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ACC Basketball Power Rankings: Week 4

Changes to the top 4, a new caboose, ACC B1G Challenge preview, Round 2 of early ACC play, and more...

NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Western Kentucky Steve Roberts-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 12/1.

1. Louisville Cardinals (7-0, 1-0)

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

Louisville has been the #1 team in ACC since the onset of the FTRS Power Rankings 4 weeks ago and the AP voters have followed suit by naming Louisville the #1 team in the country. The Cardinals blew out in-state foe Western Kentucky led by former 5* Charles Bassey. Once the Hilltoppers scored, the closest score was 11 to 5 early in the first half. Jordan Nwora had a game high 25 points in the victory. Louisville faces a tough test this week against #4 Michigan, who has already defeated UNC and Gonzaga this season. We will quickly see if the Cardinals live up to their AP #1 ranking. Later in the week Louisville will host Pitt.

Last Week:
Win vs Western Kentucky* 71-54

This Week:
12/3 vs #4 Michigan
12/6 vs Pittsburgh

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

2. Virginia Cavaliers (7-0, 1-0)

AP Rank: 5
Kenpom: 3
Last Week Power Rank: 3

I don’t even have words for Virginia’s defense anymore. The Cavaliers allowed a season low 26 points on Wednesday in a 20 point win over Maine. Maine is by no means good, but Virginia held them to 18.6% from the field, 19.2% from 3, and forced 21 turnovers. Mamadi Diakite had 15 points and 7 rebounds to propel the Cavs to victory. I just wonder when Virginia’s ineffective will come back to bite them as they are 349th in points per game and 345th in 3-point percentage. Virginia will have a road game against Purdue for the B1G vs ACC Challenge before hosting #7 North Carolina this weekend.

Last Week:
Win vs Maine 46-26

This Week:
12/4 at Purdue
12/8 vs #7 North Carolina

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

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

AP Rank: 17
Kenpom: 15
Last Week Power Rank: 6

The Seminoles had an impressive week, going 3-0 and winning the Emerald Coast Classic. Florida St defeated Chicago St by 57 points. Florida St opened the tournament against Tennesee and emerged victorious by 3 points. FSU forced 21 turnovers, which allowed them to overcome a poor shooting performance overall. It says a lot when you can still find a way to win without playing your best. Trent Forrest’s 17 points helped propel the Noles over Purdue in the championship game. Yet again, Florida State relied on its defense by forcing 24 turnovers. FSU heads to Assembly Hall to take on Indiana in the ACC vs B1G Challenge and will also face Clemson at home.

Last Week:
Win vs Chicago St 113-56
Win vs #17 Tennessee* 60-57
Win vs Purdue* 63-60

This Week:
12/3 at Indiana
12/8 vs Clemson

NCAA Basketball: Battle 4 Atlantis-Oregon vs North Carolina Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

4. North Carolina Tar Heels (6-1, 1-0)

AP Rank: 7
Kenpom: 12
Last Week Power Rank: 4

North Carolina played in the Battle 4 Atlantis last week in what was an absolutely loaded field. The Heels emerged victorious against Alabama led by Garrison Brooks and Armando Bacot. UNC then fell to the eventual champions, Michigan, by 9. Cole Anthony chipped in 22 points in the loss. The Tar Heels responded in the consolation game getting a win against #11 Oregon. The Ducks were unable to stop Bacot inside as he had 23 points, 12 rebounds, and 6 blocks. North Carolina’s schedule has been insane thus far as they will face two top 10 teams this week: Ohio St and Virginia. Although incredibly difficult, an undefeated week will likely see the Tar Heels #1 in next week’s power rankings.

Last Week:
Win vs Alabama* 76-67
Loss vs Michigan* 64-73
Win vs #11 Oregon* 78-74

This Week:
12/4 vs #6 Ohio St
12/8 at #5 Virginia

NCAA Basketball: Stephen F. Austin at Duke Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

5. Duke Blue Devils (7-1, 0-0)

AP Rank: 10
Kenpom: 5
Last Week Power Rank: 2

Duke plummets in this week’s Power Rankings due to a home loss against Stephen F Austin. This was one of the biggest upsets in college basketball history as the Blue Devils were 28 point favorites. Even UMBC was only a 22 point underdog against Virginia the year the #16 defeated the #1 seed. Duke missed 16 free throws, had 22 turnovers, and shot 33% from 3 in their loss. Duke’s 2nd game of the week was against Winthrop and they struggled in that one as well. With 9:44 to go in the game, the Blue Devils led by just 4 points before pulling away for a 13 point victory. Vernon Carey had 17 points and 10 rebounds in the win. Duke will need to get right quick as they have two road games this week against #11 Michigan St and Virginia Tech. They will also be without freshman star Cassius Stanley to injury for the next month.

Last Week:
Loss vs Stephen F Austin 83-85
Win vs Winthrop 83-70

This Week:
12/3 at #11 Michigan St
12/6 at Virginia Tech

6. NC State Wolfpack (5-2, 0-1)

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

NC State lost their only game of the week against #16 Memphis in the Barclay’s Classic in New York. Markell Johnson was able to produce his best game of the season as he had 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 6 assists on 9-17 shooting. Unfortunately for the Wolfpack, CJ Bryce had an off game with just 7 points on 2-12 shooting. State only turned the ball over 7 times, but poor 3-point shooting (32%) and a 13 rebound deficit proved to be the difference in the close loss. This week NC State will likely be favorites in both of their games against Wisconsin and Wake Forest.

Last Week:
Loss vs #16 Memphis* 78-83

This Week:
12/4 vs Wisconsin
12/7 at Wake Forest

NCAA Basketball: Virginia Tech at Brigham Young Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

7. Virginia Tech (6-2, 1-0)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 56
Last Week Power Rank: 7

The Hokies will remain at the 7 spot in this week’s Power Rankings. Virginia Tech played in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational and came away with a 5 point win over #3 Michigan St. Landers Nolley’s 22 points was a game high in VT’s upset win. He also was named to the all-tournament team. The Hokies then fell in the following two games against very talented teams: Dayton and BYU. Despite the 2 losses, Virginia Tech proved they can hang with and beat ranked teams. Unfortunately, the Hokies were left out of the B1G vs ACC Challenge, making it more difficult for the ACC to win the challenge. VT will face #10 Duke at home on Friday in their only game of the week.

Last Week:
Win vs #3 Michigan St* 71-66
Loss vs Dayton* 62-89
Loss vs BYU 77-90

This Week:
12/6 vs #10 Duke

8. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-1, 0-1)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 52
Last Week Power Rank: 10

Notre Dame defeated Fairleigh Dickinson by 25 points in their only game of the week. Nate Laszewski was the leading scorer for the Irish with 16 points. John Mooney also had a strong game with 13 points and 13 rebounds. The story of their season so far is their ability to take care of the ball. Notre Dame is 3rd in the nation with only 9.4 turnovers per game. They also lead the country in assist to turnover ratio. The Irish will need to continue this if they want to beat #3 Maryland on the road this week. ND will then host Boston College for game 2 of early ACC play later in the week.

Last Week:
Win vs Fairleigh Dickinson 91-66

This Week:
12/4 at #3 Maryland
12/7 vs Boston College

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

9. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-2, 1-0)

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

A heartbreaking 30 foot fade-away 3-point buzzer beater downed the Jackets early last week. Tech fell by 1 point in overtime to Arkansas in a defensive slug fest. Arkansas is 7th in the country for turnovers forced per game (20.1) and 11th in adjusted defensive efficiency per kenpom. It definitely showed against the Jackets as they committed 23 turnovers and scored 61 points including overtime. Despite the turnovers, the Jackets were unlucky to come away with a win against a very solid Arkansas team. Kenpom rates Tech 263rd in the country in luck rating, meaning they have been quite unlucky through 5 games this season. The Jackets responded with a hard-fought win against Bethune-Cookman on Sunday night. Michael Devoe had 27 points and James Banks had a career high 8 blocks. Georgia Tech has two winnable games in front of them this week at home against Nebraska and Syracuse.

Last Week:
Loss vs Arkansas 61-62
Win vs Bethune-Cookman 68-65

This Week:
12/4 vs Nebraska
12/8 vs Syracuse

NCAA Basketball: Monmouth-NJ at Pittsburgh Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

10. Pittsburgh Panthers (6-2, 1-0)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 75
Last Week Power Rank: 11

The Panthers emerged champions of the Fort Meyers Tip-Off last week by defeating Kansas St and Northwestern. Against Kansas St, Pitt was able to overcome an early 10 point first half deficit to win a game that went down to the wire. Xavier Johnson’s layup with 11 seconds to go gave Pitt a 59-58 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish. Kansas St has to be kicking themselves though as they were 3 for 13 from the FT line. Eric Hamilton led the way with 13 points and 12 rebounds. The Panthers defeated Northwestern in the championship led by freshman guard Justin Champagnie with 21 points. Pitt will face Rutgers in the B1G vs ACC challenge and travel to Louisville to play the newly minted #1 team in the country.

Last Week:
Win vs Kansas St* 63-59
Win vs Northwestern* 72-59

This Week:
12/3 vs Rutgers
12/6 at #1 Louisville

11. Syracuse Orange (4-3, 0-1)

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

It was a disappointing week for the Orange in virtual home games in the NIT Season Tip-Off. Syracuse fell in both games to talented teams: Oklahoma St and Penn St. Their performance is a cause for concern. The offense was ineffective and shot 33% in both games. Had it not been for making 26 and 22 free throws respectively, both games would have been absolute routes. As much as their offense has struggled, their defense has been just as bad. The vaunted 2-3 zone gave up more than 80 points in both games and many baskets inside. Rebounding was also pitiful this past week as the Orange were out-rebounded 96 to 59. Syracuse looks to get back on track this week against Iowa and Georgia Tech this week.

Last Week:
Loss vs Oklahoma St* 72-86
Loss vs Penn St* 64-85

This Week:
12/3 vs Iowa
12/8 at Georgia Tech

12. Clemson Tigers (5-2, 0-1)

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 70
Last Week Power Rank: 12

Clemson will remain at the 12 spot this week after falling to #21 Colorado in the championship game of the MGM Main Event. The Tigers led by 3 late in the game, but Colorado finished the game on a 11-4 run to claim the title by 4 points. Aamir Simms led the way for Clemson with a fantastic game. The junior forward had 23 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 1 steal, 2 blocks, and 0 turnovers in a losing effort. There was some fantastic free throw shooting in this game with both teams combining for 43-47 from the line. The Tigers will host Minnesota in the B1G vs ACC Challenge during the week before traveling to Tallahasse to take on #17 Florida St over the weekend.

Last Week:
Loss vs #21 Colorado* 67-71

This Week:
12/2 at Minnesota
12/8 at #17 Florida State

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

AP Rank: N/A
Kenpom: 88
Last Week Power Rank: 13

This is truly bizarre scheduling for the Canes. They were off this past week and will just play one game between November 24th and December 14th. That game will be a tough road match up against Illinois in the B1G vs ACC Challenge. It will be tough for the Hurricanes to avoid a 3rd consecutive loss on Monday night. I guess the scheduling is a good thing for Miami as it gives them ample time to work out the kinks.

Last Week:

This Week:
12/2 at Illinois

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

14. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (5-3, 0-1)

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

It’s time to celebrate in Winston-Salem! For the first time in a month, the Demon Deacons aren’t bring up the rear. The Deacs picked up two wins in the Wooden Legacy Classic last week over Charleston and Long Beach St. Olivier Sarr led the way for Wake in the first two games, averaging 15 points and 11 rebounds on 59% shooting. Wake Forest also played a strong game against #14 Arizona in the championship game. Olivier Sarr dominated again with game highs in both points (21) and rebounds (13). However, it wasn’t all good news for the Deacs as bench players Jahcobi Neath and Mike Wynn were held out of the championship game due to alleged homophobic comments during tournament activities. Wake has a tough week ahead with games at Penn St and versus NC State.

Last Week:
Win vs Charleston* 65-56
Win vs Long Beach St* 88-75
Loss vs #14 Arizona* 66-73

This Week:
12/4 at Penn St
12/7 vs NC State

15. Boston College Eagles (4-4, 1-0)

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

Yeah that head to head home win over Wake Forest in the season opener doesn’t mean much to me anymore. Boston College is now on a 3-game losing skid, including 2 losses last week. The Eagles fell at home by double digits to Saint Louis despite the Billikens shooting 36% from the field and 57% from the charity stripe. Derryck Thornton coughed the ball up 7 times but led the Eagles with 18 points. Over the weekend, Jim Christian’s squad were blown out by 20 points on the road by an underrated Richmond team. Three point shooting continues to be a problem for Boston College as they shot 28% (13-46) this week and are 32% on the year. The Eagles were dealt Northwestern in the B1G vs ACC Challenge in a battle of conference bottom feeders. Later in the week, they will travel to South Bend to take on Notre Dame.

Last Week:
Loss vs Saint Louis 54-64
Loss at Richmond 44-64

This Week:
12/3 vs Northwestern
12/7 at Notre Dame