While there are some good games on the horizon, mid-December is mostly the doldrums for college basketball. For a lot of schools, it’s right around finals time, and teams usually tend to take it easy. However, there were some decent games last week, and let’s check out where the ACC teams line up after the week’s action.
1. #2 Duke (9-1)
Let’s just quickly skip past this one.
Next: 12/18 vs. Princeton
2. #6 Virginia (9-0)
The Cavaliers stayed undefeated on Sunday, beating VCU by a Virginia-y 57-49 score. Only one team has scored more than 70 against them this year. While they haven’t faced the toughest schedule, it’s classic UVA. What that means for later in the season is up for interpretation.
Next: 12/19 at South Carolina
3. #10 Florida State (8-1)
FSU picked up a solid win over the weekend, taking down UConn. They have a really good chance at going into ACC play with just one loss, which would set up a big game against the aforementioned Virginia team, who very well could be undefeated.
Next: 12/18 vs. Southeast Missouri State
4. #12 North Carolina (7-2)
UNC’s win over UNCW was a decent way to bounce back after the Michigan loss. With the way the rest of the Tar Heels’ non-conference schedule looks, by the time the New Year rolls around, they may be in the top one or two of these power rankings, or stuck even further in the middle.
Next: Saturday vs. #4 Gonzaga
5. #13 Virginia Tech (8-1)
Their victory over Purdue remains the Hokies' lone power five win, but Tech has been perfectly fine. Since losing their ACC-Big Ten Challenge game, Virginia Tech has won their next three games by 54, 21, and 37 points. It wasn’t the toughest competition, but nothing warrants them dropping past the five spot.
Next: Saturday vs. Washington
6. #25 Syracuse (7-2)
Since a two-game losing streak back in mid-November, the Orange have won five straight games, which has vaulted them into a three-way tie for 25th in the AP Poll. Their defense remains in the top ten on KenPom, but it was an offensive possession and a Tyus Battle jumper that got them past Georgetown over the weekend.
Next: Saturday vs. Old Dominion
7. NC State (8-1)
State picked up another win last week, easily beating Western Carolina. Their strength of schedule is still literally dead last on KenPom, but their only loss is on the road at Wisconsin, which is understandable. They have a couple power five games next up including a big game versus Auburn next week. We will have a clearer picture of where State stands after that.
Next: Saturday vs. Penn State
8. Louisville (6-3)
The Cardinals couldn’t ride the high of their Michigan State upset for too long, as they took a loss at Indiana on Saturday. Their three losses are all to teams currently ranked in the AP Top 25. Even though teams below them have fewer losses, none of Louisville’s are horrible, and the Cardinals have one of the better wins in the league. Plus, over their weekend, the win over Seton Hall became a nice opportunity to throw shade at their in-state rivals, as Kentucky lost to the Pirates.
Next: Wednesday vs. Lipscomb
9. Clemson (6-3)
Clemson missed out on a decent chance at a win over a ranked team, falling to Mississippi State by nine. Their best win remains probably against Georgia, who is currently at #123 in the KenPom rankings.
Next: Saturday vs. Radford
10. Boston College (6-2)
The Eagles narrowly dropped a game to Providence, and then had to cancel a game against Texas A&M that was scheduled for Saturday.
Next: Wednesday vs. Columbia
11. Notre Dame (6-3)
Neither Oklahoma or UCLA are bad or anything, but Notre Dame is now on a two-game losing streak after playing them. Their next game against Purdue could see the losing streak extend even more.
Next: Saturday vs. Purdue
12. Pitt (7-3)
The Jeff Capel era in Pittsburgh, continues to be mostly okay, but still too early to make a definitive judgement. There was a loss to Niagara, but nearly coming out of West Virginia with a win against your biggest rival who is a top 40 KenPom team is fine. Especially considering where they were at last year.
Next: Saturday vs. UMES
13. Miami (5-4)
Considering they’ve now lost game to Yale and Penn, the Hurricanes are also now near the bottom of the Ivy League power rankings as well. They're _still_ 45th in Kempom rankings, though!
Next: 12/19 vs. Houston Baptist
14. Georgia Tech (5-3)
Do they have any losses as bad as Miami’s last two? No, probably not. That being said, Georgia Tech’s best win is probably the Lamar Cardinals, who are ranked #234 at KenPom, and number two in a ranking of Cardinal-related sports things named Lamar.
Next: Monday vs. Gardner-Webb
15. Wake Forest (5-3)
Hey, Wake’s latest loss is to Richmond, which isn’t as bad as some of their others. That’s progress! Let’s check in on the Spiders and....oh no. They’re 4-5 and have lost to Longwood and Hampton. Never mind, that one is also bad.
Next: Monday vs. Davidson