Here's how the ACC teams stack up over the last five years according to conference wins. Unlike many leagues, the ACC has a relatively strict caste system, with Duke and UNC firmly at the top. Tony Bennett's Virginia Cavaliers are one of the few teams with a chance to jump up a level, while Wake Forest is clearly going in the wrong direction.
In the most recent installment in his "Coaching Greats" interview series CHN writer Jon Teitel spent some time with former Virginia Tech head coach Charles Moir, who won 213 games and led the Hokies to four NCAA Tournament appearances during his time in Blacksburg. An alum of Roanoke College, Moir's son Page is currently the head coach there.
Jon Teitel: You played basketball and baseball at Appalachian State, and later played minor league baseball for a few years. Which sport did you like more, and which one were you better at?
Overall Rank: #79
North Carolina State Wolfpack
Atlantic Coast Conference (19-15, 5-11)
Tracy Smith, a native of Durham, celebrated his 22nd birthday with one of the best games of his career in leading NC State to an 88-74 win over #7 Duke. Smith made ten of his twelve field goal attempts in scoring 23 points and as a team the Wolfpack shot a blistering 58.2% from the field. "Our defense was the worst it's been all year," lamented Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski following the game. "Obviously, our big guys weren't on like they were the last two games. Why does that happen? I don't know. But it's not just them.
Sunday will likely be anti-climactic when compared to an eventful Saturday but there are some important games on the schedule. Two ACC games are on the docket with Florida State's trip to Atlanta likely having more national appeal. Two of the better big men in the ACC will be on display in Florida State's Solomon Alabi and Georgia Tech's Gani Lawal. The Yellow Jackets also have one of the nation's best freshmen in Derrick Favors and the other Seminole big men will have a battle on their hands with he and Zachary Peacock.
Ranking players is more art then science. How do you compare the potential of freshmen with seniors who have already peaked? How much does physical talent come into play versus intangibles and experience? How big a role do numbers play?