Another week down, another installment of The ACC in the Top 25. This conference, even when weak compared to tradition, never ceases to excite and amaze. Week 10 sees two teams on the rise, one team on the fall, one reentering the rankings and one that has me thoroughly confused. Let’s journey together!
#8 VIRGINIA 10-2 (6-0)
LAST WEEK: #13 (PPD vs NCST, 64-62 Win vs GT)
THIS WEEK: vs CUSE 1/25, @ #20 VT
Riding the wave of a six-game winning streak to start conference play, the ‘Hoos benefit from poor weeks by the teams in front of them and landing at #8 this week. An underrated, or under-covered, Georgia Tech team gave UVA a scare in Charlottesville on Saturday but the team must move forward quickly as a hot Syracuse team comes to the JPJ tonight. Fresh off an 18-point beat down of Virginia Tech, the Orangemen look to ride the momentum and hand Tony Bennett and Co. their first conference loss. Things don’t get easier for Virginia as they travel to Blacksburg Saturday for a tilt against in-state rival VT, minus Tyrece Radford (more info below).
#16 FLORIDA STATE 11-3 (5-1)
LAST WEEK: UR (78-65 Win @ LOUISVILLE, 80-61 Win vs #20 CLEM
THIS WEEK: vs MIAMI 1/27, @ GT 1/30
The return of Scottie Barnes has surely been a lift for Leonard Hamilton’s crew. Since his return, the Seminoles are undefeated and looking like a great threat on the national level. The way the Noles are playing right now would lead me to pay any amount of money to watch them take on Gonzaga as they seem to be the only team that can match size, skill and depth with the Zags. Look for a good test from Georgia Tech on Saturday. If they handle Miami and GT the way they have recent teams, they must be inserted into the National Championship conversation.
#20 VIRGINIA TECH 11-3 (5-1)
LAST WEEK: #16 (vs BC PPD, 78-60 Loss @ CUSE)
THIS WEEK: @ ND 1/27, vs #8 UVA 1/30
When it rains it pours, doesn’t it? The Hokies lost their only game last week in an emphatic fashion, leaving fans scratching their head. “But wait, there’s more!” No, this isn’t a late night product commercial but another loss for the Hokies. The team announced this morning that Sophomore guard Tyrece Radford has been suspended indefinitely. Radford ranks 1st on the squad in games played and minutes played while ranking 2nd in points and rebounds per game. This undoubtedly changes things for Mike Young at an inopportune time given a trip to South Bend and a hosting of the #8 ranked Cavaliers this week. As they say, however, “Next man up!”
#25 LOUISVILLE 10-3 (5-2)
LAST WEEK: UR (75-65 Loss vs FSU, 70-65 Win vs DUKE)
THIS WEEK: @ CLEM 1/27, vs BC PPD
I’m not sure that a following a loss to Miami with a loss to Florida State and a win against Duke warrants a jump into the Top 25, but with all the casualties ahead of them last week I can see how the Cardinals landed here. They don’t have a marquee matchup this week as BC has postponed to due COVID and Clemson has fallen off the face of the Earth, but that shouldn’t hurt their ranking, either. Clemson coming to town is a trap game, for sure, but Chris Mack should be able to handle them. Their time atop the ACC standings was short-lived but, when at their best, Louisville can play with any team
CLEMSON (8 VOTES)
I typically pay no mind to teams that drop out in these weekly articles, but what has happened to the Tigers? Since being deemed the best defensive team in the ACC the boys from Clemson have offered up three losses by an average of 24 points while allowing an average of 82.7 PPG. Brad Brownell’s squad was never going to light a scoreboard up this year, and he accepted that publicly. However, averaging 58.7 PPG recently is a feat not even he can explain away. The lack of good guard play and size looms large for the Tigers as they enter the meat of their schedule with consecutive games against Duke, UNC, Syracuse, Georgia Tech, Notre Dame and Pitt. One positive here, though, is that in trying to figure out what’s wrong with Clemson I have discovered that Aamir Simms looks like Deshaun Watson – so there’s that, I guess?
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