Duke (18-1, 5-1 ACC) and Florida State (15-5, 5-1 ACC) maintained the top and second spots, respectively, in this week's SB Nation Boston ACC Power Rankings. Boston College (14-6, 4-2 ACC) maintained its spot at No. 3 after losing to Florida State on Saturday.
SB Nation Boston ACC Power Rankings (Week Two):
- Duke (18-1, 5-1 ACC); Last Week's Ranking: 1 - Duke continued to plow through the competition this past week after its setback against Florida State earlier in the season. The third-ranked Blue Devils rattled off wins against N.C. State (92-78) on Wednesday and Wake Forest (83-59) on Saturday. Following its loss to the Seminoles, Duke has now won three games in a row and continues to be a dominant force in the conference and country despite the absence of star freshman point guard Kyrie Irving, who could miss the remainder of the season. The Blue Devils are fourth in the country in scoring, averaging 85.7 points per contest, and also rank 24th in team field goal percentage (48%). Duke faces Boston College at home on Thursday night and then takes on non-conference opponent St. John's on Sunday.
- Florida State Seminoles (15-5, 5-1 ACC); Last Week's Ranking: 2 - While the Seminoles are the only team that has been able to defeat Duke this season, they have dropped four other contests. That being said, the Seminoles are still the clear runner-up in the ACC at the moment. Currently the only other ranked ACC team, Florida State, topped Miami (55-53) in a defensive contest last Wednesday and Boston College (67-51) on Saturday. The Seminoles are known for their dominant defense, as they only average 70.6 points per game, placing them 144th in the nation in scoring. Yet if Leonard Hamilton's team can continue to stifle teams on the defensive end, there is a good chance the 'Noles could compete with Duke for their first-ever ACC title. FSU plays Clemson on Saturday and Wake Forest on Tuesday, both of which should result in wins for the Seminoles.
- Boston College Eagles (14-6, 4-2 ACC); Last Week's Ranking: 3 - Steve Donahue's Eagles had a chance to leapfrog the Seminoles with a win on Saturday, but instead fell flat and lost their second conference game of the season. Despite the loss, Boston College still has an impressive resume considering the circumstances. Despite a new coach and a new playbook, BC has performed at a high level this season. Prior to the loss at Florida State, the Eagles survived a nail-biter against lowly Virginia on Wednesday, winning 70-67. Donahue's squad has a tough week ahead, as his Eagles face Duke on Thursday and UNC on Sunday. The next few games could define BC's season. If they win against Duke and UNC, they are still in the mix for an ACC title. If not, that dream will almost certainly die and the Eagles will plummet in the power rankings.
- North Carolina Tar Heels (13-5, 3-1 ACC); Last Week's Ranking: 6 - The Tar Heels have played fewer games than most ACC teams, but they have played solid basketball as of late, winning nine of their last 11 games. UNC beat Clemson, 75-65, in its only game of the week last Wednesday. For the most part, Roy Williams' team has underperformed this season, as freshman Harrison Barnes (11.8 PPG) hasn't been the player everyone though he was entering the season. But a solid 3-1 start in ACC play has the Tar Heels looking good as we near the midpoint of conference play. Not all of the Tar Heels' stats will jump out at you this season, but one in particular does: rebounding. UNC leads the nation in rebounding, averaging 42.4 boards per game. The Tar Heels have a chance to climb up the rankings when they face Miami on Wednesday night, N.C. State on Saturday and Boston College on Tuesday.
- Virginia Tech Hokies (14-6, 3-3 ACC); Last Week's Ranking: 5 - After a 4-4 start to the season, the Hokies have looked like a much better team down the stretch, winning nine of 11 games. This past week, Virginia Tech bested Maryland, 74-57, as well as non-conference opponent Longwood, 70-52. The Hokies would have been ranked as high as No. 3 this week had they not lost to an inconsistent Georgia Tech team, 72-57, on Tuesday. None of the Hokies' team statistics will jump out at you, either, as they rank 132nd in scoring (70.9 PPG), 217th in rebounding (34.5 RPG) and 132nd in assists (13.7 APG). Malcolm Delaney continues to lead the Hokies with his stellar play, averaging 18.3 points and 4.5 assists per contest. Virginia Tech plays Miami on Sunday and N.C. State on Wednesday.
- Clemson Tigers (14-6, 3-3 ACC); Last Week's Ranking: 4 - UNC's win over the Tigers this past week was enough for the Tar Heels to take over the third spot and send Clemson down two spots. The Tigers went 1-2 on the week, losing to both the Tar Heels and Maryland before defeating N.C. State (60-50) on Tuesday. Like the Hokies, none of the Tigers' numbers will jump out at you: 156th in scoring (70 PPG), 206th in rebounding (34.7 RPG) and 168th in assists (13.3 APG). Clemson has a chance to improve its standings when it plays Florida State on Saturday and Virginia next Wednesday.
- Maryland Terrapins (12-7, 2-3 ACC): Last Week's Ranking: 10 - While I still maintain that the Terps have been inconsistent all season long, they improved their standings this past week. Though the week started on a sour note with a blow out loss against Virginia Tech, the Terps regained their composure and defeated Clemson in a close contest on Saturday. Still, the fact that Maryland is 0-4 against AP Top 25 teams this season concerns me. Until they can prove that they can beat a few top-notch opponents, Maryland will stay in the bottom half of these power rankings (much to the dismay of many at Testudo Times, as seen by the kind comments they left me in last week's rankings). The Terps face Virginia on Thursday and Georgia Tech on Sunday.
- North Carolina State Wolfpack (12-8, 2-4 ACC); Last Week's Ranking: 6 - The Wolfpack have fallen on tough times, losing four of five games after winning five in a row and seven of eight. This past week, N.C. State topped Miami, 72-70, but lost to Clemson, 60-50. The Wolfpack have a chance to redeem themselves this week, as they take on UNC on Saturday and Virginia Tech next Wednesday. If they can win both, they may very well move up a few spots in the rankings.
- Miami Hurricanes (12-7, 1-4 ACC); Last Week's Ranking: 8 - The Hurricanes have not fared well in their first five conference games, losing all but one (a 72-71 win over Boston College). Miami has dropped four of its last five games (all conference opponents), including two losses this week against Florida State (55-53) and N.C. State (72-70). While both games were close, a quality team would have found a way to pull out a win in both. The 'Canes have a shot to get back on track when they play the Tar Heels tonight at 7:30 p.m. EST on ESPN2. After that, Miami travels to face Virginia Tech on Sunday.
- Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (10-9, 3-3 ACC); Last Week's Ranking: 11 - Georgia Tech had an up-and-down week, reconfirming the fact that they are an inconsistent team. After losing to Virginia, 72-64, on Saturday, the Yellow Jackets responded with a dominant 72-57 win over Virginia Tech. The Yellow Jackets have a long way to go if they want to climb the ACC standings, and it starts with their game against Maryland on Sunday.
- Virginia Cavaliers (11-8, 2-3 ACC); Last Week's Ranking: 9 - Tony Bennett's Cavaliers also had a mixed week, losing to Boston College by three, 70-67, last Wednesday but defeating Georgia Tech 72-64 on Saturday. However, Georgia Tech's win over Virginia Tech was more impressive than the Cavs' win over the Yellow Jackets in my book, and thus Virginia finds itself slipping in the rankings. Virginia squares off with Maryland on Thursday and Wake Forest on Saturday before facing Clemson at home next Wednesday.
- Wake Forest Demon Deacons (7-13, 0-5 ACC); Last Week's Ranking: 12 - The Demon Deacons haven't been able to do anything right in their last five games, all of which were unfortunately in conference. In total, Wake Forest has lost a dismal 10 games in its last 12 contests. Jeff Bzdelik and company will look for their first conference win when they take on Virginia on Saturday and Florida State on Tuesday. If the Demon Deacons were going to pick up a conference win this week, it would most likely come against the Cavaliers.
The SB Nation Boston ACC Power Rankings are released on Wednesday afternoons. Check back with SB Nation Boston for the latest news on the Boston College men's basketball team, as well as the ACC men's basketball standings and schedules.