The ACC had a fun week with a couple of buzzer beaters, an overtime game, a blown late lead in Atlanta, and some terrific individual performances.
Miami further distanced itself from the pack after a pair of road wins that should propel the Hurricanes into the top 10 of the national rankings. Duke nabbed its first true road wins of the season, and North Carolina kept quietly moving up the ladder.
Here are this week’s power rankings:
1. Miami (17-3, 8-0)
The Hurricanes picked up two more road victories, winning at Virginia Tech and at the buzzer at NC State. The Hurricanes are now 5-0 on the road in the ACC and six of their final 10 games are at home. They have done everything to prove they are the league’s best team and are showing no signs of letting up.
2. Duke (19-2, 6-2)
Two really good road wins marked Duke’s week, beginning with a narrow victory at Wake Forest that required a lot of grit followed by a rout of Florida State. Mason Plumlee was dominant when needed at Wake Forest and the long-bombers were on in Tallahassee. Duke is still searching for itself post-Ryan Kelly’s injury, but is still plenty good.
3. N.C. State (16-6, 5-4)
Two losses, an injury to Lorenzo Brown and more issues with C.J. Leslie made this a frustrating week for the Wolfpack. At the same time, the team played inspired basketball in losing at Virginia and at home to Miami. In the long run, this week may make the Wolfpack better.
4. North Carolina (15-6, 5-3)
The Tar Heels have quietly won five of six ACC games, and this past week beat Boston College on the road before edging Virginia Tech in overtime at home. North Carolina wasn’t great in either game, but this team is proving it’s learning how to win, and that’s a positive moving forward.
5. Virginia (16-6, 5-3)
Tony Bennett’s team may end up regretting a couple of games it’s lost if it doesn’t make the NCAA Tournament, but perhaps none more than Sunday’s collapse at Georgia Tech. The Cavaliers went more than eight minutes without scoring a field goal while blowing an eight-point lead and falling. This came several days after notching a huge home win over NC State, which was huge for Virginia’s resume.
6. Maryland (16-6, 4-5)
Credit the Terrapins for bouncing back after a tough last-second loss at FSU by beating Wake Forest by 26 points. The Terps can still work their way into the NCAA Tournament and have their toughest games (at UNC, at Duke, at Miami, at FSU) behind them.
7. Clemson (12-9, 4-5)
Brad Brownell’s club made a heck of a late charge at Boston College but fell short Saturday. Ironically, the Tigers nearly blew a nice lead at home to Georgia Tech earlier in the week. Consistently inconsistent describes the Tigers.
8. Florida State (12-9, 4-4)
The buzzer-beating win over Maryland was nice but there’s no excuse to back it up by getting completely destroyed by Duke at home. Michael Snaer continues to have a sub-par year and Ian Miller just can’t get going.
9. Wake Forest (10-11, 3-6)
You can’t ignore the Demon Deacons’ effort in losing at home to Duke, 75-70. It offered a sign the program is making some progress under Jeff Bzdelik. But all of that went right out the window in a 26-point loss at Maryland over the weekend.
10. Georgia Tech (12-8, 2-6)
As expected, times are getting better for Brian Gregory’s team. They lost a close one at Clemson during the week and then overcame a late deficit to beat a solid Virginia club at home Sunday.
11. Virginia Tech (11-10, 2-6)
What a frustrating week for the Hokies. They lost at home to Miami after leading for much of the game and then fell at UNC in overtime after leading almost the entire game. That’s progress, but it’s also two more losses.
12. Boston College (10-11, 2-6)
Boston College notches a victory yet remained in the bottom spot mainly because Virginia Tech was competitive against two good teams. But the win over Clemson was well-earned for a club that had played most foes pretty tough at home.