With the start of ACC play, Keeping It Heel is releasing its first edition of the ACC Power Rankings for 2014. For now, we focused on non-conference records and wins, but as we go deeper into ACC play, the rankings will reflect those games more. Let us know in the comments if you think a team was ranked too high or too low!
Tier 1- Contenders
# 2 Syracuse (14-0)
The Orange are looking strong and headline the ACC so far. They have some marque wins against Villanova and Baylor and opportunities to pick up some more good wins against Carolina on the 11th and Pitt on the 18th.
Tier 2- Shooting for Regular Season Title
# 16 Duke (11-3)
Duke dropped their ACC opener against ND, but still hold a Top 20 national ranking from a strong strength of schedule and wins against Michigan and UCLA. Jabari Parker is also playing well teamed up with transfer Rodney Hood.
Pitt has quietly put together a great season so far with only one loss against Cincinnati by one point. Big matchup at Syracuse on the 18th.
Tier 3- Verdict Still Out
Nobody knows what to say about this Carolina team. They have three of the best wins in the country against Kentucky, Michigan State, and Louisville, but looked uninterested and flat in their ACC opener against Wake Forest.
Notre Dame (10-4)
Notre Dame collapsed down the stretch against Ohio State, unable to pull of an upset against a top five ranked opponent. But the Irish bounced back with a great win against Duke in their first ACC game.
Wake Forest (11-3)
With only three losses against Kansas, Tennessee and Xavier, and a marquee win against UNC, the Deacs are putting together a nice tournament resume. Head Coach Jeff Bzdelik is doing a great job, but we will learn more about them in their next two games (at UVA, at Pitt.)
NC State (10-4)
The Wolfpack started out slow, losing against NC Central in overtime, but have hit their stride lately. Cat Barber and TJ Warren are showing improvement every game, but they have lost two of their last three against Mizzou and Pitt.
Tier 4- Middle of the Pack
The Cavs have been somewhat of a disappointment early in the season, missing the mark in games against Green Bay, Wisconsin, VCU and Tennessee. Joe Harris, once considered a dark horse ACC POY candidate, has struggled, only shooting 38.8% from three and averaging 10.3 points per game.
Clemson is hanging around in the ACC, always a threat to knock off one of the ACC’s top teams at home. The Tigers will have a chance to do just that against Duke on January 11th.
Florida State (9-4)
FSU is ranked lower for dropping their ACC opener against UVA, but have accumulated some nice wins against UMass and VCU. Senior Ian Miller leads them in both points and assists so far this season.
The Terrapins didn’t put up much of a fight against Pittsburgh on January 6th, but are still 2-1 in the ACC. In their last season in the ACC, Maryland is always a threat to knock off one of the conference powerhouses.
Virginia Tech (8-5)
No real standout wins so far and were upset on December 28th by UNCG. Senior Jarell Eddie is leading the team with 17.4 points and 6.3 boards per game.
Tier 5- Bottom Feeders
Georgia Tech (9-5)
Tech’s chances in the ACC took a big hit when leading rebounder Robert Carter Jr. suffered a torn Meniscus against Charlotte. Trae Golden, senior guard, has to carry the torch for the Yellow Jackets.
Big loss of personnel from last season, and as expected, they are struggling this season. Won’t repeat as ACC tourney champs this season.
Boston College (4-11)
Big disappointment this season from the Eagles. They struggled out the gate with three straight losses and haven’t found their rhythm this season at all.