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Who is the ACC's Best and the Big Finish

Brian: Brian Cook of MGoBlog and Fanhouse fame has created a basketball version of the popular football blogpoll. This weekend we will post our first ballot for the basketblogpoll. But before we do, we have to answer this question: who is the best hoops team in the ACC?

Here's a look at the top 6 teams in the conference standings:

North Carolina 6-2 20-2
Duke 6-2 19-3
Clemson 5-2 19-2
Boston College 6-3 18-6
Wake Forest 4-3 17-3
Florida State 4-3 17-5

Try to wrap your head around the following:

  • North Carolina was upset by Boston College at home and lost a close one on the road in Winston-Salem.
  • The Blue Devils crawled back in their game against Wake Forest only to lose in a heartbreaker, and just got straight up crushed by the Tigers the other night.
  • Clemson lost by 10 to Wake, was crushed by the Tar Heels for the 185th straight time in Chapel Hill, then followed that up with pounding a good Duke squad.
  • Wake Forest, while they have wins over North Carolina, Duke and Clemson, have now dropped back-to-back road games to Georgia Tech and Miami, and lost to Virginia Tech last month.

Plus Boston College, Florida State and Virginia Tech are hanging around at the top half of the league standings. So who, Jeff, do you consider to be the team to beat in the ACC?

Jeff: After winning 6 in a row, I think North Carolina is once again the heavy favorite to win the Atlantic Coast Conference. No one will argue against the fact that they are the most talented team in the league. Wake Forest and Duke have lost some games by large margins recently which eliminate them from the conversation and UNC has already beaten Clemson.

Brian: I will agree with this. North Carolina is now the team to beat. They get Duke next week and if they beat the Blue Devils, they will be in prime position to win the regular season conference title. I like Carolina's size advantage to carry them over Duke. Wake Forest has been impressive in beating Duke, North Carolina and Clemson, but they have lost to some middle-of-the-road ACC teams and are now on the outside looking in.

Big Finish

Jeff: The men's hockey team has now fallen out of the top 14 of the PairWise Rankings, meaning if the season ended today, in all likelihood they wouldn't make the NCAA Tournament. Time to hit the panic button?

Brian: Absolutely. It had to start tonight with a shutout of Massachusetts. We need to take care of business on Monday against Harvard and keep this winning streak going.

Brian: Now that the recruiting class has been signed, which recruit will make the biggest impact next year?

Jeff: The kicker Nate Freese is going to have the biggest impact out of our recruiting class as he replaces Steve Aponavicius.

Brian: The women's hoops team now has their first losing streak of the season after falling to a ranked Florida State team, 64-53. Can the Lady Eagles (17-6, 5-3) stop this losing streak this Monday against No. 13 Maryland?

Jeff: We know that the ACC is an extremely competitive league in basketball for the men, but it is even tougher for the women. The streak will probably continue.

Jeff: After Miami gave Wake a beat down earlier this week, do you like the Eagles' chances a little better on Sunday?

Brian: Yes, I like the Eagles to improve on their 20-point loss to Wake Forest at home last month. Whether that is a 10 point loss or a straight-up win is another matter.

Brian: Last one, Maryland's offensive coordinator James Franklin has been named coach-in-waiting of the Terrapins. Maryland joins Florida State as the second ACC program to embark in a "coach-in-waiting" arrangement. How do you come down on all these coach-in-waiting deals?

Jeff: When is Ryan Day going to become coordinator in waiting? I think these arrangements have gone too far but they have served their purposes for some college football programs.