ACC basketball power rankings: Week 15
A shakeup at the top of the league and an officiating controversy highlighted a wild Week 14 in the ACC.
Clemson’s season-long stay at the top of the standings is over, with Pittsburgh and Virginia taking over at the top. The Panthers should be alone at the top, but a controversial and ultimately incorrect call at the end of last weekend’s Duke-Virginia tilt allowed the game to go to overtime in Charlottesville, and the Cavaliers survived in the extra session.
The ACC admitted an official error was made at the end of regulation, allowing that its officials made a mistake at the conclusion of regulation which cost Duke 2 free-throw attempts with the game tied at the end of regulation.
The error came when Duke big man Kyle Filipowski was fouled as a layup bounced off the rim. The referees ruled that he was fouled after the whistle, denying the Blue Devils free throws. The ACC issued a statement Sunday night that this was a mistake and Filipowski should have shot free throws, giving Duke a chance to win the game.
With just 6 games remaining, a Duke win would have put Pitt in sole possession of 1st place, giving the Panthers a great chance at their 1st ACC basketball championship.
Upon further review: Duke got hosed on the road at UVA. Kyle Filipowski should have had a chance to win it at the free throw line in regulation. Not sure how you overturn this foul call. pic.twitter.com/YQSSKpZwtw
— Kyle Boone (@Kyle__Boone) February 11, 2023
As it stands, Tony Bennett’s Virginia team shares the lead with Pitt, with Clemson and Miami just a game behind.
Will the Panthers lead this week’s power rankings as well? Read on to find out.
Last week’s rankings are here, and are listed below each team in this batch of rankings.
15. Louisville (3-22, 1-13 ACC)
Last week (LW): 14
Louisville returns to the cellar after a 1-week reprieve. The Cardinals lost twice last week, routed at Pittsburgh midweek and competitive but not quite good enough against No. 19 Miami on the road over the weekend. El Ellis continues to be the shining light in a black hole of a season. Ellis scored 33 points and added 5 assists in the loss to the Hurricanes, and he’s 4th in the league in points per game with 17.4 per tilt.
14. Notre Dame (10-15, 2-12)
The Fighting Irish lost 2 close games last week, but what else is new? It looked as if Notre Dame would steal 1 at home against Virginia Tech over the weekend, but the Hokies caught fire late and won by 6 points. Mike Brey deserved better in his final season in South Bend.
13. Georgia Tech (9-16, 2-13)
The Yellow Jackets snapped a 9-game losing streak with a win at the buzzer over Notre Dame in Atlanta last Wednesday. Lance Terry added to Tech’s tally of last-possession wins (3) this season with a game-winning tip.
LANCE TERRY!! He tips it in AT THE BUZZER for Georgia Tech to beat Notre Dame 70-68 (Video via @TMarkwith14)pic.twitter.com/CPvovZAimF
— NCAA Buzzer Beaters & Game Winners (@NCAABuzzerBters) February 9, 2023
The Ramblin’ Wreck nearly built off the win over the weekend but coughed up a 5-point lead in the final 2 minutes to fall, 71-70, at Wake Forest.
12. Florida State (8-18, 6-9)
The Seminoles were also competitive in 2 losses but fell at home to both Syracuse and Pittsburgh. Florida State led both games before succumbing to large 2nd-half runs. Leonard Hamilton’s return next season seems likely, as the 74-year-old coach would like to see his program play a season without the type of nasty injury luck that has ruined the past 2 campaigns. Still, it isn’t guaranteed, as Hamilton may ultimately decide his own health issues do not justify another season on the FSU sideline. If it is the end, Hamilton, like Mike Brey, deserved a better goodbye.
11. Virginia Tech (15-10, 5-9)
Every time Saturday Road starts to believe, the Hokies go and lay an egg. Last week’s egg may be crushing, however, as Virginia Tech dropped a home game to Boston College. That’s the type of Quad 3 defeat you just can’t take when you are trying to fight your way back into the NCAA at-large conversation, and it may mean that the Hokies once again enter the ACC Tournament needing to win the whole thing to head to the Big Dance. Mike Young’s program has advanced to the NCAA Tournament in each of the 2 years it has been contested since arriving in Blacksburg, but a 3rd straight berth may have died on the Cassell Coliseum floor last week.
10. Boston College (12-14, 6-9)
The Eagles picked up a 2nd terrific win in as many weeks, upsetting Virginia Tech in Blacksburg on Wednesday night. The fact that this win came at Cassell Coliseum, where the Hokies had been so good all season, justifies ranking the Eagles above the Hokies in this week’s rankings. Quentin Post starred for Boston College with 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Earl Grant’s team hounded the Hokies defensively, limiting Virginia Tech to just a 31% effort from beyond the arc in the win.
9. Syracuse (15-10, 8-6)
Much like Virginia Tech, the Orange are on the wrong side of the NCAA Tournament bubble. Unlike the Hokies, the Orange didn’t lose a backbreaker last week. They rallied from a 1st-half deficit to defeat Florida State in their lone contest of the week. The Orange lack résumé wins but will get 2 huge chances this week when both No. 22 NC State and Duke visit the JMA Wireless (Carrier) Dome.
8. Clemson (18-7, 10-4)
The Tigers have now lost 3 in a row after being blasted by 20 at North Carolina on Saturday afternoon. The schedule softens this week, with Louisville and struggling Florida State on tap, but a résumé win would do the Tigers some good, and the last real opportunities before the ACC Tournament are on the road, at NC State and at Virginia to close February. A win in 1 of those may be necessary because of the bad losses littering Clemson’s profile.
7. North Carolina (16-9, 8-6)
The Tar Heels staved off an existential crisis, at least for now, by routing Clemson at the Dean E. Smith Center on Saturday. Nonetheless, the sting of being blown out at Wake Forest last Tuesday night lingers, and if the Tar Heels can’t find a way past a splendid Miami team in Chapel Hill on Monday night, they’ll be back to asking the same old questions about whether this team’s résumé truly warrants an at-large berth. Ohio State’s long losing streak has deprived the Tar Heels of their lone Quad 1 victory in the NET, but Carolina can grab a high Quad 2 win by toppling the Canes. They’ll hope to see the same version of Caleb Love that they got in the Clemson game.
Caleb Love was COOKIN' for the Heels in the win over Clemson! @UNC_Basketball | @caleb2love pic.twitter.com/eis6y10B55
— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) February 11, 2023
That version of Love — smart shot selection, low turnovers — is the 1 Carolina must have down the stretch.
6. Wake Forest (17-9, 9-6)
A monster week from Tyree Appleby, who should warrant a long look as ACC Player of the Year, paced the Demon Deacons to 2 critical home wins. The super senior was magnificent in the win over North Carolina, with 35 points, 11 assists and 7 rebounds. He also saved the Demon Deacons’ bacon against Georgia Tech, making the 1st of 3 consecutive Wake Forest buckets as the Deacs erased a 5-point Georgia Tech lead in the game’s final 2 minutes to avert the upset. Wake Forest looks like an NCAA Tournament team by the eye test, but it still needs to bolster the profile.
5. Duke (17-8, 8-6)
The Blue Devils failed to build off the rivalry win over North Carolina, dropping 2 games to ranked opponents last week. The 1st, to No. 19 Miami, wasn’t competitive. The Hurricanes backcourt contained Jeremy Roach and Norchad Omier was the best big man on the floor, frustrating Kyle Filipowski and delivering a double-double for Miami. Last weekend’s loss? That was tougher to swallow, as the Blue Devils were robbed of a chance to win the game at the free-throw line in regulation. Credit Virginia for taking advantage of the bad call in overtime, but if you think Duke loses that game on a bad call with Coach K instead of Jon Scheyer on the sidelines, well, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you on the cheap.
4. NC State (20-6, 10-5)
The Wolfpack took 1 on the chin at No. 8 Virginia last week, but who hasn’t been suffocated by the Cavaliers defense in Charlottesville over the past decade? The bounce back was perfect — a 30-point rout of a Boston College team that was coming off an upset win at Virginia Tech. Terquavion Smith eclipsed 1,000 career points in the win for NC State, and the Wolfpack star trails only Tyree Appleby for the league scoring title with 5 conference games to play.
3. Pittsburgh (18-7, 11-3)
The Panthers handled their business last week, flexing over a pair of bottom feeders in Louisville and Florida State. As they chase their 1st ACC basketball championship, a huge game looms Saturday at desperate Virginia Tech. Win that game, and the league title could come down to the final day of the regular season, when Pitt visits Miami.
2. Virginia (19-4, 11-3)
Give Virginia credit. It took advantage of the gift officials gave the Cavaliers, upending Duke in overtime in Charlottesville on Saturday. Armaan Franklin was magnificent, with 23 points, including 3 of 5 from deep, to lead the Cavaliers.
Armaan Franklin put on a show today! 🔶⚔️🔷@UVAMensHoops | #ACCMBBpic.twitter.com/MaUlc6dAzO
— ACC Men's Basketball (@accmbb) February 12, 2023
That capped a week where Virginia beat 2 NCAA Tournament teams on its home floor. The Hoos suffocated NC State midweek, holding the Wolfpack to just 33% shooting from the field on the night. Kihei Clark continues to lead a quietly efficient offense: Virginia turned the ball over just 5 times in the win over NC State, scoring at a 1.1 points-per-possession clip in a low-possession (58) game.
1. Miami (20-5, 11-4)
The Hurricanes rewarded Saturday Road’s faith in placing them atop the power rankings last week by demolishing Duke, 81-59, to open the week. Norchad Omier won the battle of the bigs — quieting those who think the Canes are “too small” — outplaying Dereck Lively II and Kyle Filipowski while posting 17 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals and a block in the win.
Nijel Pack throws it up for Omier #ncaa #basketball #collegebasketball #miami #hurricanes #mbb #cbb #acc #nijelpack #dime #alleyoop #NorchadOmier pic.twitter.com/lFxSPFrHMA
— DEE BLACK (@deeblackmma3) February 7, 2023
Omier also made 2 3-pointers in the win, doubling his season total of triples. That helped Miami win on a night when its star guards, Nijel Pack and Isaiah Wong, went just 5 of 16 from the floor and 1 of 5 from deep. The Hurricanes slept through most of their weekend game against Louisville, but Wong and Pack combined for 43 points on a ruthlessly efficient 16 of 26 from the field to help Miami avoid a seed-line-type upset. A victory at North Carolina on Monday night would give Miami 7 Quad 1 wins this season — the Canes already lead the ACC in that category.