Below is a table of this week's rankings - further explanations follow. Drop your thoughts and disagreements down in the comments.
|Team||ACC Record||STL Ranking||Last||KenPom Rank|
1. Miami Record: 15-3.....KenPom Rank: 13.....Best win: vs. Duke.....Worst loss: @ Florida Gulf Coast
If you were reserving judgement on Miami until after their matchup with Duke, that's fair. But now we can all agree that the Hurricanes are for real. UM is full of crafty, experienced, athletic weapons on offense and are also armed with an elite defense (6th in adj. efficiency). Will they emerge unbeaten through their weekend matchup in Raleigh?
This week: Wednesday @ Virginia Tech. Saturday @ NC State
2. Duke Record: 17-2....KenPom Rank: 5.....Best win: vs. Louisville (neutral).....Worst loss: @ NC State
Watching Duke lose is fun. Watching them lose by 27, while giving minimal effort, is even better. Duke has two losses on the road to ranked teams, but both NC State and Miami still have to visit Durham. The Blue Devils look vulnerable on the road. (*cough* They visit JPJ 2/28. *cough*)
This week: Wednesday @ Wake Forest. Saturday @ Florida State.
3. NC State Record: 16-4.....KenPom Rank: 38.....Best win: vs. Duke.....Worst loss: at Wake Forest
After another emotional home win, this time over UNC, NC State has quite a gauntlet ahead: KenPom gives the Pack a 33% chance of losing their next 3 games, and just a 1% chance at emerging 3-0. They scored 20 fast-break points in the first half against UNC but won't be able to rely on transition scoring against UVA tonight. Despite a prolific offense, NC State sports the 3rd worst defense in the ACC.
This week: Tuesday @ Virginia. Saturday vs. Miami
4. North Carolina Record: 13-6....KenPom Rank: 46.....Best win: vs. UNLV....Worst loss: @ Texas
Against the top 5 teams in these power rankings, UNC is 0-3, but they are 3-0 against teams below that. Luckily, their next 3 games come within the latter category. The Tar Heels are pretty mediocre on both sides of the ball, but have had the athleticism (and luck) to avoid a major upset all season - thus, they are in decent shape for the NCAA Tournament as of now and remain 4th in these rankings, but that can change quickly.
This week: Tuesday @ Boston College. Saturday vs. Virginia Tech
5. Virginia Record: 14-5.....KenPom Rank: 32.....Best win: @ Wisconsin.....Worst loss: vs. ODU (Neutral)
I really wanted to move us ahead of UNC (and maybe NCSU), but kept UVA just behind based on the team's past inconsistency; the switch will be easier to make if the Hoos could knock off NC State. Virginia has seen some high highs and low lows this year - a win over a ranked team in Charlottesville would set a new high-water mark.
This week: Tuesday vs. NC State. Sunday @ Georgia Tech
6. Maryland Record: 15-5.....KenPom Rank: 59.....Best win: vs. NC State.....Worst loss: vs. Florida State
We didn't learn much new about Maryland, who got by BC at home before running into a buzz-saw at Duke. The Terps are holding opponents to an effective FG% of 41.1%, good for third in the nation. Wahoo fans should circle UVA's matchup with Alex Len in early February.
This week: Wednesday @ Florida State. Saturday vs. Wake Forest
7. Florida State Record: 11-8.....KenPom Rank: 94.....Best win: vs. BYU (neutral).....Worst loss: vs. South Alabama
The Seminoles aren't a bad team, but they haven't done anything particularly well this season and are unlikely to be a factor in bubble talk. No disrespect to Michael Snaer, who is a fine player, but he doesn't look to be the type of guy who could take on a heavy burden and carry an inexperienced roster.
This week: Wednesday vs. Maryland. Saturday vs. Duke
8. Wake Forest Record: 10-9.....KenPom Rank: 145.....Best win: vs. NC State .....Worst Loss: vs. Nebraska
Home (3-0): 1.05 PPP (points per possession) on offense, 1.01 PPP on defense. Away (0-4): .87 PPP on offense, 1.08 PPP on defense. That's an impressive swing of a quarter of a point each possession from Winston-Salem to the road. An improved Wake Forest looks like a potentially dangerous team at home and showed it with a big win over NC State. Pulling off another upset against Duke this week seems...less likely.
This week: Wednesday vs. Duke. Saturday @ Maryland
9. Clemson Record: 11-8....KenPom Rank: 70.....Best win: vs. Virginia.....Worst loss: @ Coastal Carolina
The Tigers were the victim of the ACC season's first conference sweep, falling twice to Florida State by a combined 8 points. Devin Booker has been increasingly efficient; he scored a combined 42 points on 28 shots against NC State and FSU before falling silent against Tech, missing all three shots he took.
This week: Tuesday vs. Georgia Tech. Saturday @ Boston College
10. Georgia Tech Record: 11-7.....KenPom Rank: 82.....Best win: vs. St. Mary's (neutral).....Worst loss: vs. Virginia Tech
Brian Gregory's squad finally picked up its first ACC win with a 20-point home victory over Wake Forest. Their previously anemic offense scored more than a point per possession for the first time in conference play, putting up 82 points in a fast-paced game. Their defense has been great (20th in the nation in adj. efficiency), but they have to figure out how to score points. Virginia held GT to 38 points in Atlanta last season; will the Yellow Jackets surpass that mark this weekend?
This week: Tuesday @ Clemson. Sunday vs. Virginia
11. Boston College Record: 9-10.....KenPom Rank: 119.....Best win: vs. Providence.....Worst loss: vs. Bryant
The Golden Eagles have some nice pieces; Ryan Anderson gets the most publicity, but freshman point guard Oliver Hanlan was also impressive against the Hoos this weekend. Still, Steve Donahue has a ways to go with his young team, which has now lost four straight.
This week: Tuesday vs North Carolina. Saturday vs. Clemson
12. Virginia Tech Record: 11-8.....KenPom Rank: 164.....Best win: vs. Oklahoma State.....Worst loss: vs. Georgia Southern
It's impossible to overstate how important Erick Green has been to the Hokies. Even with minimal help, he almost unilaterally has led a respectable VT offensive attack. The problem is that the team's defense is completely undeserving of any respect. They've given up an absolutely brutal 1.14 points per possession in ACC play.
This week: Wednesday vs. Miami. Saturday @ North Carolina