Last week saw the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, which was a chance for 14 ACC teams (sorry, Pitt) to test themselves against a power conference team. For the most part, they all rose to the occasion. The ACC won the challenge 11-3, with two of those losses coming after the title had already been clinched.
After the conference’s big week, let’s check out how things are shaping up.
1. #1 Duke (10-0)
This pained me to do as much as it pained you to read it. The Blue Devils stay at number one following a week where they won at Indiana in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and then at home against South Dakota. They could remain at number one for a while too, their schedule in the next couple weeks is not very difficult.
2. #10 Miami (7-0)
The Hurricanes jump up to number two after picking up what was probably the best win in the conference last week. Miami took down then #12 Minnesota on the road, and followed that by beating Princeton, who was an NCAA Tournament team last year. They also cracked the top ten in the AP Poll this week. They also don’t have any particularly daunting tests in the next couple weeks and could go into ACC play undefeated.
3. #11 North Carolina (8-1)
UNC responded to the Michigan State loss with three wins in a week. They’ll only play one game in the next 12 days, but then deal with a tough little stretch ahead of conference play that will help fully shine a light on what this Tar Heel team can be.
4. #9 Notre Dame (7-1)
For as bad as UNC’s loss to Michigan State was, at least they played decent defensively. Notre Dame also got waxed by the Spartans, but they allowed 81 points on 51.7% shooting. That’s really what dropped them behind the Tar Heels for this week.
5. Florida State (7-0)
FSU went into Monday’s game against Florida as a nine point underdog. They not only won, but they won by 17. Florida State winning on the road against a top five team is one of the best wins by a conference team so far this season.
6. #15 Virginia (8-0)
The Cavaliers are still undefeated, but have not played the most difficult schedule. They do have two wins over power conference teams, but those teams, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin, are a combined 6-10.
7. Syracuse (6-1)
The Orange took a loss to Kansas, but did knock off Maryland at home earlier in the week. That’s their lone loss on the season and at least for right now, that’s enough to keep them near the upper end of the conference.
8. Louisville (4-2)
Keeping the Cardinals this high is admittedly just on preseason reputation more than anything. They lost two games during the week, however both games were against teams that appear to be pretty solid in Purdue and Seton Hall. Losing games isn’t ideal, but at least right now, both look understandable.
9. Virginia Tech (7-1)
Other than the loss to St. Louis, the Hokies have done about everything you can ask. They’ve won most of their games handily. Last week, they won a pair of games over power conference teams, including one on the road at Ole Miss.
10. Clemson (7-1)
Clemson won two games this week, taking out Ohio State, and then UNC Asheville, who according to KenPom, are the best team in the Big South.
11. NC State (7-2)
State handled their business this week with a pair of wins. Arizona went to overtime with UNLV in a continued effort to make the Wolfpack’s big win look unimpressive. The 7-2 record is obviously pretty decent, but as long as Arizona continues to look not great, it’s still fair to wonder how good State actually is.
12. Wake Forest (4-4)
Record wise, the Demon Deacons are tied for the worst team in the conference. That being said, last week they beat an Illinois team that’s started out the season solidly, which was a better week than any of the remaining three teams.
13. Boston College (6-3)
The Eagles beat Hartford to snap a two-game losing streak, however their next opponent is Duke in an early ACC game.
14. Georgia Tech (4-3)
They just lost to Grambling. In any other season, that would arguably be a reason to put them last.
15. Pitt (4-4)
Well, they’ve won their last three games at least.