This is particularly complex with Pitt and Syracuse not yet in the ACC, but it can still be done. Here is how we view the ACC basketball schools as of January 30, 2012:
1. Syracuse (22-1) While weaker minds will blame the Syracuse win on the referees, West Virginia had every opportunity to win the game–including the ball in the half court with 6+ seconds to go. That they chose to shoot an off-balance three pointer instead of trying to use their advantage down low is not the referees’ fault. Just sayin’.
2. Duke (18-3) Duke keeps the #2 spot. After losing to the Seminoles, Duke went on the road and beat a very good Maryland team. And then a tough out-of-conference foe in St. Johns gave them a tough test at home. Narrowly above North Carolina. Will these two teams EVER play?
3. North Carolina (18-3) Look out for the Tar Heels. After the embarrassing blowout loss, North Carolina is on a roll. North Carolina State did not provide much of a test though. Upcoming two game road trip to Maryland and Wake Forest.
4. Virginia (17-3) Rebounded nicely from the Virginia Tech stunner to defeat Boston College at home. Even more impressive was the win at North Carolina State.
5. Florida State (14-6) Another road win–this time over Wake Forest by a comfortable margin of 23. If the Seminoles can get by Georgia Tech on Wednesday, the focus will shift to the visiting Cavaliers on Saturday.
6. North Carolina State (15-7) Tough week for the Wolfpack, as they had to travel to Chapel Hill and then host Virginia. Despite the two losses, still 4-3 in conference play.
7. Maryland (13-7) Maryland kept its record at .500 in conference by edging Virginia Tech on Saturday. Nice bounce-back after losing to Duke. Up next? A trip to Miami.
8. Miami (12-7) The Hurricanes are up to 3-3 in conference play with wins over Georgia Tech and Boston College. Both were significant margin victories on the road. Return on home Wednesday to host Maryland.
9. Clemson (11-9) 3-3 in conference after beating Wake Forest on Saturday. Next up is a trip to Virginia to play both schools in road games. Doesn’t get any easier.
10. Pittsburgh (13-9) The Panthers are starting to warm-up a bit. On Saturday, they got their second win in a row with a victory over #9 Georgetown.
11. Wake Forest (11-10) Tough call between Wake Forest and Virginia Tech. The Demon Deacons have the extra conference win to provide the edge.
12. Virginia Tech (12-9) The Hokies looked good in 2011, but 2012 has been very unkind. They are now a dismal 1-5 in conference play. Next up? Duke. Gulp.
13. Georgia Tech (8-13) Georgia Tech cannot buy a win right now. After traveling to red-hot Florida State midweek, Boston College comes to town. That’s a must win for the coaching staff.
14. Boston College (7-14) Doesn’t get any easier for the Eagles. They host North Carolina State on Wednesday–a Wolfpack team that has lost to North Carolina and Virginia in its recent games, and really really needs a win.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know!