We're seeing a select few teams emerge at the top of the Atlantic Coast Conference, while the rest of the conference is about to bottom out. There's no telling at this point which middle-of-the-road teams are better, because they're all about as mediocre as you can be.
Syracuse still has a case to be the No. 1 team in the nation. Duke is surging once again, and Virginia is making some noise of its own. Once you get past Pittsburgh, it's anyone's ballgame for next best squad.
1) Syracuse (19-0, 6-0) - Nothing changes here. Syracuse remained undefeated after besting Miami 64-52 on the road. The Orange held the Hurricanes without a field goal for over seven minutes late in the second half to pull away. Tyler Ennis continues to impress at point guard. This team has all areas of the game covered.
2) Duke (17-4, 6-2) - What a show on the road for Duke. The Blue Devils dominated the No. 18 Pittsburgh Panthers Monday night, cruising in the second half to an 80-65 win. Jabari Parker posted another double-double, his third in a row. Andre Dawkins, who averages just less than 10 points per game, went off from downtown, shooting 6-of-7 from beyond the arc. Duke shot 52 percent from 3-point range. Just the performance it needed to boost its stock again.
3) Virginia (15-5, 6-1) - We're still thinking about Virginia's resume had they been able to beat Duke, but three straight wins help its cause. The Cavaliers coasted to victories over the Tar Heels and Hokies in their last two outings. Sophomore Malcolm Brogdon has scored in double-digits in his last seven games, providing a reliable scorer to lead alongside Joe Harris. Virginia's discipline is improving as well; it's averaging fewer than nine turnovers per game during its current winning streak.
4) Pittsburgh (18-3, 6-2) - Another chance to prove itself among the nation's best, another disappointing result. Pitt crumbled at home in the second half against Duke. It was a one-point game with 9:41 to play; the Blue Devils never looked back. The Panthers struggled shooting the ball and proved once again that they can't quite pull out those tough wins against better opponents. Next up is a shot at redemption. They face the Cavaliers at home on Feb. 2.
5) Florida State (13-6, 4-3) - It's the same story we always hear about Leonard Hamilton's teams: solid defense paired with an inability to score. Florida State's three conference losses have come at the hands of Virginia and Duke, so we can at least understand those. The Seminoles managed to hold the Blue Devils to shoot 18-of-59 from the floor in their blowout defeat (unfortunately Duke made 34 free throws, but you get the point). They're a middle-of-the-road team, capable of piling up wins against the lackluster group of ACC teams this season.
6) UNC (12-7, 2-4) - The embarrassment suffered in Charlottesville might have been a wake-up call. UNC steamrolled Clemson 80-61 at home. Marcus Paige helped lead to a team total of 19 assists against what has been one of the better defenses in the country. The schedule gets easier until a Feb. 12 meeting with Duke.
7) Wake Forest (14-6, 4-3) - The Demon Deacons still only have a home win against the Tar Heels to really be proud of, but they did take down the Hokies and Fighting Irish over the past week. Wake Forest snapped a 17-game road losing streak in conference play. Senior Travis McKie has come on strong in his last two outings, combining to score 38 points.
8) North Carolina State (13-7, 3-4) - Two more conference wins are in the books. T.J. Warren missed N.C. State's win against Maryland, but he came back with 20 points against Georgia Tech in the overtime victory. The Wolfpack are getting killed on the boards, though. Two major tests await with FSU and UNC coming up.
9) Maryland (11-9, 3-4) - The Terrapins grabbed 22 offensive rebounds against N.C. State and still lost 65-56. That's what happens when you hit 5-of-13 free throws and shoot 31.4 percent from the floor. Maryland ranks No. 239 in the nation in field goal percentage. Conference play has not being kind so far, and it still has games against Duke, Syracuse and two with Virginia ahead.
10) Clemson (13-6, 4-3) - Yikes. The Tigers completely derailed over the last week, losing by a combined 156-104 to Pitt and UNC. Their defense had been impressive, and we still can't forget about their win over the Blue Devils, but we're witnessing quite a breakdown. K.J. McDaniels was the only Tiger to score in double-digits against the Panthers. He can't carry the team offensively against better conference opponents.
11) Miami (10-9, 2-5) - To be fair, Miami's two losses over the past week came at the hands of the conference's best. Duke found no trouble blowing by the Hurricanes, while Syracuse was tested briefly. But they have to find a way to grab a signature win if it even wants to be taken seriously. Miami averages 25.4 points in the paint per game, second fewest in the ACC, and it averages the fewest possessions per game in the nation. The Hurricanes don't shoot or share the ball well. Not the greatest recipe for success.
12) Notre Dame (11-9, 2-5) - Garrick Sherman is doing all he can, posting back-to-back 20-points games. The Irish are dreadful from beyond the arc, which doesn't make defenses worry much about the perimeter. Notre Dame shot 2-of-16 from downtown in the loss to Wake Forest. Florida State barely got away, but the final score doesn't matter here at 2-5. Welcome to the ACC.
13) Georgia Tech (11-9, 2-5) - Trae Golden continues to step up on offense, and Daniel Miller posted a career-high 21 points the overtime loss to N.C. State. The Jackets at least picked up a win against Boston College, which should be expected by anyone playing Boston College right now. There are winnable games ahead, but Georgia Tech isn't a threat in ACC play.
14) Virginia Tech (8-11, 1-6) - Add in two more losses and the Hokies are riding a six-game skid. Virginia Tech shot right around 33 percent against Wake Forest and Virginia. There's a shot at redemption against Boston College next, but that will be the only game the Hokies are favored in going forward.
15) Boston College (5-14, 1-5) - The Eagles rank outside the top 300 in points allowed per 100 possessions. There is no resolution for defense that bad. If Boston College doesn't beat Virginia Tech, tomorrow night, it will likely finish without another conference win.