ACC Basketball Power Rankings for 3/6 and Postseason Awards

Welcome to March.

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks in the ACC already, and it’s only about to get crazier, as the ACC Tournament starts tomorrow in Brooklyn.

As usual, there are multiple ACC teams who will playing not only for their conference tournament lives, but their NCAA Tournament lives as well, with Syracuse, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, and possibly Clemson all around the projected NCAA bubble.

Here are this week’s power rankings entering the ACC Tournament, as well as my All-ACC selections.

Power Rankings

Top Tier

1. North Carolina (26-6, 14-4 ACC, Previous Ranking: 1st, AP Poll: 6th)
Record since last rankings:  5-1
This Week:  ACC Tournament Quarterfinal, Thursday, 12:00 pm ET vs. Syracuse/Miami
Since the last rankings, the Tar Heels have solidified themselves atop the ACC, with three wins over ranked opponents.  Their lone loss came last week at Virginia in a game they only scored 43, but they answered, beating a Duke team who beat them in February.  The Tar Heels are in the top 11 nationally in all three major stat categories, as they try to defend their ACC title this week in Brooklyn, led by ACC Player of the Year Justin Jackson (see below).

2. Louisville (24-7, 12-6 ACC, PR: 3rd, AP: 10th)
Record since last rankings:  4-2
This Week:  ACC Tournament Quarterfinal, Thursday, appr. 2:30 pm ET vs. Duke/Clemson/NC State
The Cardinals continue to play well, particularly at home, although they are just 8-6 away from the KFC Yum! Center, including losses in their last two road games at North Carolina and Wake Forest.  The Cardinals, who are 6th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency, get a double-bye to start the ACC Tournament, but their most likely opponent is Duke for a tough quarterfinal matchup.

3. Florida State (24-7, 12-6 ACC, PR: 4th, AP: 16th)
Record since last rankings:  3-2
This Week:  ACC Tournament Quarterfinal, Thursday, 7:00 pm ET vs. Virginia Tech/Wake Forest/Boston College
Despite a loss in Durham last week, which the Seminoles followed with a win over rival Miami, Florida State has a remarkable 7-2 record against ranked opponents, and the most top 25 RPI wins of anyone in the country (6).  The three highest-ranked ACC teams in this week’s AP Poll are on the opposite side of the ACC Tournament bracket, which could set up the ‘Noles for a deep run in Brooklyn.

4. Virginia (21-9, 11-7 ACC, PR: 2nd, AP: 21st)
Record since last rankings:  3-3
This Week:  ACC Tournament Second Round, Wednesday, appr. 9:30 pm ET vs. Georgia Tech/Pittsburgh
The Cavaliers’ defense, ranked 1st in points allowed and adjusted efficiency, never went away, even if their offense did over a four-game losing streak in mid-February, but suddenly they appear to be clicking on both sides of the ball, and may be peaking at the right time.  Statistical models actually give the Cavaliers a better chance of reaching the ACC semifinals than Notre Dame, the team they would play if they beat the Georgia Tech/Pittsburgh winner on Wednesday.

5. Duke (23-8, 11-7 ACC, PR: 5th, AP: 14th)
Record since last rankings:  3-3
This Week:  ACC Tournament Second Round, Wednesday, appr. 2:30 pm ET vs. Clemson/NC State
The roller-coaster season for Duke has continued since the last rankings, with road losses in three of their last four games, and a home win over Florida State.  The loss Saturday night was bigger than just a loss to rival North Carolina–as a result, Duke will have to win four games in four days to win the ACC Tournament (as opposed to just three), something that hasn’t been done in the ACC.

6. Notre Dame (23-8, 12-6 ACC, PR: 6th, AP: 22nd)
Record since last rankings:  4-1
This Week:  ACC Tournament Quarterfinal, Thursday, appr. 9:30 pm ET vs. Virginia/Georgia Tech/Pittsburgh
Mike Brey has done a fantastic job with this team–after I picked them to finish ninth in the ACC, they finished in a tie for second and will be the third seed in Brooklyn.  This has been done despite being statistically lackluster:  62nd in points per game (78.5), 101st in points allowed (69.3), and 266th in rebounding (34.2 per game).

Middle Tier

7. Virginia Tech (21-9, 10-8 ACC, PR: 8th)
Record since last rankings:  4-2
This Week:  ACC Tournament Second Round, Wednesday, 7:00 pm ET vs. Wake Forest/Boston College
On one hand, the Hokies are playing well, with their only losses over the last three weeks to Louisville on the road and at home to a hot Wake Forest team.  On the other hand, with the exception of a home win over Miami, their wins have come against the bottom third of the league.  That said, on the strength of an over-.500 record in the nation’s deepest conference and wins over Duke and Virginia, the Hokies are a lock for their first NCAA bid in 10 years, and just their second since 1996.

8. Wake Forest (18-12, 9-9 ACC, PR: 9th)
Record since last rankings:  3-2
This Week:  ACC Tournament First Round, Tuesday, appr. 2:30 pm ET vs. Boston College
The Demon Deacons finally got the quality win they were lacking Wednesday over Louisville, then backed it up by handing Virginia Tech just their second home loss.  Now, the Deacs are in the projected NCAA field on 110 of the 112 brackets on bracketmatrix.com (an aggregation of various online bracket projections), and may even earn a bye to the Round of 64 to avoid the “First Four” in Dayton.  The Deacs are 25th in ESPN’s Basketball Power Index, and 30th in the KenPom rankings, with KenPom’s ninth best adjusted offensive efficiency.

9. Miami (20-10, 10-8 ACC, PR: 10th)
Record since last rankings:  4-2
This Week:  ACC Tournament Second Round, Wednesday, 12:00 pm ET vs. Syracuse
The Hurricanes entered last week sailing smoothly, after wins over Virginia and Duke, but then stumbled on the road against Virginia Tech and Florida State.  The ‘Canes are comfortably within the NCAA field; they are projected by most as an 8-seed.  While they rank 252nd in points per game (70.2), they are 60th in adjusted offensive efficiency–the discrepancy is rooted in the 20th slowest tempo in the country.

10. Syracuse (18-13, 10-8 ACC, PR: 7th)
Record since last rankings:  2-3
This Week:  ACC Tournament Second Round, Wednesday, 12:00 pm ET vs. Miami
Syracuse have lost four of six, and while two to Louisville are certainly understandable, the other two to Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech are problematic to a bubble team.  The Orange have, at various points this season, been well outside of and well within the NCAA field, and now they sit as the third to last team in on Bracket Matrix.  A potential game with North Carolina on Thursday could solidify the Orange’s bid, but to get there they’ll have to beat Miami on Wednesday.

11. Clemson (16-14, 6-12 ACC, PR: 12th)
Record since last rankings:  3-3
This Week:  ACC Tournament First Round, Tuesday, 12:00 pm ET vs. NC State
The Tigers’ tourney hopes are on life support, but they are still alive, with the Tigers listed as the fifth team out of the field on Bracket Matrix.  But with 14 losses and a 6-12 conference record, even with one of the nation’s toughest schedules, I just don’t see it (and a 15th loss guaranteed if they’re trying to get an at-large bid, as that would mean they didn’t win the ACC Tournament).  The best bet for the Tigers is to make a run in the ACC Tournament–and that could include some quality wins, as their track includes Louisville and Duke–and hope for the rest of the bubble to collectively crash.  They could, of course, just win the ACC Tournament, but that’s never been done in program history, and would require five wins in five days.

12. Georgia Tech (17-14, 8-10 ACC, PR: 11th)
Record since last rankings:  2-4
This Week:  ACC Tournament First Round, Tuesday, 7:00 pm ET vs. Pittsburgh
Josh Pastner is the ACC Coach of the Year after taking over a mess at Georgia Tech that I projected to win just two conference games and turning them into an NCAA bubble contender.  That said, they have lost four of six and, like Clemson, have 14 losses overall (although they have more quality wins than Clemson), and will likely need to make a deep run in the ACC Tournament.  They come to Brooklyn unlisted on Bracket Matrix, which means no one has them in the field, but they are the seventh team out of the bracket of ESPN’s Joe Lunardi, meaning they, too, are still on NCAA life support.

Bottom Tier

13. Pittsburgh (15-16, 4-14 ACC, PR: 13th)
Record since last rankings:  1-5
This Week:  ACC Tournament First Round, Tuesday, 7:00 pm ET vs. Georgia Tech
Kevin Stallings’ inaugural year at Pitt has been vastly disappointing.  After I picked them fourth, they went 4-14 in the ACC, including a four-game losing streak to end the regular season in which each loss was worse than the previous loss.  Just to be eligible for the NIT, the Panthers would have to win two games in the ACC Tournament.

14. NC State (15-16, 4-14 ACC, PR: 14th)
Record since last rankings:  1-4
This Week:  ACC Tournament First Round, Tuesday, 12:00 pm ET vs. Clemson
Another surprising team towards the bottom of the ACC is NC State.  Since my last rankings, Mark Gottfried has been fired (although he is coaching the balance of the season), although that hasn’t helped the team’s results, as they have now lost nine of 10 since their Jan. 22 win at Duke (still, strangely, Duke’s only home loss).  A bright spot has been Dennis Smith Jr., who was named ACC Freshman of the Year, and may have been first team All-ACC if not for a crowded ballot.

15. Boston College (9-22, 2-16 ACC, PR: 15th)
Record since last rankings:  0-5
This Week:  ACC Tournament First Round, Tuesday, appr. 2:30 pm ET vs. Wake Forest
The Eagles started ACC play 2-2, but have lost 14 straight games since.  KenPom’s ACC Tournament forecast gives them a less than .001 percent chance to win the ACC Tournament.  The Eagles are now 29-66 in Jim Christian’s three seasons at the helm, and 6-48 in ACC play.

 

ACC Postseason Awards

Player of the Year
My Vote (if I had a ballot):  Luke Kennard, Duke sophomore guard
Media Selection:  Justin Jackson, North Carolina junior guard

Freshman of the Year
My Vote and Media Selection:  Dennis Smith Jr., NC State guard

Coach of the Year
My Vote and Media Selection:  Josh Pastner, Georgia Tech

Defensive Player of the Year
My Vote and Media Selection:  Ben Lammers, Georgia Tech junior center

Most Improved Player
My Vote:  Ben Lammers, Georgia Tech junior center
Media Selection:  John Collins, Wake Forest sophomore forward

Sixth Man of the Year
My Vote and Media Selection:  Seth Allen, Virginia Tech senior guard

First Team All-ACC
My Vote and Media Selection:
Luke Kennard, Duke sophomore guard
Justin Jackson, North Carolina junior guard
John Collins, Wake Forest sophomore forward
Bonzie Colson, Notre Dame junior forward
Donovan Mitchell, Louisville sophomore guard

Second Team All-ACC
My Vote:
Dennis Smith Jr., NC State freshman guard
Michael Young, Pittsburgh senior forward
Ben Lammers, Georgia Tech junior center
London Perrantes, Virginia senior guard
Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson senior forward

Media Selection:
Dwayne Bacon, Florida State sophomore guard
Dennis Smith Jr., NC State freshman guard
Ben Lammers, Georgia Tech junior center
Joel Berry II, North Carolina junior guard
London Perrantes, Virginia senior guard

Third Team All-ACC
My Vote:
Andrew White III, Syracuse senior guard
Ky Bowman, Boston College freshman guard
Jamel Artis, Pittsburgh senior forward
Davon Reed, Miami senior guard
Dwayne Bacon, Florida State sophomore guard

Media Selection:
Michael Young, Pittsburgh senior forward
Jaron Blossomgame, Clemson senior forward
Andrew White III, Syracuse senior guard
Davon Reed, Miami senior guard
Jayson Tatum, Duke freshman guard

Honorable Mention All-ACC
My Vote (those I also considered):
Joel Berry II, North Carolina junior guard
Steve Vasturia, Notre Dame senior guard
Kennedy Meeks, North Carolina senior forward
Bryant Crawford, Wake Forest sophomore guard

Media Selection:
Kennedy Meeks, North Carolina senior forward
Matt Farrell, Notre Dame junior guard
Zach LeDay, Virginia Tech senior forward
Jerome Robinson, Boston College sophomore guard
Jonathan Isaac, Florida State freshman forward
Seth Allen, Virginia Tech senior guard
Jamel Artis, Pittsburgh senior forward
V.J. Beachem, Notre Dame senior forward
Steve Vasturia, Notre Dame senior guard
Tyler Lydon, Syracuse sophomore forward

All-Defensive Team
My Vote:
Ben Lammers, Georgia Tech junior center
Isaiah Wilkins, Virginia junior forward
Donovan Mitchell, Louisville sophomore guard
John Collins, Wake Forest spophomore forward
Amile Jefferson, Duke senior forward
Bonzie Colson, Notre Dame junior forward

Media Selection:
Ben Lammers, Georgia Tech junior center
Isaiah Wilkins, Virginia junior forward
Donovan Mitchell, Louisville sophomore guard
Davon Reed, Miami senior guard
Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Florida State junior guard
Matt Jones, Duke senior guard

All-Freshman Team
My Vote and Media Selection:
Dennis Smith Jr., NC State guard
Jonathan Isaac, Florida State forward
Jayson Tatum, Duke guard
Josh Okogie, Georgia Tech guard
Ky Bowman, Boston College guard

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “ACC Basketball Power Rankings for 3/6 and Postseason Awards

  1. Pingback: Tournament Tweeting: ACC First Round Recap and Second Round Preview | Stiles On Sports

  2. Pingback: Tournament Tweeting: ACC Second Round Recap and Quarterfinal Preview | Stiles On Sports

  3. Pingback: Tournament Tweeting: ACC Quarterfinals Recap and Semifinals Preview | Stiles On Sports

  4. Pingback: Tournament Tweeting: ACC Semifinals Recap and Championship Preview | Stiles On Sports

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s