The ACC is down to just six teams in the top 25 after Syracuse hit a bumpy stretch, but the conference has still arguably been the best such so far this season. Virginia Tech’s win over Purdue and Virginia nearly cracking triple figures are among the notable stories from this past week. Without further ado, here are your ACC power rankings for week 3:
1. #1 Duke (4-0)
The Blue Devils dominated San Diego State, 90-64, in their first game of the Maui Invitational, but things don’t get easier. Duke has a top 10 matchup with Auburn tonight and could potentially face #3 Gonzaga in the championship. We should figure out if that opener against Kentucky had more to do with Duke’s firepower or the Wildcats’ incompetence.
2. #7 UNC (5-0)
The Tar Heels let St. Francis hang around for a while last night, but ultimately ran away with it in the second half, winning 101-76. Assuming they can clean up the turnovers, it’ll be fun to see how Carolina fares in its first true tests of the season in the Las Vegas Invitational as it takes on Texas and then either #11 Michigan State or #17 UCLA.
3. #4 Virginia (3-0)
Virginia hung 97 on Coppin State, a score you don’t often see from the Cavaliers. This team looks determined to prove that its historic loss in the NCAA tournament was nothing more than an anomaly, but it’ll have to wait until the schedule picks up a bit.
4. #13 Virginia Tech (4-0)
Aside from Duke’s demolition of Kentucky, Virginia Tech has the ACC’s most impressive win of the season as they toppled Purdue, 89-83, in the Charleston Classic. The Hokies’ offense is extremely well-rounded and will give teams fits in conference play.
5. #14 Florida State (3-0)
Florida State handled business against Canisius last night, as expected. The Seminoles enter a stretch that includes games against Purdue and Connecticut as they’ll try to notch some quality wins in the non-conference.
6. #16 Clemson (4-0)
Clemson had a difficult time putting away Akron, who was down by just with four with under two minutes remaining. A last-second three by Akron made it look a little closer than it was at 72-69, but the Zips were never really out of it. Clemson’s next game will be at home against Nebraska.
7. Miami (3-0)
Miami lost some important pieces from last season including Lonnie Walker and Bruce Brown, but the Hurricanes are 3-0 behind the shiftiness of 5’7 point guard Chris Lykes. A favorable non-conference slate should allow this relatively inexperienced group to gel before it faces really tough competition.
8. Syracuse (2-2)
The Orange had a rough week, to say the least. There had been talk about this team as a sleeper pick to win the ACC. That dream is far from dead, but back-to-back losses in the 2K Empire Classic sent Cuse from #15 to all the way out of the AP rankings.
9. NC State (4-0)
The Wolfpack have had some impressive margins of victory, but the quality of the teams they’ve played has been less than impressive. They likely won’t be tested until they travel to take on Wisconsin as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
10. Louisville (3-0)
There’s a great deal of excitement in Louisville about newly acquired head coach Chris Mack, but it remains to be seen if he can make a serious impact in his first season. The Cardinals will find out plenty about themselves very soon, with games coming against #5 Tennessee, #2 Kansas/Marquette, and #11 Michigan State.
11. Pittsburgh (5-0)
Another first-year head coach, Jeff Capel has his team off to a 5-0 start. He’s already just three games away from tying last year’s win total, a season in which the Panthers failed to win a single conference game.
12. Notre Dame (3-1)
Notre Dame suffered a stunning loss at the hands of Radford, making it clear that Mike Brey’s team may not be as threatening or as talented as the ones he’s had in recent years.
13. Georgia Tech (2-1)
The departure of Josh Okogie left a sizable hole in the Yellow Jackets’ scoring. Jose Alvarado will have to take on a much larger role to try and help fill said hole.
14. Boston College (3-1)
Ky Bowman is averaging nearly 20 points per ggame for a team that lacks scoring depth. The Eagles allowed IUPUI to waltz into their arena and steal a win but were able to bounce back with a victory over Wyoming.
15. Wake Forest (3-1)
The Demon Deacons were torched by Saint Joseph’s, 89-69. Their three wins over mediocre competition haven’t exactly been dominant, either.