Judah Mintz, Syracuse Orange, ACC basketball

Sam Bass gives his ACC basketball power rankings heading into week 3 of the 2023 season.


Matchup of the week: Syracuse vs. Tennessee

Sneaky good matchup of the week: Virginia vs. Wisconsin

All games listed are EST.

1) Miami Hurricanes

Last week’s ranking: 1

Record: 5-0

Last week: W vs. FIU (86-80), W vs. Georgia (79-68), W vs. Kansas State (91-83)

Next week: No games

Quality wins: Kansas State, UCF, Georgia

Bad losses: N/A

Miami won the Bahamas Championship after beating FIU earlier in the week. The Hurricanes have had a smooth start to the season, easily looking like a top-15 team in the country thus far. After a week off, the Canes return to the court against Kentucky in Lexington, Miami’s first true test of the year.

2) Duke Blue Devils

Last week’s ranking: 2

Record: 3-1

Last week: W vs. #18 Michigan State (74-65), W vs. Bucknell (90-60)

Next week: vs. La Salle (Nov. 21 – 7 p.m.), vs. So. Indiana (Nov. 24 – 6 p.m.)

Quality wins: Michigan State

Bad losses: N/A

Duke bounced back in a big way, trouncing Tom Izzo and Michigan State and then throttling Bucknell to complete an undefeated week. The Blue Devils torched the Spartans at the line in the game, picking up a very quality win that should hold a lot of weight for the entire season. Unfortunately for Duke, they will stay at the two slot of these power rankings unless Miami slips up because Miami is that good. But Duke is on pace for a good year if they continue to have weeks like this one.

3) North Carolina Tar Heels

Last week’s ranking: 3

Record: 3-0

Last week: W vs. UC Riverside (77-52)

Next week: vs. Northern Iowa (Nov. 22 – Noon), Battle 4 Atlantic (Nov. 23-24)

Quality wins: N/A

Bad losses: N/A

What stood out the most was how electric UNC looked on both sides of the ball against UC Riverside. Armando Bacot and RJ Davis will be great all year, but guys like Seth Trimble are starting to step up and give the Tar Heels another dimension. UNC should remain at the top of the league this season.

4) Virginia Cavaliers

Last week’s ranking: 4

Record: 4-0

Last week: W vs. NC A&T (80-51), W vs. Texas Southern (62-33)

Next week: vs. Wisconsin (Nov. 20 – 6 p.m.), vs. West Virginia OR SMU (Nov. 22)

Quality wins: Florida

Bad Losses: N/A

Virginia’s offense has been the story for the early season, but the defense showed out against Texas Southern. The Cavaliers have had four different top scorers in four wins, which shows how widespread the talent is. Ryan Dunn is becoming more comfortable on offense, and Reece Beekman has been excellent. Isaac McKneely missed the Texas Southern game with an injury, and Virginia hopes he can be healthy when they play Wisconsin.

5) Clemson Tigers

Last week’s ranking: 5

Record: 4-0

Last week: W vs. Boise State (85-68)

Next week: Alcorn State (Nov. 24 – 8 p.m.)

Quality wins: Davidson, UAB 

Bad losses: N/A

Clemson is a sneaky pick in the ACC this year. The Tigers won their only game this week, and they look very legit. No real tests lie ahead for Clemson this week, but an easy win against Alcorn State will have them 4-0 heading into the ACC-SEC challenge.

6) North Carolina State Wolfpack

Last week’s ranking: 6

Record: 3-0

Last week: W vs. Charleston Southern (87-53)

Next week: Vanderbilt (Nov. 23 – 10 p.m.)

Quality wins: N/A

Bad losses: N/A

It has been an easy two weeks for NC State, going 3-0 in three buy games. It is still hard to see how the Wolfpack will be without Terquavion Smith, but handling business as it should be is a good sign. NC State faces a power five opponent this week, but they should handle Vanderbilt with ease.

7) Virginia Tech Hokies

Last week’s ranking: 9

Record: 3-1

Last week: W vs. Campbell (60-44), W vs. Wofford (98-76)

Next week: vs. Boise State (Nov. 23 – 8 p.m.)

Quality wins: N/A

Bad losses: N/A

Mike Young hosted his old school and handled business with ease. After falling to South Carolina by 2 last week, the Hokies bounced back with two solid and decisive wins over mid-major opponents. Sean Pedulla looks like an early All-ACC pick.

8) Syracuse Orange

Last week’s ranking: 10

Record: 3-0

Last week: W vs. Colgate (79-75)

Next week: vs. #7 Tennessee (Nov. 20 – 2:30 p.m.), Maui Invitational (Nov. 21-22)

Quality wins: N/A

Bad losses: N/A

Syracuse avenged the last two years against Colgate with a very hard-fought four-point win. The Orange now reaches a point in the season where they can make a serious statement. If they beat Tennessee, they will really stir the pot and move up in these rankings.

9) Pittsburgh Panthers

Last week’s ranking: 11

Record: 4-0

Last week: W vs. FGCU (86-74), W vs. Jacksonville (107-56)

Next week: vs. Florida (Nov. 22 – 9:30 p.m.)

Quality wins: N/A

Bad losses: N/A

Pitt may shock a lot of people again this year. Although they have not picked up any quality wins, the Panthers have beaten the teams they scheduled as they should. The Diaz-Graham twins are playing very solid basketball in the early go of the season.

10) Florida State Seminoles

Last week’s ranking: 8

Record: 2-1

Last week: W vs. Central Michigan (94-67), L vs. Florida (89-68)

Next week: vs. UNLV (Nov. 20 – 5:30 p.m.), vs. Colorado OR Richmond (Nov. 21)

Quality wins: N/A

Bad losses: N/A

It would have been nice for FSU to go to Gainesville and beat their in-state rival, but the Gators trounced them. Although the Noles made jumps from last year, they still are not in the “top of the league” conversation. UNLV should pose a good game for Florida State this week.

11) Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Last week’s ranking: 7

Record: 2-3

Last week: L vs. Utah (77-70), W vs. Towson (71-61), W vs. LSU (86-80)

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

Quality wins: N/A

Bad losses: N/A

Wake struggled in the Charleston Classic, going 1-2, including an OT loss to LSU. Wake really had a chance to climb the ranks, but it seems like another year in the middle of the pack for the Demon Deacs.

12) Boston College Eagles

Last week’s ranking: 12

Record: 4-0

Last week: W vs. Richmond (73-64), W vs. Harvard (73-64)

Next week: vs. Colorado State (Nov. 22 – 1:30 p.m.), vs. #8 Creighton OR Loyola Chicago (Nov. 23)

Quality wins: Richmond

Bad losses: N/A

In a week where the Ivy League seemed unstoppable, BC put a dent in it by defeating Harvard. More importantly, the Eagles got a nice win over Richmond that could come into play if they continue to string wins together. Colorado State is another test for Boston College, and that game should be a fun one to watch. Who needs NFL Sunday?

13) Louisville Cardinals

Last week’s ranking: 15

Record: 2-2

Last week: W vs. Coppin State (61-41), L vs. #19 Texas (81-80)

Next week: vs. New Mexico State (Nov. 26 – 1 p.m.)

Quality wins: N/A

Bad losses: Chattanooga

Louisville was a Max Abmas jumper away from picking up a great win over Texas Sunday night. Nonetheless, the Cardinals look to be much better than the disaster from a season ago. Louisville beat up on Coppin State and held their own with Texas, neither of which would have happened last season. Fans in Louisville better hope the loss to Chattanooga was a fluke, and that their team will actually be competitive this season.

14) Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Last week’s ranking: 14

Record: 2-2

Last week: L vs. Auburn (83-59), W vs. Oklahoma State (66-64)

Next week: vs. Maryland-Eastern Shore (Nov. 22 – 7 p.m.)

Quality wins: Oklahoma State

Bad losses: Western Carolina

Notre Dame lost big to Auburn but picked up a nice win the next game against a fellow Power Five foe. The Fighting Irish are still in a bad spot, but it could be much worse. ND remains outside of the bottom spot for another week, and as long as they hold off MD Eastern Shore, they should have another week clear of that slot.

15) Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Last week’s ranking: 13

Record: 2-1

Last week: L vs. UMass Lowell (74-71)

Next week: at Cincinnati (Nov. 22 – 7 p.m.)

Quality wins: N/A

Bad losses: UMass Lowell

Georgia Tech had a rough loss at home in their lone game this week for their first loss of the year. They travel to Cincy for their first road tilt of the year last week. GT has very little defensive presence and struggles to score in big situations. Barring the unexpected, the Yellow Jackets will fall to .500 this week and take the cake for the worst team in the conference this week.

By Samuel Bass

Writing sports, college basketball, ACC hoops

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