Sam Bass gives his ACC basketball power rankings for week 15 of the 2022-23 college basketball season.
Matchup of the week: NC State vs. North Carolina
Sneaky good matchup of the week: Duke vs. Syracuse
All games listed are EST.
1) Virginia Cavaliers
Last week’s ranking: 1 (-)
Record: 19-4 (11-3)
Last week: #23 NC State (W) 63-50, Duke (W) 69-62
Next week: @ Louisville (Feb. 15 – 7 p.m.), Notre Dame (Feb. 18 – Noon)
Best wins: Baylor, Illinois, NC State, Duke, North Carolina @ Wake Forest
Worst losses: @ Pittsburgh, @ Virginia Tech
Virginia escaped Duke after blowing out NC State at home, with a little help from a controversial no-call at the end of regulation. Although that game drew a lot of criticism, Virginia played well despite shooting an awful 9-22 from the line. More notably, the packline held the ACC’s highest scoring offense in NC State to just 50 points.
2) Miami Hurricanes
Last week’s ranking: 2 (-)
Record: 20-5 (11-4)
Last week: Duke (W) 81-59, Louisville (W) 93-85
Next week: @ North Carolina (Feb. 13 – 7 p.m.), Wake Forest (Feb. 18 – 2 p.m.)
Best wins: Virginia, Providence, NC State, Rutgers, @ Clemson, Duke
Worst losses: @ Georgia Tech
Miami has quietly became a national conversation piece, continuing to pick up solid wins. The Hurricanes backcourt could be mentioned in the best in the country conversation, and Miami is in strong contention for a double-bye. Two easy wins keep the Hurricanes at the two slot this week.
3) Pittsburgh Panthers
Last week’s ranking: 4 (+1)
Record: 18-7 (11-3)
Last week: Louisville (W) 91-57, @ Florida State (W) 83-75
Next week: Boston College (Feb. 14 – 9 p.m.), @ Virginia Tech (Feb. 18 – 5 p.m.)
Best wins: Virginia, @ NC State, Miami (Fla), @ Northwestern, North Carolina (x2)
Worst losses: @ Vanderbilt, Florida State
Pittsburgh is tied for first place in the ACC. The conference’s biggest surprise continues to surge, and they finally are starting to get the respect they deserve. Jeff Capel is a sure-fire lock to be the league’s Coach of the Year barring any collapse, and Pitt has wins over the league’s three best teams. Watch out for the Panthers in March.
4) North Carolina State Wolfpack
Last week’s ranking: 3 (-1)
Record: 20-6 (10-5)
Last week: @ #7 Virginia (L) 50-63, @ Boston College (W) 92-62
Next week: @ Syracuse (Feb. 14 – 7 p.m.), @ North Carolina (Feb. 19 – 1 p.m.)
Best wins: Miami (Fla), Duke, @ Wake Forest, Dayton
Worst Losses: N/A
NC State looked like a deer in headlights against Virginia, as their surging offense was stifled by Virginia’s defense. Jarkel Joiner was held to just 5 points in the game, and aside from Casey Morsell and Terquavion Smith, the Wolfpack scored just 13 points. Fortunately, the game did not turn into a skid, and NC State handled BC with ease.
5) Duke Blue Devils
Last week’s ranking: 5
Record: 17-8 (8-6)
Last week: @ #15 Miami (L) 59-81, @ #7 Virginia (L) 62-69
Next week: Notre Dame (Feb. 14 – 7 p.m.), @ Syracuse (Feb. 18 – 6 p.m.)
Best wins: Xavier, Miami (Fla), Iowa, Pittsburgh, North Carolina
Worst losses: @ Virginia Tech
Duke was a controversial call away from upsetting Virginia on the road, but went into overtime and lost to go 0-2 in the week. The Virginia game was a tough pill to swallow, but there are positives from the game, especially on defense. Duke looked extremely strong on defense, and Jeremy Roach and Tyrese Proctor both played strong games. However, Kyle Filipowski went home with 0 points and Duke had 22 turnovers, which is never a recipe for winning.
6) North Carolina Tar Heels
Last week’s ranking: 7 (+1)
Record: 16-9 (8-6)
Last week: @ Wake Forest (L) 85-92, Clemson (W) 91-71
Next week: #15 Miami (Feb. 13 – 7 p.m.), @ #23 NC State (Feb. 19 – 1 p.m.)
Best wins: NC State, Clemson, Charleston
Worst losses: Pittsburgh
After falling behind big to Wake Forest on the road, UNC picked it up to lose by only seven, and used that momentum to pick up arguably its best win of the year against Clemson by 20. Caleb Love is very inconsistent, but when he gets hot, he is unguardable, scoring 23 in the win.
7) Clemson Tigers
Last week’s ranking: 6 (-1)
Record: 18-7 (10-4)
Last week: @ North Carolina (L) 71-91
Next week: Florida State (Feb. 15 – 7 p.m.), @ Louisville (Feb. 18 – 7 p.m.)
Best wins: NC State, @ Pittsburgh, Duke, Penn State
Worst losses: Loyola Chicago, South Carolina, @ Boston College
Clemson is starting to fall back to what everyone expected them to be, which is a middle-of-the-pack ACC basketball team. The Tigers fell in their lone contest of the week to UNC, and are out of first place for the first time all season. Clemson is most likely on the outside looking in the field of 68.
8) Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Last week’s ranking: 9 (+1)
Record: 17-9 (9-6)
Last week: North Carolina (W) 92-85, Georgia Tech (W) 71-70
Next week: @ #15 Miami (Feb. 18 – 2 p.m.)
Best wins: Duke, Clemson, North Carolina, @ Wisconsin
Worst losses: Loyola Marymount
Wake Forest had a shaky week, but managed to pick up two wins, which is never something to look down upon. They handled UNC with ease, but struggled to beat GT. Nonetheless, Wake went 2-0 in the week and continue to contend in the league.
9) Virginia Tech Hokies
Last week’s ranking: 8 (-1)
Record: 15-10 (5-9)
Last week: Boston College (L) 76-82, @ Notre Dame (W) 93-87
Next week: @ Georgia Tech (Feb. 15 – 7 p.m.), Pittsburgh (Feb. 18 – 5 p.m.)
Best wins: Virginia, Duke, North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Dayton, Penn State
Worst losses: Boston College (x2), @ Syracuse
Virginia Tech has wins over Duke, UNC, and Virginia, but lost twice to Boston College. College basketball is really a weird thing. The Hokies fell to the Eagles for the second time this season, this time in Blacksburg, almost ensuring VT’s absence from March Madness.
10) Syracuse Orange
Last week’s ranking: 11 (+1)
Record: 15-10 (8-6)
Last week: @ Florida State (W) 76-67
Next week: #23 NC State (Feb. 14 – 7 p.m.), Duke (Feb. 18 – 6 p.m.)
Best wins: Virginia Tech, Notre Dame (x2), Cornell
Worst losses: Colgate, Bryant, @ Virginia Tech
Syracuse won their lone game this week but that’s not what needs to be discussed. The Orange have two potential resume boosters this week and they NEED to win both to have a remote chance at postseason basketball. Syracuse is still without a win over a tournament team, so they have to win both to even be thought about by the committee.
11) Florida State Seminoles
Last week’s ranking: 10 (-1)
Record: 8-18 (6-9)
Last week: Syracuse (L) 67-76, Pittsburgh (L) 75-83
Next week: @ Clemson (Feb. 15 – 7 p.m.), Boston College (Feb. 18 – Noon)
Best wins: @ Pittsburgh, @ Notre Dame, Mercer
Worst losses: Stetson, Troy, Siena
FSU failed to win a game this week, falling to 10 games below .500. The Seminoles are a scary team, because they have the potential to beat anyone, and a loss to an 8-18 team is a resume crusher. Florida State will do plenty of season spoiling before the end of the year.
12) Boston College Eagles
Last week’s ranking: 12 (-)
Record: 12-14 (6-9)
Last week: @ Virginia Tech (W) 82-76, #23 NC State (L) 62-92
Next week: @ Pittsburgh (Feb. 14 – 9 p.m.), @ Florida State (Feb. 18 – Noon)
Best wins: Clemson, Virginia Tech (x2), Notre Dame (x2)
Worst losses: Maine, Tarleton, New Hampshire
BC took down Virginia Tech on the road, sweeping the season series against the Hokies. They then hosted NC State, losing by 30, but the sweep of the Hokies is a nice highlight for the Eagles.
13) Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Last week’s ranking: 14 (+1)
Record: 9-16 (2-13)
Last week: Notre Dame (W) 70-68, @ Wake Forest (L) 70-71
Next week: Virginia Tech (Feb. 15 – 7 p.m.), Florida Tech (Feb. 18 – 2 p.m.)
Best wins: Miami (Fla), Georgia, Notre Dame
Worst losses: @ Florida State, Notre Dame, Syracuse, @ Louisville
Notre Dame is really fighting Georgia Tech’s efforts to be the league’s worst team. Georgia Tech beat the Irish at home by two, and then narrowly fell to Wake on the road. GT hosts Virginia Tech during the week before venturing out of conference against Florida Tech on the weekend.
14) Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Last week’s ranking: 13 (-1)
Record: 10-15 (2-12)
Last week: @ Georgia Tech (L) 68-70, Virginia Tech (L) 87-93
Next week: @ Duke (Feb. 14 – 7 p.m.), @ #7 Virginia (Feb. 18 – Noon)
Best wins: Michigan State, Georgia Tech, Lipscomb
Worst losses: St. Bonaventure, Florida State (x2), Boston College (x2), @ Georgia Tech
Notre Dame is glad Louisville is taking the attention away from how bad they are. The Irish are having an atrocious season, losing to two bottom tier teams yet again. Two road tests against two good teams next week makes it seem like the Fighting Irish will fall to 10-17 next week.
15) Louisville Cardinals
Last week’s ranking: 15 (-)
Record: 3-22 (1-13)
Last week: @ Pittsburgh (L) 57-91, @ #15 Miami (L) 85-93
Next week: @ #7 Virginia (Feb. 15 – 7 p.m.), Clemson (Feb. 18 – 7 p.m.)
Best wins: Western Kentucky, Georgia Tech, Florida A&M
Worst losses: Bellarmine, Wright State, App State, Lipscomb, @ Boston College, @ Notre Dame
Louisville could not ride their winning ways from a week ago, falling to Pitt and Miami and picking up their 21st and 22nd losses of the year. Tasked with a road game against Virginia this week, Louisville will be lucky to break 50 points.