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ACC Power Rankings 2-24

ACC Tournament Logo 2016

Coming down the final stretch and this ACC season has been a great one.

  1. North Carolina (11-3, 22-5) Last Week: 1 – An absolute heartbreaking loss at home to Duke by 1 point isn’t enough to knock UNC from the top of the conference. But they followed that up with a demolition of Miami in one of the most decisive wins any ACC team has had against anyone this season. Brice Johnson is my leader from ACC Player of the Year and it isn’t very close. He could steal some votes from Buddy Hield and Denzel Valentine for National Player of the Year. UNC makes the short trip to NC State tonight in what should be a cake walk.
  2. Miami (11-4, 22-5) LW: 3 – So they had a bad game against North Carolina, the win 2 nights ago over Virginia was quite impressive. I said last week that Davon Reed would be the player to step up for the Canes and he did just that, dropping a career-high 21 points. The Canes travel to Louisville on Saturday for another extremely tough game, which could end up deciding who finishes second or possibly first in the conference.
  3. Virginia (10-5, 21-6) LW: 2 Tough loss at Miami away from home, which with a win would have put them alone in second place. Malcolm Brogdon had an unreal game, starting the second half shooting a perfect 8 for 8. I really didn’t like their last possession though in which they absolutely struggled to get a good shot up. With so many good shooters, that should never happen. Virginia hosts UNC on Saturday in another huge heavyweight showdown in this unreal conference. Charlottesville will be bouncing, Virginia is a perfect 13-0 at home this year.
  4. Duke (9-5, 20-7) LW: 4 – Coach K has never had a team so riddled with injuries, yet he still found a way to knock off UNC in Chapel Hill. But the loss to Louisville didn’t help them and Krzyzewski lost his cool for a lot of the second half, picking up a crucial technical late. Grayson Allen also lost control of himself and picked up a dead ball technical after fouling out. The Blue Devils should get Matt Jones back this week and Derryck Thornton is expected to play tomorrow night against FSU despite injuring his shoulder in the Louisville loss. After FSU, Duke travels to Pitt Sunday for a tough matchup with a now slightly-hotter Panthers team.
  5. Louisville (10-4, 21-6) LW: 7 – This was my quote from last week “Rick Pitino and his staff just need to play out their last 6 games without injury or incident and let this season be forgotten about.” Seems like Pitino and his staff had other plans. Two very impressive wins jumped them up two spots. How about the second half from Damion Lee in the Duke win and the monster game for Chinanu Onuaku against Cuse with his 13 points and 15 rebounds. Come on a little piece of you wants to see Louisville find a way to win the ACC regular season championship, it is literally all they can win.
  6. Notre Dame (9-5, 18-8) LW: 5 – Road wins are tough to get in any conference, so we can’t punish the Irish too much for a one point loss at Georgia Tech. Especially after winning three straight prior to that, two against top 15 teams. Notre Dame is still in a great position to get a double-bye in the ACC Tournament, but they’ll need to take care of their easy schedule. They have Wake tonight and Florida State on Saturday, two must win games.
  7. Pittsburgh (8-6, 19-7) LW: 9 – The ever changing 7th spot see the Panthers again. Two good wins for Pitt over Wake in which they scored 101 points and a 14 point win at Cuse. That win at Cuse was crucial for Pitt to keep their eye on a top 4 spot in the ACC Tournament, which they are in contention for and they knocked Cuse from. Pitt has Louisville tonight at home and Duke at home on Sunday. Two huge tests for Jamie Dixon’s squad. Tonight is a #stripeout game at the Pete, can’t wait to see if Pitt is up to the test. Louisville and Pitt are the only 2 teams in the top 7 of the conference to win their last 2 games in a row.
  8. Syracuse (8-7, 18-10) LW: 6 – Cuse didn’t do themselves any favors, losing two straight games by 14 points each. The away loss at Louisville is excusable, but to get blown out at home by Pitt really stings. The Orange are still in good shape to dance and only one very tough game left (at UNC). They’ll host NC State on Saturday as they look for the bounce-back win. They’ll certainly need a better shooting day from Trevor Cooney, who went 1-9 from the floor for 3 points in the Pitt loss.
  9. Clemson (9-7, 16-12) LW: 8 – If you hear that crashing sound, it’s Clemson’s season coming to a screeching halt. Two heartbreaking road losses at Georgia Tech and NC State by a combined five points when they desperately needed to win at least one of those. Clemson has the rest of the week off and has only a home game against Virginia and a road game at BC left. They’ll need a good showing against Virginia and some work in the ACC tournament for them to get a bid. Again such a shock from a team that has beaten Pitt, Miami, Duke, Louisville, and Syracuse. It just doesn’t make sense that they can’t pull it together. Might be the most inconsistent team in the country.
  10. Virginia Tech (8-7, 15-13) LW: 11 – Buzz Williams has the Hokies playing good basketball of late. They’ve now won 3 of their last 5 with the losses being Miami and UVA both away from home. VT should make an appearance in the NIT, in which they can definitely do some damage.
  11. Florida State (6-9, 16-11) LW: 10 – Things keep getting worse for FSU. Four straight losses including a bad home loss to GT and a 10 point loss at VT. They needed both of those games to be a tournament team because now they have Duke, Notre Dame and Syracuse left. If they can steal 1 or 2 of those games and have a good ACC tournament, they have an outside shot at a tournament appearance.
  12. Georgia Tech (6-9, 16-12) LW: 13 – Georgia Tech is figuring it out right now, three straight wins against good teams, most prominently Notre Dame. But it is probably too late for them to make a run towards the NCAA Tournament. Marcus Georges-Hunt has been unstoppable the last 3 weeks. The Yellow Jackets are primed to upset somebody in the ACC Tournament. They have Louisville and Pitt left on the schedule, and BC on Saturday. Who knows if they win all 3 and an ACC Tournament game, they could sneak into the dance after all.
  13. NC State (4-10, 14-13) LW: 12 – Maverick Rowan (who?) had an unreal second half in their big win over Clemson this past week. Rowan is one of the better unknown freshman in the conference and has been solid all season with four games of 20+ points. The Pack travel to Syracuse this weekend.
  14. Wake Forest (2-13, 11-16) LW: 15 – Wake dominated BC this week in a game that secures basically locks them as the 13 seed in the ACC tournament. Devin Thomas senior game is on Sunday, he’ll be missed in Winston-Salem.
  15. Boston College (0-15, 7-21) LW: 14 – College Hoops is a funny game. One week ago BC almost beat UNC, then they lose by 26 to Wake the next. Three chances left to get their first win, starting with a home game against GT on Saturday. Rutgers and Chicago State are the only two other teams in the country without a conference win.

Scott Zolotorow