Duke (16-1, 3-1 ACC) ranks first in the first ever SB Nation Boston ACC Power Rankings. The Blue Devils have only suffered one loss at the hands of conference rival Florida State (13-5, 3-1 ACC), which ranks second in the inaugural power rankings. Boston College (13-5, 3-1 ACC) comes in at No. 3.
SB Nation Boston ACC Power Rankings:
- Duke Blue Devils (16-1, 3-1 ACC) - Mike Krzyzewski's Blue Devils have had the best season of any ACC team by far, losing only one game against conference foe Florida State last Wednesday. Following the loss, which snapped Duke's 25-game winning streak, the Blue Devils responded with a 76-60 win over Virginia. Duke faces N.C. State on Wednesday and Wake Forest on Saturday.
- Florida State Seminoles (13-5, 3-1 ACC) - While the Seminoles did pull off the upset victory over then top-ranked Duke, it's clear that Florida State is not the top team in the conference. However, at the moment, the 'Noles have compiled a pretty darn good season, defeating the likes of the Blue Devils, 66-61, as well as No. 15 Baylor, 68-61. Florida State has lost to some top-notch teams, falling against No. 16 Florida, 55-51, and then second-ranked Ohio State, 58-44. In conference play, the Seminoles boast wins over Clemson, 75-69, Duke and N.C. State, 84-71. Florida State faces ACC rivals Miami (FL) on Wednesday and Boston College on Friday.
- Boston College Eagles (13-5, 3-1 ACC) - Steve Donahue's Eagles started off the season on a strong note, winning three of their first four games before going on a seven-game winning streak. However, BC has faltered as of late, losing to the likes of Rhode Island, Harvard and conference foe Miami. Despite their first conference loss against the Hurricanes, the Eagles have had a surprising season, and should continue to be a force in the ACC. Boston College plays Virginia on Wednesday and Florida State on Saturday.
- Clemson Tigers (13-4, 2-1 ACC) - There may not be a hotter team in the ACC than the Clemson Tigers. After opening the season with five wins in their first six games, the Tigers lost three in a row. But Clemson has rebounded to post eight consecutive wins heading into their match-up with North Carolina on Tuesday night. Demontez Stitt continues to pace the Tigers, averaging 13.5 points and 3.4 rebounds. Had the Tigers played and won one more ACC game to date, they would have easily been ranked second in this week's power ranking. After facing North Carolina, the Tigers travel to face Maryland on Saturday.
- Virginia Tech Hokies (11-5, 2-2 ACC) - If Clemson is the ACC's hottest team, Virginia Tech is certainly next in line. The Hokies have won seven of their last eight games, including two against conference foes Florida State and Wake Forest. Virginia Tech's two conference losses came against Virginia and North Carolina. Other than that, the Hokies have been a solid team this season, with their three other losses coming against then third-ranked Kansas State, 73-57, UNLV, 71-59, and then 22nd-ranked Purdue, 58-55. Virginia Tech will face Maryland on Thursday and Longwood on Saturday.
- North Carolina Tar Heels (12-5, 2-1 ACC) - The Tar Heels haven't been a complete disappointment this season, but most thought that they would be near the top of the ACC by this point. Entering the season, UNC was ranked ninth in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. Since then, Roy Williams' Tar Heels have plummeted out of the rankings. Nevertheless, North Carolina has been playing solid basketball as of late, winning eight of its last ten games. In their last game, UNC suffered a setback against ACC foe Georgia Tech, losing 78-58. It losses like that that keep writers like myself from ranking them higher. North Carolina plays Clemson on Tuesday and Miami (FL) on Wednesday, January 26th.
- North Carolina State Wolfpack (11-6, 1-2 ACC) - Sidney Lowe's team got off to somewhat of a rough start, losing four of seven games earlier in the season. But thanks to the performances of the likes of Tracy Smith (15 PPG), Ryan Harrow (11.2 PPG) and C.J. Leslie (11.1 PPG, 8 RPG), the Wolfpack have won seven of their last ten games. Unfortunately for N.C. State, two of those losses came against ACC opponents, Boston College and Florida State, which is why they are tied for eighth place in the ACC standings. The Wolfpack have fallen into a rut in the last week, losing to both the Eagles and the Seminoles in back-to-back games, but have put forth a promising product to date. N.C. State's tough times may continue, as the Wolfpack square off with No. 4 Duke on Wednesday and Miami on Sunday.
- Miami Hurricanes (12-5, 1-2 ACC) - There's no question that Miami has been the best home team in the ACC, and maybe even the country. The Hurricanes are an impressive 8-0 in true home games (10-0 if you count the preseason wins over Jacksonville and Florida Southern), and most recently edged Boston College at BankUnited Center, 72-71. However, Miami has struggled in two of its last three conference games, losing to then top-ranked Duke, 74-63, and Clemson, 79-72. Miami plays Florida State on Wednesday and travels to face N.C. State on Saturday.
- Virginia Cavaliers (10-7, 1-2 ACC) - The Cavaliers have lost four of their last six games and have looked mediocre at best, but they have proven that they are capable of winning tough games. Take their 87-79 win over No. 15 Minnesota on November 29th. That victory kicked off a five-game winning streak for the Cavaliers, who would go on to win seven of their next nine games. Virginia even hung around with then top-ranked Duke, leading by 10 points in the first half before being obliterated in the final 16 minutes. Virginia certainly isn't anywhere near the top in the ACC, but they are better than the remaining three teams. The Cavaliers face Boston College on Wednesday and Georgia Tech on Saturday.
- Maryland Terrapins (11-6, 1-2 ACC) - Other than Georgia Tech and Wake Forest, Maryland has been the ACC's most inconsistent team. The Terps have been unable to establish a winning streak of more than three games, which they have done three times this season. Maryland suffered tough back-to-back losses against No. 5 Pitt, 79-70, and No. 13 Illinois, 80-76, midway through November. The Terps then dropped their first ACC contest against Boston College, 79-75, on December 12th. Maryland's inconsistency has been very apparent as of late, as the Terrapins have won two of their last four games against Colgate and Wake Forest (which is not a big accomplishment by any means), losing to Duke Villanova in between. Maryland has a chance to improve to .500 in conference play when it takes on Virginia Tech on Thursday. After that, the Terps play Clemson on Saturday.
- Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (8-8, 1-2 ACC) - Iman Shumpert (16.1 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 3.4 APG) and Glen Rice Jr. (12.9 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 2.8 APG) have had solid season for Georgia Tech, but that hasn't translated into many wins for the Yellow Jackets. Paul Hewitt looked like he had his team going in the right direction after Georgia Tech won four of its last five games. Then the bottom fell out for Hewitt's squad, as they lost three games in a row and seven of their next eleven games. The Yellow Jackets managed to defeat the Tar Heels by twenty 78-58 (how, I'm not quite sure), but have still been wildly inconsistent. Tech looks to get back on track when it hosts Wake Forest on Wednesday (that game will certainly be a shootout, or not) and on Saturday when it travels to face Virginia Tech.
- Wake Forest Demon Deacons (7-11, 0-3 ACC) - If you compare Duke to the Boston Celtics, then Wake Forest is certainly comparable to the New Jersey Nets. The Demon Deacons are the only team in the ACC with a sub-.500 record and they are winless in three conference games. Wake Forest has lost seven of its last eight games, with its only high point coming in a win against High Point (Ha! See what I did there?). The Demon Deacons have a shot at partial redemption when they face Georgia Tech on Wednesday and No. 4 Duke on Saturday.