Ballsy ACC Power Rankings


While there still isn’t much separating most of the ACC teams, I’m at least starting to see a difference. In fact, I see three tiers; the good, the average and the bad.


No 1 – DUKE
Can the Blue Devils play D at home or what? The Terps were number one in the ACC in shooting percentage (at nearly 50% from the floor). Against Duke, Maryland shot 37.7%. Don’t feel bad. Only two ACC teams have scored 60+ in Cameron, with Wake being the only team to score 70. Of course they still lost by 20, so there’s that.

They’ve moved up to 23rd in Ken Pom’s ratings, yet still have a SOS that ranks #102. It’s simple, they haven’t played anyone. In the coaches poll, they’ve faced only two top-25 teams and they lost them both.

Inside the ACC, the conference title has come down to four teams (with the Hokies being one of them). Of the other three (Duke, Wake, Maryland), Va Tech has yet to face any of them yet. Luckily for them, they face each of them only once and two of those (Wake, Maryland) are at home.

Some have called Ishmael Smith a future NBA player. Someone will have to explain it to me. Don’t get me wrong, he does a lot of good things on the basketball court, but can you really play in the NBA if you only shoot 23% from deep? He’s failed to hit a three in three straight games and hasn’t hit a three in 16 of Wake’s 23 games. Despite all this, the Deacons keep winning? What’s their Chinese secret?

It’s simple, if you can’t hit the three, then you have to stop the three. Opponents only hit 28% of their deep balls against Wake.

On February 28, 2007, freshman Grievis Vasquez came into Cameron and dominated a struggling Duke team. The freshman PG nearly had a triple double, finishing with 13 points, 12 assists and nine boards. It was one of the better performances by any player, let alone a freshman, in Durham.  Yet…

Since then, the Terps have lost five straight to the Blue Devils, including three straight in Cameron. Since that game, Vasquez has scored an average of 15ppg, dishing out only 12 assists (the same amount he had in that one game).


The Poor Clemson Tigers. They can’t get a break. As most of you already know, Clemson has lost 53-straight games to North Carolina in Chapel Hill. 53 in a row…that’s an amazing number. Yet, the one year that the Tar Heels are down and out and can be beaten by just about everybody (except NC State), the Tigers (who have already beaten UNC at home by 19) don’t travel to Chapel Hill. Damn you schedule makers! Damn you all to hell!

While it’s easy (and fun) to rip Florida State for their inconsistent play this season (they’ve dropped five of nine now), we shouldn’t forget they’re a young team. Of their top-eight players (based on minutes), there is only one senior, one junior, five sophomores and one freshman.

Yet having said that, the Noles have a legit shot to finish strong down the stretch. They have three road games, but all against struggling teams (Virginia and North Carolina this week, ending the season at Miami), They do face both Clemson and Wake Forest, but both those games are at home.

You want a ballsy prediction? Try this one on for size…I bet Virginia wins only one more game the remainder of the season. Think I’m wrong? The fact is, they have to play four games in the next seven days, three of which are on the road. Of the three remaining home games, they’ll be the underdogs in all three (Fla St., Duke, Maryland).

If I’m right, that would mean the Cavaliers will finish 15-14 on the year. If you told me that Virginia would make the NIT at the beginning of the year, I would have laughed. Yet here we are.

What’s more shocking…that the ACC only has two teams ranked in the top-25, or that the second team is Georgia Tech still? Seriously, what do these guys have to do to get knocked out of the top-25. They’re the 20th best team in the nation, yet only the 8th best team in the ACC?

The Yellow Jackets have lost three of four, including a pathetic defeat to Miami. They still can’t find a way to win away from Atlanta, as they are 1-5 in the ACC. That lone win? Against UNC, where everyone wins (unless you’re NC State). That seat has to be getting a bit hot, eh Coach Hewitt.

The key to Tech’s early ACC success was Iman Shupert, but he’s struggled to stay healthy and recently, he’s just struggled. In Tech’s three most recent loses, he is a combined 3-21 from the floor, 0-6 from deep. He has only nine assists to 11 turnovers. Now in their one win against NC State, Shupert scored 14, shooting 5-7 from the floor, 2-3 from behind the arch. He dished out six assists, turning it over zero times.


Listen, I’m one of the biggest complainers about how often Roy Williams gets a free pass (regarding his behavior and some of the things he says), but for whatever reason I just can’t jump on him about this Haiti remark. Sure it was a dumb thing to say and he apologized for it, but let’s not forget a couple things. First, he didn’t bring up Haiti, the reporter did. Second, these coaches do a ton of interviews and a ton of talking. They’re bound to say something wrong from time to time. I say at least five dumb things a day and I’m often just talking to myself.

No 10 – MIAMI
Looking at the stats, just the stats, the Hurricanes are not an awful team. They’re a decent 7th in scoring in the ACC, sixth in defense. They’re third in field goal percentage (great) and 6th in field goal percentage defense (not bad). They’re 3rd in three-point percentage (great), 6th defending the three (not bad). They’re actually 1st in three pointers made and a decent 7th in rebounding. They’re fifth in assists and 7th in assist-to-turnover ratio. Again, not bad. So why are they so bad?

It’s free throws, stupid. They’re dead last in the conference. In their eight-point loss to Clemson this weekend, Miami was a pathetic 7-17 from the line. Clemson was 25-31. For the season, they are only hitting 65% and that doesn’t include all the front ends of one-and-0ne’s.

You had to at least admit for awhile, they were battling. The Eagles were 2-4 over a three-week stretch. However, they lost those four games by a total of only 15 points. All that ended when they were whipped by Florida State this weekend by 15.

Could Sidney Lowe lose his job if the Wolfpack finish last? The fact is, the man was stud player, but he has failed to produce anything as a coach. Prior to coaching at NC State, Lowe coached two teams in the NBA. His record was less than impressive.

"He coached a total of 307 NBA games, he had a career record of 79 wins and 228 losses—a winning percentage of .209."

Of course if he was Lane Kiffin in football right now, he’d be getting hired at USC after this season.