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Men's Basketball: Race for the ACC

Each week The Chronicle will take a look at the ACC Men's Basketball standings and update you on who is in position to win the Atlantic Coast Conference regular season crown. Here is the ACC standings as of today:

1. Miami (18-3, 9-0); 2. Duke (19-2, 6-2); 3. North Carolina (16-6, 6-3); 4. Virginia (15-6, 5-3); 5. North Carolina State (16-6, 5-4); 6. Florida State (13-9, 5-4); 7. Maryland (16-6, 4-5); 8. Clemson (12-9, 4-5); 9. Wake Forest (10-12, 3-7); 10. Virginia Tech (11-10, 2-6); 11. Georgia Tech (12-9, 2-7); 12. Boston College (10-12, 2-7).

Is N.C. State done?

The preseason favorites to win the ACC now look as if they have no chance to take home the regular season crown. The Wolfpack fell out of the AP top-25 this week for the first time all season after dropping four of their last six games. Even though N.C. State has now lost four conference games, they lost those four games by a total of seven points. Unfortunately however, the margin of loss has no bearing on who wins the ACC title. With starting point guard Lorenzo Brown ailing and a date with the Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium on tap, the Wolfpack could be staring at a .500 conference record, all but eliminating any chance of finishing the regular season on top.

Is North Carolina still alive?

The simple answer is no. The Tar Heels are currently third in the ACC despite being out of the public eye and the AP top-25 for quite some time. Perhaps the record is so pretty because North Carolina still has yet to play most of the ACC's best teams. The upcoming schedule includes road dates with No. 8 Miami and No. 4 Duke their next two games, with home games against N.C. State and Duke to come later this year. The Tar Heels are definitely improving as a team and could find themselves in the tournament come March, but they aren't legitimate contenders for the ACC crown right now.

Who is Virginia?

Virginia's ACC record is puzzling. The fact that they are 5-3 in conference isn't the confusing part, it's who the Cavaliers have lost to. N.C. State, North Carolina, and Florida State have all had a shot at Virginia, but all three lost. Instead, the clubs that are responsible for the three loses are Clemson, Wake Forest and Georgia Tech—the No. 8, 9, and 11 in the ACC. With its home ACC slate almost finished and a multitude of tough road games on the horizon—including No. 8 Miami—the Cavaliers have to prove they can beat a tournament worthy foe on the road before they can be considered in the running for the ACC.

Upset Special: Wake Forest over Florida State

Yup, I'm taking Wake Forest and their four game losing streak to knock off the shell of a team that used to call itself the Seminoles. The Demon Deacons have been a completely different club at home than they have been on the road. They defeated Virginia and then-No. 18 N.C. State at the Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum, and only lost to then-No. 5 Duke by five. On the road Wake has 20+ point losses to Maryland, Georgia Tech, and North Carolina. Florida State has five conference wins, but only one by a margin greater than three—a five point victory over Clemson. The losses on the other hand have been blowouts—20 to Virginia, 24 to Miami, and 19 to Duke. Wake Forest knows how to take care of its home floor and so the Demon Deacons will defeat Florida State when the two teams meet this Saturday.


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