There is even little separation now then before in the ACC standings. Virginia and North Carolina rebounded well this week. North Carolina State faded a little. While Duke and Florida State continue their strong play. The bottom is beginning to take shape with Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Boston College, and Wake Forest dropping a couple of games. So lets get into the last set of power rankings before February.
1) Florida St – They are the best defensive in the conference and their offense is clicking in conference play. They have a big test this weekend when they host Virginia. Beating the Cavilers would give them wins over the three teams chasing them for first place.
2) Duke – Won’t hold the second half slip up against St. Johns against them (I only look at conference games for the rankings). They won on the road in front of a fired up Maryland crowd and got a stellar performance from Mason Plumlee.
3) North Carolina – Always nice to beat an in-state rival, even better to do by double digits. The Tar Heels don’t look like they have missed a beat following the loss of Dexter Strickland.
4) Virginia – Solid bounce back following their loss to Virginia Tech. They have a tough road game in Tallahassee this Saturday, their guards will need to step up as Mike Scott will face the toughest front court in the conference.
5) North Carolina St – Two tough losses this week, the Virginia won was heartbreaking after the Scott Wood corner three. The North Carolina loss is in excusable, the Wolfpack looked unprepared and missed out a big opportunity to get a win many wont have.
6) Miami – The Canes have hit their stride and at a good part in the season. They could be 4-3 when they head to Cameron Indoor on Saturday but need to get past a battle tested Maryland team.
7) Maryland – Always tough to loss a rivalry game especially when honoring a legendary coach. Got the follow up win vs Virginia Tech to snap a 3 game losing streak.
8) Clemson – Two road opportunities for the Tigers to make a statement in the standings. Need to grab the win over Virginia Tech at least this week to keep pack with Maryland and Miami.
9) Wake Forest – Tough schedule coming up for the shorthanded Deacons, They play UNC, @North Carolina St, and @ Virginia in their next 3.
10) Boston College – The past two scores haven’t shown how close the games were until the 4 minute mark. They are a young team that is getting valuable experience in close games. Need to learn better shot selection and how to handle the ball down the stretch.
11) Virginia Tech – Made a run late at Maryland, but they are not very good. Big men have size, but aren’t great defenders or finishers inside. Erick Green looks like the only one who comes to play at times.
12) Georgia Tech – At least they showed they could score a lot in the game against North Carolina after failing to score 50 points for the second time in conference.
Interesting how Clemson, Maryland, and Miami play similar schedules this week. They play a winnable game and get a chance at a major upset. The Maryland and Miami game is important for both teams for a tie breaker later in the season. Duke and North Carolina will be looking to take advantage of a Florida State loss this weekend, and Virginia move back into the hunt for first place if they can get a road win not many will get. I would expect an even more cluttered power rankings after this week. Not much room for separation and a lot of potential for everyone to be close together.