A few shout outs this week – @WillsWorldMN and @ztevans were both on point in their predictions in our #ACC panel earlier this season. Both were high on Miami. Miami has swept North Carolina (the games with the Tar Heels were not close) – and will be looking to sweep Duke on March 2 (a game we look forward to in earnest). Let’s repeat this so it sinks in – Miami is looking to become the kings of Tobacco Road – they have the opportunity to sweep the ACC teams in the State of North Carolina.
A disclaimer this again this week (here’s our disclaimer from last week) – no one seems to want to hold onto the third spot. We are upset with the way Virginia, NC State, and North Carolina are all playing right now – and at this point, we could draw the third team out of a hat. We also think it’s a crapshoot from teams 6-10 in that any of those teams could defeat each other on any given night.
Without further ado, here’s our poll:
- Miami – The Hurricanes are 10-0 in ACC play – a threat to get a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament – and have a really good chance to be the #1 team in America. This is what Swofford was thinking when the Canes were invited to the ACC, right? We think Swoff was banking on the Canes football prowess – but we love the way Miami is playing – and Swoff got us a bonus. We love the Canes right now.
- Duke – The Devils did what good teams do and won both of their games this week, including payback to NC State for their earlier loss.
- Virginia – Virginia drilled Clemson – hard. And got a big road win vs. Maryland. The Hoos need some more wins if they want to get to the NCAA tournament – they need people to forget about the losses to Old Dominion and Georgia Tech (and the previous win vs. North Carolina isn’t looking as good as it once did). We rank Virginia at #3 now, though.
- NC State – Wolfies, what could have been. We did not have you all barely above .500 in the ACC at this point in the season – and we think you really need to win 6 of your last 8 games, as well. My blog partner here is right – the Wolfies are the most disappointing team in the ACC.
- North Carolina – We think the Tar Heels are right on that barrier right now for one of the last at-large bids to the NCAA tournament – it’s that close. We think the Tar Heels have to win 6 of 8 games.
- Florida State – Again, the hardest team to read in the ACC (I expect better against Wake Forest – we can’t say #GoodJobGoodEffort here – this was bad). If Michael Snaer isn’t making those game winning shots at the buzzer, the Seminoles have four less wins. What does that tell you about the Seminoles margin for error?
- Maryland – Maryland had a nice road win at Virginia Tech – and Mark Turgeon had an excellent defensive strategy of basically taking away the Hokies 2nd and 3rd options (Jarell Eddie and Robert Brown were a combined 2 of 17 from the field). Basically, it was, “We know Green is going to score – and everyone else is going to have to beat us.” The Terps are young and have depth – and are going to be a thorn in everyone’s side in the ACC tournament – if a young team gets on a roll – they can pick up confidence pretty quickly.
- Clemson – The performance vs. Virginia was really bad. Epically bad. But give the Tigers credit – they played a gritty game at home vs. NC State – just came up a little short.
- Wake Forest – While we harshly criticized their head coach last week, we will give the Demon Deacons credit – they played well at home in dominating Florida State.
- Georgia Tech – Georgia Tech almost gave the game away in Blacksburg and only survived because of their strong showing in the first twelve minutes of first half – Brian Gregory has a mancrush on Erick Green.
- Boston College – We put Boston College at #11 simply because they defeated the Hokies earlier this year. No other reason.
- Virginia Tech – The results aren’t showing it, but the Hokies are still playing hard every game. Especially Erick Green. He was dehydrated at the end of the game and had to be carried off the court by his teammates (h/t @TheKeyPlay). Take a look at Brian Gregory’s (Georgia Tech head hoops coach) comments (tweets courtesy of @HokiesJournal): “I know the record, but he’s the player of the year in this league … He’s got my vote.” “It sounds like I love the kid.” ”Tell Erick he can send me a Valentine’s card.” Every coach in the ACC knows that Erick Green is a baller – and it’s a shame that he’s the best kept secret in America (even though he’s the nation’s leading scorer). He absolutely should be ACC player of the year, but he’s not on a winning team (and, as @teabagpaulus919 indicated, players on winning teams usually get the award). FWIW, I’ve seen a leap in Cadarian Raines game over the last couple of weeks, too.
Thanks for check out the post – and have a good week ahead!!