Steve Moore is the RTC correspondent for the ACC.
First, let me apologize for the delay in this week’s ACC update. I got a concussion Christmas Eve and Mike Leach locked me in a closet because I wouldn’t go back to practice. Oh well, these things happen.
ACC POWER RANKINGS (record as of Monday, Dec. 28)
1A. Duke (9-1, 0-0)
PAST: No games last week. (And yes, I took the easy way out and did the 1A/1B thing.)
FUTURE: The Blue Devils face Long Beach State tonight and Penn on New Year’s Eve (double-yawn) before hosting Clemson in the first real anticipated league game of the year (more on that later).
1B. North Carolina (10-3, 0-0)
PAST: Most people expected sophomore Ed Davis to lead the young Tar Heels this year, but he has possibly exceeded expectations so far, including this week, as UNC rolled over Marshall and Rutgers. He’s shooting an absurd 66% from the field, and ranks second in the ACC with 6.7 rebounds per game.
FUTURE: UNC wraps up its pre-conference slate with two games – home against Albany on Wednesday, and a tricky road game at the College of Charleston next Monday.
3. Wake Forest (9-2, 1-0)
PAST: Easy win over UNC-Greensboro Monday night.
FUTURE: The Deacons better be ready for their New Year’s Eve date with Richmond. The Spiders already scalped Florida this year, and as is often the case in these regional big fish/small fish games, Richmond will be up for this game more than any other this season. It doesn’t get easier for Wake Forest on Sunday, when Xavier comes to town. A 2-0 week will be a big victory for the Deacons heading into ACC play.
4. Georgia Tech (9-2, 0-1)
PAST: Tech rolled over Kennesaw State.
FUTURE: The Jackets host Winston-Salem State today and then travels to Charlotte on Saturday.
5. Florida State (11-2, 1-0)
PAST: With an easy win over Tennessee-Martin, the Seminoles stay at No. 5 – for now.
FUTURE: Upcoming dates with Alabama A&M and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi won’t say anything about FSU. A Jan. 10 trip to Maryland will.
6. Clemson (11-2, 0-0)
PAST: The Tigers took care of Western Carolina last Tuesday.
FUTURE: Clemson hosts in-state rival (tongue in cheek) South Carolina State tonight before heading to Duke on Sunday.
7. Miami (12-1, 0-1)
PAST: Miami rolled over North Carolina A&T.
FUTURE: After they take care of Bethune Cookman Wednesday, the Hurricanes travel to Pepperdine. Winter in Malibu. Tough life.
8. Virginia Tech (10-1)
PAST: The Hokies flat-out embarrassed the Retrievers of UMBC last week in a 71-34 victory.
FUTURE: Tech plays Longwood Wednesday, then travels to Cancun for an interesting game against Seton Hall Saturday.
9. Maryland (8-3, 0-0)
PAST: The Terps recorded two cupcake wins this week, but had a relatively close call in a 13-point win over Florida Atlantic. Greivis Vasquez continues to lead Maryland, and was named ACC Player of the Week, but he was without second-leading scorer Sean Mosely, who sat out with a sprained ankle.
FUTURE: Maryland hosts William & Mary Wednesday and travels to UNC-Greensboro on Sunday.
10. N.C. State (8-3, 0-1)
PAST: The Wolfpack dropped a heartbreaker at Arizona on Wednesday, as the Wildcats pulled off their second-straight buzzer-beating win.
FUTURE: N.C. State hosts Winthrop tonight then plays at UNC-Greensboro on New Year’s Eve. I swear, UNC-Greensboro should just join the ACC already.
11. Boston College (8-4, 1-0)
PAST: Someone please explain this team to me. Home losses to Harvard and Rhode Island. Road wins at Providence and Michigan. And a convincing home win over UMass this week. You figure it out.
FUTURE: Interesting home game with South Carolina Wednesday night.
12. Virginia (6-4, 0-0)
PAST: Virginia routed NJIT and Hampton by a combined score of 148-91. Wake me when it’s over.
FUTURE: The Cavs host a very good UAB team Wednesday night. A win here would definitely help Virginia get out of the ranking cellar.
WEEK THAT WAS…
- DESERT DRAMA: There was only one game worth talking about this week, and that was N.C. State’s 76-74 loss to Arizona. The Wolfpack made a furious comeback from eight points down with 37 seconds left, but played some pretty porous defense in the final seconds as Arizona’s Nic Wise pulled a Tyus Edney for a coast-to-coast game-winning layup. Javier Gonzalez was impressive for the Wolfpack, who deserve credit for a tough trip out west while the rest of the ACC was fattening up on garbage games.
- RAMBLING RANT OF THE WEEK: What’s the deal with UNC-Greensboro? I understand that the poor Spartans have a short trip to almost every ACC school, and can fatten their athletic wallet with games in ACC gyms. But they’ve gotta grow tired of this, right? Greensboro plays 13 non-league games this season, and six of them come against ACC foes. The Spartans have already lost to Duke, Virginia Tech, Clemson and Wake Forest by a combined score of 319-235, and still have to face N.C. State and Maryland this week. To add to their misery, the Spartans have also been thumped by Richmond (26 points), Akron (24 points) and East Carolina (21 points). I’d love to hear that recruiting pitch…
WAITING IN THE TUNNEL…
- REAL LEAGUE GAME ALERT!: With Clemson heading to Duke on Sunday (7:45 pm), we can FINALLY see what these teams are made of. A Clemson win would be enormous for the Tigers, but just seeing an exciting game would be a moral victory for Clemson (and a win for hoops fans still sleeping off Duke’s snoozefest with Gonzaga). How will Trevor Booker and the Clemson frontcourt deal with Brian Zoubek, Miles Plumlee and the Duke big men? It’ll be nice to have real games to watch – finally.
- DAUNTING FOR DEACONS: Wake Forest has a tough twinbill this week with surprising Richmond and a very good and physical Xavier squad. Two wins will be huge, especially with three of their next four league games coming on the road at Miami, Duke and North Carolina. Ouch.
- WORTH WATCHING: Three teams from the mid- to lower-half of the league face interesting nonleague tests – Virginia Tech vs. Seton Hall (Saturday); B.C. vs. South Carolina (Wednesday); Virginia vs. UAB (Wednesday).
Happy New Year!