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ACC basketball rankings: Duke and North Carolina switch spots, Syracuse and Georgia Tech move up

We’re back with week two of ACC basketball rankings.

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

Ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, welcome back for the second week of the proud, preeminent, TNIAAM ACC basketball rankings.

It was a relatively tame week of basketball within the conference as games were canceled, some coaches introduced face shields as masks and Georgia Tech somehow beat Kentucky by 17. Week one was much more entertaining, but with the ACC/Big Ten Challenge to tip off tomorrow, week three should provide more excitement.

Before we turn the page, we dive into the conference hierarchy* as we do every Monday.

*These rankings are backed by an undisclosed methodology

1. Florida State (1-0), Ken Pom: 20

Last week: Win over North Florida

Florida State remains on top for now with a blowout win over in-state foe North Florida. MJ Walker looks ready to lead the charge while RaiQuan Gray is still doing a little bit of everything. Notably, Julius Erving look-alike Balsa Koprivica had 13 points, five rebounds and two blocks.

Also, Scottie Barnes did this:

2. North Carolina (3-1), Ken Pom: 14

Last week: Wins over UNLV, Stanford, loss to Texas in Maui Invitational

North Carolina came one possession shy of taking home the Maui Invitational in Asheville title. Every time UNC has won the event under Roy Williams, it has gone on to win the National Championship. I think it’s only right to infer that Carolina is going to lose in the 2021 national title game.

To recap, North Carolina ran the Runnin’ Rebels out of the gym, and also out-rebounded them 54-35. All four UNC big men had five rebounds or more.

In the second game, UNC out-rebounded Stanford by 20 as all starters scored in double-figures, yet 24 UNC turnovers kept the game close.

In the Maui championship game, North Carolina once again controlled the glass, a 50-32 margin, only for a Matt Coleman to get the shooter’s touch on a step-back jumper in the closing seconds. Pretty ironic that the event was decided on those soft Maui Asheville rims.

This Carolina team is solid, but Williams needs to find some perimeter shooting to open up the paint for his bigs.

NCAA Basketball: Duke at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

3. Duke (2-1), Ken Pom: 6

Last week: Loss to Michigan State, win over Bellarmine, Elon game postponed

Duke lost to Michigan State in the Champions Classic, which is 2020’s way of saying Duke lost on its home court to the Spartans. Matthew Hurt had a double-double, but the Blue Devils’ youth was apparent against a more veteran Sparty team. Finally, Tom Izzo got a win against Mike Krzyzewski in the Champions Classic.

Duke then rebounded at home with a win over Bellarmine. Hurt dropped 22 points on 12 shots. He’s Mike Krzyzewski’s best player at the moment.

4. Virginia Tech (4-0), Ken Pom: 26

Last week: Win over VMI

Virginia Tech holds firm at No. 4 with the best win in the league — a hard-fought victory over Villanova. The Hokies only had one game last week, a 64-57 win over VMI. Keve Aluma posted a double-double with 17 points and 12 boards while Justyn Mutts had 10 points, nine rebounds and six assists.

Sharpshooting sophomore Jalen Cone saw his first action of the season.

5. Louisville (4-0), Ken Pom: 22

Last week: Win over Western Kentucky, game against UNC-G canceled

Louisville put all basketball activities on pause following a positive case of COVID-19. As a result, the game against UNC-Greensboro was canceled.

The Cardinals did handle Western Kentucky before going on pause.

6. Virginia (3-1), Ken Pom: 17

Last week: Wins over St. Francis, Kent State (OT)

Virginia looked to be rounding into form with a big win over St. Francis. Then it allowed Kent State to take the game into overtime on this play.

The Cavaliers eventually won in extra time. But man, what a strange start to the season for Virginia.

7. Clemson (3-0), Ken Pom: 27

Last week: Win over South Carolina State

Clemson jumps into the seven spot with three quality performances. Brad Brownell was able to empty his bench against South Carolina State last week as 12 players scored against the Bulldogs. The Tigers’ defense is currently third best in the ACC (Ken Pom defensive efficiency).


We interrupt these rankings to bring you ACC basketball trivia, brought to you in part by Libman mops and Flex Seal.


North Carolina has won the Maui Invitation four times, three under Roy Williams. Which years were those Maui tournament wins under Williams?

This poll is closed

  • 58%
    2005, 2009, 2017
    (86 votes)
  • 9%
    2003, 2008, 2017
    (14 votes)
  • 7%
    2002, 2008, 2016
    (11 votes)
  • 25%
    2004, 2008, 2016
    (37 votes)
148 votes total Vote Now

The answer to the ACC basketball trivia question can be found at the bottom of this page.

Now back to your regularly scheduled jokes and garbage.


8. Syracuse (3-0), Ken Pom: 40

Last week: Wins over Niagara and Rider

The Orange move up after passing the eye test in two blowout wins over Niagara and Rider, all without leading returning scorer Buddy Boeheim. Freshmen Kadary Richmond and Woody Newton made the most of their opportunities.

Now Power Five tests await this week in Rutgers and Boston College.

9. Miami (2-0), Ken Pom: 46

Last week: Win over Stetson

Miami has two wins, albeit against two sub-250 Ken Pom teams. In the win against Stetson, Isaiah Wong posted a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds while Chris Lykes finished with 20 points and five dimes.

The Hurricanes could move up or down depending on what it does against Purdue on Tuesday.

10. NC State (3-0), Ken Pom: 39

Last week: Win over UMass Lowell, Games canceled against UConn, William & Mary

NC State had games canceled due to a positive test within its traveling party, the school announced last week.

The Wolfpack are 3-0 in games it has been able to play. Devon Daniels is off to a good start. Jericole Hellems has put together two 17 point performances.

11. Georgia Tech (1-2), Ken Pom: 75

Last week: Win over Kentucky in the Pitt Boss Grills Holiday Hoopsgiving

Nothing quite says Hoopsgiving like a game between Kentucky and Georgia Tech almost two weeks after we all sliced the turkey.

If I told you that Kentucky held Michael Devoe scoreless, would you assume the ‘Cats cruised to an easy victory? Because that’s what happened and yet Georgia Tech won by 17. The four Yellow Jackets starters not named Devoe reached double-figures, as did Kyle Studivant off the bench.

Despite Kentucky struggling out of the gate with a 1-3 record, Georgia Tech still boasts one of the better wins in the ACC. Let nobody ever be as disappointed in anything as Jimmy Dykes was with Kentucky on the call.

12. Pittsburgh (2-1), Ken Pom: 90

Last week: Win over Northern Illinois

Pittsburgh won big over a bad Northern Illinois team as the big three of Au’Diese Toney, Xavier Johnson and Justin Champagnie combined for 52 points and 15 assists. Sophomore guard Ithiel Horton also had 15 points and four helpers.

13. Notre Dame (1-1), Ken Pom: 81

Last week: Win over Detroit, games against Tennessee, Western Michigan canceled

Notre Dame had two games canceled last week due to COVID-19. The Irish edged out a win over Detroit at home as all five starters reached double-figures. Notre Dame isn’t very deep as its starting five played 183 out of 200 minutes.

14. Boston College (1-3), Ken Pom: 85

Last week: Losses to St. John’s, Florida

Boston College almost mounted the comeback against St. John’s, only for 19 turnovers to eventually do the Eagles in. Then it got smoked by Florida.

The preseason momentum of playing Villanova close and winning over Rhode Island has come to a halt.

15. Wake Forest (2-0), Ken Pom: 123

Last week: Game against Troy canceled

Wake was put on pause, which is really what the program has been under for the last 15 years.


Answer to the ACC basketball trivia question: 2004, 2008, 2016