It's that time again. And we're starting to make a little bit of sense out of the ACC now that we are getting deeper into the season. It is still a tight race at the top, but the better teams are separating themselves from the rest of the pack.
Duke stays in the top spot after a sweep of GT and BC. The Blue Devils got a scare from BC on the road, but were able to escape with just their second road win on the season.
So they got beat by Duke at Cameron--who hasn't? The Jackets are still arguably the most physically talented team in the conference, but they have got to stay focused and not have games like the one they played against State on Saturday.
A perfect week for the Deacs gets them the third spot. They are a game back of first and continue to find ways to grind out victories. With their fourth overtime win of the year in snowy Charlottesville, the Demon Deacons are showing they know how to win the close ones.
Plain and simple, Maryland is playing good basketball. They got a great win over FSU and then smoked UNC. This team is locked in right now.
VT is on the move. Behind Malcolm Delaney, the Hokies have put themselves in a good position to finish near the top of the ACC and get themselves into the Dance.
6.) Florida State Seminoles
Every time I feel like FSU has a chance to really make a statement, they aren't able to do so. They still win with defense and are a solid ballclub, but it is one step forward, then a step back for the 'Noles.
UVA would have really helped themselves if they were able to pull out a victory against Wake Forest, but dropping the season series shot them down to 5-3 in conference. The fact remains though, that outside of WFU, the Cavs are 5-1 against ACC opponents. They've got Maryland and VT this week, so Virginia has some work cut out for them.
8.) Clemson Tigers
The Tigers are in a tailspin. Losing four of their last five, Clemson has dropped to 4-5 in conference and is going to need to regroup if they hope to still make the NCAA Tournament.
9.) Boston College Eagles
They don't give out consolation prizes for losses, but BC's late comeback against Duke was spirited and almost happened. They had the ball and last shot down three and their last possession was pretty ugly, but there was still a good look at the tie there. The Eagles have a really ugly 12-11 record, but they can compete.
10.) N.C. State Wolfpack
State is such an enigmatic team to me. They've won some big games and played a lot of other teams tough--like their recent road loss to GT, but at the end of the day, they are 14-10 (2-7). Sidney Lowe didn't even shake Paul Hewitt's hand after the loss, and I'm starting to wonder if he'll be shaking the A.D.'s hand after he loses his job at the end of this season.
North Carolina is a team without a point guard. That's what does it. In their recent loss to Maryland, the Heels got 0 points from Larry Drew. On paper the Heels really shouldn't be this bad, but they sit at 13-10 now and are almost assuredly on their way to the NIT.
12.) Miami Hurricanes
Miami has lost 6 of 7, by an average margin of 12.3 points. There is just no consistency for a team that really isn't that bad by the numbers--they have an eFG% of 53.3, shoot 37% from deep and almost 52% from 3PT, and hold teams to an eFG% of 45.7%, but those numbers are misleading, as they have been giving up over 72 ppg in conference play. Their weak non-con schedule is really showing its face now.