ACC Basketball Power Rankings, Week of 2/24

There is more movement in this week’s rankings than any previous week, with only positions 3, 4, and 7 staying the same.  That’s right, there’s a new number one in these rankings for the first time since December 9.  In fact, I’ve been arguing with myself since late Saturday night how the top four teams should be ranked, as all four are playing at an extremely high level and will all be threats to make deep NCAA runs.  The same applies (the part about arguing with myself) over the middle 5 teams, and the same applies for the bottom 6.  The later the season goes, the less sure I get about these things, which is backwards from what you’d expect.  Syracuse is no longer the top-ranked team in the nation, after their first two losses of the season, to Boston College and Duke, and falls to 4th in the AP Poll.  Duke fell one spot to 6th with their loss to North Carolina, but avoided falling more by beating Syracuse.  Virginia moves up two spots to 12th, while North Carolina is ranked for the first time since early January, coming in at 19th after their upset of Duke, part of a 9-game winning streak.

(Due to personal time constraints, here is an abbreviated version)

1.  Duke (22-6 overall, 11-4 ACC, Last Week: 2nd)
Last Week:  at Georgia Tech (W, 68-51), at North Carolina (L, 74-66), Syracuse (W, 66-60)
This Week:  Virginia Tech (Tues.)

2.  Syracuse (26-2, 13-2, 1st)
Last Week:  Boston College (L, 62-59, OT), at Duke (L, 66-60), at Maryland (W, 57-55)
This Week:  at #12 Virginia (Sat.)

3.  Virginia (23-5, 14-1, 3rd)
Last Week:  at Virginia Tech (W, 57-53), Notre Dame (W, 70-49)
This Week:  Miami (Wed.), #4 Syracuse (Sat.)

4.  North Carolina (20-7, 10-4, 4th)
Last Week:  at Florida State (W, 81-75), Duke (W, 74-66), Wake Forest (W, 105-72)
This Week:  at NC State (Wed.), at Virginia Tech (Sat.)

5.  Clemson (17-9, 8-6, 8th)
Last Week:  NC State (W, 73-56), at Georgia Tech (W, 63-55)
This Week:  at Wake Forest (Tues.), Maryland (Sun.)

6.  Pittsburgh (20-7, 8-6, 5th)
Last Week:  Florida State (L, 71-66)
This Week:  at Boston College (Wed.), at Notre Dame (Sat.)

7.  Maryland (15-13, 7-8, 7th)
Last Week:  Wake Forest (W, 71-60), Syracuse (L, 57-55)
This Week:  at Clemson (Sun.)

8.  Florida State (16-11, 7-8, 8th)
Last Week:  North Carolina (L, 81-75), at Pittsburgh (W, 71-66)
This Week:  Georgia Tech (Sun.)

9.  NC State (17-10, 7-7, 6th)
Last Week:  at Clemson (L, 73-56), at Virginia Tech (W, 71-64)
This Week:  #19 North Carolina (Wed.), Miami (Sat.)

10.  Miami (14-13, 5-9, 12th)
Last Week:  Notre Dame (W, 71-64), Boston College (W, 69-42)
This Week:  at #12 Virginia (Wed.), at NC State (Sat.)

11.  Boston College (7-20, 3-11, 15th)
Last Week:  at Syracuse (W, 62-59, OT), at Miami (L, 69-42)
This Week:  Pittsburgh (Wed.), at Wake Forest (Sat.)

12.  Notre Dame (14-14, 5-10, 10th)
Last Week:  at Miami (L, 71-64), at Virginia (L, 70-49)
This Week:  Georgia Tech (Wed.), Pittsburgh (Sat.)

13.  Georgia Tech (13-14, 4-10, 11th)
Last Week:  Duke (L, 68-51), Clemson (L, 63-55)
This Week:  at Notre Dame (Wed.), at Florida State (Sun.)

14.  Wake Forest (14-13, 4-10, 13th)
Last Week:  at Maryland (L, 71-60), at North Carolina (L, 105-72)
This Week:  Clemson (Tues.), Boston College (Sat.)

15.  Virginia Tech (9-17, 2-12, 14th)
Last Week:  Virginia (L. 57-53), NC State (L, 71-64)
This Week:  at #6 Duke (Tues.), #19 North Carolina (Sat.)

Story of the Last Week:  Boeheim Loses Cool, Game
This is really a sad story, as Saturday’s top 5 matchup between Syracuse and Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium was a well-played game and was still in doubt at the time of Jim Boeheim’s ejection.  Instead of me boring you with a play-by-play of what happened, you can watch it here:  http://www.theacc.com/#!/video-detail/o2cW9zazoF84JPW7ZOeTzacqCq37jik4.  The call wasn’t the best call, as live I thought the play was a block, not a charge, but it was really a 50-50 call, with both sides having a legitimate beef if they didn’t get the call.  That being said, Boeheim’s reaction was completely unnecessary, and the two technical fouls he was assessed were the nail in Syracuse’s coffin.  Without the technicals, it’s Duke ball, up 2 with 10.4 seconds left.  After the technical foul shots, Duke had the ball up 5, and the game, for all intents and purposes, was over.

Game of the Week:  #4 Syracuse at #12 Virginia
This is one of the biggest games all year in the ACC, and the winner will simply need to win out to win the ACC regular season title.  This will easily be the biggest game ever at John Paul Jones Arena, which has only been around since 2006.  While Virginia is leading the ACC, I don’t think their necessarily the best team; they simply haven’t been upset, and their only games against the current top 4 are at Duke on January 13, which is their only conference loss, and at home against North Carolina on January 20.  Syracuse righted the ship on Monday night, with a close win at Maryland, after back-to-back losses at home against Boston College and on the road at Duke.  Syracuse is still among the best teams in the nation, and is very much still in the competition for a 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.  They’ve played well in tough road environments all year, even having a chance to win late in Cameron Indoor Stadium.  The building will be rocking, and Virginia will make it close, but Syracuse will be too much for the Cavaliers.
Syracuse 53, Virginia 48.

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