ACC Basketball Power Rankings

Duke basketball mascot (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
Duke basketball mascot (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images) /

Boston College opened the ACC basketball season with a stunning win over Duke. Boston College has  sat atop the ACC standings since December 9. That is all set to change as ACC play kicks off in earnest on December 30 with 6 match-ups between ACC foes. Before that, let’s take a look at my arbitrary but in no way biased ACC power rankings.

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1) Duke

In a surprising anomaly, the team who has spent the entire ACC season at the bottom of the standings makes its debut at the top of the power rankings. The loss to Boston College, which sent Duke to the cellar of the ACC, is ugly. In the end though, Duke is  the most talented team in the country and has the best resume of any ACC team which includes wins over Michigan State, Florida, Texas, and at Indiana.

2) Virginia

The most boring team in the country is at it again. UVA is dominating defensively and playing slow, efficient offense. Good thing Virginia fans don’t read this article because I refuse to write anymore about Virginia until I can stay awake through an entire game.

3) Miami

Miami would have been number 1 if not for the embarrassing loss to New Mexico State. Miami rebounded from the loss by scrapping by Middle Tennessee. In addition. Miami’s best win of the season – at Minnesota – is hardly convincing. The third spot actually seems a little high.

4) UNC

Like the ‘Canes, the Tar Heels could have had an argument for the top spot before an embarrassing loss to Wofford. A closer look at UNC’s schedule also shows a lack of quality wins.  Indeed, in its only real challenge, the Tar Heels were smoked (at home) by Michigan State who Duke beat without Marvin Bagley.

5) Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech doesn’t have a quality win yet. However, they played a competitive game on the road against a talented Kentucky team. That is enough for the Hokies to earn the honor of 5th best team in the ACC.

6) Florida State

The Seminoles appeared to be the real-deal when they logged a quality win at Florida. Florida, who had nearly beaten Duke, proceeded to lose two of the next three games, including a loss to Clemson. The jury is still out on Florida State. Fortunately, that changes Saturday when Florida State travels to Cameron Indoor Stadium.

7) Notre Dame

Frankly, Notre Dame’s resume does not justify even this middling ranking in the country’s strongest conference. The Irish have acquired only one quality win (Wichita State) and have one very embarrassing loss (Ball State). Despite this, it’s hard to believe the Irish will not finish the season in the the top 5 of the ACC. I’m not giving up on Notre Dame yet.

8) Clemson

Clemson is a surprising 11-1 with solid wins over Florida, Ohio State, and South Carolina. Clemson has started hot in the past. Can they maintain their level of play throughout ACC play?

9) Louisville

Like so many of these teams, it’s tough to accurately rank Louisville at this juncture. Louisville has no quality wins and no bad losses. Pitino, after paying players with prostitutes before just paying them with money, has finally been fired but left behind a few good pieces in Deng Adel, Ray Spaulding, and Anas Mahmoud. The Cardinals, barring sanctions, should make the NCAA Tourney and could reach the second weekend.

10) Syracuse

Syracuse falls behind Louisville largely due to the St. Bonaventure loss last week. The Orange are also difficult to rank at this time. However, clarity is approaching – Syracuse plays Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, UVA, and Florida State in its first 5 ACC games of the year. Is this a team worthy of hearing its name on Selection Sunday?

11) Boston College

I would have liked to rank Boston College higher. The win over Duke may be the best win an ACC team has acquired all season. However, the three losses – Texas Tech, Providence, and Nebraska – hold this team’s ranking down.

12) NC State

NC State remains just above the basement of the ACC because of its win over the talented but then-floundering Arizona Wildcats. Nothing else on this resume suggests NC State can qualify for the NCAA Tourney.

13) Wake Forest

Despite improvement after an embarrassing 0-3 start, Wake Forest will struggle all year to win games in the ACC.

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14) Pittsburgh

I am just amazed that Pittsburgh isn’t in last place. That’s how bad Georgia Tech is this year.

15) Georgia Tech

With losses in 5 of the last 6 games, Goergia Tech’s turnaround under first year coach Josh Pastner in 2016-2017 appears to be a mirage.