ACC Basketball Rankings Feb. 1-Feb. 8; Duke Still No. 1, but Barely.

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Will someone please stand up and take charge of this conference? Duke leads the way, but they are hardly without flaws. This week Georgia Tech showed their potential in hammering Wake Forest. North Carolina couldn’t build on the momentum of the NC State game, and lost at home to Virginia.

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1) Duke Blue Devils (17-4, 5-2) Last week – 1


The good news this week was that Duke beat one the ACC’s better teams, Florida State, 70-56 in Durham on Wednesday. The bad news is that they got hammered by Georgetown Saturday 89-77. The Blue Devils may very well win the ACC, but I don’t think they are capable of making a deep NCAA run. They just aren’t physical enough inside, and, outside of the Clemson win, they are struggling to beat quality teams on the road. Georgia Tech and their impressive front line come to Cameron on Thursday. They head to Boston on Saturday to play a dangerous BC squad.

2) Florida State Seminoles (16-5, 4-3) Last week – 2
The Seminoles had two road games this past week in the ACC, and went 1-1, a loss at Duke and a win at Boston College. There is nothing wrong with that. They get back to Tallahassee for two home games this week, a critical game with Maryland on Thursday and Miami on Saturday. I like this team, especially if they can improve their outside shooting which has been spotty at times this year. They made only one three-pointer against Boston College.

3) Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (16-5, 4-3) Last week – 7

The Yellow Jackets had a strong week. They won their two games by a combined 69 points. The 48-point win over Division II Kentucky St. wasn’t a surprise, but the 21-point win over Wake Forest was. In the game against the Deacs, Georgia Tech looked every bit a team that could play into March. Brian Oliver is giving the Jackets a three-point threat they didn’t have earlier in the earlier and they are getting more scoring from guard De’Andre Bell. I wouldn’t expect them to win at Duke on Thursday, but it wouldn’t shock me if they did. NC State is in Atlanta on Saturday.

4) Virginia Cavaliers (13-6, 4-2) Last week 5
The Cavs went 1-1 this week, and they don’t look like they are going away any time soon. A tough home OT loss to Virginia Tech was followed by an inspired 75-60 beatdown of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Sylven Landesberg was the most talented player on the floor, and scored 29 points against the Heels. Quietly Virginia leads the ACC in three-point percentage. Two home games this week Wednesday against NC State and Saturday against Wake Forest provide a chance to stay right in the ACC race.

5) Clemson Tigers (16-6, 4-4) Last week – 4

The Tigers struggled in the 75-69 loss to Boston College without PG Demontez Stitt. I went down to Clemson to watch the Tigers and see how they would respond in a game against ACC leader Maryland. It was a gut check win for Clemson. Without Stitt, the Tigers still had trouble scoring, but they played great defense holding the Terps to 53 points. Trevor Booker carried Clemson late and the Tigers survived this game. Stitt has got to get healthy. Clemson can’t make it much longer without him.

 

6) Wake Forest Demon Deacons (14-5, 4-3) Last week – 3
Losing on the road at ranked Georgia Tech 79-58 isn’t a big cause for concern for the Deacs. I don’t think it will be trend. Wake Forest just had the misfortune of catching the Jackets playing their most complete game of the season. What does concern me is that they are dead last in the ACC in made three-pointers. Miami comes to Wake Forest on Tuesday and then the Deacs head to Virginia on Saturday.

7) Maryland Terrapins (14-6, 4-2) Last week – 8

The Terps had the normal ACC week; they won at home and lost on the road. The home win was an 81-59 victory over Miami, and road loss was a 62-53 defeat at the hands of Clemson. The Terps did not handle the Tiger press well at all, and turned the ball over 26 times. I was surprised to see the Terp guards let Clemson dictate the tempo of the game. I thought Greivis Vasquez would have a bigger game, with  Stitt out for Clemson, but he only had 10 points on 3-for-11 shooting. They go on the road to Florida St. on Feb. 4, and then get a reeling North Carolina squad at home on Sunday.

8) Virgina Tech Hokies(16-4, 3-3) Last week – 6

Asking Virginia Tech to 2-0 on the road this week in the ACC was probably a bit much to ask. They did get a win at Virginia, which is looking better and better, but lost Sunday to Miami 82-75. The Hokies are in last place in the ACC in overall FG percentage. Good thing they play some of the best defense in the ACC. Two home games are on this week’s schedule, Thursday against North Carolina and Saturday against Clemson.

9) Boston College Eagles (12-10, 3-5) Last week – 11

BC had a good solid win over Clemson 75-69 Tuesday, but couldn’t come up with a home win over Florida State. They lost that one 61-57. The Eagles play hard, but they have trouble scoring consistently. They don’t shoot the three well either. They get Duke at home on Saturday.

 

10) Miami Hurricanes (16-5, 2-5) Last week – 12

Good for the Hurricanes showing some heart in beating Virginia Tech 82-75 down in Miami. They shot a splendid 63 percent from the field. Earlier in the week they got roughed up by Maryland 81-59. I think the Canes are back to reality this week when they go on the road to face Wake Forest Tuesday, then Saturday at Florida St.

 

11) North Carolina Tar Heels (13-8, 2-4) Last week – 9

I think most everyone thought after the Tar Heels beat NC State in Raleigh they were about to go on a run. Roy Williams had righted the ship. Nope dead wrong. The Heels were humiliated in Chapel Hill by Virginia, 75-60. What’s the problem? Do the guards stink? Are the interior guys soft? Are the HS All-Stars overrated? Is Roy Williams doing the worst coaching job of his career? Is it just mental? I don’t know but the Tar Heels are in real trouble. Two road games at Virginia Feb. 4 and at Maryland Feb. 7 may put the Tar Heels and their fans out of their misery.

12) North Carolina State Wolfpack(14-8, 2-5) Last week 10

I said last week, if NC State lost to UNC at home that their NCAA chances were just about gone. They did and they are. That was a game the Wolfpack couldn’t afford to lose and it dropped them to 2-5 in the ACC. The 77-42 win Saturday over NC Central is pretty inconsequential in my eyes. Head coach Syndey Lowe and the Pack are headed towards another disappointing season. Road games Wednesday at Virginia and Saturday at Georgia Tech provide no break.

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