Virginia (8-3, 19-4) – Six straight wins after the 3 tough losses to start conference play, including great wins at Louisville and at Pitt, both by double digits. Virginia is playing great basketball right now. They’ll host VT tonight in a big time redemption game after losing there January 5.
North Carolina (8-2, 19-4) – Despite 2 tough, consecutive losses on the road, UNC is still one of top dogs in the conference. They’ll need to bounce back and beat at least 2 of Pitt, Duke, and Miami in the next 10 days, all are home games.
Louisville (8-3, 19-5) – Louisville blew a large opportunity to be #1 this week by losing at Duke last night. Amongst all of the self-imposed ban drama and Rick Pitino media blow-ups, Louisville can still win the regular season title, the only thing they can win. But the Cardinals have 5 straight tough matchups in a row, starting at Notre Dame on Saturday.
Miami (7-3, 18-4) – Miami would be higher on the list if they just didn’t get blown out at NC State. Their other conference losses are quality, but that one was rough. Still, the Canes are in great shape with the best backcourt in the conference with Angel Rodriguez and Sheldon McClellan. Miami has 4 of their next 6 at home, but consecutive games against UNC, Virginia, and Louisville. They can look at that as a chance to take over 1st place in the conference with wins in all 3.
Notre Dame (8-4, 17-7) – Notre Dame fans will thing they should be higher than Miami. Both have been identical in conference play. The Fighting Irish have the biggest win of conference play so far with their huge upset against UNC, but still have work to do. Although all 4 of their conference losses are quality, they only played good basketball in 1 of them.
Duke (7-4, 18-6) – This will be the lowest you see Duke on the power rankings for the rest of the season if I had to guess. Last night’s win against Louisville was what Coach K’s squad needed. They’ll soon get Amile Jefferson back and they are clearly much better with him playing. Duke can and probably will win 2 of the next 3 as they are thrown into the gauntlet with Virginia at home and at both UNC and Louisville in the next 8 days to regain supremacy.
Pittsburgh (6-4, 17-5) – Like Miami, I am looking at the home loss to NC State as the reason they aren’t higher on the list. That plus their only quality ACC win so far is Notre Dame. Big opportunities to gain ground with games against Miami and UNC coming up.
Syracuse (6-5, 16-8) – Syracuse is the only ACC team to win 6 of their last 7, imagine that. Two of those wins were huge (at Duke and vs ND). The only loss was at Virginia. They have a big game against the next team on the list, Florida State on Thursday night at home, before traveling to BC.
Clemson (7-5, 14-10) – Shocking that a team that has beaten Louisville, Duke, Miami, Syracuse, and Pitt could be at 9 right? They’ve lost 3 of their last 4 including a heartbreaker at Virginia Tech. BUT, only 1 remaining game against teams in the upper half of the conference. If they win what they are supposed to and beat UVA, they should be dancing for sure.
Florida State (6-5, 16-7) – Only 2 of the Seminoles 6 conference wins are against teams in the upper half of the conference, but all 5 losses are. It’s tough to gauge if they can be for real. They beat Virginia at home but that’s their only signature win, and again they’ve had their chances. Only 1 remaining games against a currently ranked opponent to try to prove they belong in the dance. They desperately need 1 or 2 more resume wins
Virginia Tech (5-6, 13-11) – The Hokies have been treated unfairly by the schedule makers, going 1-5 in their last 6 games, all against teams in the top 9 in the conference and it doesn’t get any better as they travel to both Virginia and Miami in their next 2 games.
NC State (2-9, 12-12) – The Wolfpack beat Miami by 16 at home and Pitt by 17 on the road. HOW CAN THEY NOT BE BETTER? It boggles the mind. Anthony Barber is a 1st or 2nd team all-conference player and worth watching.
Georgia Tech (2-8, 12-11) – The Yellow Jackets beat Virginia in one of the biggest upsets in college basketball all season in January, but have since only beaten NC State in their last 7 games.
Wake Forest (1-10, 10-13) – Came oh so close to winning against Virginia, but couldn’t pull it off. Tough for this to be the last season for Devin Thomas, who has been an unbelievable player who hasn’t gotten nearly as much attention as he deserves because of all of the losing. He averages a double-double (well almost, 16 pts, 9.9 rebs).
Boston College (0-10, 7-16) – They’ll get their chance for a win, 4 of their last 5 games of the season are against the bottom 5 teams.