Feast Week is upon us and already, ACC teams are making noise.

Virginia won the Continental Tire Main Event, felling 2 top-20 programs in the process while carrying the banner for a campus consumed in mourning and grief. Tony Bennett’s team showed why fundamental basketball and togetherness still mattered this past weekend in Las Vegas, and they did it at a time when their university could use a teaspoon of joy.

Virginia Tech didn’t win the Charleston Classic, but it made the final, losing a thriller to what is clearly an outstanding College of Charleston team.

With more events on the way, including Duke and North Carolina at the PK 85 events that will begin on Thanksgiving in Portland, Ore., the ACC is making its presence known during the most wonderful not-March hoops month of the year.

As expected, there’s quite a bit of movement in the Week 3 Power Rankings. Last week’s list is here. 

15. Louisville (0-3)

Last Week (LW): 15

Things aren’t going great for Kenny Payne at his dream job. El Ellis scored 29 points for the 2nd consecutive game, but the Cardinals fell to 0-3 with an embarrassing home loss to Appalachian State. Payne’s team has fallen to 147th in Bart Torvik’s efficiency rating, and it is difficult to see things get much better this week in Hawaii at the Maui Invitational.

14. Florida State (0-4) 

LW: 14

The Seminoles dropped another pair of games, to mid-major Troy and then to rival Florida. The loss to the Gators was mystifying: the Seminoles led by as many as 19 points and were ahead by 17 at the half before Florida went on a 33-5 run to seize control of the game and win at the Tucker Center for the first time in 10 years. The Noles did get healthier, with Naheem McCloud, Chandler Jackson and De’Ante Green all returning from injuries, but win No. 1 remains elusive as FSU readies for Feast Week at the ESPN Events Invitational at Walt Disney World.

13. Pittsburgh (2-3)

LW: 12

The Panthers went 0-2 at the Legends Classic, routed by No. 20 Michigan in their opener and then losing late to Virginia Commonwealth in the consolation game. Worse, the Panthers lost star big man John Hugley when he injured his knee during the Michigan game. Hugley had just returned from an injury to the other knee that forced a 6-week absence in fall camp — his status moving forward is week-to-week, per coach Jeff Capel III.

12. Boston College (3-2)

LW: 9

Earl Grant’s team had a tough week. The win against George Mason was nice, but bookending it with a bad loss to Maine and defeat to emerging mid-major Tarleton State is not good news for an Eagles team many, including this writer, pegged as a darkhorse NIT/NCAA contender in this league. Makai Ashton-Langford has been his usual All-ACC caliber self. The help Grant brought in for him, CJ Pehna Jr., also has been good. But the team needs more frontcourt production, and hasn’t gotten it yet, making the Eagles too guard reliant.

11. Syracuse (2-1)

LW: 10

The Orange did grab win No. 1,000 for Jim Boeheim when it routed Northeastern. That’s the good news. Winning 1,000 games twice is never easy, but Boeheim did it (101 wins were vacated by the NCAA).

The bad news is that for the 2nd consecutive season Syracuse was run of a gym by Colgate. Just a year ago, Colgate ended a 54-year run of misery against Syracuse. Now the Raiders have hammered the Orange 2 seasons in a row. To quote a contemporary of Boeheim, “the times they are a’changin’.”

10. Wake Forest (4-1)

LW: 6

The Demon Deacons lived on the edge, beating Utah Valley on this bit of magic from buzzer-beater savant Tyree Appleby (he has 3 career buzzer-beaters!)

Appleby has been brilliant for Wake Forest, averaging 19 points a game with 5.4 assists and 2 steals a game. He’d love some help, particularly from anyone in the frontcourt. Appleby tied for the team lead in rebounds (8) in the 77-75 overtime loss to Loyola Marymount, and the team’s frontcourt scored just 10 points in the win against La Salle that opened the Jamaica Classic. That has to improve, or the ceiling for Steve Forbes and the Deacs m,ight again be the NIT.

9. Clemson (3-1)

LW: 13

The Tigers put the brutal loss at South Carolina behind them with 2 wins, including 1 against quality mid-major Bellarmine. The biggest news for Brad Brownell’s team? The ahead-of-schedule return of star PJ Hall, who, while playing limited minutes (20 per night), is making his impact felt with 12.7 points per game and almost 4 rebounds a night. Chase Hunter, the sharpshooting guard who connected on 40% of his 3s in ACC play last season, was lethal against Bellarmine, hitting 5 triples.

8. Notre Dame (4-0)

LW: 7

The Fighting Irish are unbeaten. That’s the important thing in a bottom-line business. They also have struggled mightily, playing down to the level of their competition and winning games against Radford, Lipscomb and Youngstown State by 7 points or less.

The nonconference slate is cottage cheese soft, save a Nov. 30 tilt with Michigan State, so expect the wins to keep piling up. But there’s plenty to be concerned about, notably a short bench, in South Bend.

7. Georgia Tech (3-0)

LW: 11

We see you, Ramblin’ Wreck. A surprising 3-0 start for Josh Pastner’s team, who can put an exclamation point on it by climbing to 4-0 Monday with an opening-night win in the Rocket Mortgage Fort Myers Tip-Off Classic against a solid Utah team from the Pac-12. Right now, it’s the Yellow Jackets’ tenacious defense that is impressing the analytics: Tech ranks 34th in Bart Torvik’s Adjusted Defensive Efficiency number and when adjusted for “pure performance” (meaning no baked-in algorithm from last season’s defense to set a preseason expectation), Georgia Tech ranks 9th. That’s great stuff, and a winning formula even for a team that will struggle to score consistently in their half-court offense, if they can keep it up.

6. NC State (4-0)

LW: 8

The Wolfpack remains unbeaten after routing Florida International and Elon. The schedule hasn’t been demanding to date, and we’ll learn a bunch about this group at the Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis this week, but it’s hard not to love the way this team can score.

Terquavion Smith becoming more than just a scorer is a development coach Kevin Keatts truly needed, and the Pack is getting assists on more than half its buckets right now (51.5%), a season after ranking 318th in the country in that category at just 43.8%. That’s a winning basketball trend.

5. Miami (4-1)

LW: 4

The Basketball Hall-of-Fame Tip-Off was a mixed back for the Hurricanes, who beat Ed Cooley’s Providence team Saturday for a quality win but were hammered by Maryland in the championship Sunday. Jim Larrañaga rebuilt his frontcourt during the offseason to help the Hurricanes compete inside, but they didn’t look the part of a strong frontcourt Sunday against the Terrapins, losing the rebounding battle 39-20. Norchad Omier, the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Year a season ago, has looked ready for the rise in competition, averaging 10.2 rebounds per contest. But for now, the Canes clearly miss rebounding guard Charlie Moore, as transfer Nijel Pack can’t be bothered to help rebounding just yet. If Miami’s guards don’t improve defensively and on the glass, this team will be vulnerable all season.

4. Virginia Tech (5-1)

LW: 2

The Hokies didn’t overwhelm anyone at a quality Charleston Classic field, but the wins against Old Dominion and Penn State should remain in Quad 2 all season and help the résumé, and the loss in a thrilling championship to College of Charleston came on the Cougars’ home floor and will serve Virginia Tech well come March, when they’ll meet a similar team in the 1st round of the NCAA Tournament. Justyn Mutts was the monster coach Mike Young needs in Charleston, too, with a double-double in the semifinal win against Penn State and 16 points, 9 rebounds and 2 steals in the final despite the defeat.

3. Duke (3-1)

The Blue Devils’ talent lost out to a salty group of national champions in the Champions Classic against Kansas to start the week, but that’s just the type of experience, sans Dariq Whitehead, that Jon coach Scheyer’s team will lean on come the rugged battles of February and March. The Blue Devils will get multiple chances to show their mettle this week at the PK 85 event in Portland, and Whitehead’s return means Scheyer will have his full arsenal to work with in an event that features elite programs like Gonzaga, Florida and Purdue.

2. Virginia (4-0)

LW: 5

The Cavaliers were the team of the week in the sport, upsetting No. 5 Baylor on Friday night in Las Vegas and coming from behind to win the championship game against No. 19 Illinois. Reece Beekman, the tournament’s most valuable player, had 17 points and 3 steals in the final, and Virginia’s defense locked up the Illini over the game’s final 4 minutes to bring a trophy home to a mourning Charlottesville. Beekman, who also helped limit Illinois star Terrance Shannon Jr. to just 9 points, hounding him on the defensive end all night, made this driving basket to give the Hoos the lead for good.


What a remarkable week for a team that will be playing for something bigger than themselves all season long.

1. North Carolina (4-0)

LW: 1

The Tar Heels took care of business Sunday in Chapel Hill against an unbeaten James Madison and weathered a scare against tiny Gardner-Webb this past week, but there’s some discontent and concern about the inconsistency, at least among the fan base. The Tar Heels? They aren’t concerned.

“We’re not going to be perfect all the time,” center Armando Bacot said after a 19-point, career-high 23-rebound performance Sunday. “One thing we’re not going to do is quit. And we’ll get better.”

James Madison, which sits 4th in the nation in scoring offense at 97.0, didn’t hit 50 until after the it was past the 8-minute media timeout, a testament to the Tar Heels’ best defensive effort of the young season.

This week, North Carolina headlines one of the 2 PK 85 events, the Phil Knight Invitational, beginning Thanksgiving with a 1 p.m. ET tip against Portland.