For awhile we’ve known the top three of the ACC have separated themselves from the pack, but now it appears there could be a fourth team separating themselves from the other pack. Though still far behind the top three.
To the Power Rankings:
1. Louisville Cardinals (20-3, 11-1)
Louisville can probably drop a game or two to UVa and FSU down the stretch and still coast to the regular season title. If they win out they’ll likely be destined for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament in Chris Mack’s second season.
2. Duke Blue Devils (19-3, 9-2)
The Blue Devils are winners of four straight after losing two in a row to Clemson and Louisville in mid-January. They get a warm up game in Chapel Hill this weekend before hosting FSU next week in a chance to assert their dominance as the #2 team in the league.
3. Florida State Seminoles (19-3, 9-2)
Outside of an 11 point road win against Virginia Tech last weekend, the Noles have won their last four games by an average of 3.75 points and dropped their first game in over a month in Charlottesville. The Noles are good but are playing with fire in these close games.
4. Virginia Cavaliers (15-6, 7-4).
Winners of four of five, the computer numbers still don’t love the Cavaliers because they have yet to achieve any efficiency on the offensive end of the glass. KenPom has the Cavaliers at No. 54 with the 276th most efficient offense in the country. The NCAA’s NET views UVa similarly at No. 57.
5. Syracuse Orange (13-9, 6-5).
After dropping their last two to Clemson and Duke, the Orange got a bye week during the week this week and get to play host to the fightin Danny Mannings in Syracuse on Saturday. Wake is always a sight for sore eyes.
6. NC State Wolfpack (15-8, 6-6).
The Wolfpack finally got back in the winner’s circle on Wednesday by winning in Miami. It’s not a huge win for their NCAA Tournament resume, but they need to stay above .500 in the ACC if they want any prayer at a tournament bid.
7. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (14-8, 5-6).
ND took advantage of a three game homestand against Wake, GT, and Pittsburgh by winning all three to inch closer to .500 in conference play. They still haven’t beaten a Top 50 KenPom team but maybe Mike Bray is destined for the NIT this season.
8. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (11-12, 5-7).
The good news for GT is they were not going to the postseason anyways this season no matter what their record does. That could be enough to save Josh Pastner’s job since it was a lost season anyways, but not making the tournament after four years isn’t great.
9. Clemson Tigers (11-11, 5-7).
After riding high sweeping Tobacco Road at the beginning of January the Tigers have gone 2-4 to fall below .500 in the conference. Outside of a road game at Boston College (where weird things happen), Clemson might be underdogs the rest of their games this season.
10. Pittsburgh Panthers (14-9, 5-7).
Their out of conference schedule by no means contained a load of world beaters, but the Panthers were able to rack up wins to make their record look good. Jeff Capel has his team competitive in most games, but just unable to get over the edge to a win against a top team.
11. Virginia Tech Hokies (14-9, 5-7).
It’s official: the Hokies used all of their voodoo magic to pull out the 2OT win against North Carolina a few weeks ago. They’ve since lost four in a row and three of those losses came to BC, Miami, and GT. They still have a Duke-UVa-Louisville stretch on the horizon as well.
12. Boston College Eagles (11-12, 5-7).
BC lead Duke with 7 minutes to play in Chestnut Hill on Tuesday night. To say dumb things happen at BC home games is an understatement.
13. North Carolina Tar Heels (10-12, 3-8).
We believed in you. Last week this time I expected UNC to never lose a game and somehow make the Final Four. And then they lost to BC with Cole Anthony back in the lineup and now I think they’ll lose in the first round of the CBI. Oh well.
14. Miami-Florida Hurricanes (11-11, 3-9).
Yikes, the real ACC play has not been kind to the Hurricanes. They’ve amassed a 2-8 record since the beginning of January. They get to play host to BC and Wake next week but are likely going to be underdogs in the rest of this season’s games.
15. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (10-12, 3-9).
Wake probably isn’t a truly horrible team but they are so far from a decent team. They had Louisville in their hand leading by double digits before the Cardinals went on a 25-4 run to remind Wake who they really are. No way Danny Manning survives this year.