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ACC Basketball Power Rankings: Week 16

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...

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Each week, 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.


Two major upsets in league play this week shake up the TNIAAM Power Rankings like never before. With Syracuse knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten, and Duke now perilously flirting with losing a double-bye in the ACC tournament, all hell's breaking lose. Obviously, that presents an opportunity for the ACC to get the hero it deserves. Or maybe just the one it needs right now. Or both?

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

1. Boston College Eagles (7-19) (3-10) (LW: 14)

Last Week: L, 73-59 to Notre Dame; W, 62-59 over Syracuse (OT)

Highest Position: 1; Lowest Position: 1

Boston College, congratulations. Your meteoric rise in the power rankings is a fitting one for the squad that holds the most impressive win in college basketball (at Syracuse). Letting the Orange make their own repeated mistakes, while also knocking down treys at a furious clip, the Eagles bested SU in overtime on Wednesday. It was as resume-able a win as you'll find among the ACC's top squads.

T-2. Virginia Cavaliers (22-5) (13-1) (LW: 3)

Last Week: W, 63-58 over Clemson; W, 57-53 over Virginia Tech

Highest Position: 2; Lowest Position: 4

Great teams find ways to win every single ugly game they play. And for UVa, that's been the recipe for success of late, managing to eke out victories over Clemson and Virginia Tech last week, thanks to those teams' best efforts to lose in the closing minutes. Virginia's won 10 straight games, and their most impressive win (over UNC) didn't seem all that impressive at the time. Now it does. And for that, they should probably be congratulated.

T-2. Syracuse Orange (25-1) (12-1) (LW: 1)

Last Week: W, 56-55 over NC State; L, 62-59 to Boston College (OT)

Highest Position: 2; Lowest Position: 3

The Orange defense finally showed some cracks against the newly-anointed best team in the league on Wednesday, and as a result, they suffered their first loss of the year. When C.J. Fair wasn't doing his best Carmelo Anthony impression, the team was wandering around waiting for Tyler Ennis to pass the ball to him (which he avoided when possible). If you have 25 wins and your one loss is to the league's best team, you're doing pretty well, though.

4. Duke Blue Devils (21-6) (10-4) (Last Week: 2)

Last Week: W, 68-51 over Georgia Tech; L, 74-66 to North Carolina

Highest Position: 3; Lowest Position: 5

As mentioned above, the Duke loss last night puts them in real peril to miss out on a first-round bye, meaning every contest is a must-win now. Suffering a defeat to UNC isn't embarrassing (or at least it's less embarrassing than Heels' fans court rush), but it does knock this team out of the running for a No. 1 seed, in my opinion. If they bounce right back, though, that may make the Blue Devils the tourney's most dangerous No. 2 -- far from a bad thing.

5. North Carolina Tar Heels (19-7) (9-4) (LW: 5)

Last Week: W, 75-71 over Pittsburgh; W, 81-75 over Florida State; W, 74-66 over Duke

Highest Position: 4; Lowest Position: 5

Go back a few weeks, and you'll find I sort of predicted the Heels' leap back into league contention. After winning eight straight games, the narrative's now shifted for North Carolina from muddled resume to possessing some of the season's best victories. They have a real shot at a first-round bye, but that may require another upset over Duke to seal the deal. Shouldn't be an issue for a team with three top-5 (at the time) victories already.

6. Pittsburgh Panthers (20-6) (8-5) (LW: 4)

Last Week: L, 75-71 to North Carolina

Highest Position: 6; Lowest Position: 8

I don't know what to make of Pitt, and it's likely you don't either. The Panthers have 20 wins, but the best of which is Stanford, plus three close losses to highly ranked teams (Syracuse twice, Virginia) and a recent defeat at the hands of UNC. They're in the NCAAs, of course, but Pitt presents a weird predicament for the committee: how high or low can you put this team so that they're not rewarded, yet also avoid penalizing better teams?

7. Clemson Tigers (16-9) (7-6) (LW: 7)

Last Week: L, 63-58 to Virginia; W, 73-56 over NC State

Highest Position: 6; Lowest Position: 7

Watching the Tigers take UVa down to the final minute or so was at first thrilling, then immensely frustrating. Littlejohn (resisting joke) Coliseum looked electric, loud, into the game -- much like what the SU faithful should've been this past Wednesday. But ill-advised decisions by Clemson (that way-too-early three) and clutch shooting by the Hoos sealed the deal. That was the W Clemson needed to get off the bubble. Now, the search continues.

8. NC State Wolfpack (16-10) (6-7) (LW: 6)

Last Week: L, 56-55 to Syracuse; L, 73-56 to Clemson

Highest Position: 7; Lowest Position:9

Brutal week for NC State, as their bubble hopes have been virtually shot through the heart at this point. The last-second loss to SU (no, there was no botched call) was excruciating for Pack fans I'm sure, and it was made all the worse by a hapless effort against the Tigers just days later. The end-of-year slate is tough, including a visit from the league's top team, BC, to wrap up the regular season.

9. Maryland Terrapins (15-12) (7-7) (LW: 8)

Last Week: L, 69-67 to Duke; W, 71-60 over Wake Forest

Highest Position: 8; Lowest Position: 10

Another team suffered a rough loss this week, and this time, they may actually have an officiating gripe. The Terps already-slim bubble hopes took a major hit when they couldn't get past Duke, but as they've done all year, they keep winning the games they're supposed to. They'll get two more shots at resume-builders this regular season, with two homes dates v. Syracuse and Virginia, respectively.

10. Florida State Seminoles (15-11) (6-8) (LW: 9)

Last Week: W, 67-60 over Wake Forest; L, 81-75 to North Carolina

Highest Position: 9; Lowest Position: 10

Sorry, more bubble talk. FSU's marquee win (UMass) looks less and less "marquee" in hindsight, and the 'Noles have now lost seven of 10 as we head into the home stretch. They're certainly not dead yet, mind you. But without a scoring touch or their old defensive tenacity, it's tough to see Florida State play their way in. The only gimme in their last four might be Georgia Tech.

11. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (14-13) (5-9) (LW: 11)

Last Week: W, 73-69 over Boston College; L, 71-64 to Miami

Highest Position: 11; Lowest Position: 12

Win or lose, the Irish are playing everyone tough lately, with every game this month coming down to 10 or less points. Sure, it's not the season Notre Dame wanted joining the ACC, but they've still got a chance to play a pretty vicious spoiler role and have a longshot chance to go .500 in league play. A bid in the ACC quarterfinals would probably make this year a success, all things considered.

12. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (14-12) (4-9) (LW: 10)

Last Week: L, 67-60 to Florida State; L, 71-60 to Maryland

Highest Position: 12; Lowest Position: 13

Wake's dropping like a rock, with six straight defeats and a miserable 2014 overall (4-9 in the new year). And it's not just the same road woes that have plagued this squad in recent years, either, with three recent losses at home by 10 or less. The Deacs just can't seem to find the net (they've scored 70 or less in each of their last seven contests), and the defense has also given out. The Jeff Bzdelik era's as good as over.

13. Miami Hurricanes (13-13) (4-9) (LW: 12)

Last Week: L, 52-45 to Virginia Tech; W, 71-64 over Notre Dame

Highest Position: 11; Lowest Position: 14

Miami's last five games have all come down to seven points or less, yet three of those ended in defeat. As we've seen all year, the 'Canes are endorsing a slow-paced offense teamed with a zone, making it difficult for teams to pull away, but easier to win since Miami struggles to score (sound familiar?). They'll be aiming for a major upset this Saturday, against the league's top team, Boston College.

14. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (13-13) (4-9) (LW: 13)

Last Week: L, 68-51 to Duke

Highest Position: 13; Lowest Position: 14

No shame in losing to Duke, and like several teams at the bottom of the league standings, Georgia Tech actually has a manageable slate coming up. Beyond SU and Clemson, they could easily go 3-0 in the other games, to at least finish a respectable 7-11 in ACC play. Not bad for a team that lost its best player (Robert Carter Jr.) to injury a couple months ago and yet stays competitive without him.

15. Virginia Tech Hokies (9-16) (2-11) (LW: 15)

Last Week: W, 52-45 over Miami; L, 57-53 to Virginia

Highest Position: 15; Lowest Position: 15

The table was set for the Hokies to move out of the league basement. But then: BC upset Syracuse and the Hokies couldn't get the job done against the rival Hoos. No, this isn't a great basketball team (or even a good one), but this could've been a week of moral victories ALONG WITH actual ones. Instead, they seem very entrenched in the ACC cellar (for now and the future, too).