Leaky Black, North Carolina Tar Heels, ACC Basketball

Sam Bass gives his ACC basketball power rankings for week 7 of the 2022-23 college basketball season.


Matchup of the week: Virginia vs. Miami (Fla)

Sneaky good matchup of the week: North Carolina vs. Michigan

All games listed are EST.

1) Virginia Cavaliers

Last week’s ranking: 1 (-)

Record: 8-1

Last week: #5 Houston (L) 61-69

Next week: @ Miami (Fla) (Dec. 20 – 8:30 p.m.)

Best wins: Baylor, Illinois, Michigan, James Madison

Worst losses: N/A

Virginia could not add to its already impressive resume, falling to Houston on Saturday afternoon. However, the ‘Hoos were playing with house money. If Virginia were to pick a game this season to lose, it was this one, as it does not do much to hurt their resume. A road test at Miami this Tuesday is a much more important game, and one that Tony Bennett and co. would love to win.

2) Duke Blue Devils

Last week’s ranking: 2 (-)

Record: 10-2

Last week: N/A

Next week: @ Wake Forest (Dec. 20 – 6:30 p.m.)

Best wins: Xavier, Iowa, Ohio State

Worst losses: N/A

No harm, no foul. Duke was off this week and did not move in the rankings. Not much else to report besides a trip to Winston-Salem lies ahead in a game Duke should win easily.

3) Virginia Tech Hokies

Last week’s ranking: 3 (-)

Record: 11-1

Last week: Grambling (W) 74-48

Next week: @ Boston College (Dec. 21 – 6:30 p.m.)

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

Worst losses: N/A

Virginia Tech made it to the AP Top 25 this week and should stay with a throttling win over Grambling. The Hokies look like an early contender for a double-bye and should stay undefeated in ACC play if they handle business at BC.

4) Miami Hurricanes

Last week’s ranking: 4 (-)

Record: 11-1

Last week: St. Francis PA (W) 91-76

Next week: Virginia (Dec. 20 – 6:30 p.m.)

Best wins: Providence, NC State, Rutgers, UCF

Worst losses: N/A

Miami looked a bit shaky coming off of its exam break, going into the break tied with St. Francis PA but pulled ahead behind Isaiah Wong’s 22-point performance. Miami hosts Virginia Tuesday with the opportunity to pick up its best win of the season.

5) North Carolina State Wolfpack

Last week’s ranking: 5 (-)

Record: 10-3

Last week: Furman (W) 92-73, Vanderbilt (W) 70-66

Next week: Louisville (Dec. 22 – 7 p.m.)

Best wins: Dayton, Butler, FIU

Worst Losses: Pittsburgh

The Wolfpack won easily against Furman but had a bit of trouble against Vanderbilt, but, a win is a win. NC State improves to 10-3 but is still haunted by that loss to Pitt. This is a team that has to finish top four in the ACC to get an at-large bid, and it seems they are right on the cusp as of now.

6) North Carolina Tar Heels

Last week’s ranking: 8 (+2)

Record: 8-4

Last week: The Citadel (W) 100-67, #23 Ohio State (W) 89-84

Next week: Michigan (Dec. 21 – 7 p.m.)

Best wins: Ohio State, Charleston, James Madison

Worst losses: N/A

This is the UNC we’ve been waiting for! After an easy win over the Citadel, the Tar Heels won a thriller in New York against Ohio State, tying the game at the buzzer in regulation and scratching out a win in overtime. The win is Carolina’s best of the season, and that win looks to get them back on track. A tough Michigan team awaits, and a win would be just what the doctor ordered for the Heels.

7) Clemson Tigers

Last week’s ranking: 7 (-)

Record: 9-3

Last week: Richmond (W) 85-57

Next week: @ Georgia Tech (Dec. 21 – 7:30 p.m.)

Best wins: Penn State, Bellarmine, Cal

Worst losses: South Carolina, Loyola Chicago

Clemson did what it should against Richmond, winning handily. A trip to Atlanta next week cannot be overlooked, but Clemson SHOULD come out on top going into Christmas break.

8) Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Last week’s ranking: 6 (-2)

Record: 7-4

Last week: Georgia (L) 62-77

Next week: @ Florida State (Dec. 21 – 8:30 p.m.)

Best wins: Michigan State, Bowling Green, Lipscomb

Worst losses: St. Bonaventure

Georgia handily beat the Irish, which would not look as bad had Georgia Tech not beaten them earlier this season. The Irish flip-flopped with UNC this week in the rankings and could fall even further if they lose to Florida State, who finally looks like they are playing competitive basketball.

9) Syracuse Orange

Last week’s ranking: 9 (-)

Record: 8-4

Last week: Monmouth (W) 86-71, Cornell (W) 78-63

Next week: Pittsburgh (Dec. 20 – 9 p.m.)

Best wins: Notre Dame, Georgetown, Richmond

Worst losses: Colgate, Bryant

Syracuse has won four straight games by double-digits. Although the competition has been underwhelming, Syracuse looks to finally be clicking on both sides of the ball. Judah Mintz is an early candidate for ACC Freshman of the Year, and Jesse Edwards is playing at an All-ACC level.

10) Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Last week’s ranking: 11 (+1)

Record: 7-4

Last week: Alabama State (W) 96-60

Next week: Clemson (Dec. 21 – 7:30 p.m.)

Best wins: Georgia, Northern Illinois, Georgia State

Worst losses: N/A

A 36-point win bumps GT up a spot this week. As mentioned before, Georgia Tech hosts Clemson this week with an opportunity to make some noise in the ACC standings. The Yellow Jackets will have to be sound defensively to win this game.

11) Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Last week’s ranking: 10 (-1)

Record: 8-4

Last week: Appalachian State (W) 67-66, @ Rutgers (L) 57-81

Next week: Duke (Dec. 20 – 6:30 p.m.)

Best wins: Wisconsin, Georgia, La Salle

Worst losses: Loyola Marymount

Going to Rutgers is no easy task, but a 24-point loss cannot happen for Wake. Furthermore, an escape act against Appalachian State cannot happen either. Wake has to create better shots if they want any chance to compete in conference this season.

12) Pittsburgh Panthers

Last week’s ranking: 12 (-)

Record: 8-4

Last week: North Florida (W) 82-56

Next week: @ Syracuse (Dec. 20 – 9 p.m.)

Best wins: NC State, Northwestern, William & Mary

Worst losses: Vanderbilt, VCU

Pitt did what it should and handled North Florida. The Panthers are 8-4 going into conference play, which is about all they could have asked for. Can Pitt stay undefeated in conference play with a win in the Carrier Dome (now called the JMA Wireless Dome, which is way less catchy)?

13) Florida State Seminoles

Last week’s ranking: 13 (-)

Record: 3-10

Last week: SC Upstate (W) 80-63, St. John’s (L) 79-93

Next week: Notre Dame (Dec. 21 – 8:30 p.m.)

Best wins: Mercer, Louisville, SC Upstate

Worst losses: Stetson, Troy, Siena

Make it 3! Florida State won their third game in a row, finally looking to click, but then gets throttled by St. John’s. To be fair, St. John’s looks good this season so far, and it is baby steps for the Seminoles. They will be hosting Notre Dame in a very winnable contest on Wednesday.

14) Boston College Eagles

Last week’s ranking: 14 (-)

Record: 6-6

Last week: Stonehill (W) 63-56

Next week: Virginia Tech (Dec. 21 – 6:30 p.m.)

Best wins: Wyoming, Rhode Island, George Mason

Worst losses: Maine, Tarleton, New Hampshire

Welcome to Division I, Stonehill! BC beat the newest DI team this week by seven points, in a game the Eagles probably would have liked to win by 20. Nonetheless, they came out victorious and go back to .500 on the season. They host red-hot Virginia Tech on Wednesday.

15) Louisville Cardinals

Last week’s ranking: 15 (-)

Record: 2-9

Last week: Western Kentucky (W) 94-83, Florida A&M (W) 61-55

Next week: Lipscomb (Dec. 20 – 6 p.m.), @ NC State (Dec. 22 – 7 p.m.)

Best wins: Western Kentucky, Florida A&M

Worst losses: Bellarmine, Wright State, App State

Louisville is on the board! Time to celebrate! On a serious note, congratulations to Coach Payne on his first win, and second win. Western Kentucky is a legitimate good win for Louisville, and they hope to keep up this hot pace with two wins next week.

By Samuel Bass

Writing sports, college basketball, ACC hoops

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