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ACC Power Rankings: Week of 2/9/15

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Team Record (ACC) STL Ranking Last week KenPom Rank RPI Rank (ESPN)
Virginia 21-1 (9-1) 1 1 2 3
Duke 20-3 (7-3) 2 2 8 4
Louisville 19-4 (7-3) 3 5 11 12
North Carolina 18-6 (8-3) 4 3 13 10
Notre Dame 21-4 (9-3) 5 4 17 29
Miami 15-8 (5-5) 6 7 62 58
Pittsburgh 16-8 (5-5) 7 10 95 54
Clemson 14-9 (6-5) 8 9 85 71
NC State 14-10 (5-6) 9 6 57 57
Syracuse 15-8 (6-4) 10 8 80 70
Florida State 13-11 (5-6) 11 11 128 119
Wake Forest 11-13 (3-8) 12 14 115 143
Georgia Tech 11-12 (2-9) 13 13 59 92
Boston College 9-13 (1-9) 14 12 123 129
Virginia Tech 9-14 (1-9) 15 15 172 211

Games of the Week:

Mid-week:  Virginia @ NC State

Weekend:  UNC @ Pittsburgh

Tier 1:

1. Virginia (Last Week: W vs. UNC, W vs. Louisville  Next: Wednesday @ NC State, Saturday vs. Wake Forest)

2. Duke (Last Week:  W vs. GT, W vs. Notre Dame.  Next: Monday @ FSU, Saturday @ Syracuse)

UVA and Duke have begun to separate themselves from the rest of the ACC's elite. Virginia's separation is evident in the standings, where the Hoos have a 2 game lead in the loss column on the field. Duke may have three losses, but they've come a long way from the team that allowed 90 points at home to Miami; the Blue Devils became the first team this season to hold Notre Dame's potent offense to under a point per possession (though UVA came close, allowing 56 in 55 possessions).  Both Virginia and Duke have a shot to rep the ACC as #1 seeds.

All eyes now turn to if and how UVA can maintain the same high level of performance without ACC first-team candidate Justin Anderson.

Tier 2:

3. Louisville (Last Week: W @ Miami, L @ Virginia. Next: Wednesday vs. Pittsburgh, Saturday vs. NC State)

4. North Carolina (Last Week: L vs. Virginia, W @ Boston College  Next: Saturday @ Pittsburgh)

5. Notre Dame (Last Week: W vs. Boston College, L @ Duke. Next:  Tuesday @ Clemson)

Notre Dame's drop comes after their loss at Pittsburgh (no other team in this tier has a loss to a lower tier team), and their blowout, 30-point defeat at Duke.

Louisville's defense is just 6th in the ACC in forcing turnovers after creating just 2 at UVA. Their defense is still formidable, ranked 3rd in the conference and 3rd best in opponents' eFG%.  However, the Cardinal offense thrives off transition points; the lack of live-ball turnovers has forced too many half-court sets, and thus missed shots.

Tier 3:

6. Miami (Last Week: L vs. Louisville, W vs. Clemson. Next: Wednesday @ Wake Forest, Sunday @ Boston College)

7. Pittsburgh (Last Week: W vs. Bryant, W vs. Syracuse. Next: Wednesday @ Louisville, Saturday vs. UNC)

8. Clemson (Last Week: W @ FSU, L @ Miami. Next: Tuesday vs. Notre Dame, Saturday vs. Virginia Tech)

9. NC State (Last Week: L @ Wake Forest. Next: Wednesday vs. Virginia, Saturday @ Louisville)

10. Syracuse (Last Week: W vs. VT, L @ Syracuse. Next: Wednesday @ Boston College, Saturday vs. Duke)

Welp, the ACC is doing an outstanding job of turning itself into a five-bid league. Miami and NC State were (and still are) the conference's shots at adding its 6th (and 7th) March Madness bids.  But Miami has lost 3 out of 4, while NC State's dropped 4 of 5. Both teams have plenty of opportunity to climb back into the picture, but they'll need some big wins, and can't afford any more bad losses. Syracuse, on the other hand, will not have that opportunity, but it probably wouldn't matter anyways.

Quietly, Pitt and Clemson have been climbing back to legitimacy. Clemson reeled off a 4-game winning streak, and held its six opponents after the UVA game to under a point per possession; they now have the second ranked D in the ACC.  The Panthers, on the other hand, rank last in the conference in defensive efficiency but managed to simply outscore its opponents in big home wins over Notre Dame and Syracuse.

(This was the hardest tier to attempt to rank, so I decided to emphasize recent performance, figuring I'd rather err on that side.)

Tier 4:

11. Florida State (Last Week: L vs Clemson, W @ Virginia Tech. Next: Monday vs. Duke, Saturday @ Georgia Tech.)

12. Wake Forest (Last Week: W vs. NC State, L @ Georgia Tech. Next: Wednesday vs. Miami, Saturday @ Virginia)

13. Georgia Tech (Last Week: L @ Duke, W vs. Wake Forest. Next: Monday @ Virginia Tech, Saturday vs. FSU.)

14. Boston College (Last Week: L @ Notre Dame, L vs. UNC. Next: Wednesday vs. Syracuse, Sunday vs. Miami)

15. Virginia Tech (Last Week: L @ Syracuse, L vs. Florida State. Next: Monday vs. Georgia Tech, Saturday @ Clemson)

Wake Forest picked up their third win, defending home court, where they are 3-3 in ACC play, against NC State.

Georgia Tech's amazing bad luck continued. They've lost 9 ACC games; one was to Virginia (by 29), two were decided in OT, and they other 6 were by a combined 24 points. They gave Duke a solid effort in Durham, trailing by just 4 with a minute to play.

The Hokies almost moved out of the bottom, as they have started to play like a real basketball team. Since their blowout loss against Notre Dame, Tech's 5 games since all been decided by single digits, four by 3 points or fewer. They still have just one win (and collapsed at Syracuse), but they'll probably steal another one before the year is out.