ACC Power Rankings: Duke reclaims top spot

BY foxsports • January 21, 2013

Offense must have been against the law in the ACC this past week.

It
was a light schedule to begin with, as only eight league games were
played, but half (eight) of the point totals were below 60 points, two
teams were right at 60 and only Duke (73 points) scored more than 66.

Virginia
scored a really nice win over Florida State to right its ship, North
Carolina took more steps forward and Maryland split with N.C. State and
UNC — the first game a victory in dramatic fashion.

Here are this week’s power rankings:



Seth
Curry was fantastic in draining 6-of-7 3-pointers to lift Duke over
Georgia Tech in a so-so performance by the Blue Devils. In part, it was
so-so because Duke is still learning to play without Ryan Kelly and
adapting to what Amile Jefferson gives them.



The
Wolfpack didn’t fall to second because of their 51-50, last-second loss
at Maryland, but more for not playing well in a four-point home win
over Clemson. The Wolfpack’s mantra should have been to blow out the
Tigers, who earlier this season lost at Coastal Carolina by 27 points.
If not for freshman T.J. Warren’s 21 points, N.C. State would have lost
twice this past week.



The
Hurricanes dodged one at Boston College, winning 60-59. A lot of
pundits are expecting Miami to have a “stupid” loss, and that would have
qualified. But picking up the W also signals this team is more prepared
to keep pushing forward than in recent years.



For
the second-consecutive game, the Tar Heels played with passion and
intelligence in beating Maryland 62-52 on Saturday. They weren’t strong
in the second half, but that’s an easier lesson to get through than
trying to get a team to start strong, as that reveals preparation,
approach and focus. Reggie Bullock (24 points) and James Michael McAdoo
(19 points, 11 rebounds) were mostly excellent.



Alex
Len’s put back of a Pe’Shon Howard miss just before the buzzer gave the
Terrapins a victory over N.C. State, getting the Terps in the ACC win
column for the first time. Maryland, however, was overwhelmed in the
first half in a 62-52 loss at UNC. North Carolina led at the half by 22
points.



The
Cavaliers predictably were excellent defensively against an FSU team
that struggles to score against mediocre defenses, much less Virginia’s.
Virginia’s 56-36 victory may have set the sport back 50 years, but it
was still a good and needed win for Tony Bennett’s team.



The
Tigers are improving. They had won consecutive games before visiting
N.C. State, which they almost knocked off, as well. Clemson lost 66-62
to the ACC’s most talented team and pounded Wake Forest 60-44 earlier in
the week. Brad Brownell seriously out-coached Mark Gottfried on Sunday
night.



There
just isn’t any excuse for a major college basketball team to score only
36 points in a game. They could play outdoors in the wind and snow and
it still wouldn’t be an excuse. Leonard Hamilton’s teams always play
defense, but too often they are challenged with the ball. Losing 56-36
at Virginia was just plain ugly.



James
Johnson’s Hokies have won consecutive ACC games after losing four
straight contests by an average of 26 points per game. In their only
game this past week, Tech beat Wake Forest 66-65, as Erick Green (22
points) was once again very good.



Wake
Forest is probably better than Virginia Tech, but still found a way to
lose on the road in Blacksburg by a point. In part, blame the fact that
the Demon Deacons don’t handle close games very well, and for the remote
progress they’ve made, it just hasn’t been all that measurable.



When
you watch the Yellow Jackets in person it’s easy to get fooled into
thinking they are a good team and much better than their record
suggests. They led Duke at the half at Cameron Indoor Stadium during the
week, but collapsed in the second half and lost 73-57. Georgia Tech
will win some games, and has a bright future, but it’s more impressive
players just aren’t ready yet.



Boston
College has a win and Georgia Tech doesn’t, but the Eagles are the
worst team in the ACC, at least they are this week. They played Miami
tough at home but fell by a point. It’s something they can build on and
use to escape the cellar here.


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