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ACC basketball rankings: Duke is Duke, Wake is bad, where is Syracuse?

ACC basketball rankings are back and better than ever! Well, maybe they’re just back.

Virginia v Syracuse Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images

Ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, the preeminent basketball rankings for the Atlantic Coast Conference are officially back! We have week one of college basketball under our collective belt, so that can only mean one thing: the time has come to rank basketball teams.

It should be noted that these are the definitive Atlantic Coast Conference basketball rankings and are completely objective. I know it, you know it and the American people know it. These rankings are to be taken seriously and in the highest regard.

If that’s confusing, let me put it to you this way: there is no methodology. These rankings are completely arbitrary and meaningless. Some might even suggest that there is no rhyme or reason. Let’s dive in.

1) Duke (2-0, 0-0)

Duke takes the top spot after handling Kansas at Madison Square Garden last week. I otherwise would have pegged Louisville as top dog, but after Duke created more Kansas turnovers than a Wegman’s bakery on any given autumn day, it’s hard not to peg the Blue Devils as No. 1.

Mike Krzyzewski’s team also took care of business on Friday night against Colorado State. Cassius Stanley and Jack White are both going to be problems. I’ll let you decide for who.

Colorado State v Duke Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

2) Louisville (2-0, 1-0)

If you’re a Syracuse fan and find yourself upset at the fact that in 2017 Louisville was in the midst of a major college hoops scandal, fired its Hall of Fame head coach and looks like a title contender just two years later, well, you probably should be.

Louisville entered the season as the No. 5 ranked team in the country and earned a road win at Miami. The Cardinals followed that up with a blowout win 78-55 win over Youngstown State on Sunday. Everybody knows that Buffalo native Jordan Nwora is a bucket, and Dicky V’s boy Ryan McMahon has entered “he’s still in college?” status.

The Cardinals also have a dude dubbed “The Irish Hulk” who is only earning a few minutes a game. If that’s not a scary thought I don’t know what is.

3) North Carolina (2-0, 1-0)

Roy Williams officially has the biggest Cole in the state of North Carolina since Jermaine (that’s J Cole for the older crowd). After opening up the season with 34 points against Notre Dame, it’s clear that Cole Anthony is going to be a major player in his one and only year in the sport of college basketball.

Beyond Anthony, it isn’t clear where UNC will get its production from on the offensive end but Garrison Brooks is a veteran big while one of Christian Keeling or Leaky Black should step up.

Fellow freshman phenom Armando Bacot might find himself in a similar position as Nassir Little last year. But UNC is still good for No. 3 in the rankings as Anthony is a legit star.

Notre Dame v North Carolina Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

4) Virginia (2-0, 1-0)

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

5) Florida State (1-1, 0-1)

It’s hard to put Florida State in the No. 5 spot given the season-opening loss at Pitt, but the Seminoles have the best win in the league after beating No. 5 Florida at their place on Sunday (Duke’s win was on a neutral floor).

Leonard Hamilton has a prototypical Leonard Hamilton looking team as his shortest player is 6-foot-4. Plus, the Seminoles might have the best backcourt in the ACC with Trent Forrest, Devin Vassell and MJ Walker.

6) NC State (1-1, 0-1)

It’s equally as hard to put NC State in the No. 6 spot as is it to put FSU in the No. 5 spot, but the Wolfpack could easily be 2-0 if not for some late free throws by James Banks. The overtime loss to Georgia Tech is forgivable.

NC State managed to handle the Antoine Davis one-man-show by taking care of Detroit on Sunday. We’re still not sure if Braxton Beverly is the name of a country singer or NC State’s best shooter, but either way he dropped 23 points on Mike Davis’s squad.

CJ Bryce is an All-ACC kind of player.

7) Notre Dame (1-1, 0-1)

No shame in Notre Dame losing on the road at Carolina to start the season. Mike Brey’s squad returned home and blew the hinges off Robert Morris on Saturday 92-57.

John Mooney and TJ Gibbs are a solid one-two punch while fellow seniors Rex Phlueger, Nikola Djogo and Juwan Durham provide a veteran presence. Returnees Dane Goodwin, Prentiss Hubb, Robby Carmody and Nate Laszewski and are all sophomores now.

8) Syracuse (0-1, 0-1)

I won’t bore you with the lowest scoring point total since WWII thing that everyone keeps reciting, but the Orange didn’t look too hot in the season opener against Virginia. Still, the Hoos have made many a team look dismal on the offensive end. Let’s see what Syracuse looks like over the next few weeks before drawing any conclusions, but the offense will be under a microscope this season.

Virginia v Syracuse Photo by Rich Barnes/Getty Images

9) Miami (1-1, 0-1)

Nobody in the league office did Miami any favors by sending it to Louisville to open the season.

But if you don’t Lykes Chris Lykes, then you don’t Lykes ACC basketball. Miami actually has one of the better backcourts in the league as DJ Vasiljevic could leave the U as the all-time leader in 3-point makes and Kam McGusty is in the mix after transferring from Oklahoma.

Miami doesn’t have the front court to be in the top half of the league, however.

10) Georgia Tech (1-0, 1-0)

Kudos to Georgia Tech for handling NC State in overtime. But this team will have a cloud hang over it all season. Can Josh Pastner escape the hot seat?

11) Virginia Tech (2-0, 1-0)

What to do with VT? After the 2018-19 basketball season there was a max exodus from Blacksburg and after visiting myself last January I can’t be sure I blame any of them.

The Hokies did handle Clemson on the road and Coppin State at home to start the year. Landers Nolley is kind of nice. Maybe the Hokies won’t occupy the basement?

12) Pittsburgh (1-1, 1-0)

Pitt took down Florida State at home, but then fell to Nicholls State on that same floor. You can’t drop a game like that if you’re looking to make a push in year two. Maybe Xavier Johnson and Trey McGowens are still another year away.

13) Clemson (2-1, 0-1)

Clemson lost to Virginia Tech. Brad Brownell dresses like this.

Clemson v Miami Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

14) Boston College (2-0, 1-0)

Boston College actually sits at the top of the ACC but I won’t be fooled into believing that Derryck Thornton and Nik Popovic are the answer. Losing Wynston Tabbs was crushing for BC.

15) Wake Forest (1-1, 0-1)

The only thing that’s as funny as Wake Forest needing a game-winning jumper that bounced twice on the rim by Brandon Childress to beat Columbia is Danny Manning’s buyout.

Follow James on twitter @JamesSzuba