Kyshawn George, Nijel Pack, Miami Hurricanes, ACC basketball

Sam Bass gives his ACC basketball power rankings heading into week 2 of the 2023 season.

 

Matchup of the week: Duke vs. Michigan State

Sneaky good matchup of the week: Miami vs. Georgia

All games listed are EST.

1) Miami Hurricanes

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Record: 2-0

Last week: W vs. NJIT (101-60), W vs. UCF (88-72)

Next week: vs. FIU (Nov. 13 – 7 p.m.), vs. Georgia (Nov. 17 – 3:30 p.m.)

Quality wins: UCF

Bad losses: N/A

Miami won two home games handily this week, giving them the narrow edge over Duke this week. Not much else to report, as the Hurricanes handled business as they should this week. Next week is another buy game against Florida International, followed by an interesting tilt in the Bahamas against Georgia.

2) Duke Blue Devils

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Record: 1-1

Last week: W vs. Dartmouth (92-54), L vs. #12 Arizona (78-73)

Next week: vs. Michigan State (Nov. 14 – 7 p.m.), vs. Bucknell (Nov. 17 – 6 p.m.)

Quality wins: N/A

Bad losses: N/A

After beating up on Dartmouth, Duke played host to Arizona, where a familiar face in Caleb Love came to Durham and beat the Blue Devils. Although Arizona looks like a top team nationally early on, any home loss hurts, especially one so early in the year. Duke can make up for that loss and then some, though, as they square off with Michigan State in Chicago on Tuesday. A win will catapult the Blue Devils right back into the best in the nation discussion.

3) North Carolina Tar Heels

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Record: 2-0

Last week: W vs. Radford (86-70), W vs. Lehigh (90-68)

Next week: vs. UC Riverside (Nov. 17 – 8 p.m.)

Quality wins: N/A

Bad losses: N/A

UNC started their season off very slowly against Redford but pulled away for a comfortable win in their season opener. They then trounced Lehigh to start their 2023-24 campaign undefeated. This next week should be easy, as well, and the post-Caleb Love era should have the Tar Heels at a swift 3-0 start.

4) Virginia Cavaliers

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Record: 2-0

Last week: W vs. Tarleton State (80-50), W vs. Florida (73-70)

Next week: vs. NC A&T (Nov. 14 – 7 p.m.), vs. Texas Southern (Nov. 16 – 7 p.m.)

Quality wins: Florida

Bad Losses: N/A

The new-look Virginia Cavaliers handled Tarleton State easily, then went toe-to-toe with Florida, escaping narrowly. Virginia has played small to start the year, relying on the outside shot to really spark their offense. The trade-off is rebounding, as UVA was getting dominated on the glass by Florida. Free throw shooting woes are also something to keep an eye out for with this squad.

5) Clemson Tigers

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Record: 3-0

Last week: W vs. Winthrop (78-56), W vs. UAB (77-76), W vs. Davidson (68-65)

Next week: Boise State (Nov. 19 – 1 p.m.)

Quality wins: Davidson, UAB 

Bad losses: N/A

Clemson sits alone at the top of the ACC standings after winning three games to start their season. Two narrow wins in Asheville capped the Tigers’ week, beating UAB and Davidson by one possession each. PJ Hall has been electric thus far, averaging just over 21 points per game, including a 27 point outpour against UAB.

6) North Carolina State Wolfpack

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Record: 2-0

Last week: W vs. The Citadel (72-59), W vs. Abilene Christian (84-64)

Next week: Charleston Southern (Nov. 17 – 7 p.m.)

Quality wins: N/A

Bad losses: N/A

NC State got off to a solid start in their 2023-24 campaign, winning two buy games, both by double-digits. DJ Burns was solid in the paint, and Jayden Taylor was electric in the win over ACU, getting to the line nine times in his 22 point showing. The junior has also started his season shooting 5-of-7 from beyond the arc.

7) Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Record: 1-1

Last week: W vs. Elon (101-78), L vs. Georgia (80-77)

Next week: vs. Utah (Nov. 16 – 9 p.m.)

Quality wins: N/A

Bad losses: N/A

Unfortunately for Wake, they were one of five ACC basketball teams to lose in the opening week of this season. The Demon Deacons narrowly fell to Georgia in Athens, which, in the long run, is not a terrible game to lose. There are bright spots, though. Cameron Hildreth scored 33 points for Wake in their win over Elon.

8) Florida State Seminoles

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Record: 1-0

Last week: W vs. Kennesaw State (94-67)

Next week: vs. Central Michigan (Nov. 13 – 7 p.m.), at Florida (Nov. 17 – 7 p.m.)

Quality wins: N/A

Bad losses: N/A

A nice easy week for FSU to start, winning handily at home. Darin Green Jr. paced the Seminoles with 18 points in the win, and Cam’ron Fletcher scored 13 in just 15 minutes off the bench. The Notes look ahead to this week, where they face a tricky in-state foe with a chance at a signature road win.

9) Virginia Tech Hokies

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Record: 1-1

Last week: W vs. Coppin State (100-55), L vs. South Carolina (79-77)

Next week: vs. Campbell (Nov. 15 – 6 p.m.), vs. Wofford (Nov. 19 – 5 p.m.)

Quality wins: N/A

Bad losses: N/A

Virginia Tech could not escape South Carolina in Charlotte, losing on a last-second shot to put them in the loss column. Nonetheless, VT handled Coppin State, and Sean Pedulla has looked excellent thus far. A home tilt against Wofford could give the Hokies problems, but they also could be in store for a nice win.

10) Syracuse Orange

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Record: 2-0

Last week: W vs. New Hampshire (83-72), W vs. Canisius (89-77)

Next week: vs. Colgate (Nov. 14 – 7 p.m.)

Quality wins: N/A

Bad losses: N/A

Judah Mintz looks like an early contender for ACC Player of the Year. The sophomore, who many expected to be in the NBA at this point, is averaging 23 points per game in the early going, getting to the rim at will. He has also attempted 20 free throws so far this season. He will be a problem all year for any Syracuse opponent.

11) Pittsburgh Panthers

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Record: 2-0

Last week: W vs. NC A&T (100-52), W vs. Binghamton (89-60)

Next week: vs. FGCU (Nov. 13 – 7 p.m.), vs. Jacksonville (Nov. 17 – 7 p.m.)

Quality wins: N/A

Bad losses: N/A

Pitt wiped their two opponents last week, and Jeff Capel and co could turn a lot of heads again this year. Freshman Carlton Carrington scored 18 in both wins, and Blake Hinson notched a nice 26 points in the win over Binghamton.

12) Boston College Eagles

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Record: 2-0

Last week: W vs. Fairfield (89-70), W vs. The Citadel (75-71)

Next week: vs. Richmond (Nov. 15 – 7 p.m.), vs. Harvard (Nov. 18 – 5 p.m.)

Quality wins: N/A

Bad losses: N/A

Earl Grant returned to The Citadel and pulled out a narrow win. BC is 2-0, which is a great start regardless of opponents. The Eagles play host to Richmond to start their week, which could come into play as a quality out of conference win, if they pull it out.

13) Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Record: 2-0

Last week: W vs. Georgia Southern (84-62), W vs. Howard (88-85)

Next week: vs. UMass Lowell (Nov. 14 – 7:30 p.m.)

Quality wins: N/A

Bad losses: N/A

GT handled GA Southern easily and then fought to the brink with Howard, but wound up with two wins. A home loss to Howard would have been a sour start to the season, but the win keeps the Yellow Jackets’ spirits high heading into week two.

14) Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Record: 1-1

Last week: W vs. Niagara (70-63), L vs. West Carolina (71-61)

Next week: vs. Auburn (Nov. 16 – 9 p.m.)

Quality wins: N/A

Bad losses: West Carolina

Good news, Notre Dame. You do not look like the worst team in the ACC. Bad news, you lost a buy game by 10. The Mike Brey era is over in South Bend, but the losing continues. Auburn will be another tricky game, and it is likely the Fighting Irish will start the year 1-2.

15) Louisville Cardinals

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Record: 1-1

Last week: W vs. UMBC (94-93), L vs. Chattanooga (71-81)

Next week: vs. Coppin State (Nov. 15 – 7 p.m.), vs. Texas (Nov. 19 – 3:30 p.m.)

Quality wins: N/A

Bad losses: Chattanooga

After escaping UMBC, Louisville did what only Louisville can do: lose the next buy game by 10. The Cardinals just simply are not back to where they need to be yet, and that is ok. However, it looks like it will be another long season in Louisville for Cardinals fans.

By Samuel Bass

Writing sports, college basketball, ACC hoops

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