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ACC Power Rankings: Opening Week

Using our own "Power Rating", we can take advanced metrics to figure out who the best teams are in the ACC, 1 through 14.

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Team Power Rating RPI eFG% Off. RB% TO% Foul Line % Off. Rating Def. Rating Differential
Duke (13-0) 29.0 .691 59.6% 37.9% 13.9% 31.1% 132.6 94.0 +38.6
Notre Dame (14-1) 28.2 .579 63.0% 29.5% 12.7% 25.4% 134.5 96.8 +37.7
Virginia (13-0) 27.1 .702 54.1% 38.2% 13.5% 28.8% 125.2 88.3 +36.9
UNC (11-3) 24.0 .631 49.7% 44.4% 15.0% 27.9% 118.4 93.7 +24.7
Louisville (13-1) 23.9 .607 48.2% 38.7% 16.3% 29.8% 111.5 81.5 +30.0
NC State (11-3) 21.9 .583 51.8% 34.7% 15.2% 31.1% 116.6 100.2 +16.4
Syracuse (10-4) 21.1 .572 49.3% 37.6% 16.4% 23.0% 109.9 91.4 +18.5
Miami (10-4) 20.4 .546 52.2% 30.8% 14.6% 23.4% 115.7 101.4 +14.3
Pitt (10-4) 20.3 .570 49.4% 39.8% 14.6% 24.1% 115.5 104.3 +11.2
Virginia Tech (8-6) 18.7 .451 54.4% 30.0% 18.3% 22.9% 109.8 103.1 +6.7
Wake Forest (8-7) 18.2 .503 47.1% 36.0% 18.3% 31.3% 105.0 99.3 +5.7
Georgia Tech (9-4) 18.0 .631 46.1% 41.0% 16.3% 22.1% 106.4 101.0 +5.4
Boston College (7-5) 17.9 .522 49.3% 33.2% 18.1% 27.9% 107.1 102.4 +4.7
Florida State (8-6) 17.9 .495 50.8% 30.9% 18.4% 30.9% 107.1 104.1 +3.0
Clemson (8-5) 17.3 .519 47.4% 33.6% 16.8% 25.0% 105.2 100.9 +4.3

Using these advanced stats, we get a clearer picture of how the ACC steams stack up against each other. The power rating is a statistic designed by me that adds in the four factors (True FG%, OffReb%, TO%, FL%), RPI, a true measure for strength of schedule and the rating differential. If any of the other categories seem confusing, I’ve attached an Basketball Stat Glossary here.

The best part of college basketball is here! Conference play has begun and the ACC looks to be one of the tougher conferences in the country. The problem is Georgia Tech is going to have to play every team on this list and as you can see: Tech isn't very good. Despite playing the fourth toughest schedule, the Yellow Jackets are falling behind in all of the other stats.

As of this morning only nine ACC games have been played, so the majority of these numbers are from non-conference play. Traditionally, non-con play isn't a great indicator of how conference play will turn out. This year with the metrics we'll know for sure if non-con play is a good precursor to conference play. At the end of the regular season, we'll come back to these numbers and compare the differences.

In these rankings going forward, we'll start by laying down the skinny on Georgia Tech and then going through three big takeaways on other teams in the ACC. So without further ado...

The Skinny On Georgia Tech

As mentioned earlier, the Yellow Jackets are struggling this year. Despite a 9-3 non-con record, Georgia Tech's numbers say the .750 winning percentage is very hollow. Tech is the worst shooting team in the ACC and is the third worst team in terms of offensive efficiency. Perhaps more surprising is they're in the bottom half of the conference in defensive efficiency, which means the defense has gone from average to below average in a matter of one game.

More cause for concern is at the foul line. Despite being a team that is heavy on the front court, Tech is the worst at getting to the foul line in the ACC. Only 22.1 percent of the Yellow Jackets possessions end in a trip to the foul line, when most teams should have a quarter of their possessions end with a trip to the charity stripe. Those are critical free points Tech is missing out on, even though they only shoot 65.4 percent from the line.

The one metric Tech has going for them is offensive rebound percentage. Only North Carolina pulls down more offensive boards than Georgia Tech does. The Yellow Jackets pull down two of every five missed shots they take, which is what has kept their record afloat up to this point. Teams that go cold on the shooting front can find themselves in big trouble against Tech, just ask Notre Dame if they've caught their breath yet after Saturday's double overtime thriller.

Three Big Takeaways

A Clear Top Three

Virginia, Notre Dame and Duke are separated as the clear big three in the ACC. Virginia is a clear three points ahead of the fourth best team in UNC. Each one has their own ridiculous strength: Notre Dame can shoot like crazy, Virginia plays fantastic defense and Duke is constantly at the foul line. The one thing they all have in common? All three teams are the best in the conference in taking care of the ball (take the hint Brian Gregory).

Louisville... overrated?

Louisville has been touted as one of the best teams in the country since the preseason, but the numbers say otherwise. The first thing that jumps out is the effective shooting percentage, only 48.2 percent for the Cardinals. For a team ranked No.5 in the country, Louisville sure does turn the ball over frequently too. 16.3 percent of their possessions end in a turnover and that will eventually come back to bite them in conference play, as evidenced with their struggles against Wake Forest last night.

Six Bad Teams?

Just an FYI on the power ratings, 22-20 is average for a college basketball team. If your falling under 20 it's bad news bears. The ACC has six teams falling under the mark, with Clemson surprisingly coming in at dead last. Good news for Tech? They're five teams teams that spell potential wins. The bad news? They're nine teams that spell potential losses.