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ACC Hoops not so Weekly Roundup vol. 3

Recapping the ACC so far this season

NCAA Basketball: Virginia at N.C. State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Whew. It’s been a minute since we last looked at things, and we’ve got a lot to cover. Let’s dive right in to my super not scientific at all power rankings of how teams stand currently in the ACC.

1. Duke (18-2, 7-1) ranked #2

The Blue Devils are by far and away the most talented team in the ACC. That loss to Syracuse was really odd, but they followed it up by beating UVA to end their unbeaten record, and have strung together some solid wins since then. Needless to say, Zion is outrageously fun to watch. Duke has a chance to really cement themselves as the top seed in the ACC in a few games, when they head to Charlottesville for a rematch with UVA.

Next three games:

  • 2/2 vs St. John’s
  • 2/5 vs Boston College
  • 2/9 @ #3 Virginia

2. Virginia (19-1, 7-1) ranked #3

Although Duke has the most talent on their team, Virginia really may end up being the better team when this season is all said and done. They barely lost to Duke, and like I mentioned above get another shot at the Blue Devils fairly soon. However, they did look as shaky as I’ve seen UVA in a long time against NC State, so it’ll be interesting to see how they respond to that performance. Fortunately for the ‘Hoos, they play Miami next, and buddy are the Canes a mess right now. Look for them to crush the Hurricanes before heading into a really brutal back to back with Duke and North Carolina.

Next three games:

  • 2/2 vs Miami
  • 2/9 vs #2 Duke
  • 2/11 @ #9 North Carolina

3. North Carolina (16-4, 6-1) ranked #9

Unsurprisingly, the Tar Heels have reasserted themselves after a slightly unusual start to their basketball season. Although they had what we thought at the time was a bizarre loss to Louisville, it turns out the Cardinals might be one of the hottest teams in all of basketball, so that loss probably isn’t as headscratching anymore. After that loss, they’ve largely taken care of business, including throttling Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. And wouldn’t you know it, who does UNC play next? That’s right...Louisville. Safe to say I think they’ll be ready for Louisville this time.

Next three games:

  • 2/2 @ #15 Louisville
  • 2/5 vs #23 NC State
  • 2/9 vs Miami

4. Louisville (16-5, 7-1) ranked #15

If this pace continues, Chris Mack is going to have ACC Coach of the year on lock. What an incredible job he’s done with this team turning them around after the mess Pitino left them in. After losing to Pitt, the Cardinals wheeled off six straight conference wins, including victories over UNC and besting Pitt in a rematch. They could easily be 8-0 at the halfwayish point of their ACC season, which is incredibly impressive. The difficulty level gets ramped up in the second half of ACC play, starting with the aforementioned rematch with North Carolina, followed by a brutal run of @VT, @FSU and then Duke. Oof. If they can get through that run at least 2-2, they’re in great shape for one of the tournament double byes.

Next three games:

  • 2/2 vs #9 UNC
  • 2/4 @ #12 Virginia Tech
  • 2/9 @ #25 Florida State

5. Virginia Tech (17-3, 6-2) ranked #12

Still not 100% sold on the Hokies yet, but it’s hard not to be impressed by the fact they’ve only had three losses this season and they really shoot the ball well. Their two conference losses so far were to the two toughest teams in the first eight games (UVA and UNC), so I’m really curious to see if they can sustain this run over the back part of the schedule. On the whole though, this schedule sets Virginia Tech up really well to potentially get a double bye if they can beat any of the ranked conference foes. Having a rematch with UVA at home and getting Duke at home also helps.

Next three games:

  • 2/2 @ #23 NC State
  • 2/4 vs #15 Louisville
  • 2/9 @ Clemson

6. Syracuse (15-6, 6-2) not ranked

What an odd year. They did beat Duke, but they’ve had some curious losses this season. I’m not sure if they’re a tournament team, but going 6-2 so far is impressive for this group, even with a loss to Georgia Tech at home. How on earth did that happen? At any rate I’m tentatively penciling in Cuse at 6, but I don’t anticipate that to continue. The latter half of February is going to be a hell of a gauntlet that I don’t think they can withstand.

Next three games:

  • 2/2 @ Pitt
  • 2/5 vs #25 Florida State
  • 2/9 vs Boston College

7. NC State (16-5, 4-4) ranked #23

This team is a few bounces away from being 18-3 and 6-2 in the ACC. So it goes, I suppose. NC State still has a great chance to at least get a single bye in the ACC tournament, but there’s a lot of work to do to get there. The front half of State’s last ten games are as tough as they will see all year. They need to win at least two of these games, and hopefully get three of them. The back half are all games the Wolfpack should win, but they have got to find a way to limit fouling and fix the shooting woes. Still though, one thing about this team is they do not quit. While down double digits to UVA, past teams would’ve folded like a lawn chair. Not Kevin Keatts’ squad. While they came up short in OT, this is still a really good team. The question is, can they prove that over the next ten games?

Also, LOVE these special uniforms they’re going to wear for Black History Month:

Hopefully someone will teach Adam here how to crop a photo. Goodness.

Next three games:

  • 2/2 vs #12 Virginia Tech
  • 2/5 @ #9 North Carolina
  • 2/9 @ Pittsburgh

8. Florida State (15-5, 3-4) ranked #25

Leonard Hamilton’s squad had a brutal start to ACC play schedule wise, and it shows in their record. Fortunately, things get slightly easier the rest of the way, but these guys have got to prove they can win these games. They should go 4-1 over the next five games, because if they don’t their chances of getting a single tournament bye drop drastically.

Next three games:

  • 2/2 vs Georgia Tech
  • 2/5 @ Syracuse
  • 2/9 vs #15 Louisville

9. Clemson (12-8, 2-5) not ranked

This is where it becomes hard to separate the rest of the ACC teams, though I think Clemson is the best out of the remaining teams. They play really hard but have had some brutally tough losses. Fortunately for the Tigers, they didn’t let the loss to NC State linger and responded by beating a solid Pitt squad. There are several winnable games left on the schedule for Clemson, but they have a lot of work to do if they want to move into the teams getting a single bye for the ACC tournament.

Next three games:

  • 2/3 vs Wake Forest
  • 2/6 @ Georgia Tech
  • 2/9 vs #12 Virginia Tech

10. Pittsburgh (12-9, 2-6) not ranked

Pittsburgh is a better team that this record. They’ve really responded to Jeff Capel and I like what he’s going to be able to do for them as a program. Since beating Louisville (the only team to do so in ACC play) they’ve gone 1-5. Similar to Clemson, there are plenty of winnable games left for the Panthers, but they’ve got to right the ship here and fast.

Next three games:

  • 2/2 vs Syracuse
  • 2/5 @ Wake Forest
  • 2/9 vs #23 NC State

11. Georgia Tech (11-10, 3-5) not ranked

I legitimately don’t understand how this Georgia Tech team has won three conference games. Somehow this team beat Syracuse by FOURTEEN, who beat Duke! That makes absolutely zero sense. This team still has a lot of tough road games left in conference play, and that does not bode well for the Jackets to find a way to finish in the top eight. Somehow I don’t think Josh Pastner is going to get them there.

Next three games:

  • 2/2 @ #25 FSU
  • 2/6 vs Clemson
  • 2/10 @ Notre Dame

12. Boston College (11-8, 2-5) not ranked

Ky Bowman is the best player on this team by 100 miles. They need him to drop 30 plus a game at this rate to have any shot at winning in the ACC. Things aren’t going to get any easier for the Eagles, either. They will be lucky to finish .500 in ACC play at this rate, particularly because they have matchups against five ranked opponents over their last eleven games.

Next three games:

  • 2/2 vs Notre Dame
  • 2/5 @ #2 Duke
  • 2/9 @ Syracuse

13. Notre Dame (11-10, 1-7) not ranked

The Irish have lost five in a row and seven of their last eight. Good lord, get it together Mike Brey. They have a fairly easy conference slate the rest of the way so I will be interested to see if they can right the ship.

Next three games:

  • 2/2 @ Boston College
  • 2/6 @ Miami
  • 2/10 vs Georgia Tech

14. Miami (9-11, 1-7) not ranked

What on earth has happened to Miami? I know they struggle from a lack of depth, but good lord. Just one conference win? At this rate with the way they’re playing, I’d be surprised if they won at all again this season.

Next three games:

  • 2/2 @ Virginia
  • 2/6 vs Notre Dame
  • 2/9 @ North Carolina

15. Wake Forest (8-12, 1-7) not ranked

Wake’s lone win over the Wolfpack will likely be the only conference game they win this season. This team is utterly terrible and has no business competing with anyone on a nightly basis in the ACC.

Next three games:

  • 2/3 @ Clemson
  • 2/5 vs Pittsburgh
  • 2/13 @ #25 Florida State