Found December 06, 2011 on Run the Floor:

ScreenHunter_12_Dec._06_11.50

Through the games of December 5th.

1. Duke (7-1) (last rankings: 1)

Best win: Kansas

Worst loss: Ohio State

Duke finally suffered a loss in a not-very-close game to Ohio State. Still, their offense is ranked 6th nationally and their defense 19th. This week they have Colorado State and Washington to get back on track. With four players shooting 40%+ on 3s, scoring shouldn't be an issue.

2. North Carolina (6-2) (last: 2)

Best win: Wisconsin

Worst loss: UNLV

Like Duke, UNC is elite both offensively and defensively, but Duke gets the nod because they didn't lose to UNLV. The one major kink in the armor is a perimeter defense which is unable to turn teams over (282nd nationally). Offensively, Harrison Barnes has yet to show improvement over last season (offensive rating of 104.5). The team also needs to make free throws, especially since they've been to the line at least 10 more times than their opponent in every game this season.

3. Virginia (7-1) (last: 7)

Best win: Michigan

Worst loss: TCU

UVA seems to have solved some of their early offensive problems, mainly by getting to the line 85 times in the past three games. Their shooting is beginning to come around as well. Defensively, they're the best the conference has to offer outside of Tallahassee.

4. Florida State (6-3) (last: 3)

Best win: UCF

Worst loss: Harvard

The Noles offensive woes were made public during their first three-game losing streak in four seasons. No one they lost to was a bad loss (Pomeroy rankings of 13, 20 and 37) but their inability to take care of the ball was crushing. Shot selection has also been a bit erratic. When you're 75th in 2-pt% and 208th in 3-pt%, you might want to look inside before jacking careless threes. Defensively they've been stellar, and are on pace to be Leonard Hamilton's best defense ever.

5. Virginia Tech (5-3) (last: 6)

Best win: Oklahoma State

Worst loss: Minnesota

In season's past, three early losses would have been debilitating to their Tourney resume. But the new Virginia Tech actually schedule decent teams, and this should pay off come March. Back-to-back wins over Oklahoma State and St Bonaventure boost their resume, though they really needed to pull off a win against Minnesota or K-State. They've done a great job forcing contested shots (18th in defenses eFG%) but aren't turning teams over (288th) and aren't keeping teams off the offensive glass (273rd). Clear these up and they'll be really good.

6. NC State (5-3) (last: 4)

Best win: Texas

Worst loss: Vanderbilt

NC State blew a golden opportunity for a signature win on the road against Stanford. Now, all they have left out of conference is Syracuse. It's too early to declare anything a 'must-win', but if they want to be playing in the right Tournament come March, a win over the Orangemen would go a long way.

7. Miami (5-2) (last: 5)

Best win: Rutgers

Worst loss: Mississippi

With the best center in the conference sidelined with an injury, Jim Larranaga's team has been able to take care of business against passable opponents. But they weren't able to put away Mississippi, or to get a needed win against Purdue. Now they get Memphis and West Virginia and a split is the minimum they'll likely need come March. The committee doesn't exactly have a solid track record when dealing with injuries to star players.

jim larranaga miami

8. Wake Forest (5-3) (last: 8)

Best win: Nebraska

Worst loss: Arizona State

Arizona State is the only major conference team in the nation with turnover problems worse than FSU, and if they don't get that figured out Wake's loss to them may start to look really bad on their resume. Wake isn't a tournament team, but still, perception matters. The Demon Deacons have a nice test this weekend against Seton Hall, which would be a feather in Bzdelik's cap if he can pull it off. Wake has been unlucky at the free throw line (opponents are shooting over 78%), so that reverting to the mean could result in an extra win sometime soon.

9. Maryland (4-3) (last: 11)

Best win: Notre Dame

Worst loss: Illinois

Maryland doesn't have a bad loss, but they don't have a really good win either. And, unfortunately, they don't have any more opportunities to get one. If by some miracle they are going to be a Tournament team, then ACC play will have to do it. They do get Alexi Len back fairly soon, which should help tremendously with depth and size.

10. Georgia Tech (4-4) (last: 9)

Best win: VCU

Worst loss: LSU

The Tech offense has been awful. They're 269th in TO%, 264th in 3-pt%, and 322nd at getting to the line. Looking at their roster its hard to see where that is going to improve. Defensively, they've been surprisingly good. They don't turn teams over but they do everything else well. A big test with Georgia looms on Wednesday.

11. Clemson (4-3) (last: 10)

Best win: Iowa

Worst loss: Coastal Carolina

Thankfully they beat Iowa, otherwise their best win would be over #235 Furman. Like many other ACC teams, lack of an offense has been a big issue. Clemson turns the ball over (229th), and when they don't they aren't solid at extending possessions. Their offensive rebounding is adequate (134th) but they're horrible at getting to the line (313th). Everything they do poorly on offense, they do really well on defense. Brad Brownell's club is solid on that end of the court. 

12. Boston College (2-6) (last: 12)

Best win: New Hampshire

Worst loss: Holy Cross

There is zero chance that Boston College will rise out of the #12 spot in the ACC at any point this season. They're #4 just in the city of Boston. Their offense is 252nd, their defense is 295th. Good luck BC fans.

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Barnes, UNC bounce back, steamroll Evansville

Harrison Barnes scored 17 points to help North Carolina (No. 6 ESPN/USA Today, No. 4 AP) beat Evansville 97-48 on Tuesday night.

No. 4 North Carolina 97, Evansville 48

Harrison Barnes scored 17 points to help No. 4 North Carolina beat Evansville 97-48 on Tuesday night. Reggie Bullock added 15 points off the bench for the Tar Heels (7-2), who had an easy time bouncing back from their loss at top-ranked Kentucky. North Carolina ran off 10 straight points midway through the first half to blow the game open, then pushed a 30-point halftime lead to...

No. 4 North Carolina eases past Evansville

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) -- Harrison Barnes scored 17 points to help No. 4 North Carolina beat Evansville 97-48 on Tuesday night. Reggie Bullock added 15 points off the bench for the Tar Heels (7-2), who had an easy time bouncing back from their loss at top-ranked Kentucky. North Carolina ran off 10 straight points midway through the first half to blow the game open, then pushed a...

Home cooking suits the Heels

North Carolina has crisscrossed the country twice and played on the road against the nation's top-ranked team. The fourth-ranked Tar Heels are hoping a long stretch of home games will be a big help in fixing some of their early-season problems. Harrison Barnes scored 17 points to help North Carolina beat Evansville 97-48 on Tuesday night, the first of nine straight home games...

No. 4 North Carolina beats Evansville 97-48

Harrison Barnes scored 17 points to help No. 4 North Carolina beat Evansville 97-48 on Tuesday night.

No. 4 UNC Dominates Evansville, 97-48

Harrison Barnes scored 17 points to help No. 4 North Carolina beat Evansville 97-48 on Tuesday night. Reggie Bullock added 15 points off the bench for the Tar Heels (7-2), who had an easy time bouncing back from their loss at top-ranked Kentucky.

No. 4 North Carolina beats Evansville 97-48

Harrison Barnes scored 17 points to help No. 4 North Carolina beat Evansville 97-48 on Tuesday night.

No. 4 UNC bounces back with easy win (AP)

North Carolina has crisscrossed the country twice and played on the road against the nation's top-ranked team. The fourth-ranked Tar Heels are hoping a long stretch of home games will be a big help in fixing some of their early-season problems. Harrison Barnes scored 17 points to help North Carolina beat Evansville 97-48 on Tuesday night, the first of nine straight home games...

Musings on the NBA Draft Prospects from the Kentucky-North Carolina Game

What a game of college basketball on Saturday at Rupp Arena, as Kentucky edged North Carolina 73-72. And what a concentration of prospects on one floor with six of the Top 13, and 10 of the Top 40 on Chad Ford's Big Board, and a full eight players who Jonathan Givony projects as Top 11 picks in his Mock NBA Drafts for 2012 and 2013.Of course, that kind of talent concentration...
Tar Heels News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.