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ACC basketball rankings: NC State’s Markell Johnson downs Duke, Florida State back on top, North Carolina is bad

Big Johnson took down Duke and and North Carolina continues to lose again and again and again and agai

NCAA Basketball: Duke at N.C. State Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

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

Outside of NC State taking down Duke, it was a relatively modest week of basketball. NC State fans would have you think they made it to the Final Four by beating the Dukies at home. Many of you probably didn’t even realize Miami took Virginia Tech to triple OT. The Hurricanes eventually won after three extra periods of basketball in the worst arena in the ACC, Cassell Coliseum.

Other than that, we had a routine past seven days in the league as John Mooney rolled out bed and recorded two doubles doubles and North Carolina lost on another game-winning shot.

Anywhosers, let’s dive into the conference hierarchy once more. As always, these rankings are backed by an undisclosed methodology not known to the general public.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 18 Pitt at Florida State
Balsa Koprivica is a bad man
Photo by Logan Stanford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

1. Florida State (23-4, 13-3)

Last Week: Win over Pittsburgh, win at NC State

Florida State is back on top for no other reason than Duke losing and FSU winning two games. Never mind the fact that Duke won the head to head battle and the other fact that the Blue Devils rank above Florida State is just about every statistical measure. Don’t kill the messenger, this is how the cookie crumbled in the ranking methodology this week.

Anyway, Patrick Williams dropped 16 points in FSU’s win over Pittsburgh. The two seven footers Balsa Koprivica and Dom Olejniczak combined for 15 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks on 7-8 shooting off the bench. Then the Seminoles kept NC State at bay on Saturday.

Florida State can make a serious push come March but more importantly, those blue alternate jerseys are kind of fire.

2. Duke (23-4, 13-3)

Last Week: Loss at NC State, win over Virginia Tech

Duke lost on the road to NC State last Wednesday which basically means the Blue Devils now project as a No. 2 seed in the East Region instead of a No. 1 seed. Not to worry though because once the Dukies win the ACC Tournament in Greensboro they’ll be given with the No. 1 seed. Then they’ll be forced to play in the NCAA Tournament’s East Region with opening round games in... Greensboro.

It’s going to be an uphill battle for Mike Krzyzewski’s team to win in North Carolina and Madison Square Garden to get to the Final Four. When will Duke catch a break?

3. Louisville (23-5, 14-3)

Last week: Win over Syracuse, win over North Carolina

Louisville throttled Syracuse in the second half of Wednesday night’s game. Then the Cardinals beat North Carolina, which would be notable in any other year except this one.

Still, a 2-0 week was a much needed bounce back effort from Louisville. That also means that every hack in Kentucky is buying into the “players only meeting” that the Cardinals had last week.

4. Virginia (19-7, 11-5)

Last week: Win over Boston College, win over Pittsburgh

Virginia had all five starters in double-figures against Boston College, which isn’t all that impressive when you consider it was against Boston College. But then it had four out of five starters replicate that effort on the road at Pittsburgh, a much better defensive team. Tomas Woldetensae has been big for Tony Bennett’s squad.

At 19-7 with nine Q1 & Q2 wins, Virginia is safely in the field of 68 at this point.

NCAA Basketball: Duke at N.C. State
NC State fans know how to court storm
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

5. NC State (17-10, 8-8)

Last Week: Win over Duke, loss to Florida State

First things first. Shoutout to the NC State student newspaper for this headline:

Big Johnson! Pack balls out!

That’s right though, Markell Johnson balled out against Duke with 28 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists. The Wolfpack secured a big victory that could very well put it on the right side of the NCAA Tournament bubble come March.

Even with the loss to Florida State, NC State proved that come Hellems or high water it was willing to do what it takes to get a big win.

6. Syracuse (15-12, 8-8)

Last Week: Loss at Louisville, win over Georgia Tech

Syracuse played one good half of basketball last week and fortunately for the collective Syracuse fan base, that was enough for a win over Georgia Tech. Marek Dolezaj and Elijah Hughes led the charge for Syracuse against Georgia Tech, while Bourama Sidibe had meaningful contributions.

Still, it’s hard to turn the other cheek on how the Orange got run off the floor at Louisville. That led to Jim Boeheim sounding off on KenPom in the post-game presser.


We interrupt these rankings to bring you ACC basketball trivia, brought to you in part by Continental Tires and the Bojangles ‘Bo Time’ play of the game.


Which stat system did Jim Boeheim mistake KenPom for after Syracuse’s game against Louisville?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    Hoop Math
    (26 votes)
  • 17%
    ESPN Stats & Information
    (39 votes)
  • 6%
    (15 votes)
  • 48%
    (106 votes)
  • 14%
    (32 votes)
218 votes total Vote Now

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

Now back to your regularly scheduled jokes & garbage.


NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Notre Dame
Nate Laszewski serving up North Carolina’s latest buzzer beating L
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

7. Notre Dame (17-10, 8-8)

Last Week: Win over North Carolina, win over Miami

Notre Dame held it down last week after a pair John Mooney double doubles and a pair of wins over conference cellar dwellers. But hey, that beats the alternative.

Consider that Notre Dame trailed North Carolina by as many as 14 in the second half last Monday. Then the Irish mounted a comeback and this happened in the final moments:

Nate Laszewski also made the game-tying three against Toledo earlier in the year. One thing is for sure: Laszewski is clutch.

8. Clemson (14-12, 8-8)

Last Week: Win over Boston College

Clemson beat Boston College last week, so the Tigers stay in the No. 8 slot. If it seems like everybody beats Boston College, that’s because they do.

9. Virginia Tech (15-12, 6-10)

Last Week: Loss to Miami, loss at Duke

Virginia Tech played in arguably the most compelling ACC game this season that absolutely nobody watched. Miami came to town and beat the Hokies in a triple overtime thriller.

Landers Nolley had 18 points while Jalen Cone dropped 20 off the bench in the loss. Tyrece Radord balled with 26 points, including this shot over the backboard which counted for some reason.

The shot was still impressive though. Nobody is messing with Radford in H-O-R-S-E.

10. Georgia Tech (13-14, 7-9)

Last Week: Win over Wake Forest, loss at Syracuse

Georgia Tech won against Wake earlier in the week and would’ve won at Syracuse if it was able to close out the second half. Moses Wright scored a career-high 33 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the loss.

11. Pittsburgh (15-13, 6-11)

Last Week: Loss to Florida State, loss to Virginia

Does anybody know what the heck Pitt was doing on that final play against Virginia? Trailing by three, the Panthers didn’t even get a shot off in the game’s final moments. Pitt basketball has fallen of a cliff this month.

12. Boston College (13-15, 7-10)

Last Week: Loss to Virginia, loss to Clemson

Nik Popovic somehow scored 22 points on Virginia, but Boston College is back to its losing ways. That really shouldn’t surprise anyone.

NCAA Basketball: Miami-Florida at Notre Dame
Isaiah Wong is a bucket
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

13. Miami (14-13, 6-11)

Last Week: Win over Virginia Tech, loss at Notre Dame

Chris Lykes, Kam McGusty and Isaiah Wong all scored over 20 points in the 3OT win at Virginia Tech. Then Miami continued its road trip with a loss at Notre Dame.

The Hurricanes are pretty bad but Wong has scored in double figures in nine straight games.

14. Wake Forest (11-15, 4-12)

Last Week: Loss to Georgia Tech

Does anybody remember when Wake Forest basketball was good?

15. North Carolinaahahaha (10-17, 3-13)

Last Week: Loss at Notre Dame, loss at Louisville

It was an 0-2 week for North Carolina, which feels like an evergreen statement at this point. At this juncture we can’t even say we’ve seen this movie before with UNC because every game is just rerun after rerun after rerun.

Roy Williams has entered into some strange fugue state where he says he no longer knows what he’s doing or what he’s saying in post-game pressers. Hopefully the support group meetings are going well though.

UNC also got run out of the gym at Louisville, but before it did the Tar Heels found a way to lose on another game-winning shot from a random ACC player.

Consider this list of ACC players who have hit game-winners on UNC:

  • Tyrece Radford, VT
  • Wendell Moore, Duke
  • Tomas Woldetensae, UVa
  • Nate Laszewski, ND

At this point the best thing North Carolina could do is lose every game on a buzzer beater from here on out.


Answer to the ACC basketball trivia question: Synergy, although a kindergartner could’ve told you that