By Mychal Hunter
What can I say? Sometimes I feel like I know what to expect in this conference but the last couple of weeks have been fucking bonkers. I really should have known, Wake should have been in that 14 slot last week instead of NC State, who blew up my rankings with a 2-0 week against Duke and Clemson. Home court matters in the ACC people, I have said it all season. That said, fucking Yurtseven going for 29…
Tune in on Sunday for the week in review and hear my thoughts (probably at length) because I don’t have time to get them down here right now. This list took last night (before the game) and had to be revised this morning which led to more questions than answers. In the end, always go with your gut.
This shit gets a little sketchy at #5. I actually thought about putting this weeks rankings into tiers but that is kind of a pussy thing to do, so I am going to put some numbers next to some teams and see what happens.
Here we go…
- Virginia 15-1 (4-0): So of course, the week I say Duke will probably be #1 wire to wire, they lose to NC State. No such let down for the Wahoos, logging a 2-0 week with wins over North Carolina and Syracuse. Kyle Guy is looking like a dark horse player of the year candidate in the conference and now that the Cavs have established some secondary scorers (Jerome and Hunter) they are really rolling. They take their crack at the Pack on Sunday in what is shaping up to be a very interesting match-up of styles.
- Duke 14-2 (2-2): That defense, or lack thereof, really jumped up to bite the Blue Devils this past week, surrendering 96 points to NC State in Raleigh last weekend. They did turn around to give up a season low 52 to Pitt on the road but that is also a Pitt team that is 320th in the country in points per game. They get Wake at home this weekend before heading to Coral Gables on Monday. Both teams have a bunch of offensive talent but aren’t playing well at the moment. It will be interesting to see how those games play out.
- UNC 13-4 (2-2): The Heels dropped a game to UVA last weekend when the Cavs front line really exposed UNC’s front court. Now, the UNC big men rebounded well, which they have done consistently but as far as offensive production, they aren’t that great outside of Maye, who had an off game. A blistering ass whooping handed to Boston College during the mid week slate is enough for me to make them this weeks place holder at #3. The Heels travel to South Bend and get Clemson at home this week in two games they should probably win. I like how they match up with Clemson interestingly enough and they have the personnel to stop both Reed and Grantham.
- Clemson 14-2 (3-1): A one point loss to an undervalued (by me and everyone else) NC State team on the road is not the end of the world but if they follow that up with an 0-2 week here against Miami at home and @UNC, I am going to have concerns where as I just recently had a pretty rosy disposition in regards to this team. If they manage to go 2-0 this week I will be all in on this team. As mentioned above I think UNC matches up well against what the Tigers try to do on offense so stay tuned for what could be an interesting week for Brownell’s boys.
- Miami 13-2 (2-1): Do I like this pick? Nope. Am I confident that they won’t go 0-2 this week @Clemson and at home against Duke? Nope. But I cannot put Louisville here, I just said on the podcast last week I was selling the Cardinals and re-iterated yesterday I don’t think they are a tournament team, so here we are with the Hurricanes after a 1-1 week that saw them lose in Atlanta and beat FSU in Coral Gables. Lonnie Walker IV has been greatly disappointing and Bruce Brown has become “a nice player” after a ton of off season prick sucking by every talking head and independent I know and read. In the event anyone shows up to help Dewan Huell, Miami typically wins. We will see what happens.
- Louisville 12-4 (2-1): The Cardinals aren’t that good right? Does anyone else see this? Am I fucking looney toons? Louisville follows up a tough week on the road with an interesting match-up with the Hokies tomorrow. I don’t even dare make a prediction now, I have to look at some numbers. My early intuition is that Louisville goes 2-0 this week (they also get Notre Dame) and make a case for the top 4 which I will stubbornly struggle with in next weeks rankings.
- Florida State 12-4 (1-3): #vindicated. Whatever else goes wrong for my predictions this year, I find solace in the fact that Leonard Hamilton never had me fooled. I said on Sunday’s podcast that FSU was a solid “hold” for me and I still needed to see more before I was buying. They responded with a 0-2 week, including a loss to Louisville at home where they blew a 15 point halftime lead. This week they get Syracuse and BC so they should get back to .500 in the league but if Phil Cofer and CJ Walker continue to struggle this team is one that I can see getting into the tournament as a 6 and getting ousted by an 11. By the way, anyone see that MJ Walker dunk? Told ya. I’ll put it at the bottom.
- Georgia Tech 9-7 (2-1): Fuck you guys, who would you rather have me put here? Virginia Tech? After a win over Pitt and a “Eh” game against Wake? The Hokies made me look stupid recently, fuck em. The Jackets get a much needed 2-0 week, taking care of Yale to wrap up the OOC and getting a valuable ACC win over ND. The defense looks better, Curt Gone Bad is back and drilled his first triple the other night against Notre Dame while logging 20 solid minutes (especially defensively). Alvarado is quickly turning into one of the most entertaining point guards in the conference and Ben Lammers is quietly having another really nice season. The Pitt game is a must win for this team before hosting Virginia. Tech has 4 wins in McCamish against ACC teams ranked in the top 15 in the last 18 months, I am not saying, I am just saying.
- VPI 13-4 (2-2): They move up one spot. That’s all they get from me this week after beating Pitt and Wake. They looked really good against the Demon Deacons and if they continue on that trajectory they will climb these rankings quickly but I am still on the fence about trusting them. I just finished up crying in the shower after they hurt me the first time. A 2-0 week against Louisville and FSU would go a long way towards repairing my damaged pride. Because, lets be real, at the end of the day it is really all about me.
- Notre Dame 13-4 (3-1): I know, I KNOW! They are 3-1, what the fuck right? Honestly, they looked really bad against Syracuse, they were incredibly lucky that the Orange just forgot how to score in that game. They weren’t impressive against GT in Atlanta either. I cannot in good conscious keep this team near the top when they are missing this amount of talent. If Farrell returns this weekend and they find a way to beat UNC, they will climb, right after I get done slamming my head in the drawer.
- NC State 12-5 (2-2): This is me being stubborn. Should they be higher? Maybe. But they just lost to the team above them by 30, after the injuries. This team has the opportunity to make a believer out of me this week if they can somehow get a W in John Paul Jones. I am going to go on record right now and say there is no fucking way that is going to happen. But it might if they can get out and run and Omer Yurtseven turns back into Dirk Nowitzki.
- Syracuse 12-5 (1-3): I am not sure what to think of this team right now. They were able to play with UVA for a half thanks to Frank Howard’s hot hand but they can’t just be the Frank and Tyus show. They need to at least get their inside players some touches but lately it has been a lot of ill advised perimeter shots. They have a tough game this week with FSU in Tallahassee but also get Pitt at home. A 2-0 is going to be tough but they have the talent, especially if Brissett can snap out of his funk.
- Boston College 11-6 (2-3): The shine from that Duke loss is fading fast as the Eagles have now lost 3 of 4 including a 30 point whooping at the hands of UNC this past week. When it comes down to it Jim Christian just doesn’t have the horses in the front court to stay with some of these teams in the conference. The Tar Heels blistered them on the glass to the tune of a 31 rebound margin and were also able to snag 20 offensive rebounds. The three point shooting is still there but it is difficult to offset those deficiencies regardless of how you shoot.
- Wake Forest 8-8 (1-3): What can I say about this team that I haven’t already said? A lot of talent on paper but it just isn’t translating on to the court. Bryant Crawford is their only consistent option and even he is having a down year compared to what he did last year and what the expectations were. Doral Moore looks leaps and bounds better than his first two seasons but is still prone to foul trouble and is shooting a piss poor 45% from the free throw line. Wake is really solidifying itself as the most disappointing team in the conference this season and it is not going to get any easier as they are on the road this week at both Duke and NC State. It might be a long two months for Deac’s fans.
- Pitt 8-9 (0-4): The Panthers are only team in the conference without an ACC win and the only team with a losing record right now. They were just embarrassed at home by Duke and also just found out that senior forward Ryan Luther is lost for the season after seeing zero improvement with the stress fracture in his foot over the last month of rest. Whether he will be back or not next season is not clear but one thing is for sure, Pitt fans would rather not see Kevin Stallings return after that Duke ass kicking the other night. The Panthers are probably walking mostly on their front legs the last couple days. The bad news for Pitt fans is he is going to get at LEAST one more season. I am unable to find any buyout information but this early in a 6 year deal it has to be really high.
That MJ Walker flush:
Don’t forget to join me Sunday for a new podcast episode. Enjoy the huge slate of games tomorrow!