Definitive rankings of the best conference in the nation are below:
1. North Carolina 25-5 (13-3)
The top spot remains unchanged. The Tar Heels handled Louisville in a top 10 showdown on Wednesday and then navigated a tricky road game against Pittsburgh to clinch a share of the ACC regular season title for the second consecutive year. Duke’s loss to Miami meant Carolina will be the top seed in the ACC Tournament next week no matter what happens this week. In typical Roy Williams fashion, this team appears to be peaking at the right time. One more win clinches the outright title.
This week: 2/27 at Virginia, 3/4 vs. Duke
2. Louisville 23-6 (11-5)
Louisville dropped a big game Wednesday night in Chapel Hill but still seem primed for a strong seed in the NCAA Tournament. They handled business on Sunday against Syracuse to remain two games back of the Tar Heels. I considered having them in last place just on general principle for their coach behaving like a crazy person but ultimately decided to slot them at a distant second.
This week: 3/1 at Wake Forest, 3/4 vs. Notre Dame
3. Florida State 23-6 (11-5)
Florida State seems to have somewhat receded from the national spotlight after their hot start, however, the Seminoles still have a ton of length and elite athletes. They are going to be a tough matchup in March.
This week: 2/28 at Duke, 3/4 vs. Miami
4. Notre Dame 22-7 (11-5)
Bonzie Colson has the old man at the gym game. He doesn’t look like he should be a good player, but he is the spearhead of your typical Mike Brey team that overachieves and is a tough and unique matchup. The top four in the ACC get a first round bye so it will be crucial to maintain their spot in the ACC standings, but more importantly, in these power rankings.
This week: 3/1 vs. Boston College, 3/4 at Louisville
5. Miami 20-8 (10-6)
Miami had the best win of the weekend due to them beating Duke, which by law, is automatically the best win. A college intramural team could have beaten Golden State this weekend and it would still have been the second best win of the weekend. I don’t make the rules.
This week: 2/27 at Virginia Tech, 3/4 at Florida State
6. Duke 22-7 (10-6)
I considered putting Virginia Tech here because I am a petty and bitter man. Duke represents everything wrong with the world and we all should be quite happy that they lost two games this week.
A team that was hyped as an unstoppable juggernaut is staring down a seventh or eighth place finish in the conference. The talent is there, but there is no cohesive offensive plan beyond hand the ball to Luke Kennard and hope Jayson Tatum is making 3’s. Their dream season is on the brink of imploding. Other than that, things are fine.
This week: 2/28 vs. Florida State, 3/4 at North Carolina
7. Virginia Tech 20-8 (9-7)
It is in the conference bylaws that there has to be an overly sweaty coach named Williams at all times. Thank you to Buzz for taking over for Gary Williams.
This week: 2/27 Miami, 3/4 vs. Wake Forest
8. Virginia 19-9 (9-7)
Virginia appeared to be a team in free-fall. They started the week off with a loss at home to Miami in a performance that I incorrectly assumed would have been outlawed by the Geneva Convention. Their offensive ineptitude was on full display as they scored 48 points...with overtime. Fortunately, playing against NC “we’re so incompetent we messed up firing our coach” State is the cure for all ills. Was this them righting the ship? They have a chance to get back in a groove with North Carolina coming to town on short rest.
This week: 2/27 vs. North Carolina, 3/4 vs. Pittsburgh
9. Syracuse 17-13 (9-8)
Many were quick to claim that Syracuse’s dramatic win over Duke Wednesday night definitively locked up their tournament bid. I would like to refer those people to Seth Greenberg and ask him how a late win over Duke or UNC definitely locks you in and...nope, no need to worry now. They got waxed by Louisville on Sunday, albeit as expected, but they appear to be in good position. Now is not the time to slack off though.
This week: 3/4 vs. Georgia Tech
10. Wake Forest 16-12 (7-9)
Wake Forest has been consistently competitive, led by the very talented John Collins. However, that isn’t always good enough. They are as square on the bubble as one team can be. At some point, winning the games you’re supposed to and losing the one’s you’re expected to isn’t enough. You have to get an elite win to get in the tournament. Fortunately, the Demon Deacons have a chance to do just that Wednesday night at home against Louisville
This week: 3/1 vs. Louisville, 3/4 at Virginia Tech
11. Georgia Tech 16-13 (7-9)
Josh Pastner has received heaps of praise for the job he has done. This team was supposed to be 2015-2016 Boston College-esque. Pastner had them right in the mix for a bid to the tournament, but then they went and lost to NC State. In Atlanta. Their at-large bid chances likely went out the window with that loss, but it shouldn’t discount what they’ve done on the year.
This week: 2/28 vs. Pittsburgh, 3/4 at Syracuse
12. Clemson 14-14 (4-12)
This team can’t catch a break. They have fumbled away game after game. Missed a game-winning free throw against UNC. Buzzer beating 3-pointer to lose by one against Syracuse. Same thing at Virginia Tech. Don’t get a shot off at the buzzer in Cameron down two. Same thing this weekend against Florida State. The losses, as close as they may be, add up and have turned a promising team into a NIT contender. Brad Brownell is almost assuredly getting fired. Clemson should just shoot their shot and hire Zion Williamson’s dad. What do they have to lose?
This week: 3/1 vs. NC State, 3/4 vs. Boston College
13. Pittsburgh 15-14 (4-12)
Pittsburgh’s uniforms on Saturday against North Carolina? Flawless. They should be the permanent choice for the Panthers. They’re worth at least one extra win over the course of a year. I’m sure of it. Did the math and everything.
The game itself?
This week: 2/28 at Georgia Tech, 3/4 at Virginia
14. NC State 15-15 (4-13)
This is bad and you should feel bad, State. Best thing in sports is a NC State coaching search. So at least we all have that.
This week: 3/1 at Clemson
15. Boston College 9-20 (2-14)
If my calendar is correct, it is the year 2017. Here in the year 2017 I still have absolutely no idea why the ACC decided this addition was necessary. Here we are though.
This week: 3/1 at Notre Dame, 3/4 at Clemson