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#GoACC Power Rankings: Week 15

Virginia chasing Duke, Syracuse

Duke at North Carolina, Syracuse at Pitt and a possible snow day this week, what more can an ACC basketball fan ask for?

Answer: If all four of those teams could somehow lose.

15. Virginia Tech (no change)
Record: 8-15, 1-10 ACC
Last Week: 70-50 L at Florida State, 62-57 L (2OT) at No. 25 Pitt
This Week: Feb. 15 vs. Miami

Losing by 20 points to a sputtering Florida State squad is embarrassing no matter how you slice it, but I’ll admit the Hokies had me on the edge of my seat late in their game against Pitt. Jarell Eddie had a big-boy game offensively, but his boneheaded foul with under a minute remaining in regulation sent James Robinson to the line to complete a four-point play to tie the game — likely costing the team its upset bid.

That foul, or shooting a combined 0-for-13 from the floor across two overtime periods.

Ten games, 10 consecutive losses. Somewhere in his cushy ESPN studio in Bristol, Conn., Seth Greenberg is laughing.

14. Boston College (no change)
Record: 6-17, 2-8 ACC
Last Week: 77-67 L at No. 20 Virginia, 89-68 L vs. No. 11 Duke
This Week: Feb. 12 at Georgia Tech, Feb. 16 vs. Notre Dame

Olivier Hanlan has shown he’s dangerous when he heats up, spurring a second-half run against Virginia and dropping 25 points on Duke to keep the Eagles in the game for at least the first half. But Boston College continues to be one of the worst defensive and rebounding teams in the country, and appears desperate to dethrone Virginia Tech from the highly coveted spot as the worst team in the #GoACC Power Rankings.

13. Georgia Tech (down 1)
Record: 12-12, 3-8 ACC
Last Week: 45-41 L at Clemson, 64-45 L vs. No. 20 Virginia
This Week: Feb. 12 vs. Boston College

No, the Yellow Jackets game against Clemson was not cut short, they really did score just 41 points. The mark bested their previous season-low of 42 against Miami and is the lowest point total by any team in an ACC contest this season. While some may term the game a defensive battle, I prefer to call a spade a spade — ugly, in this case.

12. Wake Forest (down 1)
Record: 14-10, 4-7 ACC
Last Week: 83-63 L vs. No. 11 Duke
This Week: 82-67 L at NC State, Feb. 15 vs. Florida State

Speaking of ugly … the Deacs have been beaten soundly in recent games. Someone should let them know that tanking in college won’t land them Thon Maker.

11. Notre Dame (up 2)
Record: 13-12, 4-8 ACC
Last Week: 61-55 L at No. 1 Syracuse, 73-62 L vs. North Carolina
This Week: 68-64 W (2OT) vs. Clemson, Feb. 16 at Boston College

I’m sure seniors Garrick Sherman and Eric Atkins are trying their best to keep the team together, but you just can’t lose Jerian Grant’s 19.0 points and 6.2 assists per game and expect to pull one out against Syracuse or North Carolina.

You have to feel at least a little bad for Grant’s senior teammates, who have had courtside seats to watch their once-promising season slip away. They may be overmatched, but at least the Irish are competing against tougher opponents — it’s more than you can say about some ACC teams.

10. Florida State (down 1)
Record: 14-10, 5-7 ACC
Last Week: 70-50 W vs. Virginia Tech, 83-71 L at Maryland
This Week: 77-73 L vs. Miami, Feb. 15 at Wake Forest

Honestly, beating Virginia Tech by double digits is just expected these days. The Seminoles are 1-3 in February so far, and things aren’t looking up with North Carolina and Pitt left before the month ends.

9. Miami (up 1)
Record: 12-12, 3-8 ACC
Last Week: 59-55 L (OT) vs. No. 25 Pitt, 56-55 L vs. NC State
This Week: 77-73 W at Florida State, Feb. 15 at Virginia Tech

Jim Larrañaga wrote “Believe in us!” on a whiteboard in the locker room during the Canes’ game at Florida State. I’m not sure a win against an underachieving Seminole squad is enough for me to drink the orange and green Kool-Aid, but I’ll give Jim the benefit of the doubt after close losses against solid Pitt and NC State teams. Long live the 2006 Kryptonite Kids.

8. Clemson (down 1)
Record: 15-8, 6-5 ACC
Last Week: 45-41 W vs. Georgia Tech, 57-44 L at No. 1 Syracuse
This Week: 68-64 L (OT) at Notre Dame, Feb. 15 vs. No. 17 Virginia

Much like NC State, Clemson is a one-trick pony. Other than the potential for K.J. McDaniels to score 30 points in a game, the team doesn’t have much firepower on offense. The Tigers average the second fewest possessions per game in conference play at 57, but they’re also the second-least efficient offense in ACC play, scoring just 94.1 points per 100 possessions — not an ideal combination.

That being said, I’m still on edge with Virginia traveling to Littlejohn Coliseum this weekend after a Clemson loss Tuesday.

7. Maryland (up 1)
Record: 14-11, 6-6 ACC
Last Week: 75-63 L at North Carolina, 83-71 vs. Florida State
This Week: 61-53 L at No. 17 Virginia, Feb. 15 at No. 8 Duke

Justin Anderson said Maryland sophomore point guard Seth Allen told him that he’s “holding back a lot right now” because of he’s still recovering from a foot injury.

That’s a scary prospect for anyone with the Terps on their schedule late in the season. Allen looked elusive as ever Monday night in Charlottesville, dropping 15 on the Cavaliers while shooting 7-of-14 from the floor.

6. North Carolina State (no change)
Record: 16-8, 6-5 ACC
Last Week: 56-55 W at Miami
This Week: 82-67 W vs. Wake Forest, Feb. 15 at No. 1 Syracuse

T.J. Warren scored 27 points against Miami and 34 against Wake Forest. This team will go as far as the ACC’s leading scorer can carry it.

5. No. 25 Pittsburgh (down 1)
Record: 20-4, 8-3 ACC
Last Week: 59-55 W (OT) at Miami, 62-57 W (2OT) vs. Virginia Tech
This Week: Feb. 12 vs. No. 1 Syracuse, Feb. 15 at North Carolina

Pitt began ACC play blowing teams out of the water. In the past week, the Panthers barely beat Miami and almost lost to Virginia Tech. Lamar Patterson went scoreless in regulation against the Hokies because his thumb was bothering him, but we’re talking about the Hokies here — someone else needs to pick up the slack on nights when Patterson can’t score 20 points.

4. North Carolina (up 1)
Record: 16-7, 6-4 ACC
Last Week: 75-63 W vs. Maryland, 73-62 W at Notre Dame
This Week: Feb. 12 vs. No. 8 Duke, Feb. 15 vs. No. 25 Pitt

With James Michael McAdoo, Marcus Paige and Leslie McDonald all capable of going off any given night, all eyes will be on Chapel Hill tonight. Duke’s only losses have come away from Cameron Indoor, and the Heels have as good a chance as anyone to pull off the upset.

Plus with the impending blizzard, how eerily cool would it be to watch these two teams to go back and forth in an empty Dean Dome?

3. No. 17 Virginia (no change)
Record: 20-5, 11-1 ACC
Last Week: 77-67 W vs. Boston College, 64-45 W at Georgia Tech
This Week: 61-53 W vs. Maryland, Feb. 15 at Clemson


Because if there’s anyone who knows sexy, it’s Dickie V. He’s not wrong, but when the Cavaliers are #winning at a Charlie Sheen-like rate, I’ll take it.

(I apologize for using “#winning.” I felt a pang of shame as I typed it.)

2. No. 8 Duke (no change)
Record: 19-5, 8-3 ACC
Last Week: 83-63 W vs. Wake Forest, 89-68 W at Boston College
This Week: Feb. 12 at North Carolina, Feb. 15 vs. Maryland

As good as Virginia has been since losing to Duke at Cameron, the Blue Devils may have been even better. Freshman freak of nature Jabari Parker now leads the conference in rebounds per game and is second in scoring with 19.2 points per game.

Unless Rodney Hood and Andre Dawkins suddenly forget how to shoot threes, facing this offense is frightening — it is far and away the most efficient in ACC play, scoring 124.6 points per 100 possessions.

1. No. 1 Syracuse (no change)
Record: 23-0, 10-0 ACC
Last Week: 61-55 W vs. Notre Dame, 57-44 W vs. Clemson
This Week: Feb. 12 at No. 25 Pitt, Feb. 15 vs. NC State

Finally, a coach is caught picking his nose on national television and it’s not Jim Boeheim! Clearly Kansas’ Bill Self has been watching tape of the legendary Syracuse coach for “pointers.”

The Orange keep finding ways to win, but with road games against Pitt, Duke and Virginia remaining, it’s hard to imagine the nation’s top team will finish the season undefeated.


Published February 11, 2014 in Sports

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