Virginia Tech Hokies, Mike Young, Sean Pedulla, ACC Basketball

Sam Bass gives his ACC basketball power rankings for week 6 of the 2022-23 college basketball season.


Matchup of the week: Virginia vs. Houston

Sneaky good matchup of the week: NC State vs. Furman

All games listed are EST.

1) Virginia Cavaliers

Last week’s ranking: 1 (-)

Record: 8-0

Last week: James Madison (W) 55-50

Next week: Houston (Dec. 17 – 2 p.m.)

Best wins: Baylor, Illinois, Michigan, James Madison

Worst losses: N/A

Virginia was tasked with facing off with a difficult James Madison squad earlier in the week, and despite struggling from the line for the first time this season, Virginia sealed a win and remained undefeated. With Houston and Texas both losing, it is likely that Virginia is ranked number one in the country on Monday, and they will host Houston on Saturday, where the ‘Hoos will attempt to solidify that ranking.

2) Duke Blue Devils

Last week’s ranking: 2 (-)

Record: 10-2

Last week: Iowa (W) 74-62, Maryland-Eastern Shore (W) 82-55

Next week: N/A

Best wins: Xavier, Iowa, Ohio State

Worst losses: N/A

Duke handily beat a very capable Iowa team who turned around and whooped their in-state rival following the loss. Duke goes into an off-week with just two losses to two top-ten teams. Besides those blemishes, the Blue Devils have had a near-perfect start to Jon Scheyer’s first season.

3) Virginia Tech Hokies

Last week’s ranking: 4 (+1)

Record: 10-1

Last week: Dayton (W) 77-49, Oklahoma State (W) 70-65

Next week: Grambling (Dec. 17 – 4 p.m.)

Best wins: Penn State, North Carolina, Dayton, Minnesota, Oklahoma State

Worst losses: N/A

Virginia Tech looks LEGIT. Dayton did not even put up a fight against the Hokies, and VT beat Oklahoma State on a neutral floor. Sean Pedulla leads Virginia Tech in scoring at 17 points a game. Expect the Hokies to be in the national rankings conversation as soon as this week.

4) Miami Hurricanes

Last week’s ranking: 3 (-1)

Record: 10-1

Last week: Cornell (W) 107-105, NC State (W) 80-73

Next week: St. Francis PA (Dec. 17 – Noon)

Best wins: Providence, NC State, Rutgers, UCF

Worst losses: N/A

Miami narrowly escaped Cornell but followed it up with an impressive win against NC State. Miami has an easy week with just one buy game. The Hurricanes should host Virginia next week at 11-1 unless the unexpected loss to St. Francis occurs.

5) North Carolina State Wolfpack

Last week’s ranking: 5 (-)

Record: 8-3

Last week: Coppin State (W) 94-72, @ Miami (L) 73-80

Next week: Furman (Dec. 13 – 6:30 p.m.), Vanderbilt (Dec. 17 – 10:30 p.m.)

Best wins: Dayton, Butler, FIU

Worst Losses: Pittsburgh

NC State had a tough matchup on Saturday and could not upset Miami on its home floor. Still, the Wolfpack are 8-3 with only one bad loss, and have one of the most dynamic offenses in the league, averaging 81 points per game.

6) Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Last week’s ranking: 7 (+1)

Record: 7-3

Last week: Boston U. (W) 81-75, Marquette (L) 64-79

Next week: Georgia (Dec. 18 – 8:30 p.m.)

Best wins: Michigan State, Bowling Green, Lipscomb

Worst losses: St. Bonaventure

A narrow win over Boston made it look like a win over Marquette would be unlikely for Notre Dame, which turned out to be true. Nonetheless, the Irish made it through the week without picking up any bad losses. Sunday night should be a fun game, as Notre Dame will square off with Georgia who just fell to GT last week.

7) Clemson Tigers

Last week’s ranking: 6 (-1)

Record: 8-3

Last week: Towson (W) 80-75, Loyola Chicago (L) 58-76

Next week: Richmond (Dec. 17 – 7 p.m.)

Best wins: Penn State, Bellarmine, Cal

Worst losses: South Carolina, Loyola Chicago

Clemson fell in a similar boat as Notre Dame, however, Marquette is a better team than Loyola-Chicago, and Clemson hardly put up much of a fight. 8-3 is a nice start for the Tigers, who face off with Richmond next weekend before beginning ACC play.

8) North Carolina Tar Heels

Last week’s ranking: 8 (-)

Record: 6-4

Last week: Georgia Tech (W) 75-59

Next week: The Citadel (Dec. 13 – 7 p.m.), Ohio State (Dec. 17 – 3 p.m.)

Best wins: Charleston, James Madison, Georgia Tech

Worst losses: N/A

UNC finally beat a team it was supposed to, ending the four-game skid. Although they should not look past The Citadel, the matchup with Ohio State at Madison Square Garden is a great opportunity to get back on track.

9) Syracuse Orange

Last week’s ranking: 10 (+1)

Record: 6-4

Last week: Oakland (W) 95-66, Georgetown (W) 83-64

Next week: Monmouth (Dec. 12 – 6 p.m.), Cornell (Dec. 17 – 3 p.m.)

Best wins: Notre Dame, Georgetown, Richmond

Worst losses: Colgate, Bryant

Syracuse was dominant this week over two inferior teams. The Orange looked dynamic on both ends of the ball, and the zone looked vintage at its best. Jesse Edwards averaged 19 in the two games, and he looks like a force in the paint. It’s been an All-ACC caliber start to his season thus far for him.

10) Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Last week’s ranking: 9 (-1)

Record: 7-3

Last week: LSU (L) 72-70

Next week: Appalachian State (Dec. 14 – 7 p.m.), @ Rutgers (Dec. 17 – Noon)

Best wins: Wisconsin, Georgia, La Salle

Worst losses: Loyola Marymount

Wake narrowly lost to LSU in their lone game this week. A trip to New Jersey to face off with Rutgers will be a challenge for Wake Forest, who can really use the resume boost to accompany their other quality wins.

11) Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Last week’s ranking: 12 (+1)

Record: 6-4

Last week: Georgia (W) 79-77, @ North Carolina (L) 59-75

Next week: Alabama State (Dec. 17 – 2 p.m.)

Best wins: Georgia, Northern Illinois, Georgia State

Worst losses: N/A

Georgia Tech beat their in-state rivals by forcing two turnovers in the final 30 seconds of the game to win by two. They then traveled to Chapel Hill and barely put up a fight against a skidding UNC team. Nonetheless, the solid non-conference win over Georgia bumps them up one spot in our rankings.

12) Pittsburgh Panthers

Last week’s ranking: 11 (-1)

Record: 7-4

Last week: @ Vanderbilt (L) 75-74, Sacred Heart (W) 91-66

Next week: North Florida (Dec. 17 – 1 p.m.)

Best wins: NC State, Northwestern, William & Mary

Worst losses: Vanderbilt, VCU

Losing to Vanderbilt, a bottom SEC school, is not the best of looks for Pitt, who was red hot going into the contest. Worst of all, it was a one-point defeat. However, the Panthers turned around nicely with an easy win over Sacred Heart, avoiding a bad losing streak.

13) Florida State Seminoles

Last week’s ranking: 14 (+1)

Record: 2-9

Last week: Louisville (W) 75-53

Next week: SC Upstate (Dec. 13 – 8:30 p.m.), St. John’s (Dec. 17 – 2:30 p.m.)

Best wins: Mercer, Louisville

Worst losses: Stetson, Troy, Siena

Florida State is starting to look cohesive for the first time all season. After battling hard against Virginia in Charlottesville, Florida State took care of business against Louisville, as they should. But the Seminoles showcased their explosive athleticism and are starting to click on the defensive end, as they are disruptive and long.

14) Boston College Eagles

Last week’s ranking: 13 (-1)

Record: 5-6

Last week: New Hampshire (L) 71-74, Villanova (L) 56-77

Next week: Stonehill (Dec. 13 – 7 p.m.)

Best wins: Wyoming, Rhode Island, George Mason

Worst losses: Maine, Tarleton, New Hampshire

A loss to New Hampshire is what knocks the Eagles down a spot in this week’s rankings. 19 points to a below-expectation Villanova team is not great either, but BC could have stayed where they were had they beaten New Hampshire. BC hosts Stonehill, which is in its first season at the Division One level, and as the season has gone thus far, a loss for Boston College would not be all that surprising.

15) Louisville Cardinals

Last week’s ranking: 15 (-)

Record: 0-9

Last week: @ Florida State (L) 53-75

Next week: Western Kentucky (Dec. 14 – 9 p.m.), Florida A&M (Dec. 17 – 2 p.m.)

Best wins: N/A

Worst losses: Bellarmine, Wright State, App State

There is not much to say about Louisville that I have not said already. The offense looks broken, they miss shots that do not even come close, and they look overmatched in every game they play. You have to feel for Kenny Payne, who cannot do much at this point besides make it to next year.

By Samuel Bass

Writing sports, college basketball, ACC hoops

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