After loss to Florida State on January 17th, UVA has taken no prisoners (other than a last second three to beat Wake Forest). They dominated Louisville last weekend, and followed that up with two wins this past week. Can they challenge UNC for the conference title? I think they can, and a game at Duke on Saturday will be another big test.
Well a week after I anointed UNC the best team in the conference they went out and lost two games in a row on the road. I still think they are the best team in the ACC, but they dropped to second place after UVA steamrolled their way to another two win week.
A sluggish 2-2 start to ACC play had many questioning the Hurricanes, but the Tilda has gotten his team back on track with 5 wins in its last six. At 18-4 (7-3), Miami can still challenge UNC and Virginia for the ACC regular season title, but a stretch of: @UNC, UVA, Louisville, @Notre Dame in late February will make that determination.
4. Notre Dame
Don't look now, but the defending ACC Champs are back and moving up the power rankings. A home win against UNC on Saturday, paired with an impressive road victory over Clemson last night has put some spring in the Fighting Irish step. They get another chance to prove their worth with a home game Saturday against Louisville. Mike Brey's squad now boasts the nations best offense and the nations 237th best defense. GO IRISH!
After falling to 4-4 with a road loss to Miami, Duke has won three in a row, including an impressive win over Louisville last night. That was was huge because Duke now goes: UVA, @UNC, @Louisville. Losing all three of those games isn't out of the question, and it's likely that they will fall to 8-6 (with two losses). The Devils are still firmly in the NCAA Tournament, but the next two weeks could be a challenge.
The Orange have been playing extremely good basketball since Jimmy B returned from his NCAA mandated suspension. They finish up their four game homestand (bizarre!) against FSU on Thursday. They follow that up with a road trip to Chestnut Hill. Two wins would continue to move Syracuse up the S-Curve for March Madness.
This has been a yo-yo ACC season for Pitt, as they have alternated wins and losses their past 8 games. That will likely change, as they lost to UVA on Saturday and have to travel to Miami tonight.
8. Florida State
The Noles are making a mid-season charge up the standings as the trio of Bacon, Beasley, and Rathan-Mayes continue to grow and click. A 20 point win in Winston-Salem on Saturday was Florida State's fourth straight win. A road game against Cuse and a home game against Miami lingers this week. Getting both of them would solidify their NCAA resume.
After starting the ACC 5-1, the Tigers have lost 6 out of their last 8. They need to turn things around this week, and will get the chance to do so, hosting Georgia Tech on Saturday in Greenville, and then Boston College next week. These are two "must-win" games to stay on the NCAA Tournament bubble.
10. Virginia Tech
The Hokies had a nice win over Clemson on Saturday to bounce back from an overtime loss at Syracuse last week. Buzz Williams is doing pretty impressive things with this team. Is this what a second year under a new head coach supposed to look like???
11. N.C. State
You really have to feel bad for Cat Barber at this point. He is a likely All-American, yet the Wolfpack sit at 12-12 (2-9). The Pack gets the week off before taking on Wake Forest in Raleigh on Saturday. The good news for State? Wake hasn't won in Raleigh since the infamous "Nut Punch" game in 2005, and is 2-46 in its last 48 ACC road games.
12. Georgia Tech
Sitting at 2-8 in the ACC is not going to save Brian Gregory's job, but the good news is they get to play Wake Forest in Atlanta tomorrow night. Wake hasn't won there since 2004.
13. Wake Forest
Offense bad. Defense worse. Different year, same ****. As you can see from the two teams above Wake, their likelihood of winning this week is also not good.
14. Boston College
Boston College continues to lose by impressive margins at impressive paces. They get the second to last rank this week due to Louisville's incompetence as a school.
I debated whether or not to rank Louisville at all this week due to the fact that they are no longer eligible for anything in the postseason. I decided to go ahead and put them in here. I have a lot to say about the self-imposed sanctions, but here is not the time nor place to do so. All I will say is that what the administration and Rick Pitino did to these kids is an absolute travesty, so they get last place this week.