Below is a table of this week's rankings - further explanations follow. UVA moved back up to third with a solid week. The 7 through 10 spots were the toughest to figure out here. Drop your thoughts and disagreements down in the comments.
|Team||ACC Record||STL Ranking||Last||KenPom Rank||RPI Rank|
Games of the Week:
Mid-week: Thursday, Duke @ Virginia (also Game of the Century)
Weekend: Saturday, Miami @ Duke
It's hard to win on the road in the ACC. Doing so 9 times in a season is even harder, and the Hurricanes fell in road game #8. Playing Virginia Tech at home should be a fun way for them to right the ship.
This week: Wednesday vs Virginia Tech. Saturday @ Duke
After moseying by VT and BC last week by a combined 53 points, its put up or shut up time for Duke this week. Hopefully, they "shut up" in Charlottesville on Thursday. Ryan Kelly is eyeing a return in time for the ACC Tournament, which should improve Duke's fortunes.
This week: Thursday @ Virginia. Saturday vs. Miami
The Hoos missed a big opportunity, falling on the road at Miami, but have another chance this week. There's too much to say about that game than could be confined in this space...but let's win it.
This week: Thursday vs. Duke. Sunday @ Boston College
4. North Carolina
Carolina avenged their earlier loss to the Wolfpack, picking up its first legitimately impressive win of the ACC season (and probably the entire regular season). Previously, they were 0-5 against the top 5 teams in these rankings and 8-0 against the bottom 7.
This week: Thursday @ Clemson. Sunday vs. Florida State.
5. NC State
The Wolfpack are lucky that their lofty RPI makes them an NCAA tourney lock. NC State has been mediocre in conference play since that early win at Duke, and couldn't change their fortunes in Chapel Hill this weekend. After high preseason expectations, the team is in danger of finishing outside the ACC's top 4, but has an easy finish to its conference schedule.
This week: Wednesday vs. Boston College. Sunday @ Georgia Tech.
What NOT to do after beating Duke: Lose to BC. Virginia Tech did it during their star-crossed 2011 season, and Maryland pulled off the feat this week. Virginia, be warned.
This week: Wednesday @ Georgia Tech. Saturday @ Wake Forest
7. Wake Forest
Needless to say, there's a large drop-off in the conference after Maryland. I put Wake here because they are (somehow) so darn dangerous at home and proved it by blowing out Miami. They are 5-2 at the Joel, their two losses coming by a combined 6 points to Georgia Tech and Duke, while outscoring opponents by a solid .10 points per possession. On the road, they are 0-7, and have been outscored by a miserable .20 PPP margin.
This week: Tuesday @ Florida State. Sunday vs. Maryland
8. Florida State
I really would like to drop the Seminoles further after their loss to Virginia Tech, but nobody in the ACC basement has justified moving up. After 4 straight years of defenses ranked in KenPom's top 15 (and 9 of 10 in the top 55), Leonard Hamilton's signature unit is 151st in efficiency.
This week: Tuesday vs. Wake Forest. Sunday @ North Carolina
9. Georgia Tech
For the 6th straight game, the Yellow Jackets scored to score more than 1 PPP. After a nice 4-3 mid-season stretch, Georgia Tech is back to their losing ways.
This week: Wednesday vs. Maryland. Sunday vs. NC State.
Speaking of losing ways, Clemson has lost 5 of 6 in a difficult mid-season stretch. Their defense looked tough earlier this year, but has slowly but surely broken down throughout the season, and now stands at the bottom half of the ACC in conference play.
This week: Thursday vs. North Carolina. Saturday @ Virginia Tech
11. Boston College
BC is another team that has looked dangerous at their own arena. The Eagles have won 3 of 4 at home, only dropping a one point game to Duke (to add to their one point loss to Miami earlier this season).
This week: Wednesday @ NC State. Sunday vs. Virginia.
12. Virginia Tech
The Hokies snapped their 9-game losing streak by beating Florida State at home. Despite Erick Green's admirable efforts, they may not win again this year. What a shame.
This week: Wednesday @ Miami. Saturday vs. Clemson