ACC

ACC power rankings: Feb. 26, 2017

UNC junior forward Justin Jackson and his teammates cheer the release of the new ACC power rankings, which have the Tar Heels No. 1.
UNC junior forward Justin Jackson and his teammates cheer the release of the new ACC power rankings, which have the Tar Heels No. 1. rwillett@newsobserver.com

Each Sunday during the ACC regular season, we'll rank the conference's teams one through 15. This isn't a ranking of the best teams, necessarily, but one more reflective of current trends and direction. Let's get to it (with special inspiration from Oscar Best Picture winners):

1. North Carolina (25-5, 13-3)

Previous: 2

Last week: W vs. Louisville 74-63; W at Pittsburgh 85-67

This week: at Virginia, Monday; vs. Duke, Saturday

Justin Jackson has become A Man for All Seasons (1966). But especially winter. And maybe spring.

2. Louisville (23-6, 11-5)

Previous: 3

Last week: L at North Carolina 74-63; W vs. Syracuse 88-68

This week: at Wake Forest, Wednesday; vs. Notre Dame, Saturday

Sure sounds like the unruly fan Rick Pitino encountered last week at the Smith Center will, to him, remain Unforgiven (1992).

3. Florida State (23-6; 11-5)

Previous: 6

Last week: W vs. Boston College 104-72; W at Clemson 76-74

This week: at Duke, Tuesday; vs. Miami, Saturday

The Seminoles' three-man Platoon (1986) of Dwayne Bacon, Xavier Rathan-Mayes and Jonathan Isaac remains as formidable as ever. (What – were you expecting a Cimarron (1930) reference?)

4. Notre Dame (22-7, 11-5)

Previous: 4

Last week: W vs. Georgia Tech 64-60

This week: vs. Boston College, Wednesday; at Louisville, Saturday

Was All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) of the ACC last week, with Notre Dame playing but one game.

5. Miami (20-8, 10-6)

Previous: 7

Last week: W at Virginia 54-48; W vs. Duke 55-50

This week: at Virginia Tech; Monday; at Florida State, Saturday

Few ACC teams in recent years have gone down On the Waterfront (1954), at Miami, and come home with a victory … just ask Duke, which lost there on Saturday.

6. Duke (22-7, 10-6)

Previous: 1

Last week: L at Syracuse 78-75; L at Miami 55-50

This week: vs. Florida State, Tuesday; at North Carolina, Saturday

Some days the Blue Devils look like the national championship favorite, others like Ordinary People (1980).

7. Virginia (19-9, 9-7)

Previous: 5

Last week: L vs. Miami 54-48 (OT); W at N.C. State 70-55

This week: vs. North Carolina, Monday; vs. Pittsburgh, Saturday

A Driving Miss Daisy (1989) joke is obvious enough here, but when Virginia's methodical system is working it can be an American Beauty (1999).

8. Syracuse (17-13, 9-8)

Previous: 8

Last week: W vs. Duke 78-75; L at Louisville 88-68

This week: vs. Georgia Tech, Saturday

A Rocky (1976) stretch, indeed, for Syracuse, which has lost four of five – but the victory against Duke went a long way toward firming up the ol' NCAA tournament resume.

9. Virginia Tech (20-8, 9-7)

Previous: 10

Last week: W vs. Clemson 71-70; W at Boston College 91-75

This week: vs. Miami, Monday; vs. Wake Forest, Saturday

Two more victories will be The Sound of Music (1965) for the Hokies – and also the sound of an NCAA tournament bid (whatever that might sound like).

10. Wake Forest (16-12, 7-9)

Previous: 11

Last week: W vs. Pittsburgh 63-59

This week: vs. Louisville, Wednesday; at Virginia Tech, Saturday

John Collins is the The Artist (2011) of the interior in the ACC – a double-double machine who is having as good of a season as just about anyone in the country.

11. Georgia Tech (16-13, 7-9)

Previous: 9

Last week: L vs. N.C. State 71-69; L at Notre Dame 64-60

This week: vs. Pittsburgh, Tuesday; at Syracuse, Saturday

A late-season Crash (2005) has taken some of the luster of what Josh Pastner has accomplished in his first season at Georgia Tech … but the Yellow Jackets' slim NCAA tournament hopes remain.

12. Clemson (14-14, 4-12)

Previous: 12

Last week: L at Virginia Tech 71-70; L vs. Florida State 76-74

This week: vs. N.C. State, Wednesday; vs. Boston College, Saturday

This was The Lost Weekend (1945) for Clemson, and even with two highly winnable games this week its NCAA tournament chances are The Departed (2006).

13. Pittsburgh (15-14, 4-12)

Previous: 13

Last week: L at Wake Forest 63-59; L vs. North Carolina 85-67

This week: at Georgia Tech, Tuesday; at Virginia, Saturday

Seniors Jamel Artis and Michael Young are two of the ACC's best players, and scorers, but it's been a long, long season for them – talk about No Country for Old Men (2007).

14. N.C. State (15-15, 4-13)

Previous: 15

Last week: W at Georgia Tech 71-69; L vs. Virginia 70-55

This week: at Clemson, Wednesday

All those high hopes for the Wolfpack, Gone With the Wind (1939), and now the Spotlight (2015) is on the Wolfpack's coaching search and pursuit of A Beautiful Mind (2001).

15. Boston College (9-20, 2-14)

Previous: 14

Last week: L at Florida State 104-72; L vs. Virginia Tech 91-75

This week: at Notre Dame, Wednesday; at Clemson, Saturday

It Happened One Night (1934): Boston College won an ACC game. But that was a good while ago now, before this 12-game losing streak.

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