Heading into the last weekend, the ACC postseason bubble stood ready to pop. Five teams were tied for fifth place, with another two tied for tenth. Just on a matter of principle, nobody could see this as sustainable for longer than one week's worth of play.
One week later the bubble is broken, with only one tie left out of all of those groupings. North Carolina State stood as the biggest winner, sweeping Wake Forest to jump from one of the fifth place teams up and over into fourth place. North Carolina, meanwhile, also kept pace by taking two of three from last place Virginia Tech, a team that broke an extended losing streak by picking up one W.
A series of wins and losses strings out the rest of the league, with Clemson falling back to tie UNC after Duke beat them for two out of three games. Virginia and Notre Dame stood as the big losers of the weekend, with the Cavaliers falling into eighth place after getting beat by Boston College for two of three and Miami, newly anointed as #1 in the nation, going out to South Bend and spanking Notre Dame for three games.
What are we left with? Well for starters, the cancelled games from earlier in the year are really starting to take their toll. Florida State lost out on potential wins against Boston College and NC State thanks to inclement weather, and they're officially two back in the win column on Miami. Even though Miami is #1 in the nation with an overall record of 27-4, FSU taking two out of three from Louisville actually pushed them into second place as the Atlantic Division leader because Miami only played one game.
Louisville lost ground to FSU in the race for the Atlantic Division lead, but NC State, having lost two games against FSU earlier in the year, remain two back in the win column. The Wolfpack also remain very catchable by the teams behind them, both of which are two back in the loss column. From there, it'sa logjam of cancellations and half games from fifth back to ninth, where Notre Dame is two back in the win column but equal in losses to Clemson and UNC.
Meanwhile, the bubble race remains hot. One full game separates ninth place from 12th. Boston College, at 5-8 following their win over Virginia this past weekend, is officially a half game back of Pittsburgh for the final playoff spot, the same one-half game suffered by Duke. The difference is that BC is equal in the loss column, and Duke is one back in the loss column. Both teams are one game back of Notre Dame for ninth.
Wake Forest is two back in the loss column of Boston College which is something that could help BC later in the year. And Virginia Tech remains the only ACC team with an overall record under .500, underscoring just how competitive this league really is. 13 teams are over .500 with nine at 20 wins already. Only Pittsburgh, with 15 wins, isn't breathing down the neck of the 20-win mark heading into this weekend.
Here's what we have for this week's schedule:
Boston College at Notre Dame
Florida State at Wake Forest
North Carolina at Virginia
Clemson at Louisville
NC State at Georgia Tech
Miami at Duke
Pittsburgh at Virginia Tech
BC has a golden opportunity to climb inside the race this weekend with a three-game series at Notre Dame, all while facing an old friend in Fighting Irish head coach Mik Aoki. While Pittsburgh faces Virginia Tech, Duke has a brutal matchup this week against Miami. If Virginia Tech is able to take a game, there has to be an assumption that the Hurricanes will roll in Durham. That opens the door for the Eagles to slide as high as ninth given how packed close those teams are.
They'll probably receive some assistance from FSU traveling to Wake Forest, and if Louisville can win games at home against Clemson, it'll separate the top three teams even more from everyone underneath them.
Here are the standings. Clemson, at 5-1 against the Atlantic Division, wins the secondary tie-breaker over UNC since the teams do not play each other this year.
|Place||Team||Record||Winning Percentage||Overall Record|