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ACC Basketball Power Rankings: Week 6

A new number one, Notre Dame makes their move, the fall of North Carolina, and more...

NCAA Basketball: Duke at Virginia Tech Michael Shroyer-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 12/15.


1. Duke Blue Devils (9-1, 1-0)

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

This wasn’t an easy choice. After the Louisville loss, Duke and UL are neck and neck, but I give the resume edge to the Blue Devils as they have several quality wins. Duke was off this week, but took the #1 spot for the first time this season because of wins over Kansas (newly minted AP #1), Georgetown, and Michigan St. The Blue Devils will play Wofford at home this week, a team that just upset North Carolina.

Last Week:
None

This Week:
12/19 vs Wofford

NCAA Basketball: Texas Tech at Louisville Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

2. Louisville Cardinals (10-1, 2-0)

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

We aren’t even two months through the season, but we are quickly finding out that nobody’s safe this season. Just ask Louisville. They were handed their first defeat of the season in at the Jimmy V Classic against Texas Tech, a team that had lost 3 straight to unranked teams. It all went wrong on the same day for UL. They were outrebounded, turned the ball over 19 times, weren’t moving the ball on offense, shot 18% from 3, and shot 34% from the field. On top of that their best player, Jordan Nwora, was 4 for 16 from the field. The Cardinals were able to bounce back over the weekend with a win over Eastern Kentucky. Nwora had 26 points on 10 for 14 shooting, but even more impressive was shooting 96% from the FT line as a team (22 for 23). Louisville will host Miami (OH) this week as they look to regain their #1 ranking.

Last Week:
Loss 12/10 vs Texas Tech* 57-70
Win 12/14 vs Eastern Kentucky 99-67

This Week:
12/18 vs Miami (OH)

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Virginia Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

3. Virginia Cavaliers (8-1, 2-0)

AP Rank: 9
Kenpom: 9
Last Week Power Rank: 3

Virginia stays put at #3 this week as they were one of the many teams that did not play last week. More importantly for the Wahoos, Braxton Key appears to be closing in on a return. He had his stitches taken out of his surgically repaired wrist on December 10th and could play as early Virginia’s next game. Virginia has two home games this week against Stony Brook and South Carolina, and it seems likely that Key will be available in at least one of them. This would certainly provide the Cavaliers with a much needed jolt offensively.

Last Week:
None

This Week:
12/18 vs Stony Brook
12/22 vs South Carolina

NCAA Basketball: Clemson at Florida State Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

4. Florida St Seminoles (8-2, 1-1)

AP Rank: 19
Kenpom: 16
Last Week Power Rank: 4

No movement at the 4 spot as there were just not enough games played by teams in the top half for the Seminoles to move up or down. The Noles were off last week and will play two home games this week against in state teams. Florida St will host both North Florida and South Florida as they continue their quest to beat every team in the state.

Last Week:
None

This Week:
12/17 vs North Florida
12/21 vs South Florida

NCAA Basketball: Georgia Tech at N.C. State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

5. NC State Wolfpack (8-2, 1-1)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 35
Last Week Power Rank: 5

The Wolfpack stay put after they picked up a road victory over in-state foe UNC Greensboro. This was a tough test for NC State against a top 100 team in kenpom. NC State needed a buzzer beating 3-pointer from Markell Johnson to seal a 3 point victory. Johnson led the way with 19 points and 7 assists on 50% shooting. Grad transfer forward Pat Andree lit it up from beyond the arc, making 5 threes. The Wolfpack will have every opportunity to move up in the power rankings as they face #12 Auburn in the Plains. Later in the week, they will take on Citadel.

Last Week:
Win 12/15 at UNC Greensboro 80-77

This Week:
12/19 at #12 Auburn
12/22 vs Citadel

6. Virginia Tech (8-3, 1-1)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 63
Last Week Power Rank: 7

Virginia Tech picked up two wins last week against Chattanooga and Gardner-Webb at home. The Hokies survived a late second half scare against Chattanooga as they were locked up with under 4 minutes to go in the game. VT pulled away on the backs of Landers Nolley and Nahiem Alleyne, who accounted for 41 of the 63 points. Nolley shined again against Gardner-Webb with 18 points and 9 rebounds in a much more convincing win. The Hokies will play 1 game this week against VMI at home.

Last Week:
Win 12/11 vs Chattanooga 63-58
Win 12/15 vs Gardner-Webb 73-46

This Week:
12/21 vs VMI

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Virginia Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

7. North Carolina Tar Heels (6-4, 1-1)

AP Rank: NA
Kenpom: 36
Last Week Power Rank: 6

Yes, this image is staying up there as it completely sums up Carolina’s season so far. This is the first time since 2014 that North Carolina is not ranked in the AP Poll. The Tar Heels fell over the weekend to Wofford at home. This is their second consecutive home loss to Wofford. North Carolina was without star freshman Cole Anthony, who is the heart and soul of their team. Anthony is expected to miss 4 to 6 weeks after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery. The Tar Heels will need to find a way to win without him or they could end up on the tournament bubble. To make matters worse, Carolina travels to the west coast for two games and cross country road trips usually don’t end well for the visiting team. UNC will take on #2 Gonzaga in Spokane and UCLA in Las Vegas and hope to avoid falling to a .500 record.

Last Week:
Loss 12/15 vs Wofford 64-68

This Week:
12/18 at #2 Gonzaga
12/21 vs UCLA*

8. Pittsburgh Panthers (7-3, 1-1)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 72
Last Week Power Rank: 8

The Panthers were off last week, but have a good chance to improve their resume and go to 9-3 this week. They face off with Northern Illinois and Binghamton at home. Xavier Johnson and Trey McGowens will continue to lead the charge as Pitt’s leading scorers.

Last Week:
None

This Week:
11/16 vs Northern Illinois
11/20 vs Binghamton

NCAA Basketball: UCLA at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

9. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-3, 0-2)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 65
Last Week Power Rank: 12

It was an impressive showing for the Irish this week as they picked up two needed home wins. Notre Dame outclassed Detroit by 39 points as Dane Goodwin led the way with 27 points on 10 for 13 shooting. Detroit is by no means good, but for a team that has shot the ball below 30% from behind the arc in the two previous games, it had to be nice to see the ball go in the basket at a high clip. As a team, the Irish shot 20 for 39 (51%) from behind the arc and 59% from the field. Notre Dame followed it up with a dominating home win over UCLA. Prentiss Hubb led all scorers with 20 points and John Mooney had an impressive double double: 14 points and 15 rebounds. Most importantly, it was another good shooting night for the Irish as they made 39% of their shots from beyond the arc. Notre Dame will need to continue their hot shooting if they want to defeat the 10-1 Indiana Hoosiers on Saturday.

Last Week:
Win 12/10 vs Detroit 110-71
Win 12/14 vs UCLA 75-61

This Week:
12/21 vs Indiana

10. Miami Hurricanes (6-3, 0-1)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 87
Last Week Power Rank: 10

Miami was up 5 with 4 minutes to go against Alabama A&M this week, but pulled away for a 14 point win. Kam McGusty led the game in scoring with 21 points on 9 for 15 shooting. Dejan Vasiljevic put in 17 points on 5 made 3-pointers. Miami seems to have gotten back on track offensively after some anemic performances in Charleston. The Canes will host Temple and Coppin St this week as they look to move to 8-3 on the season.

Last Week:
Win 12/14 vs Alabama A&M 88-74

This Week:
12/17 vs Temple
12/21 vs Coppin St

11. Syracuse Orange (5-5, 1-1)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 54
Last Week Power Rank: 9

Syracuse continued their red hot shooting, but fell short by 10 points to Georgetown on the road. Buddy Boeheim lit up the scoreboard with 25 points on 7 for 13 from 3 point range. Elijah Hughes also contributed 21 points, 6 rebounds, and 9 assists. As a team, the Orange shot 48% and 44% from 3, but it was the defense and rebounding that did them in. Syracuse was out-rebounded by 11 and gave up 14 offensive rebounds. The Orange also gave up 89 points with 24 of them coming from the charity stripe. Syracuse has 2 games this week against Oakland and North Florida as they look to push their record above .500 again.

Last Week:
Loss 12/14 at Georgetown 79-89

This Week:
11/18 vs Oakland
11/21 vs North Florida

NCAA Basketball: Georgia Tech at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

12. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (4-4, 1-1)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 93
Last Week Power Rank: 11

Georgia Tech fell on the road by 14 points to Kentucky at Rupp Arena. The leading scorer in the ACC, Michael Devoe, was held to 5 points on 2 for 11 shooting. Banks seemed overmatched against Nick Richards in the high post and the offense seemed to stall in those instances. On a more positive end, Bubba Parham seemed comfortable on the floor and was able to make 4 of his 7 shots. Moses Wright had an efficient double double but still needs to work on limiting his turnovers. The biggest news for the Jackets is Jordan Usher returns this week. The hope is that the high motor forward will give Georgia Tech a spark on both ends of the floor. GT will take on Ball St on Wednesday before heading to Hawaii for the Diamond Head Classic opener against Boise St.

Last Week
Loss 12/14 at #8 Kentucky 53-67

This Week:
12/18 vs Ball St
12/22 vs Boise St*

NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at Boston College Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports

13. Boston College Eagles (7-5, 2-0)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 130
Last Week Power Rank: 14

Boston College dominated inferior competition last week against Albany and Central Connecticut St. Steffon Mitchell Mitchell was out of this world with 28 points, 25 rebounds, 5 assists, and 11 steals in the two games. Jairus Hamilton chipped in 16 points against Albany, while also leading the team in scoring against Central Connecticut St with 18 points on 6 for 9 shooting. Boston College travels to California to take on the 6-5 Golden Bears.

Last Week:
12/10 vs Albany 72-51
12/15 vs Central Connecticut St 74-55

This Week:
12/21 at California

NCAA Basketball: Xavier at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

14. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (6-5, 0-2)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 90
Last Week Power Rank: 15

The Deacs were able to break out of the bottom this week with an impressive upset win over then #23 Xavier. Chaundee Brown had his best shooting performance of the season with 26 points on 11 for 16 shooting. Brandon Childress was also huge with 22 points. What’s more impressive is Wake Forest won without Olivier Sarr, their best interior player. Wake excelled shooting the ball over the weekend, finishing 47% from the field, 44% from 3, and 78% from the free throw line. The Deacs play one game this week against North Carolina A&T before Christmas break.

Last Week:
Win 12/14 vs #23 Xavier 80-78

This Week:
12/21 vs North Carolina A&T

15. Clemson Tigers (5-5, 0-2)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 100
Last Week Power Rank: 13

Clemson fell at home to their arch-rival on Sunday, South Carolina. This was a bad loss for the Tigers as South Carolina has been blown out by the two top 50 teams they’ve faced and have barely squeaked by questionable competition like Gardner-Webb and UMass. The 13 point loss also saw Clemson fail to score 60 points against a team giving up 66 points per game (110th in the country). Aamir Simms was the lone bright spot for the Tigers as he had 21 points and 8 rebounds in the contest. Clemson’s leading scorer, Tevin Mack, was held to 3 points on 1 for 8 shooting. The Tigers look to get back on track against Jacksonville before hosting a very good Yale team. A win over Yale would almost certainly get Clemson out of the cellar.

Last Week:
Loss 12/15 vs South Carolina 54-67

This Week:
12/20 vs Jacksonville
12/22 vs Yale