Miami Hurricanes, Norchad Omier, AJ Casey, Isaiah Wong, ACC basketball

Sam Bass gives his ACC basketball power rankings for week 5 of the 2022-23 college basketball season.


Matchup of the week: North Carolina State vs. Miami (Fla)

Sneaky good matchup of the week: Virginia Tech vs. Oklahoma State

All games listed are EST.

1) Virginia Cavaliers

Last week’s ranking: 1 (-)

Record: 7-0

Last week: Michigan (W) 70-68, Florida State (W) 62-57

Next week: James Madison (Dec. 6 – 8 p.m.)

Best wins: Baylor, Illinois, Michigan

Worst losses: N/A

Virginia pulled out a gutsy win in Ann Arbor, crawling back from 11 down at half to win. The team then returned home and experienced a bit of a win hangover, struggling to pull away from a very weak Florida State team, but still grinding out another comeback win in which they trailed at half. Despite the scoring struggles against the Seminoles, Virginia’s defense was elite as always and they were able to win despite shooting poorly, which they were unable to do last year. The ‘Hoos are currently at the top of the ACC with no one close behind.

2) Duke Blue Devils

Last week’s ranking: 2 (-)

Record: 8-2

Last week: #25 Ohio State (W) 81-72, Boston College (W) 75-59

Next week: Iowa (Dec. 6 – 9:30 p.m.), Maryland-Eastern Shore (Dec. 10 – 8:30 p.m.)

Best wins: Xavier, Oregon State, Ohio State

Worst losses: N/A

Duke flexed its muscles against Ohio State, who came into the contest red-hot. They then took care of business against Boston College at home. Iowa will be a tough contest for the Blue Devils next week, but the quality wins are finally starting to flow for Jon Scheyer, and Duke looks like an ACC contender once again.

3) Miami Hurricanes

Last week’s ranking: 5 (+2)

Record: 8-1

Last week: Rutgers (W) 68-61, Louisville (W) 80-53

Next week: Cornell (Dec. 7 – 7 p.m.), NC State (Dec. 10 – 2 p.m.)

Best wins: Rutgers, Providence, UCF

Worst losses: N/A

Miami’s loss to Maryland looks better and better as the days go on, as the Terps look like a Top 15 team. As for the wins, Miami knocked off a talented Rutgers team who went on to top then undefeated Indiana later on in the week, and then handled Louisville away from home. Isaiah Wong has taken great strides on both ends of the floor, leading the ACC in steals per game.

4) Virginia Tech Hokies

Last week’s ranking: 6 (+2)

Record: 8-1

Last week: Minnesota (W) 67-57, #18 North Carolina (W) 80-72

Next week: Dayton (Dec. 7 – 8 p.m.), Oklahoma State (Dec. 11 – 2 p.m.)

Best wins: North Carolina, Penn State, Minnesota

Worst losses: N/A

Virginia Tech picked up two of its best wins of the season last week. Mike Young is running a very balanced offense, as five Hokies average at least 9.8 points per game. They also take care of the ball, turning it over less than 9 times per game.

5) North Carolina State Wolfpack

Last week’s ranking: 3 (-2)

Record: 7-2

Last week: William & Mary (W) 85-64, Pittsburgh (L) 60-68

Next week: Coppin State (Dec. 6 – 7 p.m.), @ Miami (Fla) (Dec. 10 – 2 p.m.)

Best wins: Dayton, Butler, FIU

Worst losses: Pitt

The Wolfpack escaped the Big Ten-ACC challenge, but could not withstand an upset by Pitt on Saturday. Although Terquavion Smith and Jarkel Joiner lead the Pack in scoring, they both shoot at clips under 45%, as well as both shooting below 34% from beyond the arc. However, Casey Morsell seems to have found his stroke, as he’s knocking down 52% of his three-point attempts.

6) Clemson Tigers

Last week’s ranking: 8 (+2)

Record: 7-2

Last week: Penn State (W) 101-94, Wake Forest (W) 77-57

Next week: Towson (Dec. 7 – 9 p.m.), Loyola Chicago (Dec. 10 – 7:30 p.m.)

Best wins: Penn State, Cal, Bellarmine

Worst losses: South Carolina

Clemson fought off Penn State in an overtime thriller and then took care of business against Wake Forest to improve to 7-2. The Tigers’ two losses are to Power Five schools, one of which is now in the top 25. Otherwise, Clemson has been excellent thus far.

7) Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Last week’s ranking: 7 (-)

Record: 6-2

Last week: Michigan State (W) 70-52, Syracuse (L) 61-62

Next week: Boston U (Dec. 7 – 7 p.m.), Marquette (Dec. 11 – 4 p.m.)

Best wins: Michigan State, Bowling Green, Lipscomb

Worst losses: St. Bonaventure

After a great quality and convincing win over Michigan State, Notre Dame could not close out an excellent week and fell to a very mediocre Syracuse team on the Irish home court. Marquette is one of the hottest teams in the country, and it will be interesting to see how the Irish perform against them on Sunday.

8) North Carolina Tar Heels

Last week’s ranking: 4 (-4)

Record: 5-4

Last week: #10 Indiana (L) 65-77, Virginia Tech (L) 72-80

Next week: Georgia Tech (Dec. 10 – 3:15 p.m.)

Best wins: James Madison, Charleston, Portland

Worst losses: N/A

It has been quite the skid for the Tar Heels, who were the nation’s number-one team just two weeks ago and now will likely find themselves unranked. Now, UNC finds itself on a four-game losing streak with no signs of improvement. The offense just looks flat, and the only source of shot creation is from dribble moves. UNC needs a win against Georgia Tech this week.

9) Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Last week’s ranking: 9

Record: 7-2

Last week: Wisconsin (W) 78-75, Clemson (L) 57-77

Next week: LSU (Dec. 10 – 2 p.m.)

Best wins: Wisconsin, La Salle, Georgia

Worst losses: Loyola Marymount

Wake went into Madison and put up 78 points against a defensive-minded Wisconsin team in the win. However, later this week, they got whooped by Clemson. Wake has two quality out-of-conference wins, but aside from that, does not show anything worthy of being any more than a middle-of-the-pack ACC basketball team.

10) Syracuse Orange

Last week’s ranking: 11 (+1)

Record: 4-4

Last week: Illinois (L) 44-73, @ Notre Dame (W) 62-61

Next week: Oakland (Dec. 6 – 6 p.m.), Georgetown (Dec. 10 – 1 p.m.)

Best wins: Notre Dame, Richmond, Lehigh

Worst losses: Colgate, Bryant

Syracuse did not have a fun trip to Champaign, losing by 29 to Illinois. However, despite falling to 3-4 for the first time under Jim Boeheim, Syracuse bounced back with a really impressive win over Notre Dame in South Bend. After playing Oakland during the week, the Orange look to a bitter rivalry to get somewhat of a resume booster with a win against Georgetown.

11) Pittsburgh Panthers

Last week’s ranking: 13 (+2)

Record: 6-3

Last week: Northwestern (W) 87-58, NC State (W) 68-60

Next week: @ Vanderbilt (Dec. 7 – 9 p.m.), Sacred Heart (Dec. 10 – 3:30 p.m.)

Best wins: Northwestern, NC State, William & Mary

Worst losses: VCU

Pitt had itself a nice week. Northwestern, although not an elite Big Ten team, is not a team to scoff over, and Pitt won that game with ease. They then went into Raleigh against what seems to be a top ACC basketball team in NC State and took that game. Don’t look now, but a road trip win over Vanderbilt and an expected win over Sacred Heart put the Panthers at 8-3 overall…

12) Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Last week’s ranking: 12 (-)

Record: 5-3

Last week: Iowa (L) 65-81, Northeastern (W) 81-63

Next week: Georgia (Dec. 6 – 7 p.m.), @ North Carolina (Dec. 10 – 3:15 p.m.)

Best wins: Georgia State, Northern Illinois, North Alabama

Worst losses: N/A

Georgia Tech could not pull off the upset against Iowa on the road but beat Northeastern to cap their week off. The Yellow Jackets performed pretty much to expect this week. Next week, it is an in-state rivalry game against Georgia followed by a trip to Chapel Hill. GT would be fortunate to win one of those two contests.

13) Boston College Eagles

Last week’s ranking: 10 (-3)

Record: 5-4

Last week: Nebraska (L) 67-88, #17 Duke (L) 59-75

Next week: New Hampshire (Dec. 6 – 7 p.m.), Villanova (Dec. 10 – 5 p.m.)

Best wins: Wyoming, Rhode Island, George Mason

Worst losses: Maine, Tarleton, Nebraska

BC fell to one of the Big Ten’s worst teams, and not in a close game either. Duke beat the Eagles handily as well. Boston College sits at 5-4, but a win over struggling Villanova could be the signature win that the team wants.

14) Florida State Seminoles

Last week’s ranking: 14

Record: 1-9

Last week: #5 Purdue (L) 69-79, #3 Virginia (L) 57-62

Next week: Louisville (Dec. 10 – 1 p.m.)

Best wins: Mercer

Worst losses: Stetson, Troy, Siena, Nebraska

FSU showed improvement this week. Two tough road games, and the Seminoles held their own. Defensively, they held Virginia, who scored 70+ points in all of its seven previous games, to 62 points, which includes late game free throws. Matthew Cleveland is a great young star for Florida State, and he needs to keep performing at a high level if the Seminoles want any shot to turn their season around.

15) Louisville Cardinals

Last week’s ranking: 15 (-)

Record: 0-8

Last week: #22 Maryland (L) 54-79, Miami (L) 53-80

Next week: @ Florida State (Dec. 10 – 1 p.m.)

Best wins: N/A

Best wins: N/A

Worst losses: Bellarmine, Wright State, App State

Louisville fans: please don’t read the previous team’s synopsis and think there is a chance to turn your season around. There is no way of sugarcoating it. Louisville looks bad. They were not even competitive last week, losing by a combined 52 points, both at the Yum! Center. Maybe they can pull off a win in their matchup with the other bottom ACC basketball team, Florida State, but even that seems unlikely at this point.

By Samuel Bass

Writing sports, college basketball, ACC hoops