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ACC men's basketball power rankings: Miami ties Duke atop rankings after upset win

Miami's 76-74 win at Duke helped force a tie atop this week's rankings.
Miami's 76-74 win at Duke helped force a tie atop this week's rankings.

With conference play in full swing and another full week of excitement ahead, our beats are here with another installment of The Chronicle's Power Rankings of each team vying for the ACC crown:

T-1. Duke

Previous ranking: 1 // Average ranking: 1.6

Duke looked like the worst version of itself Saturday against Miami, the hottest team in the ACC, and also didn’t look great in the win against Georgia Tech (0-4 in the ACC) earlier in the week. Still, it was a few seconds from going 2-0 this week, so tying for No. 1 is fitting. However, the Blue Devils are No. 8 in the nation and should arguably be the clear-cut best ACC team by a decent margin; the only thing standing between that and Duke is Duke. In conference play, the team is averaging nearly four more turnovers and shooting nearly four percentage points worse than it did in nonconference games. If the Blue Devils can play to their potential, the ACC is theirs for the taking. -Sasha Richie

T-1. Miami

Previous ranking: 4 // Average ranking: 1.6

The Hurricanes are for real. Thanks to the trifecta of Isaiah Wong, Kameron McGusty and Charlie Moore, Miami barged into Cameron Indoor Stadium and knocked off Duke with some heroics down the stretch. Surprisingly, the Hurricanes are only 82nd nationally according to KenPom, but a nine-game win streak is a nine-game win streak. One thing to monitor is Miami's lack of a consistent paint presence, but the Hurricanes deserve this ranking. Next up is an in-state battle with Florida State Tuesday night. -Max Rego

3. Louisville

Previous ranking: 3 // Average ranking: 4.0

Even after Florida State handed the Cardinals their first ACC loss 79-70 Saturday, this year’s Louisville team has done enough in January to remain firmly among the conference’s best for at least another week. Prior to the loss, the Cardinals snuck past Georgia Tech and Pittsburgh, needing a big night off of the bench from junior guard El Ellis (team-high 18 points) to top the Panthers 75-72. Head coach Chris Mack very well may have something in Ellis, a Durham native and junior college transfer whose role should continue to expand after he buoyed the offense with 14 points in 23 minutes against the Seminoles. Louisville gets a chance to return to the win column this week with a home matchup against N.C. State before hitting the road for a rematch against Pittsburgh. -Jonathan Levitan

4. North Carolina

Previous ranking: 2 // Average ranking: 4.3

The Tar Heels grabbed a 26-point win against Boston College, then headed over to Notre Dame to lose in a great battle despite a 21-point, 17-rebound outing from Armando Bacot. Hubert Davis’ squad didn’t let the loss get in the way of its mission, promptly returning home to the tune of a 16-point win against Virginia with an even more impressive 29-point, 21-rebound show from Bacot. The supporting cast of Caleb Love, RJ Davis and Brady Manek has also stepped up as of late, meaning the Tar Heels are again looking like the threat we all expected them to be as they tear up teams in ACC play. However, the occasional loss, like the most recent one against Notre Dame, is enough to sink them in our latest rankings and diminish the possibility that they squeak back into the top 25 in the near future. -Micah Hurewitz

5. Wake Forest

Previous ranking: 5 // Average ranking: 4.8

Wake Forest’s January didn’t get off to a great start with a New Year’s Day loss to streaking Miami, but wins against Florida State and Syracuse in the days since have done enough to keep the Demon Deacons in the top five once again. Oklahoma transfer Alondes Williams gets a great deal of the credit for Wake Forest’s sudden rise—and deservedly so—but junior forward Jake LaRavia has proven himself to be a worthy second option, averaging 14.9 points and ranking second in the conference with a 59.7% field goal percentage thus far. Only he and Williams played all 45 minutes Saturday in Wake Forest’s gutsy 77-74 overtime win against the Orange. The schedule gets tougher for the Demon Deacons this week with a home matchup against Duke and a road bout against Virginia. -Levitan

Complete rankings:

T-1. Duke (PR: 1 // AR: 1.6)

T-1. Miami (PR: 4 // AR: 1.6)

3. Louisville (PR: 3 // AR: 4.0)

4. North Carolina (PR: 4 // AR: 4.3)

5. Wake Forest (PR: 5 // AR: 4.8)

6. Clemson (PR: 7 // AR: 6.8)

7. Notre Dame (PR: 11 // AR: 7.1)

8. Florida State (PR: 9 // AR: 8.5)

9. Virginia (PR: 10 // AR: 9.3)

10. Virginia Tech (PR: 6 // AR: 9.6)

11. Syracuse (PR: 8 // AR: 10.1)

12. N.C. State (PR: 12 // AR: 11.1)

13. Georgia Tech (PR: 13 // AR: 13.1)

14. Boston College (PR: 14 // AR: 13.6)

15. Pittsburgh (PR: 15 // AR: 14.5)

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

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