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ACC Basketball Power Rankings: Week 10

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...

Mark Konezny-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.


We're back! It's been a few weeks. And... Oh wow. ACC, what's the deal? We were joking back in December when we said this conference was Syracuse and 14 other teams. Now, well, it's sort of true. SU's one of just two ACC teams with two losses or less overall and one of just four teams that has yet to suffer a loss in league play. Eight teams have double-digit win totals already, but that's also deceptive. This conference is bad. There's just no way around it.

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

1. Syracuse Orange (15-0) (2-0) (LW: 1)

Last Week: W, 49-44 over Miami; W, 72-52 over Virginia Tech

Highest Position: 1; Lowest Position: 1

Syracuse didn't look great against Miami, but more than made up for it against Virginia Tech. In front of maybe five or six people down in Blacksburg, the Orange watched the Hokies launch up 40-foot jumpers while they just waited and then pulled away in the second half. Tyler Ennis has been phenomenal of late, and it may have been most noticeable in this contest. Three big three-pointers, seven assists and just one turnover? Guy's a machine.

2. Pittsburgh Panthers (14-1) (2-0) (LW: T-3)

Last Week: W, 74-62 over NC State; W, 79-59 over Maryland

Highest Position: 2; Lowest Position: 3

So if the ACC's going to have a shot this year, it looks like the new guys are going to have to do all the heavy lifting? Now of course, Pitt's gaudy record is a result of playing the dregs of the basketball world for the most part, but this team does have some promise. Not only do they rebound reasonably well, but they also move the ball around and know how to finish off streaky shooting teams. They can score, but defense is still very much their calling card.

3. Duke Blue Devils (12-3) (1-1) (Last Week: 2)

Last Week: L, 79-77 to Notre Dame; W, 79-57 over Georgia Tech

Highest Position: 2; Lowest Position: 3

Duke's big issue, as it has been all season, is defense. And an over-reliance on Jabari Parker who's cooled off a bit now that teams have a little game film on him. He's still an elite player -- don't get me wrong. Bu the freshman can't do it all on his own either. As he goes, so does this team, which could very well be their undoing both in ACC play and the NCAA Tournament.

4. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (11-4) (1-1) (LW: 6)

Last Week: W, 73-67 over North Carolina; L, 74-51 to Virginia

Highest Position: 4; Lowest Position: 8

Wake's a solid team that plays well on the boards, but it's still hard to like what you see on the defensive end. They're still establishing their identity at this juncture of the season -- made most evident by the rock fight UVa dragged them into tonight, which then turned into a blowout. Like several other ACC squads they're a two-man show. If Devin Thomas and Codi Miller-McIntyre aren't playing well, neither are the Deacs.

5. Virginia Cavaliers (11-4) (2-0) (LW: 5)

Last Week: W, 62-50 over Florida State; W, 74-51 over Wake Forest

Highest Position: 4; Lowest Position: 11

Can Virginia fulfill its lofty preseason expectations? They're still a long way from the top-20 team they were projected as, but the Hoos have started to bounce back after a rocky start. Two nice wins to start conference play are great, and they're a perfect example of UVa playing their game. It's ugly and is a perfect recipe to beat a team like Syracuse. So despite our distaste for this plodding defensive style, it does work.

6. North Carolina Tar Heels (10-5) (0-2) (LW: T-3)

Last Week: L, 73-67 to Wake Forest; L, 63-57 to Miami

Highest Position: 4; Lowest Position: 10

Some of the ballots were turned in prior to last night's debacle, so forgive us for having the Heels this high up. As bipolar as ever, UNC has now swung in the worst direction possible to start ACC play -- two losses to two inferior teams. Yes they have quality non-conference wins, but there's still nothing assured for this group. North Carolina needs to stat showing up, and they'll have their first chance to prove themselves in-conference this Saturday... against SU.

7. Florida State Seminoles (9-4) (0-1) (LW: 8)

Last Week: L, 62-50 to Virginia

Highest Position: 6; Lowest Position: 10

Of all the middle-of-the-pack teams, Florida State may have the best resume of all, with every loss coming to a quality team, plus a victory over UMass. Their issue in ACC play, however, will be scoring points. They like to play slow and around the rim. You're probably sensing a theme at this point. A lot of these teams are built to give Syracuse a hard time, despite perceived (and actual) inferiority.

8. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (10-5) (1-1) (LW: 10)

Last Week: W, 79-77 over Duke; L, 77-70 to NC State

Highest Position: 5; Lowest Position: 10

The Irish have been an enigma all year. Lose by just three to Ohio State, then need overtime to beat Canisius. Beat Duke up in South Bend, then let NC State run past them in the same building just a few days later. Notre Dame's a streaky shooting team that needs threes to fall in order to win. There's nothing new here. When it works, they're nearly unstoppable. When it doesn't... this team's fairly mediocre, at best.

9. NC State Wolfpack (11-4) (1-1) (LW: 9)

Last Week: L, 74-62 to Pittsburgh; W, 77-70 over Notre Dame

Highest Position: 4; Lowest Position: 11

That road win over Notre Dame could look really nice come the end of the year. It may even get people to forget about the NC Central loss. Either way, the Pack are a much-improved team over the course of this season, and one that presents a lot of possibilities. On any given night they can either challenge a ranked team or be challenged by an inferior opponent. Actually... this is no different than any other ACC team not named Syracuse.

10. Clemson Tigers (10-3) (1-0) (LW: 8)

Last Week: W, 62-60 over Boston College

Highest Position: 6; Lowest Position: 13

Another team that can't score points. And they struggled against Boston College of all teams (shudders). The Tigers rely on one man -- K.J. McDaniels -- to handle the scoring and rebounding. Everyone else is replaceable. I still don't believe in their offense, and ultimately don't think they're a tournament team. But if they can start grabbing some ACC wins, it's going to be on McDaniels's shoulders.

T-11. Miami Hurricanes (9-6) (1-2) (LW: 14)

Last Week: L, 49-44 to Syracuse; W, 63-57 over North Carolina

Highest Position: 9; Lowest Position: 14

Miami impressed me the other day against Syracuse. Up in the Dome -- a strange environment for them -- they held their own with the second-ranked team in the country and went punch for punch for nearly the full 40 minutes. That takes some guts -- something that was proven in last night's victory over a reeling UNC team. The 'Canes are not going to win the ACC again this season. But Jim Larranaga's group is going to win at least a few games they "shouldn't."

T-11. Maryland Terrapins (10-6) (2-1) (LW: 12)

Last Week: W, 77-61 over Georgia Tech; L, 79-59 to Pittsburgh

Highest Position: 10; Lowest Position: 12

I guess they can take solace in being a slight cut above the league's basement. Maryland relies solely on the flawed Dez Wells to win games, and will happily lose with that strategy seemingly every time. They've also got a severe size disadvantage (no one's over 6'9") that we saw Pitt exploit this week, and will see other teams exploit going forward as well.

13. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-3) (0-0) (LW: 11)

Last Week: L,77-61 to Maryland; L, 79-57 to Duke

Highest Position: 12; Lowest Position: 14

Who designed this schedule? Tech hasn't played a home game since December 16, and at this point, hasn't beaten a quality opponent since December 3. Nothing's going right for the Yellow Jackets, as could most obviously be surmised by the 16-point loss to the Twerps. If they have any chance of competing (already minimal), it would have been with the help of Robert Carter Jr.. But now that he's out for the year (likely), they're toast.

14. Virginia Tech Hokies (8-6) (1-1) (LW: 13)

Last Week: L, 72-52

Highest Position: 12; Lowest Position: 14

For a second the other night, I really thought the Hokies were just going to keep launching up 40-footers and praying they went in. The strategy was unsustainable, but that is Virginia Tech in a nutshell. They're passable defensively and actually collect a fair share of boards (40.2 per game). The issue's that shooting percentage, though -- ranked 213th in the country. Cut down on the bad shots and maybe good things start happening.

15. Boston College Eagles (4-11) (0-2) (LW: 15)

Last Week: L,73-58 to Harvard; L, 62-60 to Clemson

Highest Position: 15; Lowest Position: 15

This is a team that scheduled itself to death. Just five true home games up to this point. I'd say two throwaway games on the slate (both wins for them, thankfully). They've only collected one victory since Thanksgiving (a 17-point W over D-II Philadelphia U.) and it looks like things are just rolling downhill. The only possible saving grace is the return of big (7'1") center Dennis Clifford who came back during the Clemson game. If the big man can get going, they at least may find themselves able to hang around a defensive struggle or two.