Jan 28, 2017; Winston-Salem, NC, USA; A Wake Forest Demon Deacons fan holds up a sign during the game against the Duke Blue Devils at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Duke defeated Wake 85-83. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
The ACC continues to reign supreme amongst all other conferences. With so much talent, how does that affect this week’s power rankings?
The strength of the Atlantic Coast Conference continues to be displayed on a weekly basis.
Georgia Tech went into this week 3-4 on the season with one good win over North Carolina.
They exit at 5-4 with three good wins on the resume for the season.
Miami blows a game at Duke. Then follows that up by barely beating Boston College at home and throttling the Tar Heels.
Speaking of Duke, apparently the Blue Devils are back after their comeback against Wake Forest. But wasn’t that the case after their comeback against Miami which they followed with a loss to NC State?
Meanwhile, Florida State and Notre Dame went into the week a combined 12-2 in ACC play.
They exit the week 0-4 combined.
In other words, no gimmes this season fellas.
So with that all taken care of, let’s delve into this week’s power rankings.
Jan 28, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers forward Jamel Artis (1) dribbles to the basket against the Clemson Tigers during the first half at the Petersen Events Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Last week: Lost 67-60 to Clemson Last rank: 14th
Pittsburgh is the latest squad to consume this spot. That makes five different teams in as many weeks. So as the rest of the conference is trying to fight for the top, the bottom just keeps cycling through itself. Like Clemson before them, Pitt is on a six-game losing streak. Against those same Tigers Saturday, the team shot 32.7 percent from the field. Leading scoring duo Michael Young and James Artis did have a combined 30 points for the Panthers. Pittsburgh’s next game is Tuesday at North Carolina.
Jan 29, 2017; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Boston College Eagles forward Mo Jeffers (15) beats teammates guard Ky Bowman (0) and forward Connar Tava (2) to the rebound in the second half against the Virginia Tech Hokies at Cassell Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports
Boston College Eagles
Last week: Lost 85-79 to Virginia Tech Last rank: 12th
Boston College falls two spots this week having lost their fifth-straight and seven-of-their past eight. They join Pitt as the only ACC team with seven losses, though unlike the Panthers they do have two wins, and are the only ACC team with a losing record. Against Virginia Tech, the team shot 44.3 percent from the field. Leading scorer Jerome Robinson did have 17 points for the Eagles, though it was sophomore guard Jordan Chapman who kept the team close with 30 off the bench. Boston College’s next game is Tuesday against Wake Forest.
Jan 28, 2017; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Clemson Tigers guard Gabe DeVoe (10) dribbles the ball against the Pittsburgh Panthers during the second half at the Petersen Events Center. Clemson won 67-60. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Last week: Won 67-60 against Pittsburgh Last rank: 15th
Clemson jumps two spots this week by beating Pitt and ending a six-game losing streak. The win doubles their conference win total and keeps their lingering NCAA hopes alive, though both wins have come against teams ranked in the bottom five of these rankings. Against Pittsburgh, the team shot 51.9 percent from the field, 19 points better than the Panthers. Leading scorer Jaron Blossomgame finished with 25 points on an efficient 10-14 shooting for the Tigers. Clemson’s next game is Wednesday against Georgia Tech.
Jan 29, 2017; Louisville, KY, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Dennis Smith Jr. (4) falls over Louisville Cardinals guard David Levitch (23) while scrambling for the ball during the second half at KFC Yum! Center. Louisville defeated North Carolina State 85-60. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
NC State Wolfpack
Last week: Lost 85-60 to Louisville Last rank: 13th
NC State moves up a spot this week by going 1-1 for the week. One of those wins just happened to be their first win at Duke in 22 years. Of course they couldn’t build on that and therefore still find themselves near the bottom of these rankings. Against Louisville, the team shot 37.5 percent from the field. Leading scorer Dennis Smith Jr was held to just eight points and six assists for the Wolfpack, the first time this season the freshman has failed to score in double digits. NC State’s next game is Wednesday against Syracuse.
Jan 28, 2017; Winston-Salem, NC, USA; Wake Forest Demon Deacons guard Bryant Crawford (13) reacts after a score in the first half against the Duke Blue Devils at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Last week: Lost 85-83 against Duke Last rank: 9th
Oh, Wake Forest what could’ve been. Leading by seven with about two minutes to go, Wake would get outscored 9-0 as Duke would hit three three pointers to end the game. Wake brought this on themselves but had some questionable calls, including a phantom shot clock violation, go against them. Alas instead of moving up these rankings, Wake falls having lost their second-straight. Against the Blue Devils, the team shot 474.3 percent from the field. Leading scorer John Collins did have 20 points and eight rebounds for the Demon Deacons. He also suffered a horrific fall in the waning seconds of the game, though seemed to be alright. Wake Forest’s next game is Tuesday at Boston College.
Last week: Won 77-62 against North Carolina Last rank: 11th
Miami only moves up one spot despite going 2-0 this week. Part of that has to do with head-to-head results, but the other part has to do with the overall strength of the ACC, that Miami can beat UNC and hardly move. Against North Carolina, the team shot 41.1 percent from the field. Leading scorer Davon Reed contributed 14 points for the Hurricanes, though it was the 30 points from freshman Bruce Brown that led the way for Miami. The Hurricanes next game is Wednesday against Florida State.
Jan 28, 2017; Winston-Salem, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils guard Luke Kennard (5) celebrates with guard Grayson Allen (3) after hitting the go ahead three point shot in the final 7 seconds against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Duke defeated Wake 85-83. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Duke Blue Devils
Last week: Won 85-83 against Wake Forest Last rank: 7th
Is Duke a good team? That’s a great question. The Blue Devils are one amazing half and one stellar performance away from being 2-6 in the ACC and staring at something like 12th on these rankings. RPI does rank them 20th overall. However, their best win is against Florida (a third place team in a sixth place conference) and their best conference win is against Wake (a bottom five ACC team). Resume would say NIT, yet Lundardi consistently lists them as a five seed. Why? Because they are the Ohio State of basketball, undeserving but sneaks in because the committee can’t get past their obsession with what should be as opposed to what is. Against Wake Forest, the team shot 48.3 percent from the field. Leading scorer Luke Kennard did have 34 points for the Blue Devils, including the game winning basket with six seconds left. Duke’s next game is Monday at Notre Dame.
Jan 28, 2017; Syracuse, NY, USA; Syracuse Orange guard John Gillon (4) drives the ball past Florida State Seminoles guard Xavier Rathan-Mayes (22) during the second half of a game at the Carrier Dome. Syracuse won the contest 82-72. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
Last week: WOn 82-72 against Florida State Last rank: 10th
Syracuse finds themselves moving up two spots this week after going 2-0 at home. The Orange remain undefeated at home this conference season but have not won a game on the road, making it hard to really judge this group in ACC play. Against Florida State, the team shot 43.1 percent from the field. Leading scorer Andrew White III finished with 24 points for the Orange. Syracuse’s next game is Wednesday at NC State.
Jan 29, 2017; Blacksburg, VA, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies guard Seth Allen (4) is hugged by forward Zach LeDay (32) following the victory against the Boston College Eagles at Cassell Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports
Virginia Tech Hokies
Last week: Won 85-79 against Boston College Last rank: 6th
Virginia Tech drops a spot this week by going 1-1, winning at home but losing badly on the road. The Hokies are probably a tourney team, but could use another marque win this season. Against Boston College, the team shot 59.1 percent from the field. Leading scorer Zach LeDay did have 17 points for the Hokies off the bench, though it was senior transfer Seth Allen who had the stellar game with 18 points, six rebounds, and four assists against the Eagles. Virginia Tech’s next game is Wednesday at Virginia (aka that signature win I was talking about).
Last week: Won 62-60 against Notre Dame Last rank: 8th
Georgia Tech makes the big jump this week going 2-0 against two of the top teams in the ACC. Honestly, does any other ACC team have as three good wins as the Yellow Jackets now have over the Tar Heels, Seminoles, and Irish? Josh Pastner has worked wonders with this young team many predicted to go 0-fer in the ACC. Barring a complete meltdown, Pastner also should have ACC Coach of the Year locked up and should be in the running for NCAA coach of the year as well. Against Notre Dame, the team shot 48.1 percent from the field. Leading scorer Josh Okogie only had eight points for the Yellow Jackets, though two of those came on the game winning layup at the buzzard. Georgia Tech’s next game is Wednesday at Clemson.
Jan 29, 2017; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals forward Deng Adel (22) tries to steal the ball from North Carolina State Wolfpack forward Ted Kapita (23) during the second half at KFC Yum! Center. The Cardinals won 85-60. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports
Last week: Won 85-60 against NC State Last rank: 5th
Louisville continues to hold down the five spot by beating teams ranked below them, but losing to teams ranked ahead of them. They continued that trend again this week with blow out wins over Pitt and NC State. Against the Wolfpack, the team shot 50 percent from the field. Leading scorer Donovan Mitchell finished with 28 points, eight rebounds, and five assists for the Cardinals. Louisville’s next game is Saturday at Boston College.
Jan 28, 2017; Atlanta, GA, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish forward V.J. Beachem (3) walks toward the bench during their game against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at McCamish Pavilion. The Yellow Jackets won 62-60. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Last week: Lost 62-60 to Georgia Tech Last rank: 3rd
Notre Dame’s 0-2 spurt dropped them down to fourth this week. The losses included a beat down at home and then a buzzer-beating loss on the road. Though tied with FSU head-to-head plays a huge part in their being ranked behind the Seminoles. Against Georgia Tech, the team shot 40.4 percent from the field. Leading scorer Bonzie Colson did have 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Irish, his 13th double double of the season. Notre Dame’s next game is Monday against Duke.
Florida State joins it’s brethern Notre Dame in losing two games this weekend. However unlike the Irish, both of the Seminoles losses came on the road. Florida State also holds the head to head matchup here giving them any tie breaker that may or may not arise in these rankings. Against Syracuse, the team shot 38.3 percent from the field. Leading scorer Dwayne Bacon did have 19 points for the Seminoles, and was assisted with a double double by Freshman Jonathan Isaac. Florida State’s next game is Wednesday at Miami, their third straight road contest.
Jan 28, 2017; Coral Gables, FL, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Kennedy Meeks (3) shoots over Miami Hurricanes forward Anthony Lawrence Jr. (3) during the first half at Watsco Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
North Carolina Tar Heels
Last week: Lost 77-62 to Miami Last rank: 1st
Was North Carolina’s loss a product of bad road games and short rest time? Or did it expose something deeper about the Tar Heels. Time will surely tell for the team from Chapel Hill, but as the only conference team with seven wins, the Heels maintain a top two position. Against Miami, the team shot 35 percent from the field, which included a first half where they had more turnovers than made field goals. Leading scorer Justin Jackson did have 21 points for the Tar Heels, his third straight 20 point game. North Carolina’s next game is Tuesday against Pittsburgh.
Jan 29, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Virginia Cavaliers guard London Perrantes (32) dribbles against the Villanova Wildcats during the first half at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
Last week: Lost 62-60 to Villanova Last rank: 4th
This ranking would have been easier to make have Virginia not blown a 13-point second half lead against Villanova at home. Regardless the Cavaliers have won five-straight conference games including a road beat down of Notre Dame. Every time it seems that Tony Bennett’s team is taking a step back, they find a way to get to the top of this league. Against Villanova, the team shot 50 percent from the field. Leading scorer London Perrantes was held to just four points for the Cavaliers. Virginia’s next game is Wednesday against Virginia Tech.
Well that does it for this week’s rankings. The season is halfway over for some and almost such for the rest. As more games are played the season starts to take more and more shape. Who beats who will have a big impact as records start to even out and make sense. The NCAA is on it’s way, so enjoy because the ACC is a must watch beast this season.
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