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ACC Basketball Power Rankings: Week Five

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Your guess is as good as ours.

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Kentucky Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

After THB’s first attempt last week, the ACC Power Rankings are not any easier to sort.

Unranked teams are leading the way, while the nationally ranked teams are jockeying for position in the second tier of the standings. Since league play has started, the power rankings can be stratified a bit with the winners of conference games.

So let’s throw some ACC spaghetti on the wall, and see what sticks.

1. Virginia Tech (6-1, 1-0 ACC)

After their 20-point loss to Penn State, the Hokies were dropped from the Top 25. Since that time, they took down a ranked Clemson team in their conference opener and shot the lights out against Coppin State.

The Hokies are the only ACC teams with wins against multiple ranked teams.

This week: 12/21 vs. Longwood.

2. Syracuse (6-1, 1-0 ACC)

The Orange opened their ACC slate with a 38-point win over Boston College. Since that time, they have snuck by Northeastern and Buffalo. The win over the Bulls came in overtime.

Despite their recent downturn in performance, Syracuse still won those games, and are now just one of two ACC teams with six wins.

This week: 12/22 vs. Notre Dame.

3. Pittsburgh (5-1, 1-0 ACC)

Since their season opener loss versus St. Francis, the Panthers have rattled off five straight wins, including their ACC opener over Miami.

Head coach Jeff Capel tested positive for COVID, and will be unavailable for their next game.

This week: 12/22 vs. No. 23 Louisville.

4. No. 15 Florida State (4-1, 1-0 ACC)

With nearly 12 minutes left in the second half, UCF took the lead away from the Seminoles for good. This head-scratching loss for FSU will hurt them in the new polls this week.

This week: 12/21 vs. Gardner-Webb.

5. No. 24 Clemson (5-1, 0-1 ACC)

The Tigers were the last team with an unblemished record in the ACC. In Blacksburg last week, Clemson went over seven minutes in the second half without a single point. In spite of being ice cold and trailing by as much as 16, the Tigers clawed back within two before their eventual six-point loss.

This week: 12/21 vs. Morehead State.

6. No. 21 Duke (3-2, 1-0 ACC)

In their conference opener against Notre Dame, the game was never in doubt for the Blue Devils even with the Irish pulling within five in the second half. With no more nonconference games, Duke will be off until December 29.

This week: n/a

7. No. 22 North Carolina (5-2, 0-0 ACC)

The North Carolina Tar Heels win over Kentucky was summed up perfectly by head coach Roy Williams:

The first half, I was very disappointed because we didn’t play tough. But I’m as pleased as I could possibly be with the fight we showed when we came back out.

If the Heels can find some outside shooting, as was shown from Kerwin Walton in the second half versus Kentucky, and continue to pound the ball inside, this UNC team can climb the power rankings.

This week: 12/22 at NC State.

8. No. 17 Virginia (3-1, 0-0 ACC)

The biggest story out of Charlottesville recently is the addition of top-ranked Gonzaga to their schedule. The teams will play the day after Christmas in Texas.

We will get a much better idea of the Cavaliers after playing a team that took care of business against an excellent Iowa squad.

This week: 12/22 vs. William and Mary, 12/26 vs. Gonzaga.

9. No. 23 Louisville (4-1, 0-0 ACC)

The Cardinals climbed into the Top 25, only to lose by the most points in program history since 1956. In their first game since December 1, Louisville went almost 10 minutes in the first half without tallying a point. The rust was evident.

This week: 12/22 at Pitt. 12/26 vs. Kentucky.

10. NC State (4-1, 0-0 ACC)

In their first action since pausing basketball activities, the Wolfpack lost by 11 against St. Louis. Despite a six-point halftime lead and holding the lead until eight minutes left in the game, NC State fell apart at the end versus the undefeated A-10 opponent.

Campbell bore the brunt of NC State’s loss with the Wolfpack beating the pride of Harnett County by 19.

This week: 12/22 vs. UNC

11. Miami (4-2, 0-1 ACC)

The Hurricanes remained short-staffed last week with a loss against Pitt and a win over Jacksonville. Miami is expected to be back at full strength next week when they travel to Virginia Tech.

This week: n/a

12. Wake Forest (2-0, 0-0 ACC)

Nothing to report from Winston-Salem. The Deacons are supposed to play next week against Syracuse.

This week: n/a

13. Georgia Tech (4-3, 0-1 ACC)

After falling to Florida State, the Yellow Jackets swept a pair of games versus MEAC opponents. Let’s see what happens when GT travels to Birmingham to take on a 7-1 UAB team.

This week: 12/23 at UAB.

14. Notre Dame (2-4, 0-1 ACC)

After an ACC opening loss against Duke, the Fighting Irish lost by 10 to Purdue in the State of Indiana’s Crossroads Classic Challenge. It will not get easier for ND this week when they travel to Syracuse.

This week: 12/22 at Syracuse.

15. Boston College (1-5, 0-1 ACC)

The Eagles have not played since their big loss to Syracuse. Their next game against Maine could be a chance to regroup or the bellwether for their season. As Maine goes, so goes the nation As the Maine game goes, so goes Boston College’s season trajectory.

This week: 12/22 vs. Maine.

Biggest Movers

+6 Syracuse, Pitt

-5 Louisville