Blowouts, buzzer beaters and some excellent individual performances were the storylines of the last week in ACC basketball.
Of course, Miami’s continued run trumps everything and should at least have the Hurricanes in the top-5 this week.
Here are this week’s power rankings:
1. Miami (19-3, 10-0)
The Hurricanes should be ranked No. 1 in the nation. Nobody else is playing as well after wins at home over Boston College and North Carolina. And forget their losses without starters at Florida Gulf Coast, which leads its league, and in overtime to Indiana State, which leads the Missouri Valley Conference, and Arizona in Hawaii. Sophomore point guard Shane Larkin might be the new front-runner for ACC Player of the Year.
2. Duke (21-2, 8-2)
Sunday’s 62-61 victory at Boston College was a survive-and-advance type of game. The Blue Devils gutted out the victory, though they didn’t play as well as expected. An impressive home win over N.C. State started the week. Duke may climb to No. 1 in the national polls for the third time this season, but the Blue Devils aren’t the best team in the country.
3. Virginia (17-6, 6-3)
The Cavaliers had a great week, first blowing out Clemson by 37 points and then winning 80-69 at Maryland in a game they controlled all the way. The Cavaliers jumped two spots this week and now just need to avoid a late meltdown or awful loss the rest of the way and they will get into the NCAA Tournament.
4. N.C. State (17-6, 6-4)
The Wolfpack would love to have rolled over Clemson in Littlejohn, but having to grind out a victory and get a game-winner drawn up by coach Mark Gottfried may have been the best way to end a three-game losing streak and perhaps right the ship. N.C. State was throttled at Duke before slowly cutting into the margin in the second half earlier in the week. The Wolfpack badly needed that win versus the Tigers.
5. North Carolina (16-7, 6-4)
Roy’s boys had won six of seven before heading to Miami and really had improved quite a bit. But North Carolina dissolved once again against a really good team away from home. A lack of leadership and mental strength was obvious in the 87-61 loss. Williams needs to seriously consider adjusting his minutes distribution. The Tar Heels need more offense because they aren’t going to be stout defensively.
6. Maryland (17-7, 5-6)
The Terrapins did what was needed to nab a road win at Virginia Tech, but they blew a chance at a nice victory against Virginia, losing by 11 at home in a game that the Cavaliers owned. Inconsistency throughout the roster is not helping the Terps’ cause.
7. Clemson (12-11, 4-7)
Not a good week for the Tigers. They were obliterated by 37 points at Virginia and then blew a four-point lead at home with 20 seconds left to struggling N.C. State. Credit Clemson for bouncing back from the ugly loss, but it never should have happened to that extent in the first place.
8. Florida State (12-10, 5-5)
As soon as you think the Seminoles might be figuring it out and could make a late push to the NCAAs, they lay a horrible egg. There’s no excuse for any team to lose by 25 at Wake Forest, especially a club as talented as Florida State. The Seminoles couldn’t build on a buzzer-beating win at Georgia Tech.
9. Georgia Tech (13-9, 3-7)
If the Yellow Jackets didn’t fall at the buzzer at home to Florida State earlier in the week, their lopsided victory in Blacksburg could have put them in the conversation for teams to pay attention to as far as making a run to an NCAA bid. Kammeron Holsey continues to play well, which is a great sign for Georgia Tech.
10. Wake Forest (11-12, 4-7)
Downright awful on the road and pretty solid at home marks Wake Forest’s continued Jekyll and Hyde act. It’s truly remarkable how poorly this team plays on the road, like in Tuesday’s 25-point loss at North Carolina, and how well they are at times at home, like in Saturday’s 71-46 ripping of FSU.
11. Boston College (10-13, 2-8)
The Eagles dropped their seventh game in their last eight tries when Duke escaped Conte Forum with a one-point win Sunday night. Boston College is close, especially at home, but just can’t get over the hump. Almost beating Duke moves the Eagles up a spot.
12. Virginia Tech (11-12, 2-8)
The Hokies have dropped six consecutive games, including two this past week at home to Virginia and Georgia Tech. The 22-point first-half hole, which in part was because the Hokies converted just three shots in the first 17 minutes, was a scary bad display of hoops.