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ACC Power Rankings: Week of 1/21/14

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The top 6 of the ACC is beginning to solidify; in fact, it's completely unchanged from last week in our power rankings.  (That's boring, sorry).  It remains to see which, if any, teams from the mid-tier of the ACC will rise toward the top.

Team Record (ACC) STL Ranking Last KenPom Rank RPI Rank (ESPN)
Syracuse 18-0 (5-0) 1 1 3 6
Pittsburgh 16-2 (4-1) 2 2 6 17
Virginia 14-5 (5-1) 3 3 12 21
Duke 14-4 (3-2) 4 4 20 18
Florida State 12-5 (3-2) 5 5 16 23
Clemson 13-4 (4-1) 6 6 32 75
Maryland 11-8 (3-3) 7 8 70 72
NC State 12-7 (2-4) 8 10 99 67
Miami 10-7 (2-3) 9 7 60 78
North Carolina 11-7 (1-4) 10 9 48 58
Notre Dame 11-7 (2-3) 11 11 86 89
Wake Forest 12-6 (2-3) 12 13 87 62
Georgia Tech 10-8 (1-4) 13 12 158 144
Boston College 5-13 (1-4) 14 14 163 134
Virginia Tech 8-9 (1-4) 15 15 170 178

Games of the Week:

Mid-week: Wednesday, Duke @ Miami

Weekend: Saturday, Florida State @ Duke

1. Syracuse

Syracuse solidified their grip on the top spot of the ACC by defeating Pitt at the Carrier Dome.  The Orange have had a cushy start to conference play, and things won't really pick up until the end of conference play, when they'll finally take road trips to Pitt, Duke, Virginia, and Florida State.

This week: Saturday @ Miami.

2. Pittsburgh

Pitt retains its number 2 spot for now, as there's no shame in losing a close one at Syracuse.  If you believe KenPom's Player of the Year rankings, Lamar Patterson is the best in the conference (and one of the best in the nation).

This week: Tuesday vs. Clemson. Saturday @ Maryland.

3. Virginia

The Hoos continued to roll, easily taking care of business in two dangerous home games against FSU and UNC this weekend.  In each of the team's 5 ACC games, UVA has led by 20 or more points.  And Joe Harris has really turned it on, shooting 13 for 28 from behind the arc in ACC play.  We are pretty good.

This week: Monday vs. UNC (W 76-61).  Saturday vs. Virginia Tech.

4. Duke

Duke has recovered from its early season issues with two good home wins over UVA and NC State.  Against the Wolfpack, Jabari Parker looked to recover as well, scoring 23 points (his first ACC game with more than 20).  The schedule ahead is unforgiving, especially during the team's two-game road trip to Syracuse and Pittsburgh next week.

This week: Wednesday @ Miami. Saturday vs. Florida State.

5. Florida State

The good news for the Seminoles is that none of the teams remaining on the team's schedule is called "Virginia," as both of Florida State losses have come at the hands of the Hoos.  The Noles have two big weaknesses - they turn the ball over a lot and they struggle to get defensive rebounds.  That's what's holding them back from being a  "great" team instead of a "very good" one.

This week: Tuesday vs. Notre Dame. Saturday @ Duke.

6. Clemson

Clemson is trying to out-UVA UVA, and is doing a passable job at it.  Their defense is ranked 9th in adjusted efficiency, and their tempo is 348th out of 351 D-I teams.  However, they forgot that they have to score points too (hey, can't blame them - we sometimes do that too)!  Regardless, the Tigers are 4-1 in ACC play, though they have a very tough 3 game road test at Pitt, UNC, and FSU coming up.

This week: Tuesday @ Pittsburgh. Saturday @ North Carolina.

7. Maryland

Maryland isn't playing especially good basketball, but they are here by default at this point, as the Terps have won the games they were supposed to (both at Comcast Center, and one at BC).  Hopefully they keep losing road games so moments like this one keep happening.  ACC! ACC!

This week: Monday @ NC State (L 65-56).  Saturday @ Pittsburgh.

8. NC State

Yeah, maybe I gave the Wolfpack a bit of a boost because of those aforementioned chants.  NC State may be 2-4, but their losses (vs. Pitt, vs. UVA, @ Wake, @ Duke) aren't embarrassing ones.  Mark Gottfried has his team playing surprisingly decent basketball, and they did a good job of winning against Maryland without their VERY high volume shooter, TJ Warren.

This week: Monday vs. Maryland (W 65-56). Sunday vs. Georgia Tech.

9. Miami

The Hurricanes won another game on the road and are now 6-3 in road and neutral games this season, beating some decent teams in the process.  It's mostly because of a defense that's almost as good as last season's, with just a drop of 6 places in the defensive efficiency rankings to 35.  The Hurricanes play 5 of their next 6 games at home (including a non-conference matchup with Norfolk State squeezed in between).  They are now slowest team in the NCAA.

This week: Wednesday vs. Duke. Saturday vs. Syracuse.

10. North Carolina

At 1-4 in the ACC, Tar Heel fans are in full panic mode, as those wins over Michigan State, Louisville, and Kentucky seem ages away.  UNC has played fine if uninspired defense (7th in the ACC during conference play, 22nd overall this season).  But they are scoring .93 points per possession and have nobody who can make shots besides Marcus Paige, occasionally.  Watching James McAdoo play is lots of fun, especially when he's taking free throws (54%).

This week: Monday @ Virginia (L 76-61). Sunday vs. Clemson

11. Notre Dame

Sporting the ACC's second-worst defense, and lacking their best scorer for the season, Notre Dame is going to struggle all year.  With Grant out, Garrick Sherman has become ND's go-to guy, using 30% of the team's possessions but posting an ORtg below 100.

This week: Tuesday @ Florida State. Saturday @ Wake Forest.

12. Wake Forest

The Demon Deacons have played 5 games and are 2-0 at home and 0-3 on the road.  Either the Joel features the best home-court advantage in all of basketball, or Bzdelik's squad is just lame on the road. We'll see if they show up in Blacksburg this week.

This week: Wednesday @ Virginia Tech. Saturday vs. Notre Dame.

13. Georgia Tech

The Yellow Jackets are competing with Virginia Tech to see which team has the worst offense in the ACC this year.  So far, GT is lagging behind, but they are plenty inept and are well on their way to a 4th straight season ranked below 200 is offensive efficiency.

This week: Tuesday @ Boston College. Sunday @ NC State

14. Boston College

Against Syracuse this week, BC put up quite a fight at home before succumbing midway through the second half.  Steve Donahue is leading the nation's 298th ranked offense, the worst for an ACC squad in the 11 years for which KenPom has data.

This week: Tuesday vs. Georgia Tech

15. Virginia Tech

The Hokies have competed at times this season, as 3 of their 4 ACC losses have been by single digits and the other, against Syracuse, was close until the middle of the second half.  Against UVA this weekend, look for Tech to launch three-pointers all game, the lone strength of a terrible offense.

This week: Wednesday vs Wake Forest. Saturday @ Virginia.