ACC men's basketball power rankings: Florida State leaps into tie for No. 1, Notre Dame claws its way into top five

Florida State took down Duke 79-78 in an overtime thriller Tuesday night.
Florida State took down Duke 79-78 in an overtime thriller Tuesday night.

With things getting crazier by the week in conference play, our beats are here with another installment of The Chronicle's Power Rankings of each team vying for the ACC crown:

T-1. Duke (15-3, 5-2)

Previous ranking: 1 // Average ranking: 1.5

This is a classic debate over the exact meaning of “power rankings.” There’s no doubt over which team was the most impressive in the ACC over the last week—it was Florida State, which beat both the No. 1 and No. 3 teams on this list. But I opted to place Duke above the Seminoles at the top spot in my power rankings for one simple reason: body of work. Even with their recent losses to Miami and Florida State, the Blue Devils have proved—particularly with their win against Gonzaga and other dominant showings during ACC play—that they are the cream of the crop in the conference. Could my opinion change if Duke takes another bad loss? Yes. But for now, the Blue Devils stay at No. 1 in my book. -Evan Kolin

T-1. Florida State (13-5, 6-2)

Previous ranking: 4 // Average ranking: 1.5

I do not care that Florida State took a couple of bad losses at the start of the season. I do not care that Duke will probably out-perform the Seminoles by the end of the season. This team should be No. 1 right now, because there is no way you can argue with its recent resume. The Seminoles beat a top-10 team in the nation and twice beat Miami, a top-three team in the conference that I might remind you handed Duke its sole home loss. With that resume, it should be clear that Florida State is legit and, as it stands, should be the one to beat in the ACC. They may not have any particular star, but the Seminoles are a cohesive unit that can get it done against great programs. Watch out for the team from Tallahassee. -Sasha Richie

3. Miami (14-5, 6-2)

Previous ranking: T-2 // Average ranking: 3.0

Tuesday night’s game in Miami was something to behold, with the Hurricanes wiping the floor with their North Carolina counterparts in a 85-57 runaway win. But for as exciting as that win was and as clear a message as it may have sent to the rest of the conference, Miami may have found its kryptonite across the Sunshine State. In two ACC losses thus far, the Hurricanes have lost by a combined two points to Florida State, a program which has topped Miami nine times straight after Saturday’s 61-60 win. Head coach Jim Larrañaga’s squad looked to be at its worst against the Seminoles before roaring back from a 43-19 halftime deficit, but the comeback fell just short, proving that for as far as these Hurricanes have come and as much respect as they deserve, they still have some work to do if they hope to unseat the Seminoles as Florida’s best ACC team. -Jonathan Levitan

4. Wake Forest (16-4, 6-3)

Previous ranking: 5 // Average ranking: 4.1

After dismantling ACC bottom-feeder Georgia Tech Wednesday, the Demon Deacons welcomed the Tar Heels to the tune of a 22-point romping. The duo of transfers Alondes Williams and Jake LaRavia have Wake Forest cooking as they combined for a monster 54-point, 16-rebound show against the in-state rivals. Whether it’s just a hot stretch or these guys are for real is a question I still don’t have a definitive answer to, but the fact that their only conference losses were to Louisville and Miami on the road and a Duke team playing with a vengeance surely says something about where head coach Steve Forbes’ team stands right now. They might be here to stay. -Micah Hurewitz

5. Notre Dame (12-6, 5-2)

Previous ranking: 6 // Average ranking: 5.0

Well hello there, Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish have quietly put together an attractive 5-2 conference record and have only lost one game in the new year. They got some help vaulting up the rankings with this chaotic past week, but this squad can play (see its wins against Kentucky and North Carolina). Notre Dame still has to get through the tougher part of its ACC schedule in Duke, Miami and Florida State, but when you are averaging a conference-high 9.5 made 3-pointers per game with a roster that boasts this much experience, I’ll put you in my top five any day. -Jake Piazza

Complete rankings:

T-1. Duke (PR: 1 // AR: 1.5)

T-1. Florida State (PR: 4 // AR: 1.5)

3. Miami (PR: T-2 // AR: 3.0)

4. Wake Forest (PR: 5 // AR: 4.1)

5. Notre Dame (PR: 6 // AR: 5.0)

6. North Carolina (PR: T-2 // AR: 6.1)

7. Louisville (PR: 7 // AR: 7.8)

8. Virginia (PR: 8 // AR: 9.0)

9. Syracuse (PR: 9 // AR: 9.6)

10. N.C. State (PR: 11 // AR: 9.8)

11. Clemson (PR: 10 // AR: 9.9)

12. Virginia Tech (PR: 12 // AR: 12.0)

13. Boston College (PR: 13 // AR: 12.1)

14. Georgia Tech (PR: 14 // AR: 14.0)

15. Pittsburgh (PR: 15 // AR: 14.6)

Take a look at last week's Power Rankings here.


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