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ACC basketball rankings: Duke back on top, Louisville and Syracuse slide, North Carolina is snake bit and Clemson strikes again

Who let the fully grown men flashing the Florida State players into Cameron Indoor?

Florida State v Duke Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Sirs and madams, ladies and gents, we welcome you back to another edition of the proud, preeminent TNIAAM ACC basketball rankings.

[insert line about it being another wild week of ACC basketball here]

Uhm, yes *clears throat* it’s been an interesting past seven days of ACC basketball. The week began with Duke taking down Florida State at home on Big Monday and ended with NC State blowing a game on the road at Boston College.

Louisville lost two games to a pair of opponents under .500 in the league, meaning that Duke is somehow going to be the ACC regular season champs. Clemson basketball is back again after beating Louisville and North Carolina continues to get creative in its methods to lose games.

Before we dive into the conference hierarchy, the Cameron Crazies tell us who’s going to win ACC Player of the Year.

NCAA Basketball: Florida State at Duke
It’s either Jones or Vernon Carey Jr.
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

1. Duke (22-3, 12-2)

Last week: Win over Florida State, win over Notre Dame

Duke picked up an important win over Florida State last Monday as that win along with two Louisville losses give the Blue Devils sole possession of first place in the ACC.

With the NBA All Star break taking place over the weekend, Duke had guys like Zion Williamson back in the building. ESPN was sure to feature him on camera more times than any current Duke player.

Tre Jones and Vernon Carey combined for 40 points in the blowout win over Notre Dame. Alex O’Connell went almost as bonkers as Dickie V, scoring 12 points on 12 shots.

2. Florida State (21-4, 11-3)

Last week: Loss at Duke, win over Syracuse

Forcing Duke into 21 turnovers wasn’t quite enough to overcome 16.7% FSU shooting from distance last Monday. Trent Forrest balled out in the loss though with 18 points, 9 rebounds, 8 steals and 4 assists.

Then the ‘Noles returned home and handled Syracuse without leading scorer and rebounder Devin Vassell. MJ Walker stepped up big in spite of a bloody nose. His four point play gave Florida State a lead it wouldn’t relinquish down the stretch.

That’s all well and good, but how about this Balsa Koprivica slam? That’s a 7-footer out there cherry picking and rocking the rim.

We need to know more about Koprivica. Some local beat writer needs to get a feature about his life story and how he ended up in Tallahassee all the way from Serbia. We demand answers.

3. Louisville (21-5, 12-3)

Last week: Loss at Georgia Tech, loss at Clemson

Just when you think Louisville was going to run away with the conference title, the Cardinals go out and do something like lose back to backs to Georgia Tech and Clemson. Jordan Nwora picked a bad week to be disinterested in playing basketball and winning awards. In fact, he was so impartial in league titles, ACC Player of the Year awards and individual scoring records that Nwora went out and scored a combined 7 points last week.

Louisville as a team had a deplorable week shooting the ball. Even the notorious gunner Ryan McMahon only went 3 of 16 from range. That’s not going to get it done.

Virginia v North Carolina
Tomas Woldetensae onions
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

4. Virginia (17-7, 9-5)

Last week: Win over Notre Dame, win at North Carolina

Virginia beat Notre Dame earlier in the week but nobody cares about that. The Cavaliers look to be firmly in the NCAA Tournament field and this point and on Satu..

Wait, Tomas Woldetensae did what!?

The guy who couldn’t hit water if he a fell out of a boat earlier this season knocked down the game-winner with just seconds remaining at North Carolina. He redeemed himself after fouling Christian Keeling on a jumpshot with ten seconds left, which ultimately gave UNC a one point lead before his heroics. Woldetensae’s emergence from deep has been as important in Virginia making a tournament push than anything else.

Check the highlight from the Kawhi Leonard lookalike here:

Underrated hesi by Kihei Clarke too.

5. NC State (16-9, 7-7)

Last week: Win at Syracuse, loss at Boston College

NC State looked like it was position to make a tournament push. Then all Hellems broke loose when Wolfpack blew a road game at Boston College on Sunday night.

Devon Daniels had one of the best weeks of his basketball life before turning the ball over in the final moments of the BC Game. Markell Johnson is still trying to figure out where he went wrong on the final play.

Syracuse v Florida State
Dolezaj coming through
Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

6. Syracuse (14-11, 7-7)

Last week: Loss to NC State, loss at Florida State

I don’t even want to put Syracuse in the No. 6 spot but the teams in the middle tier of this conference are so bad that I have no choice.

Syracuse was close to a pair of wins last week but came up short. Close but no cigar might as well be the theme of the 2019-20 Syracuse basketball season as the Orange surrendered late leads to NC State and FSU down the stretch.

Syracuse fans are getting really annoyed with Cory Alexander calling SU games. Orange fans are also already looking ahead to next season. Maybe for good reason, but either way it’ll be interesting to see what happens when Syracuse beats Louisville on Wednesday.

7. Notre Dame (15-10, 6-8)

Last week: Loss at Virginia, loss at Duke

This is where it really starts to get ugly in the ACC and this is where I really start making things up as I go. I’m not really sure if Notre Dame is the seventh best team in the conference or not. This week’s ACC basketball trivia question revolves around Notre Dame and we needed that in the middle of this post, hence Notre Dame in the seven spot.

Anyway, it was a tough pair of games for Mike Brey’s team last week. The Fighting Irish took Virginia to overtime, in which both teams combined to score a whopping 5 points. Why Rex Pflueger is taking the game-winning shot is beyond me.

Then the Fighting Irish got blown out of the water at Duke. John Mooney was one rebound shy at Duke of extending his double-double streak to six, but that still wouldn’t have changed the outcome. Not even a hero like Mooney can make up for his team’s piss poor shooting efforts.


We interrupt these rankings to bring you ACC basketball trivia, brought to you in part by Bojos and the Food Lion vs. Wegmans rivalry.


On Saturday, Notre Dame’s Rex Pflueger over-dribbled against Jordan Goldwire and turned the ball over. How many times did Dickie V say the word "dribble" in the highlight before cutting to commercial break?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    (11 votes)
  • 11%
    (15 votes)
  • 7%
    (9 votes)
  • 14%
    (18 votes)
  • 57%
    Way too many
    (73 votes)
126 votes total Vote Now

The answer to the ACC basketball trivia question can be found at the bottom of this page. After a failed attempt to increase my twitter following, I figured I’d quit while I was behind and just revert to putting the answer at the bottom of the page.

Don’t be a cheater though, you sons of [redacted]. Nobody likes a cheater.

Now back to your regularly scheduled jokes & garbage.


Clemson basketball!!!
Photo by John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

8. Clemson (13-12, 7-8)

Last week: Win over Pittsburgh, win over Louisville

Clemson basketball is back once more! I guess you have to put Clemson in the No. 8 spot due to its wins over Duke and Louisville.

The win over the Cardinals means Clemson has knocked off its second top ten team at home this season. Even a broken clock is right twice per day.

9. Virginia Tech (15-10, 6-8)

Last week: Win over Pittsburgh

Virginia Tech ended its five-game losing streak.

PJ Horne scored 18 points. Jalen Cone made four 3s on five attempts. Those are the only notable things coming out of Cassell Coliseum last week.

NCAA Basketball: Louisville at Georgia Tech
No way Jose
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

10. Georgia Tech (12-13, 6-8)

Last week: Win over Louisville

Like I’ve said (read: belabored this point for all its worth), Georgia Tech is different team with Jose Alvarado. He dropped 18 points in the upset victory over the Cardinals. All five starters scored in double figures and Georgia Tech limited Nwora to just two points.

11. Pittsburgh (15-11, 6-9)

Last week: Loss to Clemson, loss to Virginia Tech

Pittsburgh lost two games to two bad teams.

See also: I.C. Light is the worst beer ever created and Primanti Bros is overrated.

12. Boston College (13-13, 7-8)

Last week: Loss to Miami, win over NC State

Boston College almost blew it against NC State. Fortunately for BC, the Wolfpack shot itself in the foot one too many times and BC ended up with the win.

Derryck Thornton actually balled with 22 points and 5 assists on Sunday. Nik Popovic did Nik Popovic things, most of which were not athletic but somehow effective.

13. Miami (13-12, 5-10)

Last week: Win over Boston College, win over Wake Forest

Miami beat a couple of celler dwellers last week. Keith Stone isn’t always smooth for Miami but he is a starter now.

Freshman guard Isaiah Wong is the real deal. He’s going to be a terror in this conference for years to come, so get familiar with the deceptively athletic scoring guard out of Piscataway, N.J.

14. Wake Forest (11-14, 4-11)

Last week: Win over North Carolina, loss at Miami

North Carolina is so bad it even makes Wake Forest look good. For one game at least, anyway.

15. North Carolina (10-15, 3-11)

Last week: Loss at Wake Forest, loss to Virginia

North Carolina has done a fantastic job of losing games this season. Just when you think North Carolina is out of ideas on how to lose games, it outdoes itself. After losing to a junior varsity team earlier in the week, UNC let Tomas Woldetensae bury a game-winning three with just seconds left. As the old saying goes though: don’t feel bad for North Carolina because they’re bringing it five top 100 players next year.

Oh. We almost forgot to mention that Cole Anthony looked like he died against Virginia.

No need to be dramatic or anything but this season is easily the worst year at UNC since Matt Doherty’s second season as head coach in 2001-02 when the Tar Heels finished 8-20 overall.

Roy Williams looks destined to have the first losing season of his career.

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


Answer to the ACC basketball trivia question: 12. Although ‘Way too many’ will also suffice.

You can listen to Dickie V’s legendary call here:

Hard to blame Pflueger though. You’d be out all of sorts if you had the Cookie Monster cheering against you too.