Between last night and Tuesday night, there were seven ACC games (Notre Dame has the week off), meaning we are officially in the full swing of conference play. Here is where things stand after the first few games:
1. #1 Duke Blue Devils 13-1 (2-0)
Duke hasn’t exactly been challenged yet, with 20-point victories over Clemson and at Wake Forest. However, the Blue Devils’ trip to Winston-Salem was its first true road game of the season if you can even call it that. It will be interesting to see how they fare at FSU, one of the better teams in the conference, in what is sure to be a raucous environment.
Next: Saturday at Florida State
2. #4 Virginia Cavaliers 14-0 (2-0)
The Cavaliers are one of two remaining undefeated teams in the country (Michigan is the other) after Houston went down last night. They already have a very impressive victory over Florida State. The final score was 65-52, but UVA was up by as many as 29 with just over two minutes to play. The Hoos took care of business last night at Boston College as they continue their quest for a second consecutive ACC regular season title.
Next: Saturday at Clemson
3. #12 North Carolina Tar Heels 12-3 (2-0)
The Tar Heels recorded a solid Top 15 road win when they took down N.C. State on Tuesday. Carolina jumped out to an early lead and never trailed the rest of the game, despite the Wolfpack tying the game on several occasions. This was a nice confidence boost for the Heels as they enter the meat of ACC play.
Next: Saturday vs. Louisville
4. #9 Virginia Tech Hokies 14-1 (3-0)
The Hokies currently sit alone atop the conference standings after a win at Georgia Tech. A relatively easy non-conference slate has been part of the reason for their hot start, but they have an opportunity to prove they’re for real with a road trip to Virginia looming next week.
Next: Tuesday at Virginia
5. #13 Florida State Seminoles 13-2 (1-1)
The Seminoles struggled mightily at Virginia, but then again, how many teams don’t? It’s early, but the Cavaliers have the look of the team that went 17-1 in league games last season, and Florida State has been mostly impressive outside of that game.
Next: Saturday vs. Duke
6. #15 NC State Wolfpack 13-2 (1-1)
The Wolfpack missed a chance for a statement win hosting Carolina on Tuesday. Like we've been saying, their schedule hasn’t been particularly tough thus far, but the rest of conference play will provide plenty of opportunities to validate their worth.
Next: Saturday vs. Pittsburgh
7. Syracuse Orange 11-4 (2-0)
Coming into the season ranked as a top 20 team, the Orange had a few head-scratching losses in the non-conference that dropped them out of the rankings. They still have a tournament-capable roster and are off to a 2-0 start in the ACC after handling Clemson yesterday.
Next: Saturday vs. Georgia Tech
8. Louisville Cardinals 10-5 (1-1)
The Cards fell down early at Pittsburgh yesterday, but clawed their way back to force overtime only to ultimately fall short. They will continue to have their ups and downs but Chris Mack already has a win over 6th-ranked Michigan State this season and it’s not ludicrous to think he may take this team to an NCAA tournament in his first year at the helm.
Next: Saturday at UNC
9. Pittsburgh Panthers 11-4 (1-1)
The Panthers just won their first regular season conference game in 24 tries last night went they beat Louisville. For a team that failed to win a single conference game last season, they sure do play with some fire, and you have to credit Jeff Capel for turning things around. Pitt is a team to keep an eye on as the season progresses.
Next: Saturday at NC State
10. Clemson Tigers 10-5 (0-2)
The Tigers have not looked at all like the top 25 team they were projected to be coming into the season. They’ve had a couple tough road losses to kick off the conference slate, but a huge opportunity to put all that behind them sits ahead with Virginia coming to town.
Next: Saturday vs. Virginia
11. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 9-6 (1-1)
The Yellow Jackets competed hard and really stuck with the 9th-ranked Hokies, but they couldn’t come up with the win. GT has a two-game road trip coming up with games at Syracuse and Clemson.
Next: Saturday at Syracuse
12. Notre Dame Fighting Irish 10-5 (0-2)
After losing Matt Farrell and Bonzie Colson, the Fighting Irish have struggled to find a go-to scorer. Dropping one at home to Syracuse on Saturday was a huge blow for these guys because things don’t get any easier. In four of its next six games, ND will face UNC, NC State, Virginia, and Duke.
Next: Saturday vs. Boston College
13. Miami Hurricanes 8-7 (0-3)
This is not the Miami team of years past. The Hurricanes are already 0-3 in the conference and 8-7 overall. Unless Jim Larranaga can pull off a huge turnaround, Miami doesn’t figure to be much of a factor in the ACC this season.
Next: Saturday vs. Wake Forest
14. Boston College Eagles 9-5 (0-2)
Ky Bowman continues to score the ball at a high rate (20.4 ppg) but he just doesn’t have much help with ACC play on the way. The Eagles opened conference play with two top ten opponents (VT and Virginia) and will now play three of their next four on the road.
Next: Saturday at Notre Dame
15. Wake Forest Demon Deacons 7-7 (0-2)
The Demon Deacons were actually competitive with Duke for a bit, but things got out of hand very quickly. Wake is the only team in the ACC that doesn’t have a winning record overall and thus remain at the bottom of our power rankings.
Next: Saturday at Miami