It’s been a windy road with many scheduling changes, pauses and missing games, but the ACC regular season is over, and with that come our end of season power rankings. This is how the rankings shake out heading into the ACC Tournament starting Tuesday.
1. Florida State (15-5)
The Seminoles are were red hot a while, annihilating everyone in their path, including UVA by 20+, but then they came down to earth by losing two of the last three games. The entire body of work keeps the ‘Noles in the top spot. They have the ability to make a deep run in the conference tournament and in the Big Dance.
2. Virginia (17-6)
Virginia played extremely well all season and that warrants the 2 spot in the power rankings. They are limping a little bit after getting dropped by NCST and Duke, but they held serve in their final two games and head in to the conference tournament as one of the top dogs.
3. Virginia Tech (15-5)
We haven’t seen much of the Hokies in the second half of the season, but their entire body of work keeps them in the No. 3 spot for the final rankings of the year. They can beat anyone on any night but they can drop a game to a lesser opponent just as easily.
4. Georgia Tech (15-8)
There is no team that has improved more all year than the Yellow Jackets. They started the season in an ugly fashion, but closed ACC play on a six-game winning streak. This team is on the rise and ready to make some noise in the postseason.
5. Clemson (16-6)
Clemson bounced back from their mid-season rough patch, winning seven of their last nine. Taking down Georgia Tech and UNC in that time shows that the Tigers have it in them to play with anyone in March. Keep an eye on them in Greensboro.
6. North Carolina (16-9)
The Tar Heels have played good ball all season, but they have never been able to reach the high expectations that are expected of North Carolina team. They have largely been the sixth best team all season, but that’s not saying much in a down year for the ACC.
7. Louisville (13-6)
This is a ranking purely based on reputation as the Cardinals have played five games since Feb. 1. They have the talent and the ability, but have not been overly impressive. Lucky for them, the rest of the ACC hasn’t been either.
8. NC State (13-9)
It was a tough year for the Wolf Pack, mainly because the opportunity to be the top dog in the state of North Carolina was up for grabs and they couldn’t stake their claim to it. They have won their last five which puts them ahead of the Orange, but being 9-8 in a down year will leave NCST fans yearning for more.
9. Syracuse (15-8)
The year didn’t go as well as the Orange faithful would have wished, but they were able to keep it together and finish with a winning record in conference play. They closed out with two wins over good teams and are looking for more in Greensboro to get in to the Big Dance. The Orange could make things happen in Indy this year with their unique style of play that teams don’t see often, but they’ve got to win at least one, if not two, more games before that to be in the conversation.
10. Duke (11-11)
The Blue Devils have been downright disappointing this season. It’s most likely a fluke, but it still needs to be pointed out that a team filled with McDonald’s All-Americans played uninspired basketball for more of the season. Being in the 10 spot is largely based on the four-game win streak prior to their three-game losing streak.
11. Notre Dame (10-14)
The expectations for the Irish were low to start the season, but their were a few highlights. Winning seven conference games is nothing to sneeze at, but it still isn’t all that great when you consider the weakness of the conference overall. Mike Brey has been in South Bend for quite a while, and while I don’t think his job is in jeopardy, his seat has to be getting warm.
12. Pittsburgh (10-11)
Pitt is only in the 12 spot because the three teams beneath them can’t be justified out of the bottom 3 in the conference. The team that finished the season for Jeff Capel doesn’t even remotely resemble the team that was on fire to start January. At one point the Panthers were ranked number 4 in the power rankings but since then they have sunk like a stone. With the losses of Xavier Johnson and Au’Diese Toney to transfer, and the likely departure of Justin Champagnie to the NBA, the future for the Panthers is bleak.
13. Miami (8-16)
Miami has had a very tough season with COVID-19 and injury issues. They are well coached and will bounce back, young kids love being in South Beach and Jim Larranega will have his team ready to play next season.
14. Wake Forest (6-15)
Wake took major steps forward in their rebuild this year, winning more games than anyone expected. They are about three years away from challenging the league, but it is impressive what they did with this roster in such a short amount of time.
15. Boston College (4-15)
The Eagles managed to scrape together two ACC wins this season, which can be considered a small miracle. Boston College will be looking for a new coach this off season with hopes of bringing in some new blood to change the trajectory of this program. It’s been bad for too long in Chestnut Hill.