Hope for the ACC seems nearly lost. Only three bids for the NCAA Tournament seems like a real possibility at this point.
What a world.
To the rankings.
1. Duke Blue Devils (15-2, 5-1). Last week: 1
The Blue Devils suffered another head scratching loss at the hands of Clemson this week but maintain their perch atop the rankings. The team seemingly has the talent to be the best in the country, but when you have so many freshmen in the rotation, there are bound to be down nights.
2. Florida State Seminoles (15-2, 5-1). Last week: 2
UVa fans got a peak at what FSU’s size and athleticism are doing this year while regularly turning the Cavaliers over. They did not seem Top 10 in the country good, but this year, just being decent and playing well regularly gets you up there.
3. Louisville Cardinals (14-3, 5-1). Last week: 3
The Cardinals have squeaked by their last two games beating ND by 3 and Pitt by 5 in OT. Both were on the road and any ACC road win is a good thing, but tight games like that does not instill confidence to the outside world.
4. N.C. State Wolfpack (12-5, 3-3). Last week: 5
The Wolfpack have alternated wins and losses over their last five games with both losses coming on the road. They’ll look to avenge their loss from two weeks ago to Clemson this weekend before heading to Charlottesville on Monday.
5. Virginia Tech Hokies (13-4, 4-2). Last week: 8
Winners of three straight, if the Hokies keep this up they might just build a statue to Mike Young before the start of next season. At the very least he is going to get some looks for Coach of the Year. VT is by no means great but in this year’s ACC, that might earn them a 5 or 6 seed in the ACC Tournament and a look at the NCAA Tournament bubble.
6. Clemson Tigers (9-7, 3-3). Last week: 15
Last week we were discussing Brad Brownell’s future in Clemson. Now with a sweep of the Triangle over the last three games, he has significantly more wins this decade than Dabo.
7. Virginia Cavaliers (11-5, 3-3). Last week: 4
Is all hope lost? Three straight losses and still nobody capable of hitting a three pointer regularly. Not to mention allowing Syracuse to score 20 points in 5 minutes of overtime.
8. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (11-6, 2-4). Last week: 6
ND has 8 more ACC home games left on the schedule. At 2-4 in the conference if they can win a majority of those games and steal a few road games, they could play their way into an NCAA Tournament berth.
9. Miami-Florida Hurricanes (10-6, 2-4). Last week: 13
This year likely won’t end with an appearance in the tournament but the Hurricanes should be able to hang with the rest of the middle of the ACC. They’ve gotten both of their Louisville games out of the way and only have one game against Duke and two against FSU left on the schedule.
10. Syracuse Orange (10-7, 3-3). Last week: 11
Nothing like following up two straight home losses to ND and VT with a road win over UVa and a home thrashing of Boston College. Syracuse is a microcosm of the ACC this year: nothing makes sense and anyone can beat anybody on any given day.
11 (tie). Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (8-9, 3-4). Last week: 9
Here is a synopsis of GT’s last four games: destroy UNC in Chapel Hill, hang tough with Duke for most of the game, beat down BC on the road, and then lose by four at home to ND. GT might be better than their record but at this point nobody can really tell.
11 (tie). Pittsburgh Panthers (11-6, 2-4). Last week: 10
The Panthers started the year with a home win against FSU. They’ve since lost a home game to Wake Forest. We probably should not throw too many stones here given what could happen in Charlottesville, The rest of the schedule isn’t terrible for the Panthers with only Duke and FSU once.
13. Boston College Eagles (9-8, 3-3). Last week: 7
Ah yes, after shooting 56% against UVa a few games ago, the Eagles have followed that performance up by shooting 36% against Georgia Tech, and 45% against Syracuse. And Jay Heath who was 3-5 from three against UVa? One three in those next two games combined.
This is the way.
14. North Carolina Tar Heels (8-8, 1-4). Last week: 12
Most UVa fans will take great joy in the Heels struggles this year, but given what has been going on in Charlottesville, it’s like two equally competent brothers looking grossly incompetent. It’s sad really.
However I am not sorry for their team of four and five stars (8 over the last 3 classes) not performing.
15. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (8-8, 1-5). Last week: 14
Wake has lost three straight and has a battle this weekend against BC for who is truly at the bottom of the ACC. KenPom still predicts the Deacons to win by 8, but we’ve seen BC be world beaters. Next Sunday’s showdown in Winston Salem against UVA is looming with KenPom predicting only a 3 point UVa W.