Monday, February 20, 2012
Conference Power Rankings: ACC
By Robbi Pickeral
With two weeks remaining, it looks like it’s going to be a down-to-the-wire race for the regular-season ACC title. This week’s attempt at the power rankings:
1. Duke: After needing a 20-point rally to beat N.C. State, Duke had it a lot easier at Boston College on Sunday. The Blue Devils won by a decisive 25 points to remain tied atop the ACC standings with UNC and Florida State. Next up: a trip to Tallahassee, Fla., on Thursday for a rematch with the Seminoles.
2. North Carolina: Sophomore Harrison Barnes averaged 23.5 points in wins at Miami and over Clemson, and both he -- and his teammates -- appear to be revving up for a postseason run. Outside shooting is still a concern lately, but defense is making up for it.
3. Florida State: The Seminoles’ win at N.C. State on Saturday marked the first time the they have beaten all four ACC teams from North Carolina -- UNC, Duke, Wake Forest and the Wolfpack -- in the same season. “Being from North Carolina, it’s a big thing,’’ said guard Ian Miller, who hails from Charlotte, N.C.
4. Virginia: The Cavaliers’ upset loss at Clemson marked the first time they have dropped back-to-back games this season. But the Cavaliers followed up by beating Maryland to secure its first 20-win season since 2006-07.
5. Miami: After his team lost to the Hurricanes, Wake Forest coach Jeff Bzdelik said he thinks Miami is an ACC tournament team. But UM (which broke a two-game losing streak with the win) is taking a one-game-at-a-time approach: “It’s a goal and a dream,’’ guard Durand Scott said, according to The Miami Herald. “But you can’t deal with the future unless you take care of the present. Today is the present. Today is what’s important right now.”
6. N.C. State:With back-to-back losses at Duke and to FSU last week, it’s going to be difficult to reach the 11 ACC victories coach Mark Gottfried predicted his team would need for an NCAA tournament at-large bid. The Wolfpack are now 7-5 in league play, with home games against UNC and Miami and road matchups at Clemson and Virginia Tech left on the docket.
7. Maryland: The Terps suffered their largest margin of defeat this season when they lost by 27 points at Virginia, and coach Mark Turgeon grew so frustrated with his team’s turnovers and shot selection that he pulled his starters with four minutes left. “I just had enough of selfishness, not boxing out, not defending,’’ he said, according to The Baltimore Sun.
8. Clemson: The Tigers followed an upset win over Virginia with yet another loss to the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill. “I don’t think it has much to do with extra pressure or anything like that,” Tanner Smith said of the Tigers’ 0-56 streak at UNC. “We just didn’t make the plays down the stretch that we needed to make.”
9. Virginia Tech:Dorenzo Hudson's desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer helped beat Georgia Tech in overtime. But it couldn’t quite erase the sting of allowing FSU to come back from a nine-point deficit in the final 90 seconds to win, just two days before.
10. Wake Forest: The Deacons ended a six-game slide with a win over Georgia Tech, only to possibly begin another one with a loss at Miami. They get a break before playing Boston College next weekend.
11. Boston College: The Eagles managed only 50 points against Duke and lost their third straight game.
12. Georgia Tech: The Jackets’ last-second loss at Virginia Tech means they have now lost three straight, and nine of their past 10. They played that game without Glen Rice Jr., who is suspended indefinitely.