Jim Young ranks the ACC's basketball teams, from 1 to 15.
Without getting into too much detail, let's just say that right now I'm doing a fair imitation of Rodney Hood before the Duke-FSU game. Which means I'm going to keep this week's power rankings on the short-and-sweet side.
NO. 1 SYRACUSE (19-0 OVERALL, 6-0 ACC, NO. 6 RPI)
Last Week: 1
Last week, I wrote this about the Orange's win over Pitt:
"Once again, it wasn't a work of art. Once again, it didn't matter."
That pretty much sums up Syracuse's win at Miami on Saturday, in which the Orange blew an early 18-point lead before C.J. Fair, Tyler Ennis and Trevor Cooney earned their coffee.
The trio outscored Miami 16-5 to put the game away down the stretch. Again, it wasn't pretty, but it also wasn't a loss.
Coming Up: Wednesday at Wake Forest, Saturday vs. Duke, Monday vs. Notre Dame.
NO. 2 DUKE (17-4, 6-2 ACC, NO. 11 RPI)
Last Week: 3
Since our last post, Duke has won at Miami by 20+, beaten FSU with relative ease and then pulled away to win at Pitt by 15.
Yeah, I think K's got this team headed in the right direction.
A few things Duke's got going its way now:
1) Jabari Parker is finding ways to contribute even though his shot isn't falling. Specifically, he's averaged 13.3 rebounds in Duke's last three games.
2) Rodney Hood now seems interested in defense, and pretty good at it when he puts his mind to it. The job he did on Pitt star Lamar Patterson last night was particularly impressive.
3) The supporting cast is offering more, well, support. Witness Andre Dawkins' 20 points last night, and Amile Jefferson's 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Coming Up: Saturday at Syracuse
NO. 3 VIRGINIA (15-5, 6-1 ACC, NO. 21 RPI)
Last Week: 4
NO. 4 PITT (18-3, 6-2 ACC, NO. 19 RPI)
Last Week: 2
And now is when we start to get the "Really, who has Pitt played?" backlash. You'll get that when you don't have a single win over a Top 50 RPI team.
I still believe in the Panthers, but last night's loss to Duke was a sobering display of how much Pitt needs Lamar Patterson to be on his A-game against top opponents.
Coming Up: Sunday, vs. Virginia
NO. 5 FLORIDA STATE (13-6, 4-3 ACC, NO. 26 RPI)
Last Week: 5
It's still a mystery to me how a team that has two 7-footers, a 6-8 shooting guard and Okaro White can be so bad at rebounding. Yet that is the case with the Noles, who are 12th in rebounding margin in ACC play and who seemingly gave up a billion offensive rebounds - okay, it was 20, but still - in their loss at Duke.
Coming Up: Wednesday at N.C. State, Saturday vs. Clemson.
NO. 6 UNC (12-7, 2-4 ACC, NO. 50 RPI)
Last Week: 7
All those comments I made about UNC's home winning streak over Clemson possibly being in jeopardy?
You took that seriously?
Also, you may not have noticed, but James Michael McAdoo's play has improved lately. He's averaging 16.3 ppg and shooting 61.3% in his last four.
Coming Up: Wednesday at Georgia Tech, Saturday vs. N.C. State.
NO. 7 WAKE FOREST (14-6, 4-3 ACC, NO. 59 RPI)
Last Week: 9
An actual ACC road win! Granted it was Virginia Tech, but still, a road win!
Just as important, Wake actually built on that win (something it hasn't done much in the Bzdelik Era) by winning at home against Notre Dame.
So yes, the Deacs are in the bubble discussion. You know what would really help the Deacs cause? A win over Syracuse tomorrow night, that's what.
Coming Up: Wednesday vs. Syracuse, Saturday vs. Georgia Tech
NO. 8 N.C. STATE (13-7, 3-4 ACC, NO. 63 RPI)
LAST WEEK: 8
State nearly followed up its inspirational Warrenless-win over Maryland with what appeared to be a head-scratching home loss to Georgia Tech. But the Wolfpack rallied to force OT and then T.J. Warren did this.
I've revised my position from last week. Maybe State is better off with Warren than without him.
On a serious note, the Wolfies have a pair of critical games this week. Sweep those and we can get back to talking about State's NCAA chances.
Coming Up: Wednesday vs. FSU, Saturday at UNC.
NO. 9 CLEMSON (13-6, 4-3 ACC, NO. 79 RPI)
Last Week: 6
Too bad I already used the Costanza "You thought I was serious?" video clip. Would have been perfect for all those nice things I wrote about the Tigers in last week's rankings.
Instead, I'll just go erase any record that I ever, ever made those comments.
Coming Up: Saturday @ FSU.
NO. 10 MIAMI (10-9, 2-5 ACC, NO. 83 RPI)
Last Week: 10
I respect Jim Larrañaga for turning this Miami into a competitive team. But last week showed there are limits to what coaching can accomplish. The Canes just didn't have enough talent to knock off either Duke or Syracuse at home.
Coming Up: Wednesday at Maryland, Saturday vs. Norfolk State.
NO. 11 MARYLAND (11-9, 3-4 ACC, NO. 80 RPI)
Last Week: 11
Somehow in its loss to Pitt, Maryland held the Panthers to one three-pointer and yet still gave up 83 points. That's in part a commentary on Pitt's offensive efficiency, but it also probably tells you something about the Terps' defensive issues as well.
If Maryland's ever going to get any momentum, this would be the week to do it. Two very winnable games lie ahead.
Coming Up: Wednesday vs. Miami, Saturday at Virginia Tech.
NO. 12 NOTRE DAME (11-9, 2-5 ACC, NO. 89 RPI)
Last Week: 9
The Irish came oh so close to getting a win at FSU that would have done wonders for the team's psyche. But Notre Dame couldn't stop the Noles from hitting three-pointers and couldn't stop Ian Miller from hitting a floater in the lane with four seconds left for the game-winner.
Yes, I'm telling you that Notre Dame's defense let it down. Take a moment to process that earth-shattering revelation.
By the way, the Irish's five ACC losses have come by an average of 5.8 points. So it's not like Mike Brey's squad is that far away. Take note, Tony Bennett.
Coming Up: Tonight vs. Virginia, Saturday vs. Boston College, Monday at Syracuse.
NO. 13 GEORGIA TECH (11-9, 2-5 ACC, NO. 143 RPI)
Last Week: 13
Tech got the win it had to have when it won at Boston College. But then it lost out on a golden (no Trae puns intended) opportunity at N.C. State, blowing a double-digit second half lead before losing in overtime.
Will the Daniel Miller who made a surprise star turn in Raleigh (21 points, 14 rebounds) stick around for a while? Because the Jackets could really use him.
Coming Up: Wednesday vs. UNC, Saturday at Wake Forest.
NO. 14 BOSTON COLLEGE (5-14, 1-5 ACC, 159 RPI)
Last Week: 14
If the Steve Donahue Era eventually doesn't pan out in Chestnut Hill, I'm sure he'll always wonder what might have been if Dennis Clifford could have stayed healthy.
Clifford was viewed as a late-bloomer and a possible sleeper for the Eagles when they signed him. But injuries - particularly to his knee - have rendered him a non-factor the past two seasons. And BC's just not talented enough - or big enough - to be successful in the ACC without Clifford's contributions.
Coming Up: Wednesday vs. Virginia Tech, Saturday at Notre Dame.
NO. 15 VIRGINIA TECH (8-11, 1-6 ACC, NO. 195 RPI)
Last Week: 15
I was stumped about what to say now about the Hokies, until Mike Barber of the Richmond Times-Dispatch and David Teel of the Newport News (Va.) Daily Press came through with these tweets.
@RTD_MikeBarber Not a coincidence.— David Teel (@DavidTeelatDP) January 28, 2014
Coming Up: Wednesday at Boston College, Saturday vs. Maryland.