It’s Thanksgiving week, which means it’s a time for gratitude. Here at Saturday Road, we’re grateful for one of the best sports weeks of the year. From rivalry games on the gridiron to the NFL on Thanksgiving Day, you can fill your belly and your hearts with football. Great football games and Thanksgiving are an American tradition, but it’s the happenings on the hardwood that are the pecan pie to a football buffet.

Feast Week is upon us, and real ones know it’s the best week of college basketball we get until conference tournaments begin in March. From the just concluded Charleston Classic (won convincingly by Houston) to absolutely stacked fields at the Maui Invitational and the Battle 4 Atlantis, college basketball is here to entertain you this week.

And you will be entertained, both this week and, if early season games are any indication, by ACC hoops this season. With a Final Four team that returned 3 key starters, a veteran- yes, veteran- Duke team and UNC’s redemption tour, the league is packed with storylines and potential.

Here’s our first batch of Power Rankings — Feast Week edition!

15. Notre Dame (2-2)

Micah Shrewsbury’s tenure at Notre Dame won’t feature many basement dwellers.

That much was evident in Brooklyn over the weekend, where Notre Dame found a way to beat Oklahoma State, 66-64, nipping the Cowboys in overtime in the Vivid Seats Legends Classic.

That was the first “sign of life” for the Fighting Irish, who limped out of the gate with a narrow win over Niagara and a bad loss to Western Carolina before figuring out that Markus Burton is a wonderful freshman and JR Konieczny has a chance to be a double-double machine this season in Friday’s win.

14. Georgia Tech (2-1)

Damon Stoudamire and Georgia Tech have struggled mightily to get stops in their opening 3 games. That’s how they lost a buy game to UMass Lowell, a team that will challenge to win the America East this season but still has no business winning in Atlanta. Tech’s lack of size is going to make defense an uphill slog most the season, but they are scoring at a better rate than any Pastner-era squad already, which has to encourage Ramblin’ Wreck fans.

13. Wake Forest (2-3)

The Demon Deacons will be better than this, eventually.

Damari Monsanto will eventually return from his knee injury and provide extra scoring punch off the bench. Steve Forbes will figure out a combination that works defensively. Cam Hildreth will have more games like the one he played in Saturday’s OT loss to LSU (18 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, 50% from deep) and fewer games like the ones he has played in losses to Utah and Georgia (13.5 ppg, 3.5 rebounds, 2.5 assists, foul trouble).

But for now, Wake has to look at a challenging but manageable early season schedule as a missed opportunity.

12. Florida State (3-1)

The Seminoles dominated 2 buy games with slick shooting and efficient offense before getting pummeled at rival Florida over the weekend. Baba Miller, a future pro and potential lottery pick, was abysmal against the Gators, scoring just 2 points and committing 4 fouls, which limited him to 15 minutes.

They rebounded with an opening win Monday over UNLV in the Sunshine Slam and play Colorado on Tuesday.

FSU head coach Leonard Hamilton, now 75, earned the right to turn this program around after orchestrating the best decade in program history from 2011-2020. But if FSU misses a 3rd consecutive NCAA Tournament, calls for his retirement may grow louder.

11. Louisville (2-3)

The Cardinals played their best game of the Kenny Payne era on Sunday — and lost — falling by 1 point to a ranked Texas team at the Empire Classic. At least for 40 minutes, it looked like Louisville basketball again, with Tre White and Skyy Clark pouring in 20 points apiece and uber-talented transfer Brandon Huntley-Hatfield battling valiantly foul trouble to offer 11 points and 9 rebounds. The Cardinals even defended the final play reasonably well — Max Abmas is just good.

It looked like something to build on for the ‘Ville, but then they also lost to Indiana the following day.

10. Virginia Tech (3-1)

Slow starts have haunted Mike Young’s past 2 teams in Blacksburg, and after a 2-point loss to South Carolina in Charlotte, it looks like another slow start may be in order for the Hokies. We’ll learn more this week when the Hokies play in a sneaky good field at the ESPN Events Invitational in Orlando, beginning Wednesday against Boise State.

9. NC State (3-0)

A Kleenex soft set of buy games (The Citadel, Abilene Christian, Charleston Southern) told me nothing about Kevin Keatts’ team. The Wolfpack are headed to Las Vegas for Feast Week festivities this week, where at least 1 Power 6 opponent, Vanderbilt, awaits. If the Pack win 2 games in Sin City, it will be a bit easier to pay attention.

8. Syracuse (3-1)

The Orange showed us all something in upending Colgate, one of the best mid-major programs in the country. Judah Mintz was magnificent in the win, posting 23 points and 8 assists and getting to the foul line consistently. Mintz wasn’t nearly as effective in Monday’s blowout loss to Tennessee in Honolulu.

7. Boston College (4-0)

The Eagles are unbeaten and have 2 potentially nice Quad 2 wins with a victory over Ivy league power Harvard on Saturday and Richmond on Wednesday night. Colorado State, who runs some of the nation’s best offense, awaits at the Hall of Fame Classic this week.

The Eagles match up well with the Rams, though, thanks to do-it-all big Quenten Post, who continues to improve his professional stock with his ability to shoot, pass, and defend the post. The Eagles also limit turnovers, thanks to a group of veteran guards led by Jaeden Zackery. The Colorado State matchup is one of the most underrated games of Feast Week.

6. Pittsburgh (4-0)

Jeff Capel’s team has done what you need to do when gobbling up cupcakes in November. They’ve annihilated everyone in their path, building confidence ahead of a loaded 4-team NIT field (Florida, Baylor) in Brooklyn this week. Carlton Carrington, a 4-star freshman from a basketball family that Capel raved about at ACC Tipoff, has been spectacular. He’s running the offense beautifully, shooting 51% from deep on high volume, and letting Pitt’s underrated frontcourt work.

Now we get to see if he can do it against veteran, Power 6 foes, beginning with an underrated Florida team on Wednesday night.

5. North Carolina (3-0)

The Tar Heels’ unbeaten start has had encouraging signs, especially the play of Harrison Ingram, a big time high school recruit who transferred from Stanford after 2 middling seasons. Ingram’s numbers are improved across the board through 3 games, with a 5% bump on his career FG% (45% to a career 40%) , his rebounds up almost a full board (6.7-5.8) and his fouls and turnovers down. If he is going to give Carolina depth, this could be a special team, because it is clear that the presence of point guard Elliot Cadeau and an improved Seth Trimble are going to improve this offense from an efficiency standpoint. Barring an improvement from Villanova, Carolina should cruise to the final at the Battle 4 Atlantis, but Arkansas, Memphis and Michigan can all push the Tar Heels once they get to that point.

4. Virginia (4-1)

Admittedly, Virginia did not play well at all in Monday’s blowout loss to Wisconsin in Fort Myers.

But don’t blame All-American guard Reece Beekman. He had 17 of the Hoos’ 41 points, continuing his hot start.

He hasn’t been asked to do much yet, playing a career low 27.8 minutes per game, but he’s made the most of the time, scoring 11.8 points per game, dishing out 6 assists per contest. He’s also still the nation’s best defender — locking down and holding lottery pick candidate Riley Kugel of Florida scoreless in the first half of Virginia’s 73-70 win over the Gators, and then forcing a key turnover down the stretch in that win.

The Hoos were doubted in the preseason — and maybe Monday’s loss proved why — but looked like another Tony Bennett team through the first 4 games.

3. Clemson (4-0)

The Tigers won the Asheville Championship in thrilling, come from behind fashion over a plucky Davidson team, but it was their semifinal win, a furious comeback over a really good UAB, that got Saturday Road’s attention. A healthy PJ Hall had 27 points and 9 rebounds in the win, and it’s clear that Chase Hunter is on a mission to show he’s one of the nation’s most underappreciated guards. There are warts — like Joe Girard’s inability to defend, which Brad Brownell has to work around given Girard’s shooting. But this offense will keep Clemson in most every game — and sometimes help it run away from people, like the Tigers did in a dominant 17-point win over a quality Boise State team over the weekend.

2. Duke (3-1)

The Blue Devils tripped up at home to Caleb Love and Arizona but rallied for a nice win at the Champions Classic over Michigan State. No team has challenged themselves more early in the campaign, and while Duke will skip Feast Week festivities this year, they’ll get another immense challenge at Arkansas in the inaugural SEC-ACC challenge on Nov. 29. One thing that is clear early? Freshman Jared McCain needs to be fed from the perimeter. He’s sniping 44.4% on decent volume to date, and given Tyrese Proctor, Mark Mitchell and Kyle Filipowski are struggling from beyond the arc early this season — the Blue Devils need another shooter to pick up the slack.

1. Miami (5-0)

Feast Week is over for the Hurricanes, who rolled through the Baha Mar Classic in the Bahamas, pummeling Georgia and Kansas State on their way to the championship. Nijel Pack was the tournament MVP, pouring in 28 points against his former team in the final, but Wooga Poplar continues to make this Canes team look like a Final Four contender. It isn’t just that he has been on fire offensively early in the season, averaging 18 points a game and shooting a staggering 59.4% from the field.

It’s the defense, and the way he and Florida State transfer Matthew Cleveland elevate the Canes defensively, that is eye opening. If Miami can add salty defense to its ruthlessly efficient offense… look out.