Conference Stock Report

This week the league places five teams in the RPI top-25. Duke remains in the top spot in the RPI. The past week also saw Virginia Tech come back to earth and the continued dominance of North Carolina. Of local interest, Boston College continues to roll, perhaps on their way to a post-season bid.

Buy

Duke (19-2, 6-1): The stay at number one was short, but the fall was equally short. The Blue Devils lost at Wake last week, but only dropped a few spots in the polls. They bounced back with a drubbing of Virginia on Sunday. That still leaves them as number one in the RPI. They get a chance to build on their resume with a trip to Clemson on Wednesday. They finish the week hosting Miami.

North Carolina (19-2, 5-2): Quietly, the Tar Heels have rattled off five straight wins and climbed back into the top-5 of the polls. They may also be the favorite to win the conference. UNC is averaging 85.6 points per conference game. That's seven better than the next closest, Wake Forest. Those numbers will surely improve as they host Maryland tonight and then get hapless Virginia on Saturday.

Boston College (17-6, 5-3): After staggering through a four game losing streak, it appears the Eagles have regained their footing. The win at Maryland was big, as the Terps were hungry and they are usually tough at home. Getting that one will count for a lot come tournament time. Following that up with a big win over streaking Virginia Tech put the Eagles into the top-half of the conference and closer to locking up a tournament bid.

Georgia Tech (10-10, 1-6): Given the dismal season, this may be the best week for them all year. They pulled the biggest upset of the season by beating Wake Forest at home on Saturday. That could be their final win of the season . They have five of nine on the road. Their home game this weekend against Maryland may be their best shot for another conference win.

Sell

Virginia (7-10, 1-5): There's not much joy in Hooville, as Virginia is fighting to stay out of the league basement. In their five conference losses, the margin was 13.5 points. Look a little further and you see two 20-point blowouts. Otherwise, the margin has been under seven. In other words, no one should overlook them.

NC State (11-8, 2-5): They have lost six of their last eight, including five ACC games. They go on the road for five of their final eight conference games and have yet to post a quality win. In other words, the Wolfpack has slipped from possible tournament team to a possible spoiler. Barring a miracle, they are no longer in the conversation, other than their seven games against ACC teams still in the hunt.

Virginia Tech (14-7, 4-3): It was a rough week for the Hokies. They were flying high, but were beaten home by Clemson, despite holding an 18-point lead. Then they went on the road and lost to a team they matchup with very well and beat earlier in the season. This puts the Hokies right back on the bubble as far as the tournament.

Miami (14-7, 3-5): Losing on the road in the ACC is going to happen. Losing to two fellow bubble teams – that is generous –is never good. Back-to-back losses to Maryland and NC State will do nothing to help their tournament bid. Given their RPI (48), they need six more wins to make a post-season argument. With four of eight on the road, including three top-10 teams, it is not looking good for the ‘Canes.

Hold

Wake Forest (17-2, 4-2): The hottest team in the conference has run into some trouble of late. They beat #1 Duke and then went on the road and lost to the worst team in the conference, Georgia Tech. "There are no upsets in this league," Wake Forest coach Dino Gaudio said. "I don't care where you are playing, this is the best league in the country." That's coach-speak, but has some truth. Wake can play with anyone when they focus, but they are still a little young at this point. Focus remains an issue. This week they head to Miami and then finish up with s Sunday game against BC.

Florida State (16-5, 3-3): The Seminoles cannot get off the bubble, one way or the other. They have yet to post a quality win in conference and have only one total for the season, a December win over Florida. They need to remedy that in order to get into the tournament. Thursday's game against GT will not mean much, but they have an important road game at Clemson on Saturday.

Clemson (18-2, 4-2): Clemson has won two in a row since losing back-to-back games against the conference elite. Despite the rebound, the questions remain about this team's staying power. They looked lost for much of the game against VT and needed an 18-point rally to win the game. "This is a a big win for us as far as our standings in the ACC, but we got a tough ballgame coming up Wednesday," K.C. Rivers said after the VT win. "We've got to turn our focus on to (No. 1) Duke."

Maryland (14-7, 3-4): On the court, it was a mixed bag for the Terps. A loss at home to BC, followed by a solid win over Miami. Of the court, however, things got a little dicey. Speaking to reporters, Maryland AD Debbie Yow said, "I really want to lay to rest these crazy rumors that are floating around related to the job security of Coach Williams. He has my full support, as he does from the department and from the university." That's never good.


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