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Race for the ACC: Men's baksetball

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 are the ACC standings as of today:

1. Miami (23-5, 14-2); 2. Duke (26-4, 13-4); 3. North Carolina (21-8, 11-5); 4. North Carolina State (21-8, 10-6); 5. Virginia (20-9, 10-6); 6. Maryland (20-9, 8-8); 7. Florida State (15-14, 7-9); 8. Boston College (14-16, 6-11); 9. Georgia Tech (15-13, 5-11); 10. Wake Forest (12-16, 5-11); 11.  Clemson (13-16, 5-12); 12. Virginia Tech (13-17, 4-13).

How far can North Carolina's momentum carry them?

The Tar Heels are just one game in the loss column behind Duke, and coincidentally have the Blue Devils on the schedule to close out the regular season. North Carolina has been rolling ever since losing at Cameron Indoor Stadium last month, rattling off five straight victories—including a 21-point massacre of Florida State their last time on the floor. So just how far can the Tar Heels ride this wave of momentum? A victory at home against Duke is surely a possibility, as is a deep run in the ACC tournament. What looked like a fringe NCAA tournament team now looks like one that can make some noise in March. All eyes should be on streaking North Carolina when they host the Blue Devils on Saturday. The good news for Duke, though, is that it has locked up the No. 2 seed for the ACC tournament.

Will Virginia hold on to a tournament berth?

The Cavaliers seemed to have locked up a tournament berth after disposing of Duke at home last week, but followed up their signature win with a loss at Boston College. Now, Virginia needs to find a way to brush off the loss and regain momentum before the ACC tournament. Left on the schedule are a trip to Tallahassee to visit Florida State and a home game against Maryland—a team fighting desperately to earn a tournament berth in their own right. Joe Harris and the rest of the Cavaliers need to get back on the horse and finish the season strong to make sure they'll be dancing later this month.

Who will finish in last?

After looking good for stretches of the season, Clemson has dropped eight of its last nine games and now sees itself in serious danger of falling past Virginia Tech and into last place. The Tigers' only remaining game will come against No. 6 Miami in Coral Gables this weekend. Virginia Tech on the other hand, will be facing a much easier opponent in Wake Forest, though that too is a road game. If the nation's leading scorer, Erick Green, can produce a victory for his team in Winston-Salem, then Clemson will in all likelihood be owner of the ACC's worst record.

Upset Special: Florida State over Virginia

Florida State has been a massive disappointment this season, but they can still play an integral role in March by knocking off the Cavaliers and hurting their tournament standing. Senior guard Michael Snaer is playing his last week at home in front of his fans and will want to put on a show. Virginia, meanwhile, just lost a road game to Boston College, an inferior team to Florida State, and could still be suffering from its post-Duke hangover. This game means more to the Cavaliers in the grand scheme of things, but winning at home and rewarding the fans after a rough season is motivation enough for the Seminoles.

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