As the marquee ACC games draw closer, the conference has started to take a more defined shape, particularly after the last week's events. Here are the latest Power Rankings for the ACC:
1) #2 Virginia 19-1 (8-0)
The Wahoos are still in the driver's seat. Tony Bennett's team followed up to road wins against Georgia Tech and Wake Forest with a 61-36 throttling of #18 Clemson Tuesday night. The Cavaliers have now won 11 in a row, have not given up more than 68 points all season, and look virtually unbeatable at home. They play in Cameron on Saturday night in the ultimate offense vs defense match-up. They win that game? The ACC is likely a wrap.
2) #4 Duke 18-2 (6-2)
The Blue Devils are starting to roll. They followed up their rout of Pittsburgh with an easy win 84-70 over Wake Forest. The Blue Devils cracked 80 points for the 16th straight time on a night when their starting point guard finished with zero points and 2 assists. As mentioned above, if the Blue Devils want to have any shot at taking the regular season crown, they have to take care of business against Virginia on Saturday night. Lose that game and they will trail by three games in the standings and the Cavaliers will own the head-to-head (they only meet once this year).
3) Louisville 15-4 (5-1)
Nope, I can't believe I've got the Cardinals above us either. They only have the one new victory this week, at home against BC. But the bottom-line is they have won four straight, have only one loss in the conference to a Clemson team that gave us trouble in Chapel Hill, and they won at Florida State, something the Tar Heels failed to do. Do I still think the Tar Heels will come into the KFC Yum! Center and win next month? You're dadgum right. But right now they're second in the ACC Standings and we're not. On top of that, the Cards got to see Kentucky drop out of the rankings for the first time since 2014.
4) #10 UNC 16-5 (5-3)
Let's be realistic: Whatever minuscule, infinitesimal chance the Tar Heels had of three-peating as ACC Regular Season Champions died in Blacksburg on Monday Night. The Tar Heels are developing the reputation as a squad that doesn't bring their A-game on the road. A solid but unspectacular home win over Georgia Tech keeps the Tar Heels in the top 4, but the performance against Virginia Tech was a real letdown and the road doesn't get much easier, with upset-minded NC State and a road game against Clemson up next.
5) #18 Clemson 16-4 (5-3)
The Tigers are experiencing some road woes of their own. After losing in Chapel Hill last week, the Tigers got a home win against wounded Notre Dame. Then Charlottesville happened. 36 points happened. 3-20 from 3-pt happened. 19 TOs against 6 assists happened. Clemson will face Georgia Tech on Friday, then await the rematch with the Heels.
6) Miami 14-4 (3-3)
After missing their shot against Duke last week, the Hurricanes dodged the upset in Raleigh against the Wolfpack. The Hurricanes have a golden opportunity to climb up the standings in the coming weeks: They face Louisville at home on Wednesday Night, then see a run of: at FSU, Pitt, at VA Tech, Wake Forest, and at BC. If they only drop one of those games, they'll be in great shape for a bye in the ACC tournament.
7) Florida State 14-5 (3-4)
Leonard Hamilton's squad did what the Tar Heels couldn't: Won in Blacksburg. The Seminoles bounced back from their loss at Boston College with a 91-82 win over the Hokies on Saturday, the latest shootout from a team whose coach supposedly emphasizes defense. The Noles will face Georgia Tech Wednesday night, then play host to Miami.
8) Virginia Tech 14-6 (3-4)
Not a bad way to end a two-game losing streak, huh? The Hokies fell to Florida State at home in a surprisingly high-scoring affair, but gave the Tar Heels a pretty good whipping on a night when only two Tar Heels appeared to have made it off the bus for the game. The Hokies need to build some momentum from the win — they face Notre Dame, BC, Miami, and NC State in the next two weeks. Then they take back-to-back trips to Charlottesville and Durham.
9) Boston College 13-7 (3-4)
The Golden Eagles gave Louisville a fight on Sunday, but were unable to pull off another upset. BC has a soft part of their schedule coming up: Their next four games are at Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and at Notre Dame. One ACC's most unlikely stories may have new life if they can take advantage.
10) NC State 13-7 (3-4)
There's certainly a case for State to be higher: They've beaten Duke, Arizona, and Clemson. But they also managed to lose by 30 to an injured Notre Dame team and have four conference losses to their name already. Kevin Keatts’ squad missed another upset chance against Miami and will look to bounce back against Pitt Wednesday night. Then they hope to avoid a repeat of last season's public execution in Chapel Hill.
11) Notre Dame 13-7 (3-4)
This may be a harsh ranking for the beleaguered Irish. Yes, they've lost four straight, but all of those games were close. However, Notre Dame's three conference wins came against inferior competition and the simple fact is that they haven't beaten a quality opponent in two months, healthy or otherwise. On top of that, the Irish still have games in Charlottesville, Chapel Hill, and Durham ahead of them. Yikes.
12) Syracuse 13-6 (2-4)
The Orangemen didn't play, so they didn't wind up starting another losing streak. Fortunately for them, other teams did! So here they are. They host Boston College on Wednesday night.
13) Georgia Tech 10-9 (3-3)
The Yellow Jackets unlikely winning streak in the ACC came to a screeching halt with decisive losses against Virginia and UNC. Georgia Tech will look to regain its footing in two tough matches at Florida State and at home against Clemson. Should they manage to win, Jose Alvarado will be back to stepping over his opponents. Or does he only do that in losses?
14) Wake Forest 8-12 (1-7)
The Demon Deacons' skid extends to six. Wake fell to Virginia by ten and was overpowered by Duke in Winston-Salem Tuesday night. One shudders to think that the Heels almost lost at home to these guys.
15) Pittsburgh 8-12 (0-7)
The Panthers are very, very bad. And they played very, very badly in Durham last week to extend their very, very bad losing streak that will likely be extended Wednesday night when they lose very, very badly to NC State. Jamie Dixon is a genius.