ACC Power Rankings: Duke reclaims top spot
JAN 21, 2013 7:39a ET
It was a light schedule to begin with, as only eight league games were played, but half (eight) of the point totals were below 60 points, two teams were right at 60 and only Duke (73 points) scored more than 66.
Virginia scored a really nice win over Florida State to right its ship, North Carolina took more steps forward and Maryland split with NC State and UNC — the first game a victory in dramatic fashion.
Here are this week’s power rankings:
1. Duke (16-1, 3-1 ACC)
Seth Curry was fantastic in draining 6-of-7 3-pointers to lift Duke over Georgia Tech in a so-so performance by the Blue Devils. In part, it was so-so because Duke is still learning to play without Ryan Kelly and adapting to what Amile Jefferson gives them.
2. NC State (15-3, 4-1)
The Wolfpack didn’t fall to second because of their 51-50, last-second loss at Maryland, but more for not playing well in a four-point home win over Clemson. The Wolfpack’s mantra should have been to blow out the Tigers, who earlier this season lost at Coastal Carolina by 27 points. If not for freshman T.J. Warren’s 21 points, NC State would have lost twice this past week.
3. Miami (13-3, 4-0)
The Hurricanes dodged one at Boston College, winning 60-59. A lot of pundits are expecting Miami to have a “stupid” loss, and that would have qualified. But picking up the W also signals this team is more prepared to keep pushing forward than in recent years.
4. North Carolina (12-5, 2-2)
For the second-consecutive game, the Tar Heels played with passion and intelligence in beating Maryland 62-52 on Saturday. They weren’t strong in the second half, but that’s an easier lesson to get through than trying to get a team to start strong, as that reveals preparation, approach and focus. Reggie Bullock (24 points) and James Michael McAdoo (19 points, 11 rebounds) were mostly excellent.
5. Maryland (14-4, 2-3)
Alex Len’s put back of a Pe’Shon Howard miss just before the buzzer gave the Terrapins a victory over NC State, getting the Terps in the ACC win column for the first time. Maryland, however, was overwhelmed in the first half in a 62-52 loss at UNC. The Tar Heels led at the half by 22 points.
6. Virginia (12-5, 2-2)
The Cavaliers predictably were excellent defensively against an FSU team that struggles to score against mediocre defenses, much less Virginia’s. Virginia’s 56-36 victory may have set the sport back 50 years, but it was still a good and needed win for Tony Bennett’s team.
7. Clemson (10-7, 2-3)
The Tigers are improving. They had won consecutive games before visiting NC State, which they almost knocked off, as well. Clemson lost 66-62 to the ACC’s most talented team and pounded Wake Forest 60-44 earlier in the week. Brad Brownell seriously out-coached Mark Gottfried on Sunday night.
8. Florida State (10-7, 2-2)
There just isn’t any excuse for a major college basketball team to score only 36 points in a game. They could play outdoors in the wind and snow and it still wouldn’t be an excuse. Leonard Hamilton’s teams always play defense, but too often they are challenged with the ball. Losing 56-36 at Virginia was just plain ugly.
9. Virginia Tech (11-6, 2-2)
James Johnson’s Hokies have won consecutive ACC games after losing four straight contests by an average of 26 points per game. In their only game this past week, Tech beat Wake Forest 66-65, as Erick Green (22 points) was once again very good.
10. Wake Forest (9-8, 2-3)
Wake Forest is probably better than Virginia Tech, but still found a way to lose on the road in Blacksburg by a point. In part, blame the fact that the Demon Deacons don’t handle close games very well, and for the remote progress they’ve made, it just hasn’t been all that measurable.
11. Georgia Tech (10-6, 0-4)
When you watch the Yellow Jackets in person it’s easy to get fooled into thinking they are a good team and much better than their record suggests. They led Duke at the half at Cameron Indoor Stadium during the week, but collapsed in the second half and lost 73-57. Georgia Tech will win some games, and has a bright future, but it’s more impressive players just aren’t ready yet.
12. Boston College (9-8, 1-3)
Boston College has a win and Georgia Tech doesn’t, but the Eagles are the worst team in the ACC, at least they are this week. They played Miami tough at home but fell by a point. It’s something they can build on and use to escape the cellar here.
+ SHOW COMMENTS +