ACC Roundup

K.J. McDaniels and Clemson are exceeding expectations - Beth Hall-USA TODAY Sports

One game Friday but things get fun Saturday

With the Christmas break done, ACC basketball gets back under way, starting Friday with Northern Kentucky visiting UNC. Normally, we would just give this one to UNC, but given the up-and-down play of the Heels, you can't predict anything.

Things get interesting on Saturday with some really fun matchups.

Syracuse keeps Big East ties alive with #8 Villanova visiting. Wake Forest and Xavier enjoy the annual Skip Prosser Classic, State hosts #25 Mizzou in a homecoming game for Burlington's Frank Haith, and BC visits VCU.

Virginia Tech and UNCG is not compelling and we'll cover Duke and Eastern Michigan separately, as usual.

A brief look at the ACC standings shows some surprises, but pre-ACC schedules can't be taken very seriously.

For instance, Virginia Tech and Maryland, both having won early ACC games, are tied for first place.

Virginia Tech is 7-4 and Maryland just over .500 at 7-5.

Looking down the standings, Syracuse remains undefeated at 11-0, Pitt is just behind at 11-1, although the schedule there is highly deceiving.

Most of the Triangle is next, with Wake, Duke and State all checking in at 9-2, Virginia is 9-3 while Clemson, Florida State and UNC are all 8-3.

Georgia Tech is 8-4, reasonable for a still-rebuilding program, while Notre Dame's 8-4 is disappointing. Miami is over .500 at 7-5, while BC is a very weak 4-8.

It's hard to compare some results. Wake is 10-2 which is great but is that schedule better than State's Well, in our opinion, to date yes. UNC's schedule is far tougher than Clemson's or Florida State's, and way more bizarre with wins over Louisville, Michigan State and Kentucky, but losses to Belmont, UAB, and Texas and a near loss to 4-8 Davidson.

Not to get too far ahead of things, but with UNC's erratic offense and a shaky perimeter game, will the UNC home win streak against Clemson continue?

Clemson is playing superb defense and controlling the tempo, both bad news for Ol' Roy's system. We'll find out on January 26th.

Functionally, this is how we'd rate the ACC at this point:

  1. Syracuse
  2. Duke
  3. North Carolina
  4. Florida State
  5. Pitt
  6. Clemson
  7. Wake Forest
  8. Notre Dame
  9. Virginia
  10. North Carolina State
  11. Georgia Tech
  12. Maryland
  13. Miami (FL)
  14. Virginia Tech
  15. Boston College

Some will rise or fall, obviously. Virginia could be really good if the Cavs get it together.  State is improving quickly. Maryland has a lot to work with. Right now, though, this seems about right.

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