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ACC Basketball Power Rankings: Week 12

What happened in the ACC over the past week, and where do these 15 teams subjectively rank in comparison to each other? The TNIAAM staff dives in...

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Each week (sort of), the TNIAAM basketball staff will be ranking all 15 ACC teams in a completely subjective manner, just like everyone else on the internet does. Feel like we're completely off base? Can it Chime in with your own ACC power rankings below.


Welcome back! Somehow, we're starting to sort things out in the ACC. There's now an obvious upper-crust, a very muddled middle and of course, a moldy basement. To no one's surprise, SU sits at the top. But what about everyone else? The other 14 are ranked in some order or another. You (ALL OF YOU) probably won't agree with that order just the same, though.

Interested in seeing the individual voter breakdown (#HonorYourContract)? Check out the Google Doc here!

1. Syracuse Orange (18-0) (5-0) (LW: 1)

Last Week: W, 59-54 over Pittsburgh

Highest Position: 1; Lowest Position: 1

Just when it looked like the Orange were about to suffer their first lost of the year up at the Carrier Dome, Tyler Ennis PhD bails them out and they live to fight another day. These 18-0 starts are not new to Syracuse, but this one certainly feels special so far. We'll see if that's anything more than blind optimism as the year wears on...

2. Pittsburgh Panthers (17-2) (5-1) (LW: 2)

Last Week: L, 59-54 to Syracuse; W, 76-43 over Clemson

Highest Position: 2; Lowest Position: 2

After grasping defeat from the jaws of victory against SU, Pitt came out angry on Tuesday night against Clemson, demolishing the Tigers by 33 points. Scary as it may sound, the Panthers are going to be able to build on that loss to Syracuse. They're going to come out stronger for it and hungrier for it, which should petrify Orange fans who have already had enough of Pitt beating us on the road in recent years.

3. Duke Blue Devils (15-4) (4-2) (Last Week: 3)

Last Week: W, 95-60 over NC State; W, 67-46 over Miami

Highest Position: 3; Lowest Position: 3

See? This is what happens when the Blue Devils play a little defense. While they still haven't rounded into form yet, this is at least some semblance of the Duke squad expected to bulldoze opponents earlier in the year. As you've probably noticed already, Jabari Parker's level of play has also seemed to rise with Duke's fortunes. That's not a coincidence and will be the key to how far this team can go come March.

4. Virginia Cavaliers (14-5) (5-1) (LW: 4)

Last Week: W, 78-66 over Florida State; W, 76-61 over North Carolina

Highest Position: 4; Lowest Position: 5

Has UVa figured out how to score points? Because if so, they're suddenly (again) a very dangerous group. The 'Noles are no slouches on defense, so for Virginia to put up 78 on them is an achievement. Holding the likes of Duke under 70 points is as well. The Hoos are another ACC team that's still rounding into form, but one that may end up being the most terrifying of them all (outside of Syracuse) when they finally bring it together.

5. Florida State Seminoles (13-5) (4-2) (LW: 5)

Last Week: L, 78-66 to Virginia; W, 76-74 over Notre Dame

Highest Position: 4; Lowest Position: 5

The road loss to Virginia was expected, but it does serve as a demarcation line between the ACC's elite and the next level (ranging from "getting there" to "oof"). FSU's five defeats are deceptive though, without a single ugly one in the bunch and all to ranked or almost-ranked squads. Can Aaron Thomas continue his recent scoring uptick and push this team into that elite category? It may take time, but he's got the tools around him to make it happen.

6. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (13-6) (3-3) (LW: 7)

Last Week: L, 61-53 to Clemson; W, 81-77 over Virginia Tech

Highest Position: 6; Lowest Position: 7

Wake actually scored an ACC win on the road! Sure, it was against VaTech, but it's still a victory away from Winston-Salem. That's progress, but now what happens next? Hanging firmly on the tournament bubble right now, the Deacons have every opportunity to play their way in on schedule alone but may need a marquee win to seal the deal (see: games vs. SU, Duke twice and FSU).

7. Clemson Tigers (13-5) (4-2) (LW: 10)

Last Week: W, 61-53 over Wake Forest; L, 76-43 to Pittsburgh

Highest Position: 6; Lowest Position: 11

The panel could've really penalized the Tigers after burning them in the roundtable (and one person actually did drop them like a rock), but they hang on to their place knocking on the door of real contention. Clemson plays four of their next five on the road though, which should help determine whether they're for real or not. Tuesday result against Pitt certainly didn't help matters, but they get the benefit of the doubt for now.

8. NC State Wolfpack (12-7) (2-4) (LW: 9)

Last Week: L, 95-60 to Duke; W, 65-56 over Maryland

Highest Position: 7; Lowest Position: 12

State looked miserable against a hot-shooting Duke team on Saturday, but then rebounded nicely to beat a confused Maryland squad just two days later. Better yet, they mocked the Twerps much like we all have all season, laying it on thick with an "A-C-C!" chant" to commemorate Under Armour University's last trip around the league it co-founded. T.J. Warren was also listed in the Wooden Award Top 25. So yeah, not an awful week for the Pack, all things considered.

9. Miami Hurricanes (10-8) (2-4) (LW: 12)

Last Week: W, 56-42 over Georgia Tech; L, 67-46 to Duke

Highest Position: 8; Lowest Position: 12

None of us really cared about the 21-point loss to Duke. The focus here is on defense. How Miami's zone held the Blue Devils in check (relatively speaking), how they've still only let one ACC team score above 65 and how they're managing to do it despite putting up just 61.5 points per game. That figure is among the worst in D-I, and the absolute worst among power conference teams. The zone's working, but now it just needs an offense to go with it.

10. Maryland Terrapins (11-8) (3-3) (LW: 11)

Last Week: L, 65-56 to NC State

Highest Position: 8; Lowest Position: 13

Welcome to the "sure, whatever" portion of the rankings, where a team that hasn't won in nine days can move up a spot. No one's sure what to make of the Terps in the ACC, and at this point, that's unsettling. The .500 record says "okay," but the opponent quality says "absolutely not." There's some very impressive rebounding numbers to look at (39.5 per game), but they're also shooting less than 43-percent from the floor. Help me help you, Maryland.

11. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (11-8) (2-4) (LW: 10)

Last Week: W, 70-63 over Virginia Tech; L, 76-74 to Florida State

Highest Position: 8; Lowest Position: 12

Respectable effort against FSU in Tallahassee. Still not a win, but can't say that losing by two to the 'Noles on the road is an awful outcome either. You can tell the spark just isn't there for this team, though. They sleepwalk through mediocre teams and straight-up lose to most good ones, Duke aside. Sure, they may have another upset or two in them (hi, Syracuse), but there's just not enough in the tank for the Irish to see this campaign turn out well.

12. North Carolina Tar Heels (11-7) (1-4) (LW: 8)

Last Week: W, 82-71 over Boston College; L, 76-61 to Virginia

Highest Position: 8; Lowest Position: 13

Finally. Everyone here at the site has finally given up on UNC, except one individual (no names, boss). After oddly allowing 71 to a hapless BC squad, the Heels then let an offensively-challenged UVa team score 76. Given everything they're dealing with off the court, Roy Williams's general disdain for this entire season and a league full of teams built to beat them, it's not wonder the bottom's falling out in Chapel Hill.

13. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (11-8) (2-4) (LW: 13)

Last Week: L, 56-42 to Miami; W, 68-60 over Boston College

Highest Position: 11; Lowest Position: 13

So this Trae Golden fellow is someone we should probably be concerned about. He's now scored over 20 points in three of his last four contests and in many cases doing so from the three-point arc and the free-throw line (gulp). The senior guard has taken up responsibilities as the team's top playmaker and apparently flourished. This does not sound great for the Orange or any other team still slated to face the Yellow Jackets this year.

14. Virginia Tech Hokies (8-10) (1-5) (LW: 14)

Last Week: L, 70-63 to Notre Dame; L, 83-77 to Wake Forest

Highest Position: 14; Lowest Position: 15

Can't move the ball (12.3 apg), can't score (70.1 ppg). But they get rebounds pretty well -- which is odd when you look at how many games they've lost. Like Maryland, the Hokies are grabbing just south of 40 boards per game and yet it seems to have little dent because of the poor shooting percentage. No one's ever been sold on this Tech squad to do anything and that point's being hammered home repeatedly with every contest.

15. Boston College Eagles (5-14) (1-5) (LW: 15)

Last Week: L, 82-71 to North Carolina; L, 68-60 to Georgia Tech

Highest Position: 14; Lowest Position: 15

So much for momentum. After testing Syracuse a bit, BC laid two eggs against UNC and Georgia Tech. And then they lost Dennis Clifford for the year. Nothing's going right and everything's burning for the Eagles. They may receive their final shot at another ACC win next Wednesday (after an eight-day break) at home against Virginia Tech -- the only league team they've beaten thus far.