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ACC Basketball Power Rankings: Week 2

The 4 teams at the top are separated by a thin margin, with a couple teams climbing. Its also TOURNAMENT WEEK!

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina Central at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

The writers from From the Rumble Seat continue a weekly series for ACC power rankings. The following rankings are based on games through Sunday 11/17.

1. Louisville Cardinals (4-0, 1-0)

AP Rank: 2
Kenpom: 2
Last Week Power Rank: 1

The Cards shined again this week against inferior competition with two 29 point home wins against Indiana St and NC Central. Jordan Nwora continued his impressive start to the season, with 21 and 17 points in those games respectively, and has yet to shoot below 50% in a single game. As a team, Louisville is shooting the lights out of the ball to start the season, leading the country in field goal percentage (56.6%) and are 10th in 3-point percentage (44.3%). It’ll be virtually impossible to keep this up, but while they do, they won’t be beat. Up next for Chris Mack’s team are home games against USC Upstate and Akron.

Last Week:
Win vs Indiana St 91-62
Win vs NC Central 87-58

This Week:
11/20 vs USC Upstate
11/24 vs Akron

NCAA Basketball: Georgia State at Duke Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

2. Duke Blue Devils (4-0, 0-0)

AP Rank: 1
Kenpom: 4
Last Week Power Rank: 2

The Blue Devils remain the #2 team in the power rankings after a dominant win over Central Arkansas and a convincing win against Georgia St. Duke saw balanced scoring in the win over Central Arkansas, while Tre Jones erupted for 31 points on above 50% from the field against Georgia St. Duke will travel to New York to play Cal in the Empire Classic. They would then play either Georgetown or Texas the next day.

Last Week:
Win vs Central Arkansas 105-54
Win vs Georgia St 74-63

This Week:
11/21 vs California*
11/22 TBD Game 2 of Empire Classic*

NCAA Basketball: Columbia at Virginia Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

3. Virginia Cavaliers (3-0, 1-0)

AP Rank: 7
Kenpom: 3
Last Week Power Rank: 3

Well it another year of grind it out games with incredible defense for the Cavaliers. Virginia defeated Columbia, while allowing a season high 42 points (WHAT?!). I cannot believe that UVA is allowing under 40 points per game through 3 games. I mean I can, but wow that is impressive. Mamadi Diakite and Jay Huff led the way for Virginia with 13 points each against Columbia. The Cavaliers will play a strong mid major in Vermont before heading to Connecticut to play UMass in the Air Force Reserve Hall of Fame Tip-off. In game 2, the Cavs will face either Arizona St or St Johns.

Last Week:
Win vs Columbia 60-42

This Week:
11/19 vs Vermont
11/23 vs UMass*
11/24 vs TBD Game 2 of Air Force Reserve Hall of Fame Tip-off*

NCAA Basketball: Notre Dame at North Carolina Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

4. North Carolina Tar Heels (3-0, 1-0)

AP Rank: 5
Kenpom: 7
Last Week Power Rank: 4

The Tar Heels will stay put at number 4 in the Power Rankings this week despite the win over Gardner-Webb. Cole Anthony dazzled again, putting up 28 points, while Armando Bacot chipped in a double-double (12 points and 11 rebounds). North Carolina won’t have much of an opportunity to move up the Power Rankings this week as they only have Elon on the schedule. They would need a Duke or Virginia loss to climb the ladder.

Last Week:
Win vs Gardner-Webb 77-61

This Week:
11/20 vs Elon

NCAA Basketball: N.C. State at Florida State Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

5. NC State Wolfpack (3-1, 0-1)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 43
Last Week Power Rank: 8

NC State has looked much better now that Markell Johnson and DJ Funderburk have returned. Funderburk and Manny Bates are seemingly able to coexist with both players putting up double figures in each game last week. CJ Bryce continued his strong play shooting 13-25 on the week. The Wolfpack are picking up wins despite Markell Johnson clearly not being at full strength, evidenced by him shooting 23% this season. NC State will be a force to be reckoned with once he rounds into form. Look for the Pack to pick up 2 more wins this week against Alcorn St and Arkansas Little Rock.

Last Week:
Win vs FIU 86-77
Win vs St. Francis (NY) 95-64

This Week:
11/19 vs Alcorn St
11/23 vs Arkansas Little Rock

6. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (2-0, 1-0)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 63
Last Week Power Rank: 6

The Jackets only had one game last week against Elon, but performed well enough to cover the spread and capture a 23 point win. Michael Devoe has been a star thus far and the emergence of Khalid Moore will give the Jackets another strong defensive option. We will learn a lot about this Georgia Tech team this week as it heads to Athens to face a talented but young uga squad and hosts undefeated Arkansas. It will be interesting to see how effective of a defender Khalid Moore is against a potential top 3 pick in Anthony Edwards. Going 1-1 with a close loss could allow them to hold on to their number 6 spot.

Last Week:
Win vs Elon 64-41

This Week:
11/20 at uga
11/25 vs Arkansas

7. Florida St Seminoles (2-1, 0-1)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 15
Last Week Power Rank: 5

Last week I had FSU ranked highly due to knocking off a preseason top 10 team, the Florida Gators. After squeaking by Towson, the Gators fell to UCONN, so that win isn’t looking as impressive anymore. FSU also struggled in their only game of the week against Western Carolina. The Noles actually trailed in that game with under a minute to go before hitting several free throws to clinch a 5 point win. Florida St is still trying to figure out who the go-to scorer will be as each game has brought a new leading scorer. Leonard Hamilton’s crew will face Chattanooga and St Francis this week in an effort to rebound from a lackluster performance against Western Carolina.

Last Week:
Win vs Western Carolina 79-74

This Week:
11/20 vs Chattanooga
11/23 vs St Francis (PA)

8. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3-1, 0-1)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 46
Last Week Power Rank: 7

Notre Dame was able to record two wins last week against Howard and Marshall. However, the Irish drop one spot this week due to an unconvincing win against Marshall as well as poor shooting. Notre Dame ranks 273rd in the country in 3 point percentage (28.8%) while attempting the 58th most 3 pointers (104). That is just not going to get it done against a high caliber team. The bright side for the Irish was that John Mooney returned to form, averaging 23 points and 16 rebounds in the two games. Notre Dame should cruise against Presbyterian before facing off against a kenpom top 75 team in Toledo.

Last Week:
Win vs Howard 79-50
Win vs Marshall 74-64

This Week:
11/18 vs Presbyterian
11/21 vs Toledo

9. Virginia Tech (4-0, 1-0)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 44
Last Week Power Rank: 9

The opponents were not strong, but Virginia Tech dispelled USC Upstate and Lehigh with ease. Landers Nolley was an absolute stud in both games recording 23 and and 27 respectively. Nolley was also extremely efficient shooting 18-33 and 11-19 from beyond the arc. For the season, Landers is shooting 50% from the field and 47% from 3. He’s been a huge reason behind the 4-0 start for the Hokies. Virginia Tech will host Delaware St at home on Wednesday in their only game of the week.

Last Week:
Win vs USC Upstate 80-57
Win vs Lehigh 79-53

This Week:
11/20 vs Delaware St

NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Miami Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

10. Miami Hurricanes (3-1, 0-1)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 59
Last Week Power Rank: 11

Since their season opening blowout loss against Louisville, Miami has looked strong. The Canes picked up a road win against Johnny Dawkins’s UCF squad and followed it up with a blowout win by 28 against Quinnipiac. Kam McGusty led the team in scoring in both games last week, averaging 19.5 points in those contests. Even better for Miami is that star guard Chris Lykes hasn’t rounded into form yet. He will provide the Hurricanes with an even greater offensive boost. Miami’s lone game this week will be at home against Missouri St.

Last Week:
Win at UCF 79-70
Win vs Quinnipiac 80-52

This Week:
11/21 vs Missouri St

11. Syracuse Orange (2-1, 0-1)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 51
Last Week Power Rank: 12

Syracuse moves up a spot this week due to convincing wins against the preseason Patriot league favorite (Colgate) and Seattle. Syracuse is fairly well rounded in scoring, with 5 different players reaching double figures against Seattle and a different player leading the team in scoring every game. However, the Orange have a shooting problem as they are just 30.4% from beyond the arc. Up next this week are games at home against non Power 5 teams that are a combined 3-5. This could help Joe Girard and Buddy Boeheim going from deep.

Last Week:
Win vs Colgate 70-54
Win vs Seattle 89-67

This Week:
11/20 vs Cornell
11/23 vs Bucknell

12. Pittsburgh Panthers (2-2, 1-0)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 84
Last Week Power Rank: 10

Well Pitt takes a bit of a tumble this week. The Panthers were locked up with Robert Morris at half before pulling away for a 14 point win at home. Later in the week, they suffered at double digit loss to West Virginia at home. I was fairly high on Pitt to start the year, and still think they have potential with their talented guards. However, Xavier Johnson has to be the player he was last season. Johnson has struggled mightily this year, shooting just 31.4% with 4 turnovers per game. The Panthers should be able to rebound this week with two games at home against weaker non-Power 5 opponents.

Last Week:
Win at Robert Morris 71-57
Loss vs West Virginia 53-68

This Week:
11/18 vs Monmouth
11/21 vs Arkansas - Pine Bluff

13. Clemson Tigers (3-1, 0-1)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 72
Last Week Power Rank: 14

Just one game for Clemson last week, but a 22 point win over Detroit was enough to move the Tigers up a spot this week. Clemson had 3 players in double figures, with Hunter Tyson leading the way with 20 points. Aamir Simms and Tevin Mack continued to shine with 19 and 18 points respectively. I still don’t believe in Clemson as they don’t have a team strength to truly hang their hat on and will likely struggle against bigger teams. The Tigers will host Alabama A&M this week before heading to Las Vegas to play TCU in the MGM Resorts Main Event.

Last Week:
Win vs Detroit 87-65

This Week:
11/21 vs Alabama A&M
11/24 vs TCU*

14. Boston College Eagles (3-1, 1-0)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 107
Last Week Power Rank: 13

Last week I wasn’t bought in on BC, and they certainly didn’t do themselves any favors since then. The Eagles beat High Point at home in a game where neither team broke 60 points, and were blown out at home against Belmont. Belmont gained a double digit lead early in the second half and were up by as many as 25 points over Boston College. However, Derryck Thornton and Nik Popovic continue to play well for Jim Christian’s squad, as the duo combine for over 32 points per game. The Eagles will face off with Eastern Washington and an impressive DePaul team this week, with both games being in Chestnut Hill.

Last Week:
Win vs High Point 59-33
Loss vs Belmont 85-100

This Week:
11/20 vs Eastern Washington
11/23 vs DePaul

15. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (2-2 0-1)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 94
Last Week Power Rank: 15

Can I rank Wake Forest below 15? I wish I could. Danny Manning’s seat has to be scorching hot despite the massive buyout that is rumored to be in the ballpark of 15 million. This was an extremely poor week for the Deacs. They were able to dispel UNC Asheville, but the score was tied 72-72 with under 10 minutes left in the second half. In addition, they fell on the road in overtime to Charlotte and needed a 3-pointer on their final possession to even force overtime. I get that road games aren’t easy, but to lose to a team ranked 226 by kenpom is not acceptable from a veteran group in the ACC. Wake will face another in-state school on the road when they square off with Davidson on Friday.

Last Week:
Win vs UNC Asheville 98-79
Loss at Charlotte 65-67

This Week:
11/22 at Davidson