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ACC basketball rankings: Virginia slides, Syracuse moves up, Clemson won a game and North Carolina is deplorable

Clemson basketball is back!

NCAA Basketball: Clemson at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, we welcome you back to another edition of the proud and preeminent TNIAAM ACC basketball rankings.

It’s been another interesting week of basketball in the conference as Duke continues to roll, North Carolina continues to play anything but basketball and Virginia Tech fans are so pissed that I ranked Cassell Coliseum No. 1427 in ACC venues they actually think I give two sh*ts about their team beating Syracuse.

To make amends, I will say this: If there were a fourth NCAA Tournament team in the conference right now, it might be that one team in the state of Virginia. THAT’S RIGHT (Dickie V voice), I’M TALKING ABOUT THE HOKIES, BABY! That, and Mike Young has already locked up the ACC Coach of the Year award. How’s that?

Anyway, let’s dive into the rankings below. You’ll have to do some scrolling to find the ACC basketball trivia question this week. As always, these rankings are backed by an undisclosed methodology.

NCAA Basketball: Wake Forest at Duke Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

1. Duke (15-1, 5-0)

Last week: Wins over Georgia Tech and Wake Forest

Duke struggled somewhat earlier in the week against Georgia Tech, but edged the Yellow Jackets on the road and rolled Wake Forest at home. Jordan Goldwire was out there defending like he was Gary Payton or something.

Tre Jones read my comment last week on how he could post single digit points in every game from here on out and still be in consideration for ACC POTY. That was clearly the motivation he needed to go out a record 39 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds and 8 steals in two games.

Aside: Yay or nay on the black Duke jerseys?

2. Florida State (14-2, 4-1)

Last week: win over Wake

Florida State was off Saturday, but the Seminoles took down Wake earlier in the week. Ham Sauce rolled out the balls and played 11 guys in the win. The big three of Devin Vassell, Trent Forrest and MJ Walker combined for 46 points. Forrest hauled in 10 boards, too.

All Leonard Hamilton does is stack wins.

3. Louisville (13-3, 4-1)

Last week: wins over Miami and Notre Dame

Jordan Nwora had a heck of a week. It’s going to be fascinating to watch he and [insert Duke player here] jockey for ACC POTY honors.

Dwayne Sutton was just one point shy of posting two double-doubles. Sutton is the ultimate glue guy and one of the most underrated players in the conference.

Ryan McMahon tied Nwora in made 3s (seven) last week too, by the way.

4. Virginia Tech (12-4. 3-2)

Last week: wins over Syracuse and NC State

Congratulations to Virginia Tech fans. Your team is now No. 4 in the conference after your in-state rival sh*t the bed.

Jalen Cone came into the Carrier Dome and gave Syracuse buckets. He continued his play against NC State by scoring 10 points.

Oh, and Landers Nolley posted 29 points and 7 rebounds against the Wolfpack. Nolley and Vernon Carey will both compete for Freshman of the Year, but Nolley should be getting more recognition on the POTY front.

5. NC State (11-5, 2-3)

Last week: win over Notre Dame, loss to Virginia Tech

NC State earned an important victory over Notre Dame last week, but couldn’t generate enough offense to take down VT.

The Wolfpack got half of its scoring off the bench against the Hokies and Kevin Keatts only played seven guys. That’s not going to get it done on most nights.

NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Virginia
Tony Bennett tries to convince his team that they can shoot.
Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

6. Virginia (11-4, 3-2)

Last week: losses to Boston College and Syracuse

Virginia somehow only slides down to six due to Notre Dame taking two losses and all other teams being absolutely deplorable beyond that.

Virginia seems destined to finish as the worst 3-point shooting team in the league. Nothing is standing in its way and by that I mostly mean that Virginia can’t get out of its own way. The Hoos had many open looks last week but they just can’t make shots!

7. Notre Dame (10-6, 1-4)

Last week: losses to NC State and Louisville

Nothing to see here, but John Mooney posts double-doubles like nobody’s business. He’s easily on my first-team ACC Guy I’d Like to Have a Beer With.

Mooney put up 14 and 14 against NC State and 15 and 19 against Louisville.

Did I mention John Mooney?

Duke v Miami
DJ Vasiljevic has an absolute wetty
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

8. Miami (10-5, 2-3)

Last week: Loss to Louisville, win over Pittsburgh

Miami didn’t put up much of a fight against Louisville, but it did secure an important win at home over Pittsburgh on Sunday night.

Miami’s role players are working through some injuries, though Chris Lykes and Kam McGusty are playing at a high level.

As I am legally obligated to say in every rankings post: DJ Vasiljevic is the best shooter in the ACC.

9. Pittsburgh (11-5, 2-3)

Last week: win at North Carolina, loss at Miami

North Carolina let an awful shooting Pittsburgh team make 40 percent of its shots from deep inside the Dean Dome last Wednesday. That’s hard to fathom when considering the Panthers followed that up with an 18 percent shooting effort from range at Miami last night.

Still, Jeff Capel has forged an identity for his Pittsburgh team as a tough, gritty team that isn’t afraid to play in the mud. That’s how Pitt is going to win games in the ACC.

Trey McGowens is one of the toughest guards in the league.

10. Syracuse (9-7, 2-3)

Last week: loss to Virginia Tech, win at Virginia

Syracuse gonna Syracuse.

Orange fans everywhere now think their team can make an NCAA Tournament appearance.

11. Boston College (9-7, 3-2)

Last week: Win over Virginia, loss to Georgia Tech

Big thanks to Virginia for extending Jim Christian’s tenure at BC.

Mark my words. There is absolutely no chance that Boston College wins at Syracuse this Wednesday. What could go wrong?

12. Georgia Tech (8-8, 3-2)

Last week: Loss to Duke, win at Boston College

Georgia Tech looks like a different team with Jose Alvarado back in the fold. Don’t be surprised to see them start to climb in the rankings.


We interrupt these rankings to bring you ACC basketball trivia, brought to you in part by Bojangles sweet tea and every milkshake offered at Back Yard Burgers.


Clemson basketball had never won at UNC prior to Saturday. How many consecutive losses did the Tigers have in Chapel Hill?

This poll is closed

  • 63%
    (302 votes)
  • 6%
    (32 votes)
  • 7%
    (35 votes)
  • 6%
    (31 votes)
  • 16%
    A lolololot
    (77 votes)
477 votes total Vote Now

Now back to your regularly scheduled jokes & garbage.

NCAA Basketball: Clemson at North Carolina
Principal Brownell can’t believe his Clemson team won at North Carolina either.
Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

13. Clemson (8-7, 2-3)

Last week: win at North Carolina

Clemson basketball picked up its first ever win in Chapel Hill against North Carolina. That says a lot more about the season the Tar Heels are having than it does the Tigers.

Clemson was still celebrating that victory in the Dean Dome like they a National Championship in football or something.

14. Wake Forest (8-7, 1-4)

Last week: Loss at Florida State and at Duke

No real shame in losing a pair of road games to the two best teams in the conference, but the margin at Duke left much to be desired.

What’s a Wake Forest fan to do?

15. North Carolina (8-8, 1-4)

Last week: losses to Pittsburgh and Clemson

Is that right? After all these years at the top, North Carolina has plunged all the way to the conference basement? When did UNC become a cellar dweller?

The Tar Heels lost back to back games at home this week to Pittsburgh and... Clemson.

Roy’s team had a seven point lead over the Tigers with 90 second left but still found a way to let a team led by a guy whose mother dresses him force OT.

I’m not saying the rest of the league is reveling in North Carolina’s failures this season, but what I will say if there ever were a time to insert this video below, now would be that time.

The schadenfreude is real.

Answer to the ACC basketball trivia question: 59