ACC Power Rankings: Duke keeps crown
DEC 31, 2012 8:02a ET
Virginia Tech has fallen apart, Miami suddenly hit a snag out in Hawaii, Virginia lost to a one-win team, Clemson suffered a humiliating defeat, North Carolina was routed and Mike Krzyzewski isn’t pleased with how his Duke team is playing.
On the upside, Maryland, Georgia Tech and N.C. State continued to impress with the Wolfpack playing perhaps the best hoops of anyone in the conference at this time. Even Boston College has had a couple of positive weeks.
But the league didn’t help its overall power rating, which could hurt come NCAA selection time. Here are this week’s rankings:
1. Duke (12-0)
The Blue Devils exploded after very slow starts against Cornell and Elon and then had to pull away very late from Santa Clara. Coach Krzyzewski made clear his displeasure with these recent performances, so expect amped up intensity from the top-ranked team in the land.
2. N.C. State (10-2)
Making a hard push toward the top right now is Mark Gottfried’s improving team. The Wolfpack has been excellent in the second halves of its six-game winning streak, which includes well-played wins over Stanford, St. Bonaventure and Saturday versus Western Michigan. Lorenzo Brown is making teammates better and freshman forward T.J. Warren is one of the best sixth-men in the nation.
3. Maryland (11-1)
It’s a shame the Terrapins have been playing nothing but patsies because we still don’t have a real good handle of what they’re all about. It appears the Terps are a good team with a nice balance. A lack of slip-ups keeps them this high.
4. North Carolina (10-3)
An ugly, unenthusiastic loss at Texas is what keeps the Tar Heels this low, but if the last two games mean anything, they are definitely trending upward. UNC blasted McNeese State by executing a lot of little things and then put forth an effort that made even hard-to-please coach Roy Williams proud in a victory over a fine UNLV team.
5. Miami (8-3)
Miami is unbeaten with its full complement of players, but has lost without Durand Scott and last week dropped a pair of games in Hawaii without Reggie Johnson, who will miss 6-8 weeks with a broken left thumb. The Hurricanes had been playing so well, and after a blowout win at Hawaii were crushed by Arizona before dropping a nail-biter to Indiana State. They may not make the NCAAs losing Johnson for that long.
6. Georgia Tech (9-2)
Brian Gregory’s team hasn’t played stiff competition so it’s difficult to gauge exactly how they are playing. But we do know this much: Tech is much better than a year ago, appears to have chemistry and a nice on-court balance, and it has some depth.
7. Florida State (8-4)
Quietly moving forward are the Seminoles, who after a terrible start to the season have pulled off a couple of solid wins at Charlotte and over Tulsa. Florida State has won four consecutive games without injured point guard Ian Miller. Expect the Seminoles to take it up a notch when he returns.
8. Virginia (9-3)
Old Dominion is usually a talented team and always well coached by Blaine Taylor, so there’s nothing embarrassing about losing to them in most seasons. But Virginia fell to an ODU team that entered the contest 1-10, and they did so on a neutral floor in Richmond. Not good.
9. Virginia Tech (9-4)
After adding another notch to their then-growing resume by edging Bradley in Las Vegas, James Johnson’s team has completely collapsed. The Hokies lost by 36 to Colorado State and by 26 at BYU without missing any key players. VPI was out-rebounded by 18 in the two games, registered just 15 assists while allowing 40, and converted a paltry 8 of 41 (19.5 percent) 3-pointers.
10. Clemson (7-4)
How does losing by 27 at Coastal Carolina sound? Pretty bad for any team at any level of Division One college basketball, but it’s totally inexcusable for an ACC team. It will take a long time for the Tigers to shake that embarrassment.
11. Boston College (7-5)
The Eagles have quietly strung together four consecutive victories, including over Providence. BC hasn’t been overwhelming in any capacity, but Steve Donahue’s club will take the wins and the confidence that comes with them.
12. Wake Forest (6-5)
The Demon Deacons took care of UNC-Greensboro and routed Furman in their most recent contests, which are steps up from how they had been playing. But still, this team has done little to get itself out of the cellar.