#GoACC Power Rankings: Week 17
Virginia-Syracuse is finally here
March 1 is coming…
If we’re really lucky, we might get to see another Jim Boeheim last-second meltdown:
Theatricality and deception are powerful agents to the uninitiated, but we are initiated, aren’t we, Jim? On to the rankings:
15. Boston College (no change)
Record: 7-20, 3-11 ACC
Last Week: 62-59 W (OT) at No. 1 Syracuse, 69-42 L at Miami
This Week: Feb. 26 vs. Pitt, March 1 at Wake Forest
Despite losing the turnover battle 17-7, the Eagles ended then-No. 1 Syracuse’s undefeated season in overtime behind 20 points from Olivier Hanlan. Boston College then lost all credibility upon getting pounded by 27 points by a middling Miami team.
14. Virginia Tech (no change)
Record: 9-18, 2-13 ACC
Last Week: 57-53 L vs. No. 14 Virginia, 71-64 L vs. NC State
This Week: 66-48 L at No. 6 Duke, March 1 vs. No. 19 North Carolina
Virginia Tech’s zone defense and Virginia’s poor shooting almost combined to ruin the Cavaliers’ week last Tuesday in Blacksburg. Though they didn’t beat anyone last week, the Hokies stave off relegation because their play isn’t quite as erratic as Boston College’s.
13. Georgia Tech (down 0.5)
Record: 13-14, 4-10 ACC
Last Week: 68-51 L vs. No. 5 Duke, 63-55 L vs. Clemson
This Week: Feb. 26 at Notre Dame, March 2 at Florida State
Wake Forest and Georgia Tech have been locked in a battle of mediocrity for weeks now — the two are the second and third most inefficient offenses in league play, and their defenses aren’t much better. The Yellow Jackets fall slightly behind after the Deacs surprised Clemson Tuesday night.
12. Wake Forest (up 0.5)
Record: 15-13, 5-10 ACC
Last Week: 71-60 L at Maryland, 105-72 L at North Carolina
This Week: 62-57 W vs. Clemson, March 1 vs. Boston College
Exactly one month from its last win, Wake Forest held K.J. McDaniels to an underwhelming 10 points and snagged another one from Clemson. Before Tuesday night, the Demon Deacons had lost seven straight and were down 19 points against North Carolina by halftime. It didn’t get any better after the half, as six Tar Heels scored in double figures and leading-scorer Codi Miller-McIntyre was held scoreless through 29 minutes.
We’re currently witnessing the twilight of Jeff Bzdelik’s Wake Forest career. Dino Gaudio’s 61-31 record looks pretty good right about now.
11. Notre Dame (down 1)
Record: 14-14, 5-10 ACC
Last Week: 71-64 L at Miami, 70-49 L at No. 14 Virginia
This Week: Feb. 26 vs. Georgia Tech, March 1 vs. Pitt
After tying the score at 43-43 with 11:26 to play, the so-called “Fighting” Irish took a 21-point beating in Charlottesville courtesy of a 25-0 Virginia run. Notre Dame will host Georgia Tech before closing the season against Pitt and at North Carolina. At least the team can take solace that the season is almost done and Jerian Grant will be back on the team before the next one begins.
10. Miami (up 1)
Record: 14-13, 5-9 ACC
Last Week: 71-64 W vs. Notre Dame, 69-42 W vs. Boston College
This Week: Feb. 26 at No. 12 Virginia, March 1 at NC State
The Hurricanes rained 3-pointers on Notre Dame and Boston College, shooting 52.9 and 50.0 percent from distance, respectively. Senior guard Rion Brown has scored at least 20 points in five of Miami’s last seven games, as the ‘Canes sit 1.5 games behind Maryland and Florida State for a top-nine ACC Tournament seed and first-round bye.
9. Florida State (no change)
Record: 16-11, 7-8 ACC
Last Week: 81-75 L vs. North Carolina, 71-66 W at Pitt
This Week: March 2 vs. Georgia Tech
Okaro White was limited by foul trouble against North Carolina, but exploded for 22 points as Florida State notched a quality win against Pitt. The Seminoles are lingering on the bubble — currently fourth in Joe Lunardi’s Last Four Out — and need centers Michael Ojo and Boris Bojanovsky to avoid the fouls that kept them on the bench for the majority of the last two games.
8. Maryland (down 1)
Record: 15-13, 7-8 ACC
Last Week: 71-60 W vs. Wake Forest
This Week: 57-55 L vs. No. 4 Syracuse, March 2 at Clemson
The Terps keep things interesting, but just can’t seem to get it done in crunch time. A win against Duke or Syracuse and a strong ACC Tournament performance would have kept their NCAA Tournament hopes alive, but now those dreams are all but shattered barring an ACC Championship bid.
7. North Carolina State (down 1)
Record: 17-10, 7-7 ACC
Last Week: 73-56 L at Clemson, 71-64 W at Virginia Tech
This Week: Feb. 26 vs. No. 19 North Carolina, March 1 vs. Miami
In the battle of two teams made up primarily of one player, T.J. Warren outgunned Clemson’s K.J. McDaniels, 20 points to 12. However, McDaniels recorded an impressive six blocks, and Rod Hall stepped up to match Warren’s 20 points and down NC State.
With no marquee wins, the Wolfpack are firmly outside the bubble. They desperately need to win out and take at least two games in the ACC Tournament to merit any consideration.
6. Clemson (up 2)
Record: 17-10, 8-7 ACC
Last Week: 73-56 W vs. NC State, 63-55 W at Georgia Tech
This Week: 62-57 L at Wake Forest, March 2 vs. Maryland
Like NC State, Clemson’s postseason outlook is particularly dreary at this point. The Tigers upset Duke in early January and looked good against the Wolfpack last week, but with few quality wins in between, that effort was likely too little, too late. They certainly didn’t help themselves losing at Wake Forest Tuesday.
5. Pittsburgh (no change)
Record: 20-7, 8-6 ACC
Last Week: 71-66 L vs. Florida State
This Week: Feb. 26 at Boston College, March 1 at Notre Dame
Pitt is similar to Maryland in that the team almost pulls out quality wins, but can’t close. Not counting a 15-point loss to Duke, the Panthers have lost five games to teams currently ranked in the top-20 by an average of three points. With their latest loss to the Seminoles, the Panthers are playing their way out of an NCAA bid that seemed a foregone conclusion just a few weeks ago.
4. No. 4 Syracuse (down 3)
Record: 26-2, 13-2 ACC
Last Week: 62-59 L (OT) vs. Boston College, 66-60 L at No. 5 Duke
This Week: 57-55 W at Maryland, March 1 at No. 12 Virginia
Syracuse’s 26-2 record clearly indicates that the Orange are better than fourth place in the conference. However, the Orange have been playing more like a bag of lemons lately. March 1 is finally here, and the outcome of this game could have a huge impact on ‘Cuse’s momentum entering postseason play.
3. No. 19 North Carolina (up 1)
Record: 20-7, 10-4 ACC
Last Week: 81-75 W at Florida State, 74-66 W vs. No. 5 Duke, 105-72 W vs. Wake Forest
This Week: Feb. 26 at NC State, March 1 at Virginia Tech
What do North Carolina and a drunk Virginia first-year on the Lawn after midnight have in common? They’re streaking, baby! The Tar Heels have won nine consecutive games — the second-longest active streak in the ACC next to Virginia’s 11 — and are a virtual lock for the NCAA Tournament.
2. No. 12 Virginia (up 1)
Record: 23-5, 14-1 ACC
Last Week: 57-53 W at Virginia Tech, 70-49 W vs. Notre Dame
This Week: Feb. 26 vs. Miami, March 1 vs. No. 4 Syracuse
And you thought the Duke game last year was big? College basketball’s eyes will be fixed on Charlottesville Saturday, as formerly undefeated Syracuse visits. Both teams average fewer than 60 possessions per game and rank in the top-three in offensive and defensive efficiency during conference play. This is old school basketball — every possession counts.
1. No. 6 Duke (up 1)
Record: 23-6, 12-4 ACC
Last Week: 68-51 W at Georgia Tech, 74-66 L at North Carolina, 66-60 W vs. No. 1 Syracuse
This Week: 66-48 W vs. Virginia Tech
The Blue Devils blew an 11-point second-half lead to North Carolina, but rebounded gracefully to hand Syracuse its second loss in as many games. Regardless of the loss to their archrivals, the Blue Devils are far and away the most efficient team in the league, averaging 120.4 points per 100 possessions, second in the nation behind Creighton’s 121.8.
Facing the Tar Heels and the Orange last week, Duke essentially has this week off after an easy win against Virginia Tech Tuesday night.