The ACC season is almost halfway through, and it's been a wild one. Here's how the ACC stacks up:
|Team||Record (ACC)||STL Ranking||Jan. 15 Ranking||KenPom Rank||RPI Rank (ESPN)|
|North Carolina||18-2 (7-0)||1||1||5||6|
|Notre Dame||14-6 (5-3)||6||7||35||32|
|Florida State||13-7 (3-5)||10||10||45||45|
|Georgia Tech||12-8 (2-5)||11||9||57||59|
|Virginia Tech||12-9 (4-4)||12||12||103||111|
|Wake Forest||10-10 (1-7)||13||13||115||78|
|NC State||11-10 (1-7)||14||14||80||102|
|Boston College||7-13 (0-7)||15||15||256||205|
Games of the Week:
This weekend: Virginia @ Louisville
Next week: UNC @ Louisville
1. North Carolina (Last Week: W vs. Wake Forest, W @ Virginia Tech. Next: Saturday vs. BC, Monday @ Louisville)
UNC is rolling. They're the ACC's only undefeated team, and they hadn't been threatened until a close call in Blacksburg last weekend. But they also haven't quite been tested yet, as their schedule ranks second-easiest in the ACC to date. That'll change next week on a road trip to Louisville and Notre Dame (though its book-ended with games against BC).
2. Louisville (Last Week: W @ GT, W @ VT. Next: Saturday vs. Virginia, Monday vs. UNC)
3. Miami (Last Week: W vs. Wake Forest, W vs. Duke. Next: Saturday @ NCSU, Wednesday vs. Notre Dame)
4. Virginia (Last Week: W vs. Syracuse, W vs. Wake Forest. Next: Saturday @ Louisville, Wednesday vs. BC)
Like UNC, the Cardinals have a great record, but haven't had chances to impress. They will in this week's big homestand against UVA and the Tar Heels. That, combined with their out-of-conference schedule weakness, makes them one of the biggest question marks among the nation's elite. They lead the ACC in defensive efficiency, allowing .96 PPP; that's .08 more than UVA allowed last year, a mark of the conference's shift toward offense.
Miami, coming off a win over Duke, gets the nod over Virginia. They're probably the conference's most balanced team, the only one with top-20 rankings in offense and defense.
And we all know about the Hoos. The past few weeks have been a wild ride. They've already dropped 3 road games, and it doesn't get any easier going forward. Maybe the live atmospheres of Louisville, Pitt, and Duke coming up will shake the team out of its road swoon?
5. Clemson (Last Week: W vs. Pittsburgh. Next: Saturday @ Florida State, Tuesday @ Wake Forest)
6. Notre Dame (Last Week: W vs. Boston College, L @ Syracuse. Next: Saturday vs. Wake Forest, Wednesday @ Miami)
7. Duke (Last Week: W @ NCSU, L @ Miami. Next: Tuesday @ GT)
The surprising Tigers won again last week and moved all alone into 3rd place in the ACC. It's difficult to pinpoint one specific area key in Clemson's transformation, but their defense has certainly gotten its act together (5th in ACC play, despite the second-hardest schedule) and Jaron Blossomgame has developed into a game-changer that affects the game in a variety of ways.
The Irish have the nation's best offense, but its 245th worst defense. When things go right, they could pull off 95-91 road wins over Duke. But when the shots aren't falling, the results could look more like last night's 81-66 loss in Syracuse.
Duke is a carbon copy of Notre Dame that lacks both the luck of the Irish and the experience. Duke has still been able to score, even though their freshman class hasn't produced a player at the caliber of Jahlil Okafor. But they don't defend, they definitely don't rebound, and their season has started to spiral downhill.
8. Pittsburgh (Last Week: W @ FSU, L @ Clemson. Next: vs. VT)
9. Syracuse (Last Week: L @ Virginia, @ vs. ND. Next: Saturday vs. GT, Tuesday vs. VT)
10. Florida State (Last Week: L vs. Pittsburgh, W @ Boston College. Next: Saturday vs. Clemson, Monday vs. NC State)
After a home game against Virginia Tech, Pitt starts a brutal second half of their ACC season with games against UVA, Miami, and North Carolina.
The Orange have won 4 of 5, rebounding nicely from an 0-4 start. They've done it by, well, rebounding nicely. They've killed it on the offensive boards in their 4 ACC wins, bringing in between 38 and 45% of their own misses. (The exception was in C-Ville, where the Hoos kept Cuse off the glass, and thus off the scoreboard despite a three-point barrage.
UVA's loss at Florida State looks iffy, as the Noles' only two other wins came against BC and NCSU. The good news for FSU is that their trio of Bacon, Beasley, and XRM will be scary good in a couple years.
11. Georgia Tech (Last Week: L vs. Louisville, W @ NC State. Next: Saturday @ Syracuse, Tuesday vs. Duke)
12. Virginia Tech (Last Week: L vs. UNC, L vs. Louisville. Next: Sunday @ Pittsburgh, Tuesday @ Syracuse)
13. Wake Forest (Last Week: L @ Miami, L vs. Virginia. Next: Sunday @ Notre Dame, Tuesday vs. Clemson)
14. NC State (Last Week: L vs. Duke, L vs. GT. Next: Saturday vs. Miami, Monday @ FSU)
Oh, UVA's loss at Georgia Tech looks iffy too. (All three road losses are iffy, to say the least.) The Jackets have played tough though. They are 2-5 in the ACC, but they have yet to lose by double digits (despite playing the conference's third-toughest schedule). They have two more shots at a nice win this week.
I feel strange saying this, but I may be underrating the Hokies, who have lost three in a row but gave Notre Dame and UNC scares and hung tough with Louisville. Buzz Williams has his team playing pretty good basketball.
Wake, as we know, complete dominated UVA. The result: a 5th consecutive loss. LOLOLOL.
NC State's another team that has competed well in ACC play (their biggest loss a 12-point defeat in Chapel Hill), but they have a 1-7 record to show for it. They've been one of the conference's biggest disappointments - will Gottfried be on the hot seat?
15. Boston College (Last Week: L @ Notre Dame, W vs. FSU. Next: Saturday @ UNC, Wednesday @ Virginia)
KenPom now gives the Eagles an 28.5% chance of finishing the conference season winless. The last winless ACC team was Maryland, back in 1986-1987. They are dead last in the conference every one of the "Four Factors" on offense, and it isn't close. Woof.