ACC midweek power rankings

  • Alex Abrams
  • Diehards
1:40 p.m Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018 Sports

15. Pittsburgh

Record: 8-11, 0-6

National rank: Unranked

Take: Simply put, this is a sad season for a proud Pitt program. It only got worse with the news that senior forward Ryan Luther will miss the remainder of the season with a stress fracture in his right foot.

14. Wake Forest

Record: 8-9, 1-4

National rank: Unranked

Take: The fans in Winston Salem are turning on Danny Manning, who had received a warm welcome when he was hired. Wake Forest offered signs that this would be a rough season with several bad nonconference losses, and the Demon Deacons couldn’t hang with Duke on Saturday.

13. Syracuse

Record: 13-6, 2-4

National rank: Unranked

Take: Syracuse led by only 5 points at halftime against Pittsburgh on Tuesday, but the Orange pulled away in the second half to avoid an embarrassing loss and snap a four-game losing streak.

12. Georgia Tech

Record: 10-7, 3-1

National rank: Unranked

Take: While the Yellow Jackets are off to a good start to their ACC schedule, it’s hard to ignore their bad nonconference losses — Grambling State, Wofford and Wright State.

11. Virginia Tech

Record: 13-5, 2-3

National rank: Unranked

Take: The Hokies didn’t help their cause any by falling into an 0-2 hole in the ACC. Things appeared to be headed in the right direction for one of the nation’s top shooting teams before the loss to Louisville on Saturday.

10. North Carolina State

Record: 12-6, 2-3

National rank: Unranked

Take: The Wolfpack has impressive wins over Duke and Clemson, but it will take more than this to forget about N.C. State’s losses earlier in the season to Northern Iowa and UNC Greensboro.

9. Florida State

Record: 13-5, 2-4

National rank: Unranked

Take: The Seminoles are in a bit of tailspin with the loss Monday at Boston College marking their third defeat in the past four games. Their lone win during that stretch was against struggling Syracuse.

8. Boston College

Record: 13-6, 3-3

National rank: Unranked

Take: Boston College has an impressive win over Duke on its resume, but rather than build off it, the Eagles got dominated in a 30-point loss at North Carolina on Jan. 9. They have won back-to-back games since then.

7. Notre Dame

Record: 13-6, 3-3

National rank: Unranked

Take: The Fighting Irish have struggled to close out games, blowing a 1-point lead over North Carolina with 7 seconds left and then falling in double overtime to Louisville on Tuesday. Notre Dame has the talent to compete, just not the results.

6. Louisville

Record: 14-4, 4-1

National rank: Unranked

Take: Louisville is trending in the right direction with 3 consecutive wins over Florida State, Virginia Tech and Notre Dame. All of them have been close, showing that the Cardinals have figured out how to finish games.

5. Miami

Record: 13-4, 2-3

National rank: 25

Take: Miami should be kicking itself for blowing a 13-point, second-half lead against Duke on Monday. The Hurricanes could have made a big statement had it knocked off the Blue Devils in a nationally televised game on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

4. Clemson

Record: 15-3, 4-2

National rank: 20

Take: The Tigers overcame an ugly start to erase a 17-point deficit and have a chance at pulling off an upset at North Carolina on Tuesday. But they gave up too many 3-pointers and didn’t have enough left after digging themselves out of a big first-half hole.

3. North Carolina

Record: 15-4, 4-2

National rank: 15

Take: The Tar Heels look more suspect than in previous years, but the defending national champions are still led by Joel Berry II and Luke Maye. Berry made the winning free throws to pull out a 1-point win at Notre Dame on Saturday, and they got enough help Tuesday for a big home win over Clemson.

2. Duke

Record: 16-2, 4-2

National rank: 5

Take: While both of Duke’s losses have been in the ACC to unranked teams — Boston College and N.C. State — the Blue Devils have too much talent to be overlooked. That was evident again Monday when they rallied down the stretch for a comeback win at Miami.

1. Virginia

Record: 16-1, 5-0 ACC

National rank: 2

Take: The Cavaliers have leapfrogged Duke and North Carolina as not only the top team in the ACC but also an early favorite to win the national championship. They shut down UNC in a 61-49 win on Jan. 6, and the only blemish on their record is a close loss to national contender West Virginia.

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