10. Syracuse Orange - 11-5 (2-3)
Like like its rival Pittsburgh, the Orange has managed to beat teams they’re better than, while also getting stomped by those better than them. They have a home win over Pittsburgh and BC, along with 20+ point defeats to Duke and UNC. The defense has become a concern in the past month, having just allowed 103 points to the Tar Heels.
A favorable path is coming up for Syracuse if they can get past Pittsburgh on the road. A trio of home games follows, taking on Miami, Florida State, and NC State. If the defense hasn’t improved, those could end up being losses as well.
9. Florida State Seminoles - 10-6 (4-1)
An awful non-conference campaign has likely taken the Seminoles out of at-large contention but if they keep winning, there’s future hope. This team has won 6 of the last 7 games, including wins over Wake Forest and Virginia Tech. The latest was a 67-58 road win over Notre Dame, led by 13 points off the bench from Primo Spears.
With the addition of Spears, there’s now enough offensive firepower for them to compete in the ACC, with the defense starting to get better. The schedule admittedly gets harder for FSU going forward, with Miami, Clemson, and UNC coming up in the next two weeks.