ACC basketball power rankings: Week 13
Upsets and near upsets defined Week 13 in the ACC. From a Virginia Tech team with 1 league win upending Duke to Pitt’s huge win over No. 20 Miami, it was a dangerous week to be a favorite.
This week’s Top 25 should include North Carolina again, as the Tar Heels “won” this past weekend by not playing, which would mean at least 1 of the Tobacco Road bluebloods will be ranked heading into this Saturday’s tilt at Duke.
Meanwhile, Clemson still leads the conference, edging closer to a 2nd ACC regular-season title after escaping at Florida State over the weekend. Will the Tigers top our power rankings again?
Last week’s rankings are here and each team’s ranking last week is included below this week’s ranking.
Here’s a fresh batch:
15. Louisville (2-19, 0-10 ACC)
Last week (LW): 15
The Cardinals are inching closer to a bit of brutal history: the worst Power 6 record of the 6-power-league era. Oregon State’s 2021-22 record of 3-28 currently stands as the worst Power 6 season of all-time. The Cardinals need 2 wins to avoid matching it or, worse, standing alone at the bottom. Louisville wasn’t competitive last week, losing 2 games by double digits.
14. Georgia Tech (8-13, 1-10)
The Yellow Jackets were doubled up by Duke over the weekend, falling 86-43 to a Blue Devils squad playing without star freshman Dariq Whitehead. Josh Pastner’s outstanding run at Memphis, which included 3 consecutive Conference USA titles, hasn’t translated in Atlanta, where his Georgia Tech teams have reached just 1 NCAA Tournament. It’s hard to see how he survives this disastrous season.
13. Notre Dame (10-12, 2-9)
The Fighting Irish led throughout their game at NC State last week but couldn’t hang on late. That might have been the win to change the trajectory of their season, the final 1 under Mike Brey. They did manhandle Louisville over the weekend, but a quality win on the road could have elevated Notre Dame in the league standings and at least given them hope for a postseason of some sort moving forward. Another opportunity looms this week when Wake Forest visits South Bend.
12. Florida State (7-15, 5-6)
The Seminoles drop 2 spots after a 2-loss week at home. Entering the 2021-22 season, Florida State had the 2nd-best home record in the Power 6 over the past 10 seasons. Losing 2 home games in a week would have been unthinkable. But that’s what happened last week, as Miami routed FSU and the Noles led for much of the game against No. 24 Clemson, only to lose in the final minutes of Saturday’s game.
FSU’s loss to Clemson could raise an interesting coffee table debate about fouling late up 3 points. The Seminoles led by 3 with 9 seconds to go when they elected to foul the Tigers. Clemson made both free throws and promptly fouled FSU, which made only 1 of its 2 free throws. That set up this game-winner and 1 by Chase Hunter.
CHASE HUNTER GOES COAST-TO-COAST FOR THE WIN 😤 @ClemsonMBB pic.twitter.com/4kAbejywM6
— ACC Network (@accnetwork) January 29, 2023
Running it back, do you foul up 3?
11. Boston College (10-12, 4-7)
BC beat Louisville last Wednesday before falling to No. 7 Virginia over the weekend. Earl Grant’s team continues to struggle to score, ranking 253rd in KenPom Adjusted Offensive Efficiency and 13th in the league, ahead of only Georgia Tech and Louisville, in offensive efficiency during conference play. Two home games await this week, though 1 is against league leader Clemson.
10. Syracuse (13-9, 6-5)
Syracuse had 2 immense résumé opportunities last week and botched both. First, it lost a nip-and-tuck home tilt with North Carolina, sealed on a questionable flagrant foul call on a hard-driving Judah Mintz late in the game. Syracuse could have lived with that defeat had it rallied to beat Virginia Tech last weekend, but the Hokies blasted the Orange 85-70 at Cassell Coliseum to put another dent in Syracuse’s fleeting NCAA Tournament hopes. Syracuse’s 2-3 zone just isn’t effective, and even with a great backcourt the Orange can’t get enough stops to consistently — or even occasionally — win big games.
9. Virginia Tech (13-8, 3-7)
No team in America had a better week at a more important time than the Hokies. Virginia Tech went 2-0 at home, grabbing a Quad 1 win over Duke and a Quad 2 win over a Syracuse team that had won 9 of 12 entering the game. The Hokies’ résumé is still complicated: there are too many conference losses and not enough big wins, but if the Hokies are looking to run back 2021-22, when they closed the regular season strong and then made a run to the NCAA Tournament by winning the ACC tournament, last week was a great start.
The return of Hunter Cattoor, who missed 4 of Virginia Tech’s 8 losses, seems to have stabilized the Hokies. But it was clutch play from MJ Collins, who made a jumper to give Virginia Tech the lead with under a minute to play, and the post play of Grant Basile that elevated the Hokies past Duke.
Virginia Tech is a top-15 team in SQ points via post-ups. They put that on display in their win over Duke.
Grant Basile—who ranks in the 99th %ILE—scored 10 of his 24 points via post-ups, including these two sequences: pic.twitter.com/ZzMQzRemZa
— ShotQuality (@Shot_Quality) January 25, 2023
The Hokies aren’t out of the woods yet — hardly. They haven’t taken their turnaround on the road, for example. But last week was a great start.
8. Wake Forest (14-8, 6-5)
It was a disappointing week of missed opportunities for the Demon Deacons, who lost 2 résumé opportunities at Joel Coliseum by a total of 4 points. Ouch. The Pittsburgh game, which the Demon Deacons trailed by as many as 15, is less haunting than the weekend loss to NC State, which Wake Forest led by as many as 10 points. The Demon Deacons held the lead for 30 minutes of game time against the Wolfpack, too, but were ultimately undone by the splendid play of DJ Burns, who poured in 31 points and grabbed 9 rebounds to guide NC State to a 2-point win that may prove fatal for the Demon Deacons come Selection Sunday.
7. Miami (16-5, 7-4)
The Hurricanes crushed Florida State, which was nice, but the loss to Pittsburgh was the 3rd loss in 5 games for The U and each of those losses came against NCAA Tournament-bound ACC teams. It’s been over a month since Miami had a quality win, and while the Canes offense remains elite (12th in KenPom Adjusted Offensive Efficiency), the defense has fallen out of the top 100 and has been below 150 in the past 5 games. Those are trends that need to be fixed or Miami might find itself with a disappointing 8 or 9 seed come Selection Sunday.
6. NC State (17-5, 7-4)
Terquavion Smith returned to the team without missing a single game, and the Wolfpack responded to that good news with 2 wins last week. Sure, the victories came by a combined 5 points, but the Wake Forest win is a Quad 1 victory and DJ Burns continues to play beautifully for the Pack. The Winthrop transfer has tremendous footwork and silky touch at the tin, and he’s been a handful for defenses over the past month.
DJ BURNS WENT OFF AGAINST WAKE!
31 PTS, 14-26 FG & 9 REB ‼️@PackMensBball | #ACCMBB
— ACC Men's Basketball (@accmbb) January 28, 2023
With Burns emerging as a star down low, and Smith, Jarkel Joiner (who had 28 points in the win over Notre Dame) and Casey Morsell outside, this is a Pack team with excellent balance that is 2nd-weekend capable. They’ll likely be even better when Kevin Keatts gets Jack Clark and Dusan Mahorcic back in the fold.
5. Duke (15-6, 6-4)
The Blue Devils impressed in both of their games last week. They fought hard and nearly grabbed their 1st quality road win at Virginia Tech. Then, after losing Dariq Whitehead, an injury that still might have a significant impact on Duke’s ceiling this season, the Blue Devils responded by dispatching Georgia Tech by 43 in Atlanta last weekend. Now, it’s Carolina Week, and all eyes are on the Duke freshmen, especially star big Kyle Filipowski, who gets his 1st duel with Armando Bacot on Saturday night inside Cameron Indoor Stadium.
4. Pittsburgh (15-7, 8-3)
Every time Saturday Road is about to give up on the Panthers, they go and win multiple big games and make fools of all the doubters. The job Jeff Capel has done turning around Blake Hinson’s career after his transfer from Ole Miss is nothing short of remarkable. The former top-150 recruit poured in an average of 26 points in Pitt’s wins last week over Wake Forest and No. 20 Miami, and he snagged a game-high 8 rebounds in the win over the Canes.
NEW PITT RECORD!
Blake Hinson went human torch mode & drained EIGHT threes vs. Wake!🔥@Pitt_MBB | #ACCMBB pic.twitter.com/9376Hd73sg
— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) January 26, 2023
Pitt made 18 3-pointers in the win over Wake Forest, and then used a Hinson tip to take the lead for good and erase an 11-point deficit against Miami over the weekend. Jamarrius Burton was steady for the Panthers as well, with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists in the victory.
3. North Carolina (15-6, 7-3)
The Tar Heels played 1 game last week, but it was a big road win at Syracuse. For a team that has struggled away from the friendly confines of the Dean E. Smith Center, it was good to see the Tar Heels play well and win in a tough environment. Pete Nance’s 21-point performance against Syracuse may have been the most promising thing to happen to Carolina last week, as the Tar Heels have been waiting for the Northwestern transfer to find his form for months. If Nance gets right, the Fatigue-less 4 of RJ Davis, Armando Bacot, Caleb Love and Leaky Black may have finally found the 5th wheel they thought they had in Nance all along.
2. Clemson (18-4, 10-1)
The Tigers remain in the 2nd slot with a 2-win week over 2 teams at the bottom of the ACC standings. Chase Hunter’s heroics were the big story in the weekend win over Florida State, but let’s not lose sight of what Hunter Tyson did in Tallahassee.
Hunter Tyson was HUGE against FSU! 💪
27 points and 7 rebounds for the dub.@ClemsonMBB | @h_tyson5 pic.twitter.com/DsTmIZZKA6
— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) January 29, 2023
Tyson made 6 threes and scored 27 points to pace the Tigers on a night when Clemson played without Brevin Galloway and 2 other starters combined for just 1 point. Great teams find a way to pick each other up, and the Tigers continue to find ways to do that and win this season.
1. Virginia (16-3, 8-2)
Virginia played just once last week but used its rest to post a 19-point win over Boston College over the weekend. The Hoos remain the lone ACC team ranked in the top 20 in KenPom in both offensive and defensive efficiency, and Reece Beekman’s offensive improvement continues to be a huge story. Beekman had 11 points and a career-high 8 assists in the win over Boston College.
The Cavaliers’ 2 ACC losses have come on the road, by a combined 5 points, and while Clemson remains in 1st place in the standings, Tony Bennett’s team is the clear-cut favorite to win the ACC regular-season title as the Hoos hit the turn in league play.