ACC Power Rankings: Duke keeps crown

The last two weeks since our last power rating have been pretty bad for the ACC.

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.