Conference Stock Report

This week the league places five teams in the RPI top-25. Duke claims the top spot, with Clemson and UNC hitting the top-10. Oddly, the hottest team in the country, Wake Forest is only eleventh this week. The Demon Deacons, however, are the nation's hottest team and a lock to claim the top spot in the human polls, as the only undefeated team in the country.


Wake Forest (16-0, 3-0): "We've always played with a big heart this year," Gaudio said after beating formerly unbeaten Clemson. "That was a terrific win." Thus ended another big week for the Deacs. It started with a big win over UNC, followed by a demolition of Boston College. It is expected they will head into this week as the #1 team in the nation. This is a slow week with just one game, home against Virginia Tech on Wednesday.

Duke (16-1, 3-0): Quietly, it seems, Duke has emerged as one of the top teams in the nation. They crushed Georgia Tech on Wednesday and then followed that up with a statement victory over 13th ranked Georgetown. The Blue Devils now sit atop the latest RPI rankings and should get votes for #1 in the human polls. This week is a bit a break with NC State and Maryland at home.

North Carolina (16-2, 6-2): It looks like the Tar Heels are finding their groove again. After a tough lose to Wake, they went on the road and crushed Virginia. Then they finished the week with a big win over Miami at home. That theory will be tested this week when they host Clemson on Wednesday and then travel to Florida State for what should be a national TV game.

Virginia Tech (12-5, 2-1): On paper, the home win over Boston College may not look important. But, according to Coach Seth Greenberg it was a critical turning point. In the long run, it may be an important win. The Hokies are not an upper echelon team in the league, but they could be in the mix for a tournament bid. That means beating the other bubble teams and beating the bad teams at home. Things get tough this week as they go on the road to face Wake Forest and Miami.


Clemson (16-1, 2-1): The big question with this team is if they have the staying power to live up to expectations. The last two years, they have shot out of the gate with a string of victories, only to fade once they got into conference play. Their big test was at home this week against Wake Forest and they flunked. "I don't know what people should think, but I think we're a pretty good team that didn't play great against a very good team," Clemson coach Oliver Purnell said after the loss. We'll find out on Wednesday when they travel to North Carolina.

Boston College (13-6, 1-3): No team in the league is struggling as much as the Eagles right now. They were hammered at home by Wake Forest and finished up the week with a tough loss on the road to the Hokies. Right now, this is a team searching for an identity. They get a chance to rebound with a road game at Georgia Tech on Wednesday and then a must win home game against NC State on Saturday.

Virginia (7-7, 1-2): The wheels continue to come off the cart for Virginia. They were crushed by UNC and are arguably the league's worst team right now. "They were real good. We were not as good. That's the story of the game, "said Virginia coach Dave Leitao after the game. They get a rare chance for a victory when they visit Maryland this Tuesday. After that it is a tough home game against surging Florida State.

Georgia Tech (9-8, 0-4): They have started the season 0-and-3 for the second straight season and now stand at 0-and-4. The good news is they received a verbal from the nation's number one prospect, Derrick Favors. The all-everything center rounds out what may be the best recruiting class in the conference.

Maryland (12-5, 1-2): Another rough week for Gary Williams and the Terps. They spent the week in Florida first blowing a 17-point lead to Miami, then dropping another heartbreaker to Florida State. The Terps remain a bubble team at this point. With an RPI of 83, they need to put together some conference victories in a hurry. They get a show on Tuesday when they host Virginia. Then things get tough when they travel to Duke on Saturday.


Miami (13-4, 2-2): It was a mixed bag for the Hurricanes. They managed to beat Maryland at home, but had to rally from a 17-point second half deficit. They needed a last second three to win it. The week ended with a 17-point drubbing at North Carolina. ''We just got to move forward,'' (Coach) Frank Haith said after the loss. ``One loss can't end the season. I sure hope that wouldn't do that to our program. ``We got a big one Wednesday against Florida State. We just got to go to work.''

NC State (10-5, 1-2): It was a mixed week for the Wolfpack. They got a much needed win over struggling Georgia Tech, but the home loss to Florida State to start the week hurt. For a team that could possibly have a shot at a tournament bid, that loss could loom large. This week could make or break their season. They start with a trip to Duke and finish the week at BC, for what may be must win game for both teams.

Florida State (15-3, 2-1): Leonard Hamilton has quietly put together a solid team at Florida State. They started the week with a big win at NC State then finished the week off with a huge win at home over Maryland. The big test comes this week when they face rival Miami on Wednesday. Another strong week and they will surely get into the top-25 in the human polls. With their strong RPI, they are on their way to building a solid tournament resume.

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