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ACC Basketball Power Rankings: Week 3

The top of the ACC continues to be dominant, but more importantly... IT’S FEAST WEEK!

NCAA Basketball: Akron 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 11/24.

1. Louisville Cardinals (6-0, 1-0)

AP Rank: 2
Kenpom: 3
Last Week Power Rank: 1

Louisville retains the top spot for the 3rd consecutive week. The Cardinals destroyed USC upstate by 26 points and Jordan Nwora continued to shine. Nwora scored 28 points on 11 for 19 shooting and pulled in 9 rebounds. The Cardinals then survived a brief scare from the pesky Zips 82-76. Nwora led the way again with 18 points and 8 rebounds. He is well on his way to ACC Player of the Year honors. Louisville has one game in front of them this week against Western Kentucky in Nashville.

Last Week:
Win vs USC Upstate 76-50
Win vs Akron 82-76

This Week:
11/29 vs Western Kentucky*

NCAA Basketball: Central Arkansas at Duke Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

2. Duke Blue Devils (6-0, 0-0)

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

Duke played in the Empire Classic last week and came away with a trophy. In game 1, the Blue Devils dismantled California behind freshman star Vernon Carey’s 31 points and 12 rebounds. Tre Jones struggled for Duke, but it didn’t matter as they came away with a 25 point win. Georgetown gave Duke fits early, but the Blue Devils pulled away in the second half behind 20+ point performances from Cassius Stanley and Vernon Carey. Duke is back in action this week with two home games against Stephen F Austin and Winthrop.

Last Week:
Win vs California* 87-52
Win vs Georgetown* 81-73

This Week:
11/26 vs Stephen F Austin
11/29 vs Winthrop

NCAA Basketball: Virginia at Massachusetts David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

3. Virginia Cavaliers (6-0, 1-0)

AP Rank: 7
Kenpom: 4
Last Week Power Rank: 3

Virginia’s defense is becoming porous. They allowed a season high 55 points?! Through 6 games, Virginia is allowing 42.7 points per game. That’s crazy. The Cavaliers went 3-0 on the week with a win over a very strong Vermont team. The Cavs also won the Air Force Reserve Hall of Fame Classic last week with wins over Vermont and Arizona St. The Sun Devils threatened with an upset bid, leading by as many as 8 points. However, the Hoos completed a second half comeback behind their defense to win 48-45. Freshman Casey Morsell led the Cavs with 19 points in the championship game.

Last Week:
Win vs Vermont 61-55
Win vs UMass* 58-46
Win vs Arizona St* 48-45

This Week:
11/27 vs Maine

NCAA Basketball: Elon University at North Carolina Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports

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

AP Rank: 6
Kenpom: 9
Last Week Power Rank: 4

The Tar Heels struggled this week against Elon at home. This is a team I expect the Heels to beat by a wide margin, but Mike Schrage’s team kept it under double digits with 2 minutes to go. Freshman big Armando Bacot chipped in a game high 22 points and 14 rebounds on 9 for 14 shooting. Freshman star Cole Anthony had a near triple double with 9 points 10 rebounds and 8 assists. Carolina heads to the Bahamas to play in a loaded Battle 4 Atlantis field. On Wednesday they will square up with Alabama. Then they will play the winner of Michigan and Iowa St. Gonzaga awaits on the other side of the bracket if the Heels were to make the final. If the Tar Heels aspire to be National Championship contenders, this is their opportunity to prove it.

Last Week:
Win vs Elon 75-61

This Week:
11/27 vs Alabama*
11/28 TBD Game 2 of Battle 4 Atlantis*
11/29 TBD Game 3 of Battle 4 Atlantis*

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

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 44
Last Week Power Rank: 5

NC State stays at the 5 spot in this weeks rankings update. Two convincing wins against Alcorn St and Arkansas Little Rock were enough to hold off Florida St from passing them. Devon Daniels led the way against Alcorn St with 23 points on 9 for 13 shooting. Markell Johnson is starting to round into form as he put in 16 points and 8 assists. CJ Bryce continued his phenomenal start to the year with 18 points and 6 rebounds on 7 for 11 shooting against Arkansas Little Rock. Ahead for the Pack is a showdown with #16 Memphis in the Barclay’s Classic in New York.

Last Week:
Win vs Alcorn St 87-64
Win vs Arkansas Little Rock 74-58

This Week:
11/28 vs #16 Memphis*

NCAA Basketball: Florida State at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

6. Florida St Seminoles (4-1, 0-1)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 17
Last Week Power Rank: 7

Florida St had two games last week and two blowouts. The Noles were able to beat Chattanooga by 35 and then beat St Francis by 25. Devin Vassell recorded 17 points and 8 rebounds on 6/10 shooting against Chattanooga. Wyatt Wilkes recorded a game high 14 points on 3/5 from 3 point range against St Francis. The Noles face an interesting test against Rick Barnes and the Tennessee Volunteers in the Emerald Coast Classic in Niceville, Florida. Waiting after Tennessee is either Purdue or VCU. Florida St will definitely get tested this week.

Last Week:
Win vs Chattanooga 89-53
Win vs St Francis (PA) 80-65

This Week:
11/25 vs Chicago St
11/29 vs #17 Tennessee*
11/30 TBD Game 2 of Emerald Coast Classic*

NCAA Basketball: Lehigh at Virginia Tech Michael Shroyer-USA TODAY Sports

7. Virginia Tech (5-0, 1-0)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 41
Last Week Power Rank: 9

It’s hard not to be impressed with what the Hokies have done so far this season with a depleted roster. They are sitting at 5-0 after defeating Delaware St by 36 points. In that game, Virginia Tech had 7 players with at least 8 points. Nahiem Alleyne with 20 points in 31 minutes. VT has a daunting task ahead of them as they travel to Hawaii to play in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational. The field is loaded yet again, with Michigan St and Kansas headlining the event. The Hokies draw #3 Michigan St in their opening game Monday and will play either Dayton or uga in game 2. We will learn how good Virginia Tech is by Wednesday night.

Last Week:
Win vs Delaware St 100-64

This Week:
11/25 vs #3 Michigan St*
11/26 TBD Game 2 of Maui Jim Maui Invitational*
11/27 TBD Game 3 of Maui Jim Maui Invitational*

NCAA Basketball: Georgia Tech at Georgia Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

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

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

Georgia Tech’s loss on the road against uga certainly dropped them in this week’s Power Rankings, but I am hesitant to drop them too far. A 4 point loss on the road with a less than 50% Jose Alvarado, James Banks with the flu, and without Jordan Usher isn’t that bad on paper. With one of Alvarado/Banks fully healthy, they win the game. Enough of the excuses though. I’d still like to see Pastner beat our biggest rival just ONCE. He now falls to 0-4 against uga. Devoe was absolutely on fire against uga, shooting 12-20 and 5-7 from three, while scoring 34 points and corralling 9 rebounds. He’s been sensational for the Jackets this year, but he will need help to dispel an Arkansas team that likes to heavily press opposing guards. Pastner’s squad has two home games this week, but we will really learn who this team is against an Arkansas team that’s flirting with an AP Ranking.

Last Week:
Loss at uga 78-82

This Week:
11/25 vs Arkansas
12/1 vs Bethune-Cookman

NCAA Basketball: Bucknell at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

9. Syracuse Orange (4-1, 0-1)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 36
Last Week Power Rank: 11

Syracuse impressed with dominating wins over inferior competition. Cuse beat Cornell 72-53 and followed it up with a 97-46 win over Bucknell at home. Elijah Hughes led the way against the Big Red with 22 points and 7 assists. Versus Bucknell, Buddy Boeheim (22 points) and Elijah Hughes (21 points) both eclipsed the 20 point mark. The Orange have a tough road ahead of them this week in the NIT Season Tip Off. They will square up with Oklahoma St on Wednesday in MSG. The winner will face the victor of Penn St and Ole Miss. Fortunately for Syracuse, the neutral site won’t be a far trip for their fans.

Last Week:
Win vs Cornell 72-53
Win vs Bucknell 97-46

This Week:
11/27 vs Oklahoma St*
11/29 vs TBD Game 2 of NIT Season Tip-off*

10. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-1, 0-1)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 56
Last Week Power Rank: 8

Notre Dame struggled this week. Without John Mooney against Presbyterian, the Irish were up by 2 with 8 minutes to go in the game. They went on to win by 10, but certainly not convincing against a 1-3 non-Power 5 team. Later in the week the Irish played Toledo with Mooney and performed just as poorly. With 1 second to go, Toledo had a 3 point lead and a win probability of 99%, but Nate Laszewski bailed them out with a buzzer beating 3 to force overtime. Notre Dame was able to get the win in overtime 64-62. The Irish have one home game against Fairleigh Dickinson this week.

Last Week:
Win vs Presbyterian 63-53
Win vs Toledo 64-62

This Week:
11/26 vs Fairleigh Dickinson

11. Pittsburgh Panthers (4-2, 1-0)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 81
Last Week Power Rank: 12

Pitt was able to pick up two home wins this week against Monmouth and Arkansas Pine Bluff. The performance was good enough to move them up 1 spot in this weeks ranking. The Panthers had fairly balanced scoring against Monmouth with 4 players reaching double figures, led by Trey McGowens with 16 points. Justin Champagnie led the way against Arkansas Pine Bluff with 18 points. The Panthers will play in the Fort Myers Tip-off this week, starting with Kansas St on Monday. With a win, they will play the winner of Northwestern and Bradley.

Last Week:
Win vs Monmouth 63-50
Win vs Arkansas-Pine Bluff 66-41

This Week:
11/25 vs Kansas St*
11/27 TBD Game 2 of Fort Myers Tip-off*

12. Clemson Tigers (5-1, 0-1)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 68
Last Week Power Rank: 13

Clemson was slotted to stay at 13 until a late turn of fortunes on Sunday night against TCU in the MGM Resorts Main Event. After beating Alabama A&M handily on Thursday, the Tigers faced off with TCU in Las Vegas. For much of the game, TCU had a sizable lead and with 7:39 to go in the second half, the Tigers were down 37-52. For the remainder of the half, TCU failed to score, allowing Clemson to force overtime, where they eventually won 62-60. Tevin Mack led the way for the Tigers with 22 points and 9 rebounds. Clemson has a tough test ahead of them as they face off with #21 Colorado in the championship game.

Last Week:
Win vs Alabama A&M 87-51
Win vs TCU* 62-60

This Week:
11/26 vs #21 Colorado*

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

13. Miami Hurricanes (4-3, 0-1)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 83
Last Week Power Rank: 10

The Hurricanes had a very poor showing in the Charleston Classic this week. The Canes opened up with a nail-biting win over Missouri St, relying on free throw shooting down the stretch to seal the win. Vasiljevic led the way by raining in 25 points on 9-13 shooting and 4-7 from 3. In the semifinal, Miami was blown out by in-state rival Florida, who was a preseason top 10 team starting to find form. The Hurricanes followed it up with another blowout loss in the consolation game against UCONN. The 25 point loss saw Miami fail to reach the 60 point mark for consecutive games. The Canes are off this week and will need to do some soul-searching before taking on a formidable Illinois team on the road on December 2nd.

Last Week:
Win vs Missouri St* 74-70
Loss vs Florida* 58-78
Loss vs Connecticut* 55-80

This Week:

14. Boston College Eagles (4-2, 1-0)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 111
Last Week Power Rank: 14

Boston College struggled this week against a bad Eastern Washington team and average DePaul team (despite being undefeated). The Eagles went 1-1 in those home games, with both going down to the wire. However, the below average performance from BC is not enough to have them drop below the Deacs, since they own a head to head win. Thornton cooled off a little this week, averaging 15 points and 4 assists per game this week on 9-26 shooting. Up next for Jim Christian’s squad are St Louis at home and Richmond on the road.

Last Week:
Win vs Eastern Washington 72-68
Loss vs DePaul 67-72

This Week:
11/27 vs Saint Louis
11/30 at Richmond

15. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-2 0-1)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 86
Last Week Power Rank: 15

Bringing up the rear for the third consecutive week are the Demon Deacons. Wake got back on track this week with a 82-70 win over in-state foe Davidson. This is more along the lines of what I expected offensively from this team comprised of many upperclassmen. The Deacs shot 10-22 from beyond the arc (46%) and 48% overall. Senior guard Brandon Childress put in 18 points with 7 assists to go along. Oliver Sarr had a great game with 15 points and 12 rebounds. Wake will have a chance to get themselves out of the cellar with an impressive showing at the Wooden Legacy in Anaheim. The field includes Arizona, UCF, and Providence.

Last Week:
Win at Davidson 82-70

This Week:
11/28 vs Charleston*
11/29 TBD Game 2 of Wooden Legacy*
12/1 TBD Game 3 of Wooden Legacy*