(Photo Courtesy of SFGate.com)
As we get into the last full month of conference play the Atlantic Coast Conference remains a tight battle.
Carolina has separated themselves from a previous three-way tie and sit alone at the top of the ACC.
This team has been battled tested and are built for a deep run into March Justin Jackson, and Joell Berry II are a special duo. There haven’t been any easy wins in this dog fight for the ACC but Roy’s squad is deep, and it seems all roads to the championship may run through Chapel Thrill. With seven games left they have to keep their foot on the gas and finish strong, they can’t afford to let up.
Florida State has lived up to all of the preseason hype this year they currently sit one game back for a share of the lead. The Seminoles are loaded all across the board with a wonderful mix of veteran experience and youthful talent. Dwayne Bacon and Jonathan Isaac can carry this program to heights it’s never seen before, both look like future 1st round picks come June.
Coach Leonard Hamilton has finally gotten all of the talents on one of his teams to click; he should be a strong candidate for Coach of the year if they finish strong.
Louisville and Virginia remain solidly in the mix as well and boast talented rosters in their right. Rick Pitino has a bonafide stud in freshman Donovan Mitchell he made sure the Cardinals didn’t miss a beat when Quinn Snider went out. Usually known for their lockdown defense this year Pitino’s squad has little trouble getting buckets this season.
Tony Bennett has built a juggernaut at Virginia every year they’re in the hunt for the ACC Championship. Senior leader London Perrantes has been lights out for the Cavaliers he leads the team in scoring and assists to this point. A real floor general in every sense of the word he is the engine that drives them. Losing super transfer, Austin Nichols early in the season didn’t miss a beat and kept the “what could’ve been” talk out of Charlottesville.
Two dark horses to watch are Syracuse and Duke both teams finding their stride as of late and playing good ball.
Coach Boeheim hit the jackpot when he landed Andrew White III in the offseason to pair with freshman Tyus Battle. White has been one of the top transfer additions he leads his squad in scoring at 17.4ppg a clip and plays the most minutes as well. In two huge wins against LSU and Syracuse, he dropped two 20 pieces to lead the Orange.
Duke started on top, hit bottom, and now are attempting to climb back into the fight! The Blue Devils reserve team is more talented than most rosters top five. Coach K could host a Duke only combine with the amount of star power at Cameron Indoor.
With their fearless leader back and Luke Kennard channeling his inner Reddick they’re back rolling. Harry Giles is showing life he will need to be big for this team to reach their full potential.
Virginia Tech and Miami are potential tournament teams as well and when it’s all said and done the ACC may get ten teams into the dance this year.
Whoever comes out on top will have earned it and should be a lock for Phoenix.