Jan 25, 2014; Coral Gables, FL, USA; Syracuse Orange center Baye-Moussa Keita (left) greets Syracuse Orange forward Jerami Grant (right) during the second half against the Miami Hurricanes at BankUnited Center. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

ACC basketball power rankings: Week 12

It has been a very interesting season of basketball in the Atlantic Coast Conference, and that is no different this week. There are some unusual names at the top of the power rankings, but with the “usual suspects” holding serve over the past week, there is also little change from the established norm. Without further ado, let’s get to this week’s rankings.

  1. Syracuse (19-0, 6-0) – The Orange are still undefeated on the season, and because of that, they one of the easiest choices in America with regard to sitting at #1 in their conference. Tyler Ennis and company had only one game this week, but they went on the road and grabbed an easy, 12-point win, further cementing their top spot.
  2. Pittsburgh (18-2, 6-1) – It was an impressive, 2-0 week for the Panthers, and they continue to be highly underrated nationally. Pitt absolutely annihilated Clemson at home earlier in the week and ended with a quality road win at Maryland to protect their lofty spot in the rankings and set the stage for a huge game on Monday night.
  3. Duke (16-4, 5-2) – Speaking of Monday night, the #2 and #3 spots are certainly up for grabs when Pitt and Duke square off, but until then, Pitt edges them out. The Blue Devils had an incredibly impressive week with two 20-point wins, though, and Jabari Parker and company will have every opportunity to jump up in the near future.
  4. Virginia (15-5, 6-1) – If Duke hadn’t beaten UVA head-to-head, the Cavaliers would have a legitimate claim at the #3 position. Still, Virginia has won 3 straight including a dominant win over North Carolina, and they are playing at an incredibly high level.
  5. Florida State (13-6, 4-3) – I’m a sucker for defense, and the ‘Noles are consistently in the top-15 of national defensive rankings, giving them instant credibility. FSU was blitzed on Saturday by Duke, but there is no shame in taking a loss in Durham, and I trust the Seminoles for the most part.
  6. North Carolina (12-7, 2-4) – When the Tar Heels were blown out in Charlottesville last week, things looked quite bleak, but UNC rose up and impressed in a 19-point drubbing of Clemson on Sunday. The traditional standings don’t give much credence to the Heels, but their advanced numbers are quite solid and they have some hugely impressive wins. One of the most interesting teams in the country, much less the conference.
  7. Maryland (11-9, 3-4) – Here’s another team that the advanced metrics like much more than their record, but their play lately certainly makes things a bit questionable. The Terps have lost 4 of their last 5, but with no “bad” losses in the bunch (two to Pitt, and two road losses), it’s tough to knock Maryland much.
  8. Clemson (13-6, 4-3) – It was a rough week for the Tigers. Clemson lost two games by a total of 52 points (yikes), but thanks to the fact that they were both on the road and against talented teams (Pitt and UNC), they hang in the top-8 for this week. Still, they have a lot to prove moving forward.
  9. Wake Forest (14-6, 4-3) – The Demon Deacons don’t have a ton of quality wins, but their overall place in the standings is quite solid as their schedule begins to peak up. Wednesday night’s home date with Syracuse will certainly be the biggest measuring stick for Wake, and we’ll know a lot more after that performance.
  10. Notre Dame (11-9, 2-5) – Speaking of teams that are going through rough periods, the Irish have lost 5 of 6. Again, though, they have only one bad loss in the bunch (at home to NC State), and with a win over Duke on their list of accomplishments, it’s tough to dump on Notre Dame.
  11. Miami (10-9, 2-5) – The Canes were soundly beaten by both Duke and Syracuse this week, but again, losing to Duke and Syracuse in any venue isn’t really a detraction. However, Miami was mostly non-competitive in both games, and their one “quality” win (on the road at UNC) is looking shaky at this point.
  12. NC State (13-7, 3-4) – It was an undefeated week for NC State, but schedule is critical, and they were both close-fought home wins. FSU and UNC arrive on the schedule this week, and if the Wolfpack can keep up some momentum, they’ll jump up a good bit in week 13.
  13. Georgia Tech (11-9, 2-5) – Georgia Tech sits directly behind NC State this week on the strength of their overtime thriller on Sunday afternoon. The Wolfpack emerged with the win, but it’s quite tough to knock the Jackets, simply because they are short-handed without arguably their best player in Robert Carter, Jr. Still, there are no points for absences at this stage, and they have a long way to go.
  14. Virginia Tech (8-11, 1-6) – The drop-off is steep from “Tech to Tech” and the Hokies are a mess this season. Va Tech ranks outside the top-200 nationally in offense, and if you can’t score, you can’t win in the ACC.
  15. Boston College (5-14, 1-5) – It’s a virtual coin flip between BC and Virginia Tech, but the bottom of the barrel is ugly. The Eagles rank 15th simply because they cannot get a stop. For reference, BC currently sits outside the top-300 (!!!) nationally in defense, allowing more than 112 points per 100 possessions, and that’s not fixable in the short-term.

Tags: Boston College Eagles Clemson Tigers Duke Blue Devils Florida State Seminoles Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Miami Hurricanes North Carolina State Wolfpack North Carolina Tar Heels Notre Dame Fighting Irish Pittsburgh Panthers Syracuse Orange Virginia Cavaliers Virginia Tech Hokies Wake Forest Demon Deacons

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