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ACC Roundup: Virginia Still Leads the Way

Not a lot of movement from this past week.

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NCAA Basketball: Florida State at Georgia Tech Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Now more than halfway through the conference schedules, it’s due time to take a look at the ACC’s prospects ahead of postseason play. And, no, Syracuse is not currently on the bubble.

Here’s how things have shaken out so far:

The Front-Runners:

No. 9 Virginia (13-3, 9-1)

Last Week: Wins over NC State, Pitt

After last weekend’s surprise in Blacksburg, Virginia got back to its normal ways with wins over NC State and Pittsburgh. Listed at ninth on Ken Pom and sixth in NET, the Cavaliers will look to maintain conference supremacy in games against upstart Georgia Tech and North Carolina this week.

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No. 17 Florida State (10-3, 6-2)

Last Week: Program on pause

COVID-19 has forced Florida State to postpone games against Boston College, Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech (originally scheduled for tomorrow). The Seminoles, who will get Wake Forest on Saturday, last played on Jan. 30, when they fell to Georgia Tech on the road.

No. 18 Virginia Tech (14-4, 8-3)

Last Week: Loss at Pitt, win at Miami

The Hokies’ Jan. 30 win over the ‘Hoos should go a long way in solidifying their NCAA Tournament hopes; as it stands, they hold the 36th and 35th spots on Ken Pom and NET, respectively.

Still, a loss in Pittsburgh and near-loss to Miami (a Hunter Cattoor game-tying three prevented the two-game skid) wasn’t exactly what Virginia Tech was hoping for.

NCAA Basketball: Virginia Tech at Miami-Florida
Sophomore guard Hunter Cattoor
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville (11-4, 6-3)

Last Week: Win over Georgia Tech

Like Florida State, Louisville is currently facing its own COVID-19 issues within the program. Unlike Florida State, the Cardinals handled Georgia Tech, 74-58, before entering protocols.

Having already postponed Wednesday’s tilt with Pittsburgh, Louisville is next expected to play on Saturday in Blacksburg.


The Mixed Bag:

North Carolina (12-6, 7-4)

Last Week: Loss at Clemson, win at Duke

North Carolina leads the pack of the ACC’s bubblicious teams.

Despite a loss at Clemson last Tuesday, Roy Williams’ squad has still managed to win four of five, including Saturday’s victory in Cameron Indoor. Listed in ESPN Bracketology’s “Last Four Byes,” the Heels will have a big opportunity on the road in Charlottesville this weekend.

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Clemson
Head Coach Roy Williams
Andersen Independent Mail-USA TODAY NETWORK

Georgia Tech (9-6, 5-4)

Last Week: Loss at Louisville, win over Notre Dame

Much like the Tar Heels, Georgia Tech is searching for a signature win to bolster a resume that has the Yellow Jackets sitting at 55 on Ken Pom and 62 on NET. They, too, will have a chance at getting just that this week against Virginia.

Clemson (12-5, 6-5)

Last Week: Wins over North Carolina, Syracuse

Clemson appears to have curtailed what was a brutal mid-January stretch, besting Louisville, North Carolina and Syracuse in three of their last four. Still, the Tigers are a far cry from their days at No. 12 in the national polls (Ken Pom and NET now both have them at 46); they’ll need to keep the momentum going if they hope to ensure a spot in March’s dance.

Pittsburgh (9-6, 5-5)

Last Week: Win over Virginia Tech, loss at Virginia

Pittsburgh is the second of this bunch to be on the outside looking in (the first being Georgia Tech), according to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, who has the Panthers as the seventh team out of the NCAA Tournament. A loss in Sunday’s game against the Yellow Jackets, then, could very well amount to the end of Pitt’s postseason hopes.

Duke (7-7, 5-5)

Last Week: Loss at Miami, vs. North Carolina

Is Duke really going to miss the NCAA’s? With a .500 record through its first 14 games, it’s quite possibly. Probably even likely.

Interestingly, Ken Pom and NET, which rank the blue blood at 35 and 71, respectively, are very much misaligned on this one.

Syracuse (10-6, 4-5)

Last Week: Loss at Clemson

Sitting at 54 in both ranking systems, the Orange will need to go on a run against a relatively weak ACC slate to secure a NCAA Tournament berth. At the very least, they’ll have to find their way back to the bubble so we can all get a little sense of normalcy.

NC State (8-7, 4-6)

Last Week: Loss vs. Virginia, win at Boston College

The Wolfpack are falling fast.

Losers of six of their last eight, Kevin Keatts’ squad could be moving down even further in the ACC hierarchy if they come up short against ‘Cuse and Duke this week.

NCAA Basketball: N.C. State at Clemson
Head Coach Kevin Keatts
Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports


The Leftovers:

Notre Dame (7-10, 4-7)

Last Week: Win over Wake Forest, loss at Georgia Tech

While Notre Dame may still be stuck on the lowest of our three imaginary groups, they have rebounded admirably from what was a difficult start to 2020-21. Since dropping to 3-8 (0-5 ACC) on Jan. 13 in Charlottesville, they’ve rattled off four wins in six tries.

Miami (7-11, 3-10)

Last Week: Win over Duke, loss vs. Virginia Tech

The ‘Canes were seconds away from beating Duke and Virginia Tech in back-to-back games. Instead, they’ve now lost five of six and all hope (if any remained) is lost.

Wake Forest (5-8, 2-8)

Last Week: Loss at Notre Dame

A matchup of the conference’s basement takes place on Wednesday in Chestnut Hill. Suffice it say, there won’t be a whole lot on the line for this one.

The Demon Deacons will also get Florida State on Saturday.

Boston College (3-11, 1-7)

Last Week: Loss vs. NC State

In a game where Jim Christian had to call on five walk-ons for COVID-related reasons, this 37-3 run by NC State last Saturday should adequately sum up the Eagles’ season thus far.