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ACC Basketball Power Rankings: Week 14

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...

Brett Carlsen

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.


Things are actually starting to settle in the ACC. There's an impressive top section of the league, a dangerous middle and then a distinct bottom part. Though we also have a whole lot of basketball left to play. Plenty can happen between now and the end of the regular season (at least nine games away) and it's going to be quite a race to the finish with the top four bunched fairly closely together.

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

1. Syracuse Orange (22-0) (9-0) (LW: 1)

Last Week: W, 91-89 over Duke (OT); W, 61-55 over Notre Dame

Highest Position: 1; Lowest Position: 1

Two very trying games for Syracuse in a short amount of time this past Saturday and Monday. But after getting physically and emotionally knocked around, they don't play again until Sunday (at home against Clemson). That's a real treat for a squad that looked exhausted against Notre Dame. And despite perceived superiority over Clemson, the Orange will find themselves a challenge when the Tigers show up at the Dome this weekend.

2. Duke Blue Devils (18-5) (7-3) (Last Week: 2)

Last Week: L, 91-89 to Syracuse (OT); W, 83-63 over Wake Forest

Highest Position: 2; Lowest Position: 3

Perhaps no team has gotten more out of a loss this season than Duke against Syracuse on Saturday. Despite facing foul trouble and a three-point deficit with just seconds to play, the Blue Devils forced overtime and then even had a chance to win at the final horn of OT. At the Dome, that's quite the achievement. And if Duke keeps shooting like that from beyond the arc, there are very few teams that can beat them.

3. Virginia Cavaliers (18-5) (9-1) (LW: 4)

Last Week: W, 48-45 over Pittsburgh; W, 77-67 over Boston College

Highest Position: 2; Lowest Position: 3

We touched on this in the roundtable this week, but Virginia is climbing fast and terrifyingly, has an advantage on Syracuse should they win out. At this point, the Hoos have proven they can win any type of game -- something that should serve them well both through the rest of the ACC slate as well as the tournament, too. It would be a pleasant (for SU) surprise if UVa's not 24-5 (15-1) heading into the March 1 matchup with the Orange.

4. Pittsburgh Panthers (19-4) (7-3) (LW: 3)

Last Week: L, 48-45 to Virginia; W, 59-55 over Miami (OT)

Highest Position: 4; Lowest Position: 4

Two straight difficult week for Pitt, whose just 3-2 in their past five games and look to be losing their edge across the board. Rebounding's down, scoring's inconsistent -- there's just a lot that doesn't appear to be clicking. Just the same, they managed to hang close with both UVa and Syracuse in that stretch as well, so it's not all bad. They'll get a chance for redemption against the Orange next Wednesday.

5. Clemson Tigers (15-6) (6-3) (LW: 7)

Last Week: W, 53-49 over Florida State; W, 45-41 over Georgia Tech

Highest Position: 5; Lowest Position: 6

You have another recommendation? The Tigers have been one of the ACC's top defensive squads, while also crashing the boards at a solid rate (37.6 per game). The problem is, once they're sped up, it's all over. UNC and Pitt were able to increase the pace and hit the shots they needed to beat them. While Duke was not able to do the same, all three games provide a great blueprint for Syracuse in terms of what they must do to beat the Tigers themselves.

6. North Carolina Tar Heels (15-7) (5-4) (LW: 9)

Last Week: W, 84-70 over NC State; W, 75-63 over Maryland

Highest Position: 5; Lowest Position: 7

Don't look now, but North Carolina is getting hot. The offense is clicking. They're crashing the boards with a fervor. Sure, it's against the middle and bottom of the ACC, but quality squads win those games. Not surprisingly, Marcus Paige has hot the hot hand during this four-game win streak, putting up at least 15 points in each win, and 10 total threes over the stretch.

7. Florida State Seminoles (14-8) (5-5) (LW: 6)

Last Week: L, 53-49 to Clemson; W, 70-50 over Virginia Tech

Highest Position: 6; Lowest Position: 9

No, still no ugly losses, but FSU's starting to lack for quality wins too, especially after UMass's recent freefall. Like several other teams in the ACC, they rise and fall on one player -- Aaron Thomas -- and without him, they're extremely limited on both ends. The 'Noles have just two remaining opportunities for a big, resume-building victory: Feb. 23 at Pitt and Mar. 9 vs. Syracuse.

8. Maryland Terrapins (13-10) (5-5) (LW: 10)

Last Week: W, 80-60 over Virginia Tech; L, 75-63 to North Carolina

Highest Position: 7; Lowest Position: 10

Maryland's done nothing we haven't seen from the rest of the ACC's middle-of-the-pack teams: beat Virginia Tech and lose to UNC. So forgive me for being a bit skeptical of the Twerps and their overall performance on the year. For a very poor shooting team, Maryland sure does chuck up a good deal of shots (6-23 on threes v. UNC), while ("surprise") relying on the flawed Dez Wells to carry them to victory.

9. NC State Wolfpack (14-8) (4-5) (LW: 8)

Last Week: L, 84-70 to North Carolina

Highest Position: 7; Lowest Position: 10

The North Carolina loss is indicative of a full season of frustration for the Pack, performing miserably on the road and making everyone forget what makes them a solid team to begin with. In their two most recent road games (at Duke and UNC), NC State's lost by a combined 49 points. Any way you cut it, that's awful. While State has a manageable schedule, there are no easy games for this team, no matter where they happen to play.

10. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (14-9) (4-6) (LW: 5)

Last Week: L, 79-70 to Georgia Tech; L, 83-63 to Duke

Highest Position: 8; Lowest Position: 10

So it's been a rough fall for the Deacs, dropping three of their last five and virtually removing themselves from any NCAA Tournament conversation. Supposedly, Saturday's loss was the worst home loss for Wake Forest in the last decade. That's right, decade. Bzdelik had worked himself into a "warm" seat with the nice start to the year. But those good vibes may be long gone at this point.

11. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (12-11) (3-7) (LW: 12)

Last Week: W, 76-73 over Boston College (OT); L, 61-55 to Syracuse

Highest Position: 11; Lowest Position: 13

Notre Dame had Syracuse on the ropes, held them to just 47 shots and shut down everyone but Trevor Cooney. And they still lost. There's no shame in losing to the No. 1 team in the nation by six, of course, but that's also indicative of the type of season it's been for the Irish. At this point, the rest of the year's just for pride -- which may make them rather dangerous to close out the year.

12. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (12-11) (3-7) (LW: 13)

Last Week: W, 79-70 over Wake Forest; L, 45-41 to Clemson

Highest Position: 11; Lowest Position: 13

Tech's been tenacious in Robert Carter's absence, but only against Wake has that newfound toughness seemed to result in a big win. Wake's no worldbeater, but in Winston-Salem, that's a quality victory and gives them something to build upon. The postseason's already out of reach, of course, but this is a scrappy, fighting squad that will give teams fits (see: recent scores). Of the league's top teams, SU, Duke, UVa and Clemson all have games remaining v. Tech.

13. Miami Hurricanes (11-11) (2-7) (LW: 11)

Last Week: W, 64-49 over Norfolk State; L, 59-55 to Pittsburgh (OT)

Highest Position: 11; Lowest Position: 13

If not for that break in league play v. Norfolk State, Miami would be just 2-6 in 2014. And at some point, the moral victories have to give way to true victories on the scoreboard. They've fought teams like SU and Pitt tough, but just haven't been able to close the deal. If you view this as a transition year though, you can see the writing on the wall for a well-set 'Canes program for many seasons to come.

14. Boston College Eagles (6-16) (2-7) (LW: 14)

Last Week: L, 76-73 to Notre Dame (OT); L, 77-67 to Virginia

Highest Position: 14; Lowest Position: 14

In the last four games, Boston College has actually looked much more competitive. But like we said with Miami and Georgia Tech, can they translate those strong efforts into wins (over teams not named Virginia Tech)? Ryan Anderson's play has obviously been a bright spot, but beyond him, someone else needs to step up if BC has a glimmer of hope in any of their remaining contests.

15. Virginia Tech Hokies (8-14) (1-9) (LW: 15)

Last Week: L, 80-60 to Maryland; L, 70-50 to Florida State

Highest Position: 15; Lowest Position: 15

Oh my... the Hokies still haven't won in 2014 and over the last four games, they've been losing by at least 20 points each and every time. If you're a fan, that's miserable to watch and as a player, likely disheartening too. Even the games against BC have not gone well at all, and 1-17 is a real possibility. That would be the first one-win ACC campaign since 2011 (Wake) and the worst winning percentage in league play since 1987 (Maryland, .000).