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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Conference Power Rankings: ACC

And now back to the Power Rankings series.
The ACC is typically one of the best conferences in college basketball with North Carolina and Duke consistently considered contenders as the best team.  In the last couple of years, however, the ACC has begun to slip.  This was first noticed when they lost the Big Ten/ACC Challenge for the first time in 2009 after winning it ten straight years. After three straight losses and a season in which it's likely to have more teams on the bubble than as locks come March, it's apparent to most fans this conference ain't what it used to be.  Now, this doesn't mean the ACC is a bad conference, just until some of the other schools like Maryland, Wake Forest, and N.C. State regain the success they had in the 80's, 90's, and 2000's the conference will not be considered elite.

Mike Scott has led the Cavaliers to a 14-2 start making
them perhaps the most surprising team in the country and
with rekindled hopes of an NCAA bid.
  1. Duke 15-2 (3-0) -  I don't think Duke is the best team but right now they have the best profile; when you're undefeated you sit at the top. Close wins over Georgia Tech and Virginia are still wins. 
  2. North Carolina 15-3 (2-1) - The Tar Heels  road woes continue - UNC is 12-0 at home, 2-0 on a neutral floor, but just 1-3 on the road.  
  3. Florida St. 11-6 (2-1) - Statement wins are nice and Saturday's 90-57 win over North Carolina was just that.  The only thing FSU is lacking is consistency.  If they can put together a nice little streak of wins they'll be taken seriously.
  4. Virginia 14-2 (1-1) - Virginia started off 13-1 and has really played well lately. They'll likely be favored in their next five games putting them at 19-2 which would really open a lot of people's eyes.
  5. North Carolina St. 13-5 (2-1) - They beat Maryland then dropped a silly one at home to the Yellow Jackets. Following up that win with a 36 point shellacking of Wake Forest keeps them in the top five.
  6. Maryland 12-4 (2-1) - What do you know, Maryland is 9-1 in their last ten games. The level of difficulty is about to increase significantly with FSU, Temple, and Duke the next three games. Let's see what happens.
  7. Georgia Tech 8-9 (1-2) - GT doesn't have to play Duke, UNC, FSU, or Virginia twice this year. There is a chance for a fifth place finish and a solid NIT bid.
  8. Miami 9-6 (0-2) - There's still time to right the ship. With North Carolina and Virginia out of the way, Miami's next five games are all winnable. 
  9. Boston College 7-10 (2-1) - The win over Clemson was a bit of a surprise.  This team isn't as bad as many thought though losses to Holy Cross and Boston gave cause for people to see the worst in them.
  10. Clemson 9-8 (1-2) - The loss at Boston College may say more about this team than the close loss to Duke. The Tigers play decent defense but they seem to struggle getting to the free throw line and their best players aren't good foul shooters anyway. That makes winning close games even tougher.
  11. Wake Forest 10-7 (1-2) - Slowly but surely the Demon Deacons are climbing out of the cellar.  This is a team that went 1-15 in ACC play last season.  They've already got their win so perhaps they can double last season's total?
  12. Virginia Tech 11-6 (0-3) - It wasn't supposed to be like this.  Losing to BC and Wake is inexcusable and with the next two against UNC and at Virginia it's about to get worse.

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