We’re now two weeks into the college basketball season and starting to learn more about the complexion of the ACC. Check out how the conference stacks up after the second week of action.
1. Virginia Cavaliers (4-0)
Last week’s results: 86-79 W vs No. 7 Baylor, 70-61 W vs No. 16 Illinois
No. 5 Virginia has already proven how much more dangerous this team is than last season’s. Tony Bennett’s squad took down two very good teams in Las Vegas in Baylor and Illinois. The most impressive part—they’re doing it with offense. Virginia scored 56 points in the second half against Baylor, and shot 9-14 from three-point land in the win. After shooting 29.6% from behind the three-point line last season on 5.1 attempts per game, senior guard Armaan Franklin is knocking down the deep ball at a 45.5% clip on 5.5 attempts per game. As a team, the Cavaliers are third in three-point percentage in the entire country, connecting at a scorching hot 46.9% rate. A surprising development of Virginia’s strong start is last season’s leading scorer, graduate forward Jayden Gardner, is only playing 19.8 minutes per game so far this season.
Up next: 11/25 vs MD Eastern
2. Duke Blue Devils (3-1)
Last week’s results: 69-64 L vs No. 6 Kansas, 92-58 W vs Delaware
Duke fell by five to No. 6 Kansas in the Champions Classic in one of the best matchups so far this season. This young Duke team put up a strong fight and had a chance to win it at the end. Freshman Kyle Filipowski has gotten his collegiate career off to a strong start, averaging 15.0 points, 11.0 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in just 26.3 minutes per game. It was also a great sign to see freshman Dariq Whitehead make his season debut in the blowout win over Delaware. Head coach Jon Scheyer clearly has a very talented roster, and this group is only going to get better as the season goes on.
Up next: 11/21 vs Bellarmine, 11/24 vs Oregon State, 11/25 vs Florida/Xavier, 11/27 vs TBD
3. North Carolina Tar Heels (4-0)
Last week’s results: 72-66 W vs Gardner-Webb, 80-64 W vs James Madison
The No. 1 Tar Heels are off to a perfect start, but they have not looked like the best team in the nation. They were favored by 22.5 points against Gardner-Webb at home and only won by 6. Armando Bacot has picked up right where he left off last year, averaging 18.3 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks through four contests. Caleb Love is averaging 17.8 points per game, but he’s been struggling from downtown, shooting an abysmal 18.5% from three-point range (5-27). Considering Carolina’s experience and talent level, they have been a bit underwhelming on their way to their perfect record.
Up next: 11/24 vs. Portland
4. Miami Hurricanes (4-1)
Last week’s results: 87-61 W vs FAMU, 74-64 W vs Providence, 88-70 L vs Maryland
Miami participated in the Hall of Fame Tip Off at Mohegan Sun over the weekend, picking up a quality win over Providence, but looking outmatched vs an impressive Maryland team. Across these two games, the Hurricanes have struggled to shoot from deep, making 4-13 (30.8%) against Providence and 5-20 (25.0%) vs Maryland. Arkansas State transfer Norchad Omier has been a big help on the boards (10.2 rpg), but rebounding continues to be a weakness for Jim Larrañaga’s crew. The Terrapins beyondbounded the Hurricanes 39-20 on Sunday.
Up next: 11/23 vs. St. Francis BK, 11/27 at UCF
5. Virginia Tech Hokies (5-1)
Last week’s results: 75-71 W vs. Old Dominion, 61-59 W vs. Penn State, 77-75 L vs. Charleston
The Hokies played in some close games this week. Mike Young’s group came out on the right side of tightly contested matchups vs Old Dominion and Penn State, but Charleston was able to pull off the upset, connecting on a go ahead jumper with three seconds remaining. This team has been fantastic offensively, ranking 15th in the nation in KenPom efficiency. The Hokies are also turning the ball over just 8.3 times per game, a mark that is fifth best in college basketball. Wright State transfer Grant Basil has fit in perfectly, averaging 16.3 points per game.
Up next: 11/25 vs. Charleston Southern
6. NC State Wolfpack (4-0)
Last week’s results: 107-74 W vs FIU, 74-63 W vs Elon
NC State is averaging a league high 88.3 points per game through a clean start to the season. Their 11.2 steals per game is also top 25 in the nation. The Wolfpack’s schedule has been a total breeze, however, as their best win is a six-point home win over Campbell, who’s ranked 169th in KenPom. Alongside star sophomore Terquavion Smith (19.0 ppg, 5.3 ast), Ole Miss transfer Jarkel Joiner has been dynamic in the backcourt (17.0 ppg, 5.0 apg). A nice surprise has been the improvement of former Virginia transfer Casey Morsell, who has more than doubled his scoring average from last season (7.2 to 14.8 ppg).
Up next: 11/23 vs. No. 3 Kansas
7. Notre Dame (4-0)
Last week’s results: 82-70W vs. Southern Indiana, 66-65W vs. Lipscomb
Notre Dame is off to an even less impressive 4-0 start, with their only double digit win coming against Southern Indiana, who is new this year to Division 1. It took a three from graduate guard Dane Goodwin with 15 seconds remaining to take the lead for good at home against Lipscomb on Nov. 18. As expected, Notre Dame has been strong on the offensive end (18th in KenPom Off. Efficiency), but it’s been a different story on the other end of the floor (149th in Def .). In the win over Lipscomb, Mike Brey only went six deep and got zero points in 13 bench minutes from freshman Ven-Allen Lubin. Niagara transfer Marcus Hammond is still batting through an injury, but this team definitely could use an extra trusted body.
Up next: 11/22 vs. Bowling Green, 11/25 vs. St. Bonaventure
8. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4-1)
Last week’s results: 68-65 OT W vs Utah Valley, 75-63 W vs La Salle, 77-75 OT L vs Loyola Marymount
It’s been quite the week for the Demon Deacons. Tyree Appleby’s buzzer beating three in overtime allowed Steve Forbes’ group to escape unscathed on Tuesday against Utah Valley. In the second half vs La Salle, Wake Forest looked fantastic, getting 14 points off the bench from junior Damari Monsanto, and 11 from freshman Zach Keller. The Deacs drop two spots in the power rankings because of an epic collapse vs Loyola Marymount, blowing an eight-point lead in the final 80 seconds. Appleby has been a stud so far this season (19.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 5.4 ast. 2.0 stl), but he played a huge part in the blown lead, turning the ball over three times in the final two minutes of regulation.
READ: Key Stats from Wake Forest’s 77-75 loss to Loyola Marymount
Up next: 11/23 vs. South Carolina State, 11/26 vs. Hampton
9. Syracuse Orange (2-1)
Last week’s results: 80-68 L vs Colgate, 76-48 w vs Northeastern
Syracuse has lost at home to Colgate by double digits in back to back seasons. The Raiders shot right over the top of the 2-3 zone connecting on 19-38 three-pointers on their way to the win. The Orange bounced back with a blowout win over Northeastern, in which their big three of Jesse Edwards, Joe Girard, and Judah Mintz scored 58 of their 76 points. That triumvirate is averaging a combined 51.7 points per game so far this season. Those three are the core that Jim Boeheim will rely on, and it’ll be interesting to see how his utilization of the rest of the roster evolves.
Up next: 11/21 vs Richmond, 11/22 vs St. John’s/Temple, 11/26 vs Bryant
10. Clemson Tigers (3-1)
Last week’s results: 81-70 W vs USC Upstate, 76-66 W vs Bellarmine
Junior guard Chase Hunter has taken the jump that Brad Browell desperately needed from him. Hunter is averaging 17.8 points and 5.8 assists per game so far this season, in comparison to his 6.7 points and 1.8 assists in 2021-22. PJ Hall continues to be limited as he eases back into action, as he only played 19 minutes in the win over Bellarmine. Unlike many other ACC teams, Clemson has been winning by double digits over mid-major opponents, so they see a bump up in the power rankings.
Up next: 11/21 vs Loyola MD, 11/25 vs No. 25 Iowa, 11/26 vs Cal/TCU
11. Pitt Panthers (2-3)
Last week’s results: 91-60 L vs No. 20 Michigan, 71-67 L vs VCU, 73-54 W vs Alabama St
Pitt was battling hard with Michigan in the Legends Classic and only trailed by six at halftime, but things got out of hand in the second and they lost by 31. Against a solid VCU team the next day, the Panthers lost by four. They cruised vs. an underwhelming Alabama St. team on Sunday. Big man John Hugley played 22 minutes against Michigan, sat out against VCU and then returned to the court for 18 minutes against Alabama St. Getting him fully integrated will be crucial to this team’s ability to get this season back on track after a rough start.
Up next: 11/22 vs. Fairleigh Dickinson, 11/25 vs. William & Mary
12. Georgia Tech (3-0)
Last week’s results: 59-57 W vs. Georgia State, 68-50 W over Northern Illinois
Georgia Tech is undefeated on the young season. Josh Pastner’s group has been rock solid on one end of the floor, ranking 59th in KenPom defensive efficiency. However, this team leaves a lot to be desired on the other side of the ball, coming in at 188th in offensive efficiency. Pastner has been employing a nine-man rotation, with nobody averaging more than 31 minutes played per game. Sophomore guard Miles Kelly has been great off the bench, scoring in double figures in all three games. Three of the next four opponents for the Yellow Jackets are Power 6 schools, so we’ll learn more about this unproven roster soon.
Up next: 11/21 vs Utah, 11/23 vs Marquette/Mississippi State, 11/26 vs North Alabama
13. Florida State Seminoles (0-4)
Last week’s results: 79-72 L vs Troy, 76-67 L vs Florida
I’m getting some heat for picking 0-4 Florida State as my preseason ACC regular season champion, but let’s make sure some things are very clear before I take full responsibility for my swing and a miss. It was before freshman Baba Miller’s 16-game suspension was announced, before two time Ivy League DPOY Jaylen Gainey suffered a season ending injury. That said, the Seminoles have still been a massive disappointment. Losing at home to Troy and Stetson is a bad look for Leonard Hamilton, as well as being outscored by 26 in the second half against Florida. I refuse to rank them lower than this because there is still plenty of talent on this roster.
Up next: 11/21 vs. Mercer, 11/24 vs. Siena
14. Boston College (3-2)
Last week’s results: 79-77 W vs Cornell, 70-66 W vs Detroit Mercy
Boston College picked up a couple of brutal losses at home this week to Maine and Tarleton State, sandwiched between a win over George Mason. I’ll cut the Eagles a bit of slack because they have been playing without key players in senior Quinten Post and freshman Prince Aligbe. Tarleton is no joke — they are 3-1 and only lost by three at Arizona State, but Maine is ranked 330th in KenPom. I still think once the Eagles get healthy that they will be better than the 13th best team in the ACC, but it’s hard to rank them any higher after their performance to start the season.
Up next: 11/21 vs. Wyoming, 11/27 vs. Rhode Island
15. Louisville Cardinals (0-3)
Last week’s results: 61-60 L vs Appalachian State
It’s tough to believe that two ACC teams are winless through the first two weeks of the season. The Kenny Payne era is off to a Payneful start (sorry), with THREE straight home losses by one singular point each. The play of senior guard El Ellis continues to be a bright spot, as he has scored 29 points in back to back games. Senior big Sydney Curry was supposed to be a big part of this team, but he’s only scored five total points through the first three games. Things won’t get any easier for the Cardinals when they participate in the Maui Invitational this week.
Up next: 11/21 vs No. 9 Arkansas, 11/22 vs Texas Tech/Creighton, 11/24 vs TBD
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