We’ve finally reached the halfway point in the ACC schedule and it seems we’ve been right for more than a month now: nothing matters and nobody makes sense.
To the rankings.
1. Louisville Cardinals (18-3, 9-1). Last week: 2
Louisville handled their business over the last week easily dispatching with Clemson and BC. Outside of a road game at FSU in late February, the Cardinals’ schedule looks like smooth sailing from here until the ACC Tournament.
2. Florida State Seminoles (17-3, 7-2). Last week: 1
The Noles dropped their first game in over a month on Tuesday night in Charlottesville even though they turned the Cavaliers over 17 times. They play at Virginia Tech this weekend which has been a house of horrors for some before hosting a resurgent UNC on Big Monday.
3. Duke Blue Devils (17-3, 7-2). Last week: 3
KenPom has Duke as a double digit favorite in all but three of their remaining games (at Syracuse, at NC State, at UVa) but given the inexperience on the team another stumble is more than likely. Still, Duke will enter the ACC Tournament and NCAA Tournament as a top three seed.
4. Virginia Cavaliers (14-6, 6-4). Last week: 7
Are the Hoos back? Probably not, but overcoming 17 turnovers against a top ten team is certainly something to be proud of. Cleaning up that and maybe hitting a few more shots could get this team back on the right side of the bubble.
5. Syracuse Orange (13-8, 6-4). Last week: 5
Clemson was a 1 point home favorite against Cuse on Tuesday and I honestly had no idea why. Clemson shoots poorly from the FT line and beyond the three point line so it wouldn’t make sense for them to have any success against the zone. Clemson hit a transition layup with 1 second left to win 71-70. Why not.
6. NC State Wolfpack (14-7, 5-5). Last week: 4
After the goodwill the UVa fans were giving State last weekend, the Wolfpack turned around and lost in Atlanta and then at home to UNC. They currently sit at 57 in the NET with no signature wins. They’re going to have to knock off Louisville or Duke in February if they really hope to make the tournament this year.
7. Clemson Tigers (11-9, 5-5). Last week: 8
The Tigers are 1-4 on the road this season with their lone win coming in Chapel Hill earlier this month. On Saturday they travel to Winston Salem where KenPom favors the Deacons by one. Something has to give.
8. Virginia Tech Hokies (14-7, 5-5). Last week: 6
Outside of a borderline miracle 2OT win against UNC last week, the Hokies have struggled as of late dropping a home game to Cuse and losing back to back road games at BC and Miami. With FSU coming this weekend, the losing streak could hit three and the Hokies will have to travel to Georgia Tech on Tuesday.
9. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (10-11, 4-6). Last week: 10
The Yellow Jackets haven’t beaten a Top 50 KepPom team yet this season (0-6) and only have a game against Louisville in two weeks as their remaining chance. They might end up with 15 or 16 wins on the season, but will that be enough to save Josh Pastner after his fourth season?
10. Pittsburgh Panthers (13-8, 4-6). Last week: 9
The Panthers have alternated between losing two in a row and winning two in a row over their last six games. With only one game against the top three in the conference (FSU on 2/18) remaining, the Panthers could rack up wins and get to the NIT, but this is also the team that has lost to Wake and Miami in January.
11. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (12-8, 3-6). Last week: 11
Notre Dame is a hard team to peg given all the close losses they’ve suffered this season. KenPom gives the Irish the 329th best luck in the country (only 353 teams) so that should give you a sense of what they are dealing with this season.
12. North Carolina Tar Heels (10-10, 3-6). Last week: 15
Nobody is going to be surprised if UNC magically wins out, makes the NCAAT, and somehow gets to the Final Four. I think we are all expecting it at this point.
13. Boston College Eagles (10-11, 4-6). Last week: 12
If BC could play teams from the Commonwealth every game, they’d probably go undefeated. The Eagles’ only two ACC wins in January were at home against UVa and VT.
14. Miami Hurricanes (11-9, 3-7). Last week: 13
The good news for Miami is they don’t play Duke or Louisville anymore this season. The bad news for the Canes is they are Miami and recently lost by 23 to the worst UNC team in a long time. Still, they’ll probably win two or three more games they shouldn’t. The ACC finds a way.
15. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (9-11, 2-8). Last week: 14
The ACC Tournament is in Greensboro this year, which is only about a 20 or 30 minute drive from Wake Forest. Since I am expecting Danny Manning to not be allowed to get on the team bus after Wake’s ACC Tournament exit, the Uber ride home won’t cost too much.