ACC Basketball Power Rankings – Week 6

Malcolm Brogdon Virginia

Photo: Geoff Burke-USA Today Sports

It’s time for our latest set of ACC Basketball Power Rankings.

It was an interesting week for the ACC, with many teams having opportunities to face other schools from the Power 5 conferences, offering an opportunity to build on a potential postseason resume.

We also had a chance to see who could handle the disruption of the exam break many teams have gone through over the past few days.

Here are the latest rankings.

1. Duke – 10-0
Last Week’s Ranking: 1
Games: 75-62 win vs. Elon, 66-56 win vs. UConn

Duke looked sluggish in a win over Elon that drew the ire of Coach K as he called out his team for settling to be normal. The Blue Devils were still somewhat sloppy in a 10-point win over UConn, but it was still another impressive win over the reigning national champions in a tournament-type environment.

Up Next: No games this week.

2. Virginia – 11-0
Last Week’s Ranking: 2
Games: 70-54 win vs. Cleveland St., 76-27 win vs. Harvard

I’m not questioning my decision to have Virginia at No. 2 over Louisville, but the Cavaliers are starting to make me wonder if they actually should be in the top spot ahead of Duke. UVA held a Harvard team that will likely win the Ivy League to just 8 first half points in Sunday’s win and the Crimson were 1-for-20 from the field in the half. Virginia was fantastic last season, and they appear to be even better this year.

Up Next: No games this week.

3. Louisville – 10-0
Last Week’s Ranking: 3
Games: 68-57 win vs. UNC Wilmington, 76-67 win @ Western Kentucky

Louisville faced a hostile environment when going on the road to Western Kentucky, and the Cardinals were ripe for an upset after Montrezl Harrell was ejected for throwing a punch, but Terry Rozier stepped up with 32 points. Rozier’s breakout play is part of what makes Louisville a national championship contender.

Up Next: CS Northridge – Dec. 23, Kentucky – Dec. 27

4. Notre Dame – 11-1
Last Week’s Ranking: 4
Games: 94-63 win vs. Purdue

Notre Dame has won its past two games (against FSU & Purdue) by a combined 51 points. The Irish have been one of the best offensive teams in the country and they’re winning with a balanced starting lineup that has scorers at every position.

Up Next: Northern Illinois – Dec. 22

5. North Carolina – 8-3
Last Week’s Ranking: 6
Games: 79-56 win vs. UNC Greensboro, 82-74 win vs. Ohio State

The Tar Heels had their most complete performance of the season in Saturday’s win in Chicago over Ohio State. Marcus Paige shot the ball well in the first half, which gave the offense a huge lift, and J.P. Tokoto was making plays all over the court. UNC also appeared to be much more effective when pushing the pace.

Up Next: UAB – Dec. 27

6. Pittsburgh – 8-3
Last Week’s Ranking: 9
Games: 65-56 win vs. Manhattan, 81-77 win vs. Oakland

It hasn’t been pretty, but Pittsburgh has quietly put together a four-game winning streak after losing to Indiana in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. Most encouraging for the Panthers has been the emergence of Michael Young, who’s averaged over 16 points and 10 rebounds in the past three games.

Up Next: Holy Cross – Dec. 23

7. Miami – 9-2
Last Week’s Ranking: 5
Games: 72-44 loss vs. Eastern Kentucky

Miami lost at home by 28 points against an Eastern Kentucky team that was coming off a loss to East Tennessee St. Somehow, the Hurricanes went from being one of the biggest surprises in the ACC to having one of the most inexplicable losses.

Up Next: Providence – Dec. 22

8. N.C. State – 9-3
Last Week’s Ranking: 7
Games: 83-72 win vs. Tennessee, 83-69 loss vs. West Virginia

Facing West Virginia in Madison Square Garden was an opportunity for N.C. State to make a statement against a quality opponent, but the Wolfpack struggled on the big stage. Now, they return home to face a very dangerous Louisiana Tech team that is completely capable of pulling off the upset.

Up Next: Louisiana Tech – Dec. 23

9. Syracuse – 6-4
Last Week’s Ranking: 8
Games: 82-77 loss @ Villanova

Despite building a 15-point lead on the road against Villanova, the Orange were unable to hang on and missed another opportunity for a win that could be the difference in playing in the NCAA Tournament vs. the NIT. Foul trouble was a big problem down the stretch for Syracuse, which reiterated the lack of depth on this year’s team.

Up Next: Colgate – Dec. 22, Long Beach St. – Dec. 28

10. Georgia Tech – 8-2
Last Week’s Ranking: 10
Games: 70-57 win vs. Appalachian St., 65-60 win vs. Vanderbilt

Georgia Tech bounced back nicely after last week’s loss to South Carolina Upstate. The Jackets are still struggling with consistency from the starting five, especially Demarco Cox and Charles Mitchell, but this is a roster capable of doing some damage in conference play.

Up Next: @ Dayton – Dec. 23

11. Florida State – 6-5
Last Week’s Ranking: 15
Games: 93-77 win vs. North Florida, 75-62 win vs. South Florida

The Noles had a good week with double digit wins over a couple Florida directional schools, for whatever that’s worth. If nothing else, life without Aaron Thomas is off to a decent start. I doubt it will be that way for long.

Up Next: Stetson – Dec. 22

12. Boston College – 6-4
Last Week’s Ranking: 12
Games: 75-71 loss vs. USC

Boston College looked like it might pull off an incredible comeback against Southern California, but the Eagles didn’t do quite enough – in somewhat similar fashion to last season. BC will get one more chance for a tune-up win before traveling to Duke to begin ACC play.

Up Next: No games this week

13. Clemson – 6-4
Last Week’s Ranking: 11
Games: 68-45 loss @ South Carolina

Winning on the road isn’t really expected with Clemson, but dropping a rivalry game by 23 points against a mediocre South Carolina team? So much for the positive momentum from beating Arkansas and Auburn.

Up Next: Oakland – Dec. 22

14. Virginia Tech – 6-4
Last Week’s Ranking: 14
Games: 64-61 win vs. The Citadel

Winning by three points over a team like The Citadel isn’t anything for Hokie fans to get excited about. However, Buzz Williams could be developing his backcourt of the future with freshmen Justin Bibbs and Ahmed Hill, which is something to be excited about in Blacksburg.

Up Next: VMI – Dec. 22, Presbyterian – Dec. 27

15. Wake Forest – 5-6
Last Week’s Ranking: 13
Games: 63-50 loss vs. Florida

Wake Forest might have had a chance to beat Florida were it not for 10 turnovers by Devin Thomas. 10 turnovers for a post player is astonishing. The Deacons finished with 24 turnovers as a team. At this rate, they’ll lose to Louisville and Virginia by 100.

Up Next: Bucknell – Dec. 22, @ Richmond – Dec. 28

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David Aldridge

David Aldridge

David has been a die hard fan of Duke Basketball since the 1990's, when Coach K and the Blue Devils slapped the floor and made their way into his heart. During his playing days, David perfected his role on his basketball team as being the guy who would hold everyone on the bench back after a teammate would make a clutch shot. He once played N.C. State legend David Thompson in a game of H-O-R-S-E. David won.

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