Week one of ACC basketball rankings and WE’RE BACK!
Ladies and gentlemen, girls and boys, after the (seemingly) longest hiatus in college basketball history, we are officially back! That’s right. Wait no further. The proud, preeminent, TNIAAM ACC basketball rankings are here.
Once your moist palms stop from sweating, sit down and collect yourself to read through the first week of rankings. As mentioned, it’s been a long offseason since we last left off with conference rankings in March. But we’ve already started with some fireworks in week one.
In case you haven’t heard it this year, we are living in unprecedented times. With everything going on in the world it’s nice to have some familiarity in college hoops as Virginia lost to a bunch of nobodies wearing yellow jerseys, Coach K is already touting the leadership of his freshmen, Georgia Tech looks ready to under achieve and Virginia Tech is peaking in November.
With all that said, the wait is officially over. Here’s how the conference hierarchy stacks up after week one.
As always, these rankings are backed by an undisclosed methodology.
1. Florida State (0-0)
Last week: Nothing
Congratulations to Florida State for doing nothing and being rewarded for it! Florida State’s season opener against Gardner-Webb was postponed. The Seminoles won’t play until it takes on North Florida on Wednesday.
Hats off to our No. 1 ACC team. What more can you say?
2. Duke (1-0)
Last week: Win over Coppin State
Duke also postponed its season opener with Gardner-Webb and if you’re wondering why the ACC is trying to fund the Runnin’ Bulldogs athletic department, I don’t have a good answer for you.
While this team might not be as talented as we’re accustomed to seeing, Duke has a solid core of freshmen to build around. The makeup of this Blue Devil squad leans older, which makes it is a little strange when Coach K starts Jordan Goldwire and Joey Baker but credits freshman Jeremy Roach for his leadership.
Still, the incoming frosh played well against Coppin State as Jalen Johnson began his career with 19 points and 19 rebounds while DJ Steward had 24 points and 9 rebounds inside a crazy-less Cameron Indoor. It’s really odd to see cutouts of crazies inside a quiet Cameron Indoor.
3. UNC (1-0)
Last week: Win over Charleston
Somehow everyone seems to forget that North Carolina was 14-19 last season, but they’re good for our No. 3 ranked team in the ACC, I guess. That probably has a lot to due with UNC having more solid big men than the Tennessee Titans’ offensive line.
The Tar Heels return Garrison Brooks and Armando Bacot. Day’ron Sharpe had a double-double off the bench in his first game. Top 25 recruit Walker Kessler gives UNC a 7-foot-1 guy off the pine.
Freshman guard Caleb Love, a major key to this team, had 17 points and 4 assists in his debut as UNC handled Charleston by a 19 point margin. Roy Williams found a way to play 15 players against the Cougars, including Andrew Platek.
4. Virginia Tech (3-0)
Last week: Wins over Radford, Villanova and South Florida
If we were ranking ACC basketball venues, Cassell Coliseum would be at the bottom of this list. Luckily for Virginia Tech we’re not doing that. Shoutout to the Hokies for not only knocking off Villanova on Saturday, but being able to cool things back down and take care of business against South Florida on Sunday night.
Keve Alluma had 23 points and 8 rebound against the fighting Gillespies while Nahiem Alleyne dropped in 20. Credit to Mike Young, whose pregame popcorn thing is still really funny as long as you don’t say things such as this:
Mike Young. Poppin’ like Orville Redenbacher.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) November 30, 2020
Anyway, good job Hokies. There’s absolutely no way you’ll inexplicably lose five ACC games in a row come late January/early February.
We interrupt these rankings to bring you ACC basketball trivia, brought to you by Bojangles and Dan Dakich’s sock thrown at the conference. It’s Bo time.
The answer to the ACC basketball trivia question can be found at the bottom of this post.
Now back to you regularly scheduled jokes & garbage.
5. Louisville (3-0)
Last week: Wins over Evansville, Seton Hall and Prairie View A&M
Louisville picked up three wins last week, two of which were negligible. The Cardinals escaped Seton Hall in regulation after holding on to a three point lead despite fouling a three point shooter in the closing seconds. If not for some excellent free throw line defense, Louisville was looking at overtime and potentially, defeat. Instead Chris Mack’s squad got the win and later improved to 3-0 with a win over perennial powerhouse Prairie View A&M.
David Johnson is be poised to breakout and Radford transfer Carlik Jones is off to an auspicious start in Lexington.
Just kidding. Louisville.
6. Virginia (1-1)
Last week: Win over Towson, loss to San Francisco
Can you believe it? Virginia lost to San Francisco, which wouldn’t be all that surprising some 60 years ago.
Unfortunately for Virginia this was not 60 years ago and the pack-line let the Dons shoot 46.4% from deep while UVA shot a cool 25.0%. Sam Hauser still had a good look at the buzzer but it failed to materialize. This should be the lowest Virginia appears in the rankings all season.
7. Miami (1-0)
Last week: Win over North Florida
Miami has been unlucky with injuries to start the season as Sam Waardenburg is out for the year and yesterday it was announced that freshman guard Earl Timberlake out for 3-5 weeks with an ankle injury.
Luckily Miami is deep at guard and Isaiah Wong dropped 20 on North Florida to get the win. Harlond Beverly earned his first double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.
8. Clemson (2-0)
Last week: Wins over Mississippi State and Purdue
Clemson picked up a solid win over a top 100 Ken Pom team ins Mississippi State. Then, it followed that up with a really strong win over Purdue. This is a sneaky good Clemson team.
Aamir Simms somehow figured out a way to foul out in eight minutes against the Bulldogs, but he then came back with a vengeance against Purdue with 24 points, 4 assists, 3 rebounds and 2 steals.
Al-Amir Dawes is really good while veteran Clyde Trapp has officially reached “How many years has that guy been in college?” status.
9. Syracuse (1-0)
Last week: Win over Bryant
Syracuse almost lost to Bryant, but almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.
The Orange were on pause for 12 days prior to a Thanksgiving day practice, but if the defense is anything like last year the 2-3 zone is going to need some serious work.
10. Boston College (1-1)
Last week: Loss to Villanova, win against Rhode Island
Boston College has looked tough in its first two games of the season. No, seriously.
The Eagles brought Villanova to the brink and took care of business against a sneaky good Rhode Island team without Jay Heath. Wynston Tabbs is now healthy and he has some help with Steffon Mitchell and Providence transfer Makai Ashton-Langford. Rich Kelly also looks solid off the bench.
Perhaps we see an improved BC squad this season?
11. NC State (2-0)
Last week: Wins over Charleston Southern and North Florida
Devon Daniels dropped 29 on Charleston Southern. That’s about all you can say about NC State, who played two ~300-level KenPom teams.
12. Pittsburgh (1-1)
Last week: Loss against St. Francis, win over Drexel
Pitt struggled out of the gate with 23 turnovers against St. Francis. Xavier Johnson, Justin Champagnie and Au’diese Toney combined to score 66 of Pitt’s 83 points against Drexel. If the Panthers have any hope of climbing out of the conference basement, that aforementioned troika will have to shoulder a heavy offensive burden.
13. Notre Dame (0-1)
Last week: Loss to Michigan State
Notre Dame lost to Michigan State 80-70 in the season opener, but the final score was closer than the game really was. Michigan State held a 28 point lead at one juncture.
Notre Dame lost TJ Gibbs and John Mooney from last year’s squad. This is Prentiss Hubb’s team now, which should be equal parts scary and entertaining.
14. Wake Forest (2-0)
Last week: Wins over Delaware State and Longwood
The Demon Deacs had seven players score nine points or more in its first game of the season which probably says more about Delaware State than it does Wake Forest.
15. Georgia Tech (0-2)
Last week: Losses to Georgia State and Mercer
Georgia State somehow took Georgia Tech to quintuple overtime which already feels irrelevant. So much so that you didn’t realize it was actually quadruple overtime, which proves my point.
Georgia Tech did the unthinkable and followed that up with a loss to Mercer. We all know the Yellow Jackets are better than that, but somehow Georgia Tech went from preseason hopeful to the conference cellar in one week. That’s an impressive feat.
Answer to the ACC Basketball trivia question: Michigan State