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ACC basketball rankings: Duke holds top spot, Syracuse moves up and Clemson slides

“Why would you even rank ACC teams?” -Boeheim in the lead photo, probably

Colgate v Syracuse Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Welcome to this week’s installment of ACC basketball rankings. Things get murky in the middle of the conference, but after this week we should have a better idea of who emerges from that group and who solidifies their spot amongst the basement dwellars moving forward. In that mix? The Syracuse Orange, who travel to Columbus, Ohio, on Wednesday to face off against the No. 16 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (and No. 1 in the NET!).

Alas, opportunity awaits for the ACC this week in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. See rankings for this week below.

  1. Duke (5-1), Last week: Win against Auburn, loss to Gonzaga

Duke holds the top spot after taking down a solid Auburn squad in Maui and losing to the new No. 1 team in the country, Gonzaga. The Blue Devils had a chance to tie the game late, but Mark Few’s squad picked up some big time stops down the stretch. Still, Duke roared back in the second half, showing just how powerful of an offensive unit the Blue Devils can be.

Maui Invitational - Duke v Gonzaga Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images

2. Virginia (6-0), Last week: Wins over Middle Tennessee, Dayton and Wisconsin

While Middle Tennessee isn’t quite as good this season as it has been the last few years, Virginia picked up three quality wins in the Battle 4 Atlantis. Dayton is a top-100 Ken Pom team and the Cavaliers took down Wisconsin in the tournament finale.

3. North Carolina (6-1), Last week: Loss to Texas, win over UCLA

UNC holds down the three spot after taking an L to an underrated Texas team and beating an overrated UCLA team. Coby White absolutely balled out in Las Vegas last week.

NCAA Basketball: Texas at North Carolina Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

4. Virginia Tech (5-0), Last week: Win over St. Francis

Tech is closing in on UNC for the third spot in the conference, but a win over St. Francis wasn’t quite enough to get over the hump for the triennial spot. Still, Tech looks good thus far.

5. Florida State (5-1), Last week: Win against LSU, loss to Villanova

FSU picked up a solid win over a ranked LSU squad in overtime last week before falling to Villanova the next night. No shame in dropping one to a Jay Wright team that’s probably somewhere between not-as-good as its preseason ranking but not-as-bad as its loss to Furman

6. Syracuse (3-2), Last week: Win against Colgate

This is where it starts to get opaque in the rankings. Clemson dropped two games last week, which slides Syracuse up to the sixth spot despite having two losses. Syracuse only played once last week and picked up a win against Colgate. Frank Howard returned and Tyus Battle broke out in the second half. If Syracuse wins at Ohio State this week it could slide up in the rankings, but a loss would drop the Orange significantly from the six spot.

NCAA Basketball: Colgate at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

7. NC State (6-0), Last week: Wins over St. Peter’s and Mercer

NC State is still undefeated, sure. But a pair of wins over 175+ Ken Pom teams aren’t enough to move the needle. The Wolfpack slides up thanks to Clemson dropping two games and surviving a scare from Mercer.

8. Clemson (5-2), Last week: Win over Georgia, losses to Creighton and Nebraska

Hard to penalize Clemson too much after picking up a decent win against Georgia and losing to respectable opponents in Creighton and Nebraska, two should-be NCAA Tournament teams. Both of the latter teams are amongst the top 35 in Ken Pom.

9. Miami (5-1), Last week: Wins over La Salle, Fresno State, loss to Seton Hall

Miami had potential to slide up to the seven spot with a win against Seton Hall, but suffered a two point loss to Taurean Thompson’s squad. Still, Chris Lykes is balling for the Hurricanes and helped lead his team to wins over La Salle and Fresno State. A last-second dunk by Florida Gulf Coast transfer Zach Johnson pushed the ‘Canes past Fresno State.

Wooden Legacy - Miami v Seton Hall Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

10. Pittsburgh (6-0), Last week: Win over St. Louis

Pitt shoots up one spot in the rankings with a solid win over St. Louis, who already took down a solid Seton Hall squad this year. The Panthers have another test this week traveling to Iowa to take on New York’s College Team the Hawkeyes.

11. Boston College (5-1), Last week: Win over Loyola-Chicago and Minnesota

BC picks up a win against Loyola-Chicago and while those aren’t your sister Jean’s Ramblers (from last season) the Eagles took down Richard Pitino’s Golden Gophers last night as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Solid wins for a BC program fighting for relevancy in the conference this year.

12. Louisville (3-2), Last week: Losses to Tennessee and Marquette

Louisville slides down after taking a pair of losses in the NIT Preseason Tip-Off. While neither loss was a bad one, per se, the Cardinals probably should have beaten Marquette before going to overtime. Many will point to a three by Buffalo native Jordan Nwora that was wrongly ruled a two, but VJ King missed a point blank tip in at the buzzer that would have won the game. Louisville shoots itself in the foot and swaps spots with Pitt.

NCAA Basketball: NIT Season Tip-Off-Louisville at Tennessee Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

13. Georgia Tech (4-1), Last week: Wins over Rio Grande Valley and Prairie View

Nothing to see here. GT picks up wins over a couple of wins against schools who you didn’t even know had basketball programs. If I said prairie and Rio Grande Valley in the same sentence, you might assume to be floating down a lazy river somewhere in Texas.

14. Notre Dame (5-1), Last week: Wins over Duquesne and DePaul

Notre Dame beats Duquesne and DEPAUW. That loss to Radford still stings.

15. Wake Forest (3-2), Last week: Loss to Houston Baptist

Wake suffered a bad loss to Houston Baptist last week, a fringe 300-team in Ken Pom.