Jayden Gardner, Virginia Cavaliers, ACC Basketball

Sam Bass gives his ACC basketball power rankings for week 2 of the 2022-23 college basketball season.

Matchup of the week: North Carolina vs. Indiana

Sneaky good matchup of the week: Michigan State vs. Notre Dame

All games listed are EST.

1) Virginia Cavaliers

Last week’s ranking: 1 (-)

Record: 5-0

Last week: Maryland-Eastern Shore (W) 72-45

Next week: @ Michigan (Nov. 29 – 9:30 p.m.), Florida State (Dec. 3 – 2 p.m.)

Best wins: Baylor, Illinois, Monmouth

Worst losses: N/A

Virginia handled its business in the team’s lone game of the week, defeating Maryland-Eastern Shore without struggle. The team looks sharp early, which should be scary for the rest of the ACC, as Tony Bennett has a knack for improving his squads as the season progresses. The Cavaliers face their first road test on Tuesday in Ann Arbor.

2) Duke Blue Devils

Last week’s ranking: 3 (+1)

Record: 5-2

Last week: Oregon State (W) 54-51, Xavier (W) 71-64, Purdue (L) 56-75

Next week: Ohio State (Nov. 30 – 7:15 p.m.), Boston College (Dec. 3 – 4 p.m.)

Best wins: Xavier, Oregon State, Bellarmine

Worst losses: N/A

Duke fans believe the team will go as far as Jeremy Roach will take them. But the reality is Jeremy Roach is not someone who can be the reliable source of scoring for Duke. Derek Lively and Dariq Whitehead are still recovering from preseason injuries, but someone else has to step up for the Blue Devils, specifically in terms of shooting from the outside, in order for them to be serious National contenders.

3) North Carolina State Wolfpack

Last week’s ranking: 4 (+1)

Record: 6-1

Last week: Kansas (L) 74-80, Dayton (W) 76-64, Butler (W) 76-61

Next week: William & Mary (Nov. 29 – 7 p.m.), Pittsburgh (Dec. 2 – 7 p.m.)

Best wins: Dayton, Butler, FIU

Worst losses: N/A

The Wolfpack held their own against Kansas, a pleasant surprise in an otherwise disappointing start for the ACC. Not to mention, wins over Dayton and Butler are not cakewalks by any means. NC State can very well finish in the top four of this conference.

4) North Carolina Tar Heels

Last week’s ranking: 2 (-2)

Record: 5-2

Last week: Portland (W) 89-81, Iowa State (L) 65-70, Alabama (L) 101-103 (4OT)

Next week: @ Indiana (Nov. 30 – 9:15 p.m.), @ Virginia Tech (Dec. 4 – 3 p.m.)

Best wins: James Madison, Charleston, Portland

Worst losses: N/A

UNC lost its first two games of the season this week, and very easily could have gone 0-3, as Portland gave them all they could handle. After falling to unranked Iowa State, the Tar Heels had a bounce-back opportunity against Alabama, but could not pull out a win after four overtimes. The offense for Carolina looks very flat, and there is very little movement without the ball. Relying on Caleb Love and RJ Davis to create and make all of their shots is not sustainable, and UNC learned that the hard way this week.

5) Miami Hurricanes

Last week’s ranking: 5 (-)

Record: 6-1

Last week: St. Francis Brooklyn (W) 79-56, UCF (W) 66-64

Next week: Rutgers (Nov. 30 – 7:15 p.m.), @ Louisville (Dec. 4 – 1 p.m.)

Best wins: Providence, UCF, UNC Greensboro

Worst losses: N/A

Miami had a sneaky good win against a solid UCF team on the road this week. The Hurricanes’ only loss this year is to now-ranked Maryland, and two solid wins this year put Miami in the conversation of the upper third of ACC basketball. Miami has two winnable games this week and should improve to 8-1.

6) Virginia Tech Hokies

Last week’s ranking: 7 (+1)

Record: 6-1

Last week: Charleston Southern (W) 69-64

Next week: Minnesota (Nov. 28 – 7 p.m.), North Carolina (Dec. 4 – 3 p.m.)

Best wins: Penn State, Old Dominion, Lehigh

Worst losses: Charleston

A pretty calm week for Virginia Tech almost turned into a disaster, as Charleston Southern gave the Hokies their best effort at stealing a win. However, VT held on and improved to 6-1 on the season. The Hokies do not want to overlook anyone, but it’s hard to ignore the home matchup against a struggling UNC team for VT’s first ranked win of the year.

7) Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Last week’s ranking: 6 (-1)

Record: 5-1

Last week: Bowling Green (W) 82-66, St. Bonaventure (L) 63-51

Next week: Michigan State (Nov. 30 – 9:15 p.m.), Syracuse (Dec. 3 – 12 p.m.)

Best wins: Lipscomb, Radford, Bowling Green

Worst losses: St. Bonaventure

Notre Dame was playing with fire in the early season, winning a whole lot of close games without getting a blemish on their record. St. Bonaventure wanted nothing to do with that, handling the Irish and giving Notre Dame its first loss of the year. Michigan State will be a tough matchup for Mike Brey’s team, but home-court advantage could give them the spark they need to pull off the upset.

8) Clemson Tigers

Last week’s ranking: 9 (+1)

Record: 5-2

Last week: Loyola Maryland (W) 72-41, Iowa (L) 71-74, California (W) 67-59

Next week: Penn State (Nov. 29 – 7 p.m.), Wake Forest (Dec. 2 – 7 p.m.)

Best wins: California, Bellarmine, The Citadel

Worst losses: N/A

Clemson barely lost to ranked Iowa, and then pulled out an impressive win over Cal. The Tigers’ two losses are to Power Five teams, and although their resume is not the best yet, Clemson is doing a decent job in the early go of the season.

9) Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Last week’s ranking: 11 (+2)

Record: 6-1

Last week: SC State (W) 105-74, Hampton (W) 97-70

Next week: @ Wisconsin (Nov. 29 – 9 p.m.), @ Clemson (Dec. 2 – 7 p.m.)

Best wins: La Salle, Georgia, Utah Valley

Worst losses: Loyola Marymount

Wake has had probably the easiest schedule in the ACC thus far, so a road tilt against a very disciplined Wisconsin team could lead to trouble. Followed by another road game to open up ACC play, it is make or break time for the Demon Deacons.

10) Boston College Eagles

Last week’s ranking: 12 (+2)

Record: 5-2

Last week: Wyoming (W) 59-48, Rhode Island (W) 53-49

Next week: @ Nebraska (Nov. 30 – 9:15 p.m.), @ Duke (Dec. 3 – 4 p.m.)

Best wins: Wyoming, Rhode Island, George Mason

Worst losses: Maine, Tarleton

Two solid wins for BC move them up two spots in the power rankings. Again, nothing spectacular from Boston College thus far, but two road games upcoming can prove them that much more. Although unlikely, a Boston College win in Cameron Indoor would absolutely validate the Eagles as a decent squad.

11) Syracuse Orange

Last week’s ranking: 8 (-3)

Record: 3-3

Last week: Richmond (W) 74-71, St. Johns (L) 69-76 (OT), Bryant (L) 72-73

Next week: @ Illinois (Nov. 29 – 7:30 p.m.), @ Notre Dame (Dec. 3 – 12 p.m.)

Best wins: Richmond, Lehigh, Northeastern

Worst losses: Colgate, Bryant

Syracuse and St. Johns renewed their rivalry, with the Johnnies prevailing, but then Syracuse might have sparked a new rivalry with Bryant right after, as Judah Mintz and Doug Edert both slapped each other and a fight ensued. Bryant got the last laugh, winning the game on a last-second bucket, sending the Orange back down to .500.

12) Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Last week’s ranking: 10 (-2)

Record: 4-2

Last week: Utah (L) 64-68,  Marquette (L) 60-84, Northern Alabama (W) 80-61

Next week: @ Iowa (Nov. 29 – 9 p.m.), Northeastern (Dec. 2 – 7:30 p.m.)

Best wins: Georgia State, Northern Illinois, North Alabama

Worst losses: N/A

Georgia Tech lost its first two games of the season back-to-back, barely losing to Utah but getting crushed by Marquette. The Yellow Jackets did not allow it to slip too far, beating Northern Alabama, as they should. No ACC basketball play for GT this week, but a tough road game against Iowa will be the highlight.

13) Pittsburgh Panthers

Last week’s ranking: 13 (-)

Record: 4-3

Last week: Fairleigh Dickinson (W) 83-61, William & Mary (W) 80-64

Next week: @ Northwestern (Nov. 28 – 9 p.m.), @ NC State (Dec. 2 – 7 p.m.)

Best wins: UT Martin, William & Mary, Alabama State

Worst losses: N/A

Pitt gets back to over .500 this week with buy-game wins. Northwestern is a very winnable game, but it will not be an easy game for the Panthers. And then a trip to Raleigh to face the scorching hot Wolfpack, it could be a really good or really bad week for Pitt.

14) Florida State Seminoles

Last week’s ranking: 14 (-)

Record: 1-7

Last week: Mercer (W) 81-72, Siena (L) 63-80, Stanford (L) 60-70, Nebraska (L) 58-75

Next week: Purdue (Nov. 30 – 7:15 p.m.), @ Virginia (Dec. 3 – 2 p.m.)

Best wins: Mercer

Worst losses: Stetson, Troy, Siena

Florida State is finally on the board! The Seminoles got their first win, swiftly followed by three losses, all of which came by double-digits. Some held out hope for FSU, but it is starting to look like this season is one to cross out for Florida State fans.

15) Louisville Cardinals

Last week’s ranking: 15 (-)

Record: 0-6

Last week: Arkansas (L) 54-80, Texas Tech (L) 38-70, Cincinnati (L) 62-81

Next week: Maryland (Nov. 29 – 7 p.m.), Miami (Fla) (Dec. 4 – 1 p.m.)

Best wins: N/A

Worst losses: Bellarmine, Wright State, App State

If things could not get much worse for Louisville, the road ahead looks dreadful. Red-hot Maryland, Miami who can just beat Louisville with athleticism, and then the rest of the ACC. The Cardinals scored 38 points against Texas Tech. This team looks like a disaster.

By Samuel Bass

Writing sports, college basketball, ACC hoops