ACC Basketball Power Rankings: Post Challenge

College Basketball Season is a month old. It is time for some ACC Basketball Power Rankings.

So Basketball season is in full force and there are stories abound.

However, I want to open with a story you probably haven’t heard yet this season. It takes place the day before UNC opened the season.

All the players were gathered in the locker room, joking and having a good time.

Coach Roy Williams walks in with Steve Robinson. “Guys, I need to tell you something.”

Everyone takes a seat and looks at the old coach to hear what words of wisdom he has to share.

“No one believes we can do much this season fellas,” Roy says. “The media is picking Duke to win the ACC and Kentucky to win it all. They don’t believe in us. With the losses of Brice and Marcus, they say we just aren’t good enough to compete with all that freshmen talent in Lexington and Durham. Last year was our last chance and we blew it. They think after the season, everyone will just leave or fade into oblivion.”

“Even me coach?” Justin Jackson asks.

“Even you Justin,” Roy replies.

The room goes silent. The laughter is gone and a sadness starts to permeate over the room.

Just then Joel Berry II stand up.

“Well then there’s only one thing we can do,” the junior point guard says.

“Yeah, what’s that?” asks a now down trodden Justin Jackson.

“Win the whole stinkin’ thing,” Berry replies as a grin comes over his face.

Seventh Woods and Brandon Robinson look up from their seats with a smile. Kennedy Meeks sends out a mighty yell. Isaiah Hicks and Nate Britt jump up and high five each other. The room is electric. The team believes.

Ok, so did I sort of borrow that story from the movie Major League? Well, maybe. But it fits. And who says it didn’t really happen.

Anyways it is time for another round of rankings. Some things stayed the same. Some things changed. So lets dive in.

Note: All records and stats are as of 12/4/16

Nov 25, 2016; Brooklyn, NY, USA; Boston College Eagles guard Jerome Robinson (1) lays the ball up against the Kansas State Wildcats during the first half of the first game of the Barclays Center Classic at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

15

Boston College Eagles

(4-3)

Last week: Won 88-70 vs Dartmouth
Last rank: 15th

Boston College continues to be the easiest team to rank. The Eagles best win so far this season was a 10 point victory against Townson on Nov 22nd. They have not played a true road game this season and are one of only two ACC teams with three losses already. They are averaging 72 points a game which is 222nd in the nation. The Eagle’s best player Jerome Robinson is averaging over 20 points a game, second in the ACC. The next three highest scorers on the team are averaging 23 combined. It looks to be another long season for Boston College who next plays Harvard on Dec 7th.

Nov 29, 2016; University Park, PA, USA; Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets center Ben Lammers (44) drives the ball to the basket as Penn State Nittany Lions guard Josh Reaves (23) defends during the second half at Bryce Jordan Center. Penn State defeated Georgia Tech 67-60. Mandatory Credit: Matthew O

14

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

(4-3)

Last week: Lost 81-58 against Tennessee
Last rank: 14th

Georgia Tech has been a little better than expected, but not much. The Yellow Jacket’s best win so far this season was a nine point victory against Sam Houston St on Nov 22nd. They are 0-2 in true road games this season, mad props for scheduling some, and are the other ACC team with three losses already. They are averaging a little under 70 points a game which is 265th in the nation. The Yellow Jacket’s best player, Ben Lammers, is averaging 11 rebounds a game, tops in the ACC. He also leads the team in blocks with more than 4.5 per game, tops in the nation. Georgia Tech plays their third consecutive true road game Dec 7 against VCU.

Nov 29, 2016; Champaign, IL, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Dennis Smith Jr. (4) brings the ball up the court during the second half against the Illinois Fighting Illini at State Farm Center. Illinois beat North Carolina State 88 to 74. Mandatory Credit: Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

13

NC State Wolfpack

(6-2)

Last week: Won 77-73 against Boston University
Last rank: 11th

NC State has been up and down this season, dropping two spots since November. The Wolfpack’s best win so far this season was a 10 point victory against St Josephs on Nov 21st. They are 0-1 in true road games this season and are still without Turkish Freshman Omer Yurtseven and only had Maverick Rowan for one game. They are averaging about 81 points a game which is 61st in the nation. The Wolfpack’s best player, Dennis Smith Jr, is averaging 18 points and 5 assists a game, both are fifth in the ACC. Smith has been every bit the player he was forecasted to be. NC State next plays Dec 10th against Tennessee St.

Nov 29, 2016; Madison, WI, USA; Syracuse Orange guard Andrew White III (3) fights for a loose ball with Wisconsin Badgers forward Nigel Hayes (10) at the Kohl Center. Wisconsin defeated Syracuse 77-60. Mandatory Credit: Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

12

Syracuse Orange

(6-2)

Last week: Won 77-71 against North Florida
Last rank: 5th

Syracuse takes the biggest plunge this time dropping seven spots. The Orange’s best win so far this season was a 21 point victory against Monmouth on Nov 18th. After starting the season 4-0 they have lost two of their last three including their only true road game. They are averaging76 points a game which is 129th in the nation. The Orange’s best player, Kansas and Nebraska transfer Andrew White III, is averaging 17 points a game, 12th best in the ACC. Syracuse plays UCONN at Madison Square Garden on Dec 5th in an old Big East rematch.

Nov 30, 2016; Coral Gables, FL, USA; Miami Hurricanes guard Ja

11

Miami Hurricanes

(6-2)

Last week: Won 74-57 against Wofford
Last rank: 6th

Miami has not gotten that signature win yet this season. The Hurricane’s best win so far this season was a 14 point victory against Stanford on Nov 24th. They are 1-0 in true road games this season, but are just 2-2 in their last four including a 17 point loss to Iowa State. They are averaging 73 points a game which is 198th in the nation. The Hurricane’s best player, Ja’Quan Newton, is averaging 16 points a game, 18th in the ACC. The team as a whole is only shooting .325 from three point range, after shooting .375 the season before. Miami’s next game is Dec 6th against South Carolina St.

Nov 28, 2016; Evansville, IL, USA; Wake Forest Demon Deacons forward John Collins (20) celebrates with guard Keyshawn Woods (1) after scoring against the Northwestern Wildcats during the first half at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Mandatory Credit: Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

10

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

(6-2)

Last week: Won 75-67 against Richmond
Last rank: 13th

Wake Forest has been a little better than expected. The Demon Deacon’s best win so far this season was a 17 point victory against Charleston on the road on Nov 20th. They are 2-1 in true road games this season. They are averaging a little over 81 points a game which is 56th in the nation. The Deacon’s best player, John Collins, is averaging over 17 points a game, 10th in the ACC. He is also averaging 10 rebounds and is shooting 63.5 percent from the field, fourth and fifth in the ACC. Wake Forest next plays Charlotte Dec 6th.

Nov 30, 2016; Clemson, SC, USA; Clemson Tigers forward Jaron Blossomgame (5) is fouled by Nebraska Cornhuskers guard Tai Webster (0) while being in for the layup during the second half at Littlejohn Coliseum. Tigers won 60-58. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

9

Clemson Tigers

(5-2)

Last week: Won 85-43 against Coppin State
Last rank: 10th

How good is Clemson? The Tiger’s best win so far this season was a 17 point victory against Davidson on Nov 17th. However, they have not played a true road game this season. They are averaging 75.5 points a game which is 150th in the nation. The Tiger’s best player, Jaron Blossomgame, is averaging nearly 18 points a game, ninth in the ACC. Clemson plays Mercer on Dec 10th.

Nov 29, 2016; College Park, MD, USA; Maryland Terrapins guard Melo Trimble (2) shoots as Pittsburgh Panthers forward Michael Young (2) defends during the second half at Xfinity Center. Pittsburgh Panthers defeated Maryland Terrapins 73-59. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

8

Pittsburgh Panthers

(6-2)

Last week: Lost 64-55 to Duquesne
Last rank: 4th

I’m not going to lie Pittsburgh, you were going to be ranked higher. Then you had to go out and lose to Duquesne at home by nine. The Panthers best win so far this season was a 14 point victory against Maryland on Nov 29th. So far, that is the Terps only loss on the season. They are 1-0 in true road games this season, beating the previously mentioned Terrapins at College Park. They are averaging 77 points a game which is 115th in the nation. The Panther’s dynamic duo of Michael Young and James Artis are averaging 23 and 19.7 points respectively. That’s good for first and third in the ACC,. Pittsburgh will look to get over such a humbling loss when they play Buffalo on Dec 7th.

Nov 29, 2016; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish forward Bonzie Colson (35) reacts after a basket in the first half against the Iowa Hawkeyes at the Purcell Pavilion. Notre Dame won 92-78. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

7

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

(8-0)

Last week: Won 107-53 against North Carolina A&T
Last rank: 7th

Notre Dame is the only undefeated team left in the ACC. The Irish’s best win so far this season was a four point victory against Northwestern on Nov 22nd. They have not played a true road game this season, which is also why they are not ranked higher. They are averaging over 86 points a game which is 18th in the nation. The Irish’s best player, Bonzie Colson, leads the team in points and rebounds. His 18 points and 10 rebounds per game is good for sixth and second in the ACC respectively. Notre Dame looks to stay undefeated Dec 6th when they take on Fort Wayne. The Mastodons earlier this year beat Indiana for the Hoosier only loss.

Nov 30, 2016; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Virginia Tech Hokies forward Zach LeDay (32) shoots against Michigan Wolverines guard Duncan Robinson (22) in the second half at Crisler Center. Virginia Tech won 73-70. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

6

Virginia Tech Hokies

(6-1)

Last week: Won 73-70 against Michigan
Last rank: 8th

Virginia Tech shocked teams last year. So it shouldn’t be a surprise they are playing well this season. The Hokies best win so far this season was a 13 point victory against Nebraska on Nov 27th. They are 1-0 in true road games this season and their only loss was a three point defeat to Texas A&M. They are averaging a over 80 points a game which is 62nd in the nation. The Hokie’s best player, Zach Leday, leads the team in both points and rebounds. Virginia Tech next plays Dec 7 against Maryland Eastern Shore.

Nov 28, 2016; Tallahassee, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles guard Dwayne Bacon Jr. (4) dribbles the ball past Minnesota Gophers guard Dupree McBrayer (1) during the first period at the Donald L. Tucker Center. Mandatory Credit: Melina Vastola-USA TODAY Sports

5

Florida State Seminoles

(7-1)

Last week: Won 67-48 against George Washington
Last rank: 12th

Florida State makes the biggest jump these rankings by living up to expectations. The Seminole’s best win so far this season was an eight point victory against Minnesota on Nov 28th. They have not played a true road game this season but do have two wins against the Big 10 already. They are averaging over 88 points a game which is 12th in the nation. The Seminole’s best player, Dwayne Bacon, is averaging a little over 18 points a game, tied for sixth in the ACC. Florida State continues their home stand Dec 6th against Southern Mississippi.

Nov 30, 2016; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Virginia Cavaliers guard London Perrantes (32) reacts after making a three-point field goal against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the second half at John Paul Jones Arena. The Cavaliers won 63-61. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

4

Virginia Cavaliers

(7-1)

Last week: Lost 66-57 to West Virginia
Last rank: 3rd

I had Virginia all set to be number one this time around. Then West Virginia waltzed into Charlottesville and gave the Cavs a L. Their drop allowed the next three teams to move up. The Cavaliers best win so far this season was an 11 point victory against Providence on Nov 26th. They are 1-0 in true road games this season, a season opener against UNC Greensboro. They are averaging a little under 70 points a game which is 270th in the nation. The Eagle’s best player, London Perrantes, is averaging 10 points a game, good for 46th in the ACC. Every other school in the conference, except Boston College, has at least two players with higher scoring averages. That doesn’t mean Virginia is bad, they just don’t score a lot of points. Virginia will look to get over their first loss with a home game against East Carolina on Dec 6th.

Nov 25, 2016; Paradise Island, BAHAMAS; Baylor Bears guard King McClure (22) looks to pass as Louisville Cardinals guard Donovan Mitchell (45) defends during the first half in the 2016 Battle 4 Atlantis championship game in the Imperial Arena at the Atlantis Resort. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

3

Louisville Cardinals

(7-1)

Last week: Won 79-70 against Grand Canyon
Last rank: 8th

Louisville is the first team to benefit from Virginia’s loss. The Cardinal’s best win so far this season was a seven point victory against Purdue on Nov 30th. They are 1-0 in true road games this season, and their only loss is a three point defeat to Baylor. The Bears are undefeated still this season. Louisville is averaging 75 points a game which is 159th in the nation. The Cardinal’s best player, Donovan Mitchell, is averaging 12 points a game. Louisville will play Southern Illinois on Dec 7th.

Nov 29, 2016; Durham, NC, USA; Michigan State Spartans guard Eron Harris (14) and Duke Blue Devils guard Luke Kennard (5) scramble for a loose ball in the second half of their game at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

2

Duke Blue Devils

(8-1)

Last week: Won 94-55 against Maine
Last rank: 2nd

Duke is starting to get healthy for the first time this season. Two of their three star freshmen played in their last game and with a good team just got better. Though likely the highest ranked ACC team in the polls, they are the second such here. The Blue Devil’s best win so far this season was a ten point victory against Rhode Island on Nov 20th. They, like so many other ACC teams, have not played a true road game this season (though to be honest, I am not sure how valuable true road games are end of season). They are averaging a little under 86 points a game which is 23rd in the nation. The Blue Devil’s best player, Luke Kennard, is averaging nearly 19.5 points a game, 4th in the ACC. He also leads the team in free throw percentage at 87.5 percent, 7th in the ACC. Duke continues their road aversion when they play Florida on Dec 6th.

Dec 4, 2016; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; Radford Highlanders forward Christian Lutete (25) and North Carolina Tar Heels forward Justin Jackson (44) and forward Kennedy Meeks (3) go for a rebound during the second half at Dean E. Smith Center. North Carolina won 95-50. Mandatory Credit: Evan Pike-USA TODAY Sports

1

North Carolina Tar Heels

(8-1)

Last week: Won 95-50 against Radford
Last rank: 1st

Continuing my story from the beginning of this article. Coach Roy sees the excitement and pulls out a cutout of Coach K. ‘I was hoping that would be your response. The way I see it, we need 34 wins to pull this off. Every time we win, we pull off a sticker.” What is my point here? It’s that 34 wins isn’t an undefeated season. In fact the stickers would probably be divided in 11 preseason, 14 regular season, and nine tournament wins. In other words, losing to Indiana is not the end of the world. Actually a true road loss to a ranked team sure looks better than a home loss. UNC has a lot of things going for them. They are eighth in the nation in points per game and sixth in rebounds per game. All eight wins have been by double digits and they have only played three home games this year. If they can play defense and rebound consistently, they will be hard to beat. UNC next plays Dec 7th against Davidson. Here is hoping for the ninth sticker to come off the board.

Well that does it for this week’s rankings. Some movement, but that can happen in a month’s time. The rankings will return in January, when this moves into an every week gig with conference play.

So enjoy your holidays. 2017 is almost here.

What did you think of this round of rankings? Let us know in the comments below.

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