The two weeks that were are currently in are arguably the most interesting weeks in college basketball until like February, at least for ACC teams. Last week, we had all the week of Thanksgiving tournaments, and now this week is the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. For a lot of teams, they’ve faced one or maybe two good teams on the season. This week we’ll get a lot more data points on where teams stand.
However, let’s take a look at where team stands with the data points we already have.
1. #3 Duke (6-1)
Look, I’m sorry, I don’t want to do it either. Even though they’ve taken a loss within the last week, it’s hard to drop them. Said loss came to #3 Gonzaga in the country, who has since moved up to #1. The “could they go undefeated and/or beat an NBA team” stuff thankfully is dead, but as far as ACC teams go, they’re still at the top for now.
Next: Saturday vs. Stetson
2. #4 Virginia (6-0)
The Cavaliers won the Battle 4 Atlantis championship over Thanksgiving, beat Wisconsin in the final. The final score of that game was 53-46, which is the most Virginia-Wisconsin final score possible. Virginia is sitting at #3 in the KenPom rankings, where shockingly (not shockingly), they are second in defense and dead last in tempo.
Next: Today at Maryland
3. #11 North Carolina (6-1)
UNC took their first loss of the season last week, but did bounce back with a win over UCLA. The defense remains a problem, but hopefully not one that can’t get solved. The Tar Heels will get maybe their toughest test tonight, as they go to Michigan. The Wolverines are currently the #1 defense in the country according to KenPom.
Next: Today at Michigan
4. #15 Florida State (5-1)
A close loss to Villanova doesn’t seem quite as good as it would a couple weeks ago, but FSU has picked up some nice wins elsewhere. Before losing to the defending national champions, Florida State did take down then #19 LSU.
Next: Today vs. Purdue
5. #13 Virginia Tech (5-1)
The Hokies won their Thanksgiving week tournament, taking down Purdue in the final. However, they followed that up with a loss to Penn State, which was their first of the season. On the balance of things, their résumé is still better than most ACC teams.
Next: Saturday vs. Central Connecticut State
6. Louisville (4-2)
The Cardinals’ season before yesterday didn’t feature any bad losses, but also didn’t include any great wins. Then, Louisville go and knock off Michigan State in what goes down as one of the best wins by an ACC team so far this season. Still too early to tell how Chris Mack’s team will do in his first year, but beating the Spartans is a good sign.
Next: Saturday at Seton Hall
7. NC State (6-1)
Good news for the Wolfpack is that they started the season with six-straight wins. Bad news for them is that prior to Tuesday’s game against Wisconsin, their strength of schedule was literally dead last according to KenPom. As for said Wisconsin game, here’s a fancy win probability chart from ESPN:
Next: Saturday vs. Vanderbilt
8. Boston College (5-1)
Boston College took down last year’s Final Four participant Loyola over Thanksgiving week, and followed that up with a road win at Minnesota in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
Next: Thursday vs. Sacred Heart
9. Miami (5-1)
The 5-1 record looks really good, and for the most part the Hurricanes have been decent so far this season. However, that one loss came to Seton Hall, who is the only major conference opposition who they’ve faced so far.
Next: Tonight vs. Rutgers
10. Clemson (5-2)
Clemson has taken losses in their last two games, but neither are awful losses. Their win over Georgia doesn’t look amazing considering that the Bulldogs just took a 24-point loss to Georgia State.
Next: Tuesday vs. St. Peter’s
11. Syracuse (3-2)
The Orange are another team that have lost to the teams from major conferences that they’ve played. Losses to UConn and Oregon knocked them out of the polls, but they have since bounced back with a win over Colgate. A win over Ohio State tonight would get them somewhat back on the right track, but it’s seems unlikely considering that it’s on the road.
Next: Tonight at Ohio State
12. Notre Dame (6-1)
Despite their record, Notre Dame hasn’t done anything especially impressive yet. The win over Illinois is good, but not game-changing. Their next three games are against Oklahoma, UCLA, and Purdue, so we’ll get a better view of where they are in the ACC after that.
Next: Tuesday vs. Oklahoma
13. Pitt (6-1)
The post-Kevin Stallings era is going great so far, as the Panthers won their first six games. Their best win is over KenPom #83, so it’s nothing to go crazy about yet. They played Iowa close on the road, which is also a more than solid result.
Next: Friday vs. Duquesne
14. Georgia Tech (4-1)
They’re far from the disaster early that they were last year, but the Yellow Jackets haven’t been overly great either.
Next: Today at Northwestern.
15. Wake Forest (4-2)
Sorry, Demon Deacons, but in addition to being the only ACC team not to get a ACC-Big Ten Challenge game, you lost to Houston Baptist. At least they beat Western Carolina by 7 at home?
Next: Saturday at Richmond