The AP has released its final poll for the 2017-18 season; once again, Virginia, champions of the ACC, sit atop the heap. In the season’s last top 25 rankings, five teams landed in the mix:
- No. 1 Virginia
- No. 9 Duke
- No. 10 North Carolina
- No. 20 Clemson
- No. 22 Miami
The five ACC schools inside the final AP Poll is the most of any conference — narrowly eclipsing the Big Ten and SEC; here’s how conferences split on the rankings:
- ACC: 5
- Big Ten: 4
- SEC: 4
- Big 12: 3
- AAC: 3
- Big East: 2
- West Coast: 2
- Pac-12: 1
- MWC: 1
- I wrote about this some after Virginia’s opening round win over Louisville in Brooklyn: After returning from his MCL sprain, sophomore sniper Kyle Guy looked as explosive and sharp as ever before. Obviously, a big part of UVA’s offense involves running Guy screens; with an injured knee, would he be able maintain that pace? The answer was a definitive yes.
- According to Synergy Sports, Kyle Guy went a combined 16-of-26 (61.5 FG%) — and 6-of-11 from beyond the arc (54.5 3P%) coming off screens at the Barclays Center.
- Duke’s Marvin Bagley ranks 35th nationally in offensive rebound rate, per KenPom: 13.7 percent. On the year, Bagley has 114 offensive boards, which is already 10th most in a single season in Duke history.
- Bagley averages 3.9 offensive rebounds per game, which is more than Brian Zoubek’s 3.6 in 2009-10. Zoubek still holds the program’s single-season record for offensive rebounds: 143. Zoubek also led the nation that season in offensive rebound rate, per KenPom (21.4 percent).
- It’s a grind to guard UVA; just ask North Carolina. Staying in a defensive stance for 30 seconds, running around a plethora of pindown screens — that takes a toll.
- According STATS LLC data tracking, all four of North Carolina’s perimeter defenders — Joel Berry, Kenny Williams, Theo Pinson and Cameron Johnson — each ran over a mile on the defensive end of the floor in the ACC Tournament title game.
- Elijah Thomas of Clemson is a beast when it comes to drawing fouls; in three games during the month of March, the lefty has attempted 21 free throws. According to KenPom, Thomas ranked third in the ACC in fouls drawn per 40 minutes with 5.2. Thomas drew a shooting foul on 13.4 percent of his post-ups this season, too, per Synergy — good for 8th in the league.
- Bad news for Miami: Star combo guard Bruce Brown is likely to miss the NCAA Tournament with a foot injury. Brown, who hasn’t played since Jan. 27, is one of the best pick-and-roll creators in the ACC.