatts gets the job. The guy can recruit and plays that same bs style that Pitino does at Louisville. I’d be happy for NC State alum and current Dayton head coach Archie Miller if this is truly his dream job, but I wouldn’t wish him too much success.
All that being said, this year’s team is a disgrace.
This Week: They quit