The ACC looks to be a two-team race between Duke and Virginia. However, North Carolina is starting to hit it’s stride, with others lurking. Here are your ACC Power Rankings as of February 5:
1. Duke Blue Devils
The Blue Devils get the nod as the best team in the ACC, given their win over Virginia at Cameron Indoor. It’s hard seeing Zion and company dropping more than one or two more games before postseason play.
2. Virginia Cavaliers
The Cavaliers will be seeking to avenge their only loss on the year as they host Duke on Saturday in Charlottesville. This might be Tony Bennett’s most complete team since he’s been at Virginia.
3. North Carolina Tar Heels
The Tar Heels have looked like a completely different team since January’s home loss to Louisville. Consistency seems to be the key for Roy Williams’ squad. UNC still has two games against rival Duke and host Virginia next week.
4. Louisville Cardinals
The Cardinals were picked 11th in the preseason ACC poll, which is why many signs point to Chris Mack winning ACC Coach of the Year. Louisville faces a daunting February schedule, and just got a big-time road win at Virginia Tech.
5. Syracuse Orange
The Orange are the epitome of a team that can beat anybody, and also be beaten by anybody. This was apparent as they fell at home to Georgia Tech then went and shocked Duke at Cameroon Indoor Stadium.
6. Florida State Seminoles
The Seminoles have won three straight after a three-game skid. They face a favorable schedule the rest of the way, having already played Duke and Virginia.
7. Virginia Tech Hokies
Virginia Tech is a solid team when fully healthy. Without Justin Robinson in the lineup, there are no guaranteed wins for Buzz Williams’ squad. They need Robinson back healthy as soon as possible.
8. NC State Wolfpack
The Wolfpack have all the keys necessary for a tournament team. That’s why their loss to the Hokies in which they put up 24 points is so puzzling. NC State needs to find their mojo if they want to stay in the top eight of the ACC.
9. Clemson Tigers
The Tigers came into this season with high hopes, being ranked 16th in the preseason AP Poll. They’ll need to catch fire here in February and March if they intend to make the Big Dance.
10. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
After their monster road win at Syracuse, the Yellow Jackets have lost five of six. Josh Pastner’s team is still about two years away from an at-large bid.
11. Boston College Eagles
Ky Bowman has had a stellar season so far, averaging 20.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game. Unfortunately, there aren’t many other playmakers on the roster that are needed to win in the ACC.
12. Pittsburgh Panthers
After winning zero conference games a year ago, the Panthers have beaten two NCAA tournament-bound teams in Louisville and Florida State. Give Jeff Capel another year to recruit and build the culture in Pittsburgh before they start to compete consistently in the ACC.
13. Notre Dame Fighting Irish
For the second straight season, the Irish have been plagued by the injury bug. Last year, it was Bonzie Colson. This season, they lost Rex Pflueger for the year. Mike Brey can’t seem to catch a break.
14. Miami Hurricanes
The Hurricanes might be the biggest disappointment in the ACC this season. Yes, the NCAA ruling of Dewan Hernandez being ineligible definitely hurts. But there’s still enough talent on the roster to be competitive.
15. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
This will most likely be Danny Manning’s final season in Winston-Salem. It’s his fifth year as head coach, and there’s been very little sign of improvement. Teams are almost guaranteed a win when you see Wake Forest on the schedule.