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TNIAAM ACC Basketball Power Rankings: Week 3

Power rankings... because it's fun to assign rankings to things, especially when those numbers don't matter.

Grant Halverson

Each week, the TNIAAM basketball staff will be ranking all 15 ACC teams in a completely subjective manner, just like everyone else on the internet does. Feel like we're completely off base? Can it Chime in with your own ACC power rankings below.


This basketball conference we're a part of looks an awful lot like the football conference, doesn't it? A bunch of teams that no one can figure anything out about, flaws all around, a player of the year candidate and a bunch of way-too-early criticisms about the league. Yup, exactly the same.

Interested in seeing the individual voter breakdown (#HonorYourContract)? Check out the Google Doc here!

1. Duke Blue Devils (4-1) (0-0) (Last Week: 1)

Last Week: W, 97-64 over FAU; W, 91-55 over UNC-Asheville; W, 83-74 over East Carolina

Highest Position: 1; Lowest Position: 2

Sure, the Pirates may have given them a bit of a run for their money the other night, but this team is already rounding into form as a National Championship contender. Jabari Parker is a terrifying matchup for any team, and so far is averaging 22 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists per game. I doubt anyone is going to be able to stop that train from continuing to chug along.

2. Syracuse Orange (4-0) (0-0) (LW: 2)

Last Week: W, 69-50 over Colgate; W, 56-50 over St. Francis

Highest Position: 1; Lowest Position: 2

"UPSET ALERT!!!" In all seriousness though, Syracuse is doing just fine right now -- especially on the defensive end, where they're only allowing 58.5 points per game. Someone needs to start stepping up on offense, however, if they're going to thrive in the Maui Invitational. With a strong group of teams in that tournament, there are zero guarantees for SU.

3. Virginia Cavaliers (3-1) (0-0) (LW: 5)

Last Week: W, 70-57 over Davidson; W, 67-42 over Navy

Highest Position: 3; Lowest Position: 6

Virginia's bounced back from a loss well enough, and honestly, now that VCU's a top-10 team, the defeat's not that bad at all. The Hoos should have a pretty easy time with their schedule up until December, when they face off with Wisconsin in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

4. Pittsburgh Panthers (4-0) (0-0) (LW: 6)

Last Week: W, 84-52 over Howard; W, 77-58 over Lehigh

Highest Position: 3; Lowest Position: 6

Calling Pitt "workman-like" would seem fittingly cliche, yet there's few other phrases that can really describe what they've done so far. The Panthers, as per usual, are simply wearing opponents down, but also score plenty too. No opponent has crossed the 60-point barrier yet, and at nearly 43 rebounds per game, they're quickly emerging as one of the top teams in the country on the glass.

5. North Carolina Tar Heels (2-1) (0-0) (LW: 3)

Last Week: W, 62-54 over Holy Cross; L, 83-80 to Belmont

Highest Position: 3; Lowest Position: 11

"I CAME IN LIKE A WRECKING BALLLLLLLLLL" -- a thousand kudos to the Belmont fan who pulled that stunt off against the Heels. While the media seems to be hitting the panic button for the Heels already, I'm willing to let this play out. It's just three games. Players have off nights occasionally. Still a lot of season left to go.

6. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (2-1) (0-0) (LW: 4)

Last Week: L, 83-70 to Indiana State

Highest Position: 4; Lowest Position: 8

Indiana State's not the best non-conference team to lose to, especially when everyone's already trotting out the "ACC is a sham" narrative two weeks in. The Irish have a few more games to sort out their rebounding issues, before jumping into some tough non-conference games (Indiana, Ohio State) and then the league schedule. Several losses entering ACC play seem likely, though it could also help shape this team for a solid run in-conference.

7. Florida State Seminoles (3-0) (0-0) (LW: 8)

Last Week: W, 89-61 over Tennessee-Martin

Highest Position: 5; Lowest Position: 11

FSU's doing exactly what it's supposed to -- bludgeoning teams over the head, while scoring a ton of points in the paint. The 'Noles 86.7 points per game rank 39th in the country, while the .537 field goal percentage is 11th overall. Obviously they'll need (and have) better competition at some point, but for now, no harm in beating who's on the schedule.

8. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4-0) (0-0) (LW: 10)

Last Week: W, 69-48 over Presbyterian; W, 90-83 over Jacksonville

Highest Position: 5; Lowest Position: 12

Well this is a surprise, even if the teams Wake faced so far haven't been great. Behind Codi Miller-McIntyre, the Deacs have been scoring nearly 87 points per game while owning the glass (50.3 rebounds per game). The strong inside play has been huge in closing out games and puts them on a similar trajectory to several other ACC squads employing the same formulas to racking up non-conference Ws.

9. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-1) (0-0) (LW: 11)

Last Week: W, 80-71 over Georgia; L, 82-72 to Dayton

Highest Position: 3; Lowest Position: 12

Admittedly, several of the votes were submitted before Georgia Tech's home loss to Dayton, but nonetheless, this team does have a pulse. The Flyers were actually a better squad, plus after the Wreck beat the Bulldogs, the season already kind of sounds like a success, right? I'm doubtful they can keep up this sort of scoring once conference play begins.

10. Miami Hurricanes (3-1) (0-0) (LW: 12)

Last Week: W, 84-69 over Texas Southern; W, 70-54 over College of Charleston

Highest Position: 7; Lowest Position: 12

After that supposedly embarrassing loss to St. Francis, Miami's reeled off three straight wins over weak teams to get themselves back on track. As Syracuse will attest, St. Francis is actually a pretty decent team and are not to be trifled with. For a less-than-average 'Canes team to lose to them is not all that farfetched.

11. Clemson Tigers (3-0) (0-0) (LW: 13)

Last Week: W, 71-57 over South Carolina

Highest Position: 9; Lowest Position: 14

Clemson hasn't done anything particularly well this year, other than win games. That's fine for now, but I'm curious if anyone else will actually step up for this team beyond K.J. McDaniels. The junior forward leads the Tigers in points per game and rebounds per game, and is the motor that drives this squad -- until someone figures out how to shut him down.

12. NC State Wolfpack (2-2) (0-0) (LW: 9)

Last Week: W, 81-66 over Campbell; L, 82-72 (OT) to N.C. Central

Highest Position: 8; Lowest Position: 15

You lost to N.C. Central. You LOST to N.C. Central. I just... I don't understand. Are the Pack this bad? They can't be. There's just no other excuse for how this whole thing came about last night. You should probably pray for them when these guys come to town on Tuesday.

13. Maryland Terrapins (1-2) (0-0) (LW: 7)

Last Week: L, 90-83 to Oregon State

Highest Position: 7; Lowest Position:14

Maryland's resume is deceiving, first off. Two losses, and both to non-conference teams (one ranked: UConn). But there are also things to be concerned about. Dez Wells is playing inefficient basketball, averaging more turnovers than assists, while taking two threes per game despite a .167 shooting percentage from beyond the arc. The Terps need to reign him in, because (begrudgingly) his play controls their fate.

14. Virginia Tech Hokies (3-1) (0-0) (LW: 15)

Last Week: W, 79-61 over Western Carolina; W, 105-92 over VMI

Highest Position: 10; Lowest Position: 15

What in the world is Michigan State going to do to this team? I mean, the Spartans are going to dismantle Virginia Tech in a way most never thought possible between two major conference programs (sit down, DePaul!). Maybe we end up surprised and the Hokies make a game of it? Doubtful.

15. Boston College Eagles (1-3) (0-0) (LW: 14)

Last Week: L, 95-92 to Toledo; W, 82-79 over FAU

Highest Position: 13; Lowest Position: 15

I was writing off the two losses to bubble teams. And then BC lost to Toledo. And then they beat FAU by just three points. This is going to be an incredibly long season for the Eagles, who have decided to eliminate themselves from NCAA Tournament play before the New Year. UConn, Harvard, USC, VCU and Purdue are all on the slate before the ACC schedule even begins. Just don't see them recovering at all.

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