ACC Power Rankings: Week of 2/24/14

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Hoos solidify their spot atop the ACC

The Virginia Cavaliers top our weekly power rankings for the second straight week. The Virginia Tech Hokies are in last, as they have been every week. All is right with the world. After you guys all yelled at me last week for being premature/jinxing the rest of the season, go ahead and let me know what a genius I am now.

Team Record (ACC) STL Ranking Last KenPom Rank RPI Rank (ESPN)
Virginia 23-5 (14-1) 1 1 6 15
Duke 22-6 (11-4) 2 3 3 6
Syracuse 25-2 (12-2) 3 2 11 8
North Carolina 20-7 (10-4) 4 4 20 22
Clemson 17-9 (8-6) 5 8 45 68
Pittsburgh 20-7 (8-6) 6 5 18 33
Maryland 15-12 (7-7) 7 6 48 72
Florida State 16-11 (7-8) 8 9 33 67
NC State 17-10 (7-7) 9 7 81 54
Miami 14-13 (5-9) 10 11 71 119
Notre Dame 14-14 (5-10) 11 10 94 110
Georgia Tech 13-14 (4-10) 12 12 146 162
Boston College 7-20 (3-11) 13 14 150 180
Wake Forest 14-13 (4-10) 14 13 121 103
Virginia Tech 9-17 (2-12) 15 15 183 228

Games of the Week:

Mid-week: Monday: Syracuse @ Maryland

Weekend: Saturday: Syracuse @ Virginia!

1. Virginia

Last week, putting Virginia atop the ACC was a bit sketchy; people didn't think that an undefeated Syracuse could be anywhere but first. Now, there's less of a doubt. Despite UVA's tough schedule, ranked 31st in the nation by KenPom, the team's more forgiving conference schedule and lack of flashy wins against top teams still leaves room for doubters. The time to silence them is this week.

This week: Wednesday vs. Miami. Saturday vs. Syracuse.

2. Duke

Duke played three games this past week. They failed to hold a lead in Thursday's rivalry game in Chapel Hill, then took down Syracuse at home (with just a bit of help from the zebras...and Jim Boeheim too). Their 119.4 offensive efficiency mark is the best in conference play since Chris Paul's 2005 Wake Forest team finished at 122.6. They could close some ground during their next two games against VT and Wake Forest.

This week: Tuesday vs. Virginia Tech.

3. Syracuse

Well, the Orange were playing with fire. They were going to lose eventually. But...how in the world was that loss at home against Boston College? With road games upcoming against Maryland and UVA, Syracuse doesn't really have a nice opportunity to steady the ship either. Their offense has been overly maligned all season, but scoring 59 points in 63 possessions against the worst defense in the conference is not encouraging (nor was their 1 PPP mark against Duke). To top it off, Tyler Ennis has 10 turnovers in his past 4 games.

This week: Monday @ Maryland. Saturday @ Virginia.

4. North Carolina

With another perfect week, North Carolina is making an argument that they belong in the top tier of the ACC - that's 9 straight wins! They shut down Duke's dominant offense this week at home. And their offense, which couldn't do anything during UNC's 1-4 start, just scored 105 points against Wake Forest and is ranked 4th during conference play. They're making UVA's January win in Charlottesville look better and better.

This week: Wednesday @ NC State. Saturday @ Virginia Tech.

5. Clemson

The Tigers won both games this week to put themselves back in the discussion for an at-large NCAA bid. The remainder of their schedule, @ Wake, vs. Maryland, vs. Miami, vs. Pitt isn't a cakewalk, but it gives Clemson a glimmer of hope. Winning out may be necessary to make the NCAAs. KJ McDaniels, as usual, will basically have to do all the work.

This week: Tuesday @ Wake Forest. Sunday vs. Maryland.

6. Pittsburgh

Oh, Pitt.The computers loves you (18th in KenPom), so I want to also...but losing all these games is not helping your case.The Panthers have lost 3 straight, and 5 out of 7. None of those are bad losses, but you figure a good team would find a way to win somewhere. Pitt is 19-0 against teams outside the KenPom top 40, but 1-7 against the top 40 (their lone win against Stanford on a neutral court). Pitt's 4-4 home ACC record is particularly concerning.

This week: Wednesday @ Boston College. Saturday @ Notre Dame.

7. Maryland

The improving Terps were idle this weekend. Maryland failed to pull upsets on the road at UVA and Duke, but they'll have shots at home against Syracuse tonight, then Virginia to finish the year. They're celebrating with this really lame flashmob thing.

This week: Monday vs. Syracuse. Sunday @ Clemson

8. Florida State

Will Florida State's big win at Pittsburgh snap them out of their month-long swoon? FSU's shots tend to go in, and their opponents shots tend to miss. That's usually the recipe for a good basketball team. But they're terrible at the other aspects of the game (like rebounding misses and not turning the ball over before getting a shot off). An NCAA bid may still necessitate a win against Syracuse to end the season.

This week: Sunday vs. Georgia Tech.

9. NC State

NC State joins Maryland and Florida State as teams that are definitely not really good...but definitely not bad. They do about what you'd expect. This week, the Wolfpack lost at Clemson, but won at Virginia Tech. TJ Warren's lowest point totals this season (all games) - 17 points, 13 points, 4 points. If you guessed UVA as the team who held him to 4 points...you're right.

This week: Wednesday vs. North Carolina. Saturday @ Miami.

10. Miami

The Hurricanes have played pretty well recently; after several close losses earlier this season, they've won 3 of 4 headed into their matchup in Charlottesville. Their offense scored 1.25 PPP in those 3 wins (admittedly against weaker defenses), mostly from Rion Brown, who takes 27% of Miami's shots when he's in the game. Virginia has done a good job shutting down other teams' volume shooters thus far, and he'll be the guy to watch on Wednesday.

This week: Wednesday @ Virginia. Saturday @ NC State

11. Notre Dame

Notre Dame's defense is simply ADORABLE. The Irish hung in there during the first half at JPJ, but then allowed UVA to make 12 consecutive FGs during a 25-0 Wahoo run. They're dead last in eFG% defense during ACC play, allowing teams to make just over half of 2s and 38% of 3s against them. Their highest usage offensive player (Garrick Sherman) has an ORtg under 100, which just seems terribly inefficient.

This week: Wednesday vs. Georgia Tech. Saturday vs. Pittsburgh.

12. Georgia Tech

GT's wins this ACC season: Notre Dame, BC, Wake, BC. They've surpassed the 1 PPP mark just once in their last 7 games. And somehow, this is Brian Gregory's best offense during his 3 years at Georgia Tech. Ouch.

This week: Wednesday @ Notre Dame. Sunday @ Florida State.

13. Boston College

For the first time this season, BC jumped out of the bottom two of their rankings. After beating undefeated Syracuse on the road, they kind of had to. Two issues though: 1) BC's defense, now ranked 306th in the nation, held Syracuse to .94 PPP, the second ACC team they've held under 1 PPP (VT was the other). You have to wonder why in the world they couldn't put forth that type of effort more consistently. 2) They immediately went to Miami and got trounced, 69-42.

This week: Wednesday vs. Pittsburgh. Saturday @ Wake Forest.

14. Wake Forest

Remember when Wake was 4-3 in the ACC and people thought they may be halfway decent? Well, they haven't won since. Giving up 105 points at UNC is a nice parting gift from Jeff Bzdelik to Demon Deacon fans.

This week: Tuesday vs. Clemson. Saturday vs. Boston College.

15. Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech is still Virginia Tech. Devin Wilson, who looked great against UVA's defense and is 2nd in the nation in FT rate, is 7th on the team in usage. His stats are nothing special, but why not get him the ball more, for drawing fouls if nothing else?

This week: Tuesday @ Duke. Saturday vs. North Carolina.

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