After North Carolina’s stunning loss at Georgia Tech early last week, the question burning in the back of many minds was, “Are the Tar Heels about to come back to Earth?”

On Saturday night in Chapel Hill, we received a resounding answer.

If you weren’t taking North Carolina seriously as national title contenders, you better be after their comprehensive, not as close the final score 93-84 win over Duke on Saturday night at the Dean Smith Center.

The Tar Heels trailed once: 2-0. They never trailed again, and controlled proceedings despite a lackluster night from RJ Davis (5-for-14 from the field) and freshman star Elliot Cadeau (1-for-9 FG, just 3 assists). The Tar Heels won because they can beat really good teams — and yes, Duke is a really good team — when a star has an off night. The Tar Heels can do that because players like Harrison Ingram step up and hit 5 of their first 6 3-point attempts, score 21 points, grab 13 rebounds and nab 4 steals to win those games despite a quiet night from the team’s superstar. “The Harrison Ingram” game, as my Saturday Road colleague Brett Friedlander wisely called it, was a testament to just how deep and multiple this Tar Heels team can be.

While North Carolina is the class of the ACC, there were silver linings elsewhere in the league over the past week, including a Quad 1 win for Virginia, a statement made by a (finally!!) healthy Miami, and Pitt’s continued march back from the abyss.

Here’s a fresh batch of Power Rankings as ACC hoops hits the home stretch.

15. Notre Dame (7-15, 2-9)

Last Week (LW): 13

The Fighting Irish have lost 6 consecutive games after a 2-loss week on the road. As usual, Notre Dame got plenty of stops defensively, holding Virginia and Pitt to just 67.5 points per game over 2 contests. As usual, Notre Dame could not score. The Fighting Irish turned the ball over 18 tines in a 12 point loss at Virginia, then shot 39% in a 10 point wipeout to Pitt. Micah Shrewsberry, who was just named to this summer’s Team USA U18 coaching staff, needs to use his new platform — and the transfer portal — to get the Fighting Irish some offense during his first full offseason in South Bend.

14. Louisville (7-15, 2-9)

LW: 15

The Cardinals didn’t just win a game last week. They scored 101 points in a win over Florida State, which was on the NCAA bubble until their tournament dreams all but died on the floor of the KFC Yum! Center.

Freshman Ty-Laur Johnson showed that the future could be bright in Louisville, despite the darkness of the last 2 seasons, on Saturday, making passes like this one and scoring 27 points in the Cardinals’ victory.

13. Syracuse (14-8, 5-6)

LW: 8

A big tumble for the Orange, who dropped 2 games that could have vaulted them into the bubble conversation last week. A loss at Wake Forest, who passes the NCAA Tournament eye test, especially at home in Joel Coliseum, is understandable. The midweek loss at Boston College, though, was crushing. The Orange led by 9 before falling apart in the second half, and they demonstrated yet again just how difficult it is for Judah Mintz to carry the team without help. Mintz scored 18 points and dished out 6 assists in defeat, but was plagued with foul trouble late and aside from JJ Starling (18 points), the Orange didn’t have the firepower to close the gap. An NIT bid might be all that waits for Syracuse in Year 1 under Adrian Autry.

12. Boston College (13-8, 4-6)

LW: 12

The Eagles have won 2 straight after their comeback win over Syracuse last week. The win over the Orange was an encouraging sign for Earl Grant’s club, as the Eagles found a way to win despite a rare off night from Quinten Post (9 points, 7 turnovers). Charleston Southern transfer Claudell Harris scored 19 off the bench for the Eagles in the win. Harris is shooting 40% from deep on the season on high volume (124 attempts), a huge reason this Boston College team has made a nearly 200-spot leap in KenPom Adjusted Offensive Efficiency this season (227th to 55th!).

11. Georgia Tech (10-12, 3-8)

LW: 14

The Yellow Jackets ended North Carolina’s hopes of a perfect ACC season on Tuesday night at McCamish Pavilion. Shout out to the Bee Hive for making the place electric all night, and shout out to Naithan George for playing through foul trouble and making this spectacular game-winner.

The Yellow Jackets are the strangest team in the ACC — and maybe the Power 6 — from a résumé standpoint. They have wins over 4 teams that will likely make the NCAA Tournament: Duke, North Carolina, Clemson and Miss State. They also have confounding losses, like a home loss to UMass Lowell. They won’t sniff the NCAA Tournament, but their ability to play up to elite competition consistently suggests Damon Stoudamire can coach — and the future is bright on North Avenue.

10. Virginia Tech (13-9, 5-6)

LW: 6

Two Quad 1 opportunities, 2 losses.

That’s the week that was for Mike Young and the Hokies, whose dreams of a third NCAA Tournament appearance in just 5 years under Young appear to be withering away. Saturday, the Hokies blew a double-digit lead in the final 11 minutes in Coral Gables, unable to generate enough stops to hang on for a vital résumé win.  The Hokies guard the ball fine (61st in KenPom Adjusted Defensive Efficiency), but they don’t protect the rim (12th in the ACC in blocks) and they don’t generate steals (14th in the ACC in steals). Against better teams, the inability to do either of those game-changing things has been costly.

9. Florida State (12-9, 6-4)

LW: 4

We wanted to believe, FSU!!

I even slotted FSU in as the best “Not UNC or Duke” team in Saturday Road’s midseason roundtable last week.

Did Florida State lose at Louisville just to spite me? Or is this the latest sign that for all the great work Leonard Hamilton has done at Florida State, building a parochial afterthought of a program into a national “New Blood,” it might be time to walk away? FSU is entirely too talented to lose to an awful Louisville team, but that crippling loss likely ends any NCAA Tournament chatter. The Seminoles need to regroup and play for a good ACC Tournament seed instead.

8. Pitt (14-8, 5-6)

LW: 10

The Panthers have won 4 of 5, including a midweek 77-72 victory over Wake Forest that saw Carlton Carrington and Ishmael Leggett combine for 49 points on 6-13 from downtown. Pitt’s freshman guards have turned a corner, and while they don’t get much inside from a scoring standpoint, they are capable on the offensive glass (82nd in KenPom offensive rebounding). They needed all 9 of their offensive rebounds against Wake Forest, winning the second chance points battle — and the game — by 5. The Panthers also continue to excel at defending the arc: They rank 27th nationally in 3-point defense, allowing just 30% against — a number that was key in their win over Wake Forest, where the smooth shooting Demon Deacons shot just 29% from beyond the arc.

7. Clemson (14-7, 4-6)

LW: 7

Clemson came up empty in a Quad 2 game this weekend, losing another heartbreaker in the final moments to Virginia. Suddenly, a squad that looked like a lock to wear white in the first round of the NCAA Tournament is … an underachieving bubble team? IS THAT BRAD BROWNELL’S MUSIC I HEAR????

Not to pile on Brownell, since Clemson fans, who have even started a Twitter profile calling for his ouster, are doing that enough, but how in the world does PJ Hall, a bona fide All-American candidate, not get a touch at the end of the Virginia game? The Tigers are still safe on Selection Sunday because they beat plenty of excellent teams out of conference, but the margin for error is thinning.

6. Wake Forest (14-7, 6-4)

LW: 5

The Demon Deacons’ loss to Pitt is one to circle. A Quad 1 opportunity, the Demon Deacons let a 12-point first half lead crumble, largely due to 15 turnovers and tepid shooting (6-for-22 from deep). We know the Demon Deacons are marvelous at home, as the 29-point rout of Syracuse demonstrated yet again. What the NCAA Selection Committee would like to know is whether they can win a game of substance away from Joel Coliseum. Two more Quad 1 games await: at Duke on Feb. 12 and at Virginia Tech on March 2. If Wake Forest wants to go dancing, they better win at least 1 of those 2 games.

5. Miami (15-7, 6-5)

LW: 9

The Hurricanes, a Final Four program a year ago, aren’t dead yet.

That’s the message they sent rallying from 10 down in the second half to beat Virginia Tech on Saturday. Finally healthy, the Canes scored 1.21 points per possession — their best mark since a win over Clemson on Jan. 3 — and put together stops down the stretch to hold on for the victory. The Hurricanes are a wobbly 62nd in the NET, and may need to sweep this week’s tilts at Virginia and Saturday’s home tilt with North Carolina to feel safe on Selection Sunday.

4. NC State (15-7, 7-4)

LW: 11

The Wolfpack won 2 home games, but that’s enough for a nice leap in the Power Rankings given the chaos around them. The win over injury-plagued Miami, who was without Matthew Cleveland, will age nicely. The win over Georgia Tech, who was flying high after upsetting North Carolina, was a résumé saver.

DJ Horne and Casey Morsell were immense in both wins, with Horne averaging over 25 points a contest and Morsell eclipsing 1,000 points in his outstanding career in the win over the Yellow Jackets.

3. Virginia (17-5, 8-3)

LW: 3

Saturday Road got some pushback for elevating the Hoos to the 3 spot a week ago, but that looks smart a week later, as Tony Bennett’s team just keeps winning. Virginia has now won 6 consecutive games, and they added another Quad 1 victory to the ledger on Saturday with their 1-point win at Clemson. The computers don’t love this Virginia team, thanks to an anemic offense that ranks just 144th nationally in KenPom Adjusted Offensive Efficiency. But the Hoos defend, as always (11th in KenPom defense), and with All-American point guard Reece Beekman at the center of things, this is looking more and more like a tough out in March.

2. Duke (16-5, 7-3)

LW: 2

The Blue Devils had a chance to tie North Carolina atop the ACC (at least in the loss column) with a win at the Dean Dome on Saturday night. Instead, Harrison Ingram happened (and Armando Bacot reminded everybody that he’s still a force, too).

The Blue Devils staged a players only meeting Sunday to discuss the lost, which is great if it works and not newsworthy if it fails. What Saturday Road would prefer to focus on instead is the fact that despite the Blue Devils looking outclassed in Chapel Hill, there were some silver linings if you look hard enough. Notably, the UNC game was the best effort this season by far for Jared McCain, who built on a 9-point, 10-rebound effort at Virginia Tech in an impressive Duke win on Monday with 23 and 11 against the hated Heels on Saturday night.

Another positive? If you told Saturday Road that Tyrese Proctor would have just 2 points and be plagued with foul trouble against North Carolina and Kyle Filipowski would look uncomfortable all night but Duke would have multiple chances to make it a 2 possession game late … we’d have been surprised. Duke was competitive despite getting very little from its stars. That’s worth considering and building on down the stretch in Durham.

1. North Carolina (18-4, 10-1)

LW: 1

Let’s clear up one thing right away.

Yes, RJ Davis was fouled on the final play at Georgia Tech. And no, you don’t ever want to lose a game just to re-focus.

Still, the response from Hubert Davis’s team after their first ACC defeat Saturday night was the stuff a coach dreams about. The Tar Heels protected the basketball, committing just 1 turnover in the first half (and 5 in the game) against Duke, helping them build and maintain a comfortable 8 to 13-point lead throughout the second half of the rivalry win.

North Carolina beat Duke by annihilating double teams, whether they came from attacking the post when Duke doubled RJ Davis early or using off ball screening and pindowns when the Blue Devils doubled Bacot late.

Good offense, plus 21 from glue guy Harrison Ingram, made Franklin Street quite a party on Saturday night.