In keeping with my enjoyment of organizing things let’s take a look at how the Men’s Basketball ACC rankings are shaking out.
1. Virginia Cavaliers (8-1): No. 8 UVa’s most recent victory over the then No. 14 West Virginia Mountaineers, in particular their blowout second half, was impressive. The Cavaliers rank in the top half of the majority of team statistics in the ACC. They are second in FG%, third in FT%, fourth in assists, sixth in 3P%, and sixth in steals. Interestingly they rank near the bottom (12th) in scoring. UVa immediately faces another ranked foe when the No. 12 Villanova Wildcats come to call in Charlottesville.
2. Duke Blue Devils (8-1): There is a very strong argument for No. 7 Duke to be top team in these ACC rankings. Duke is first in scoring and blocking in the ACC, and ranks in the top half of the ACC in all other team statistics except for assists. They only have one loss, to the No. 4 Kentucky Wildcats, but UVA’s second half performance against WVU gives the Hoos the edge.
3. Miami-Florida Hurricanes (8-1): No. 15 Miami has nice back-to-back wins against No. 17 Butler and then No.16 Utah. The Hurricanes are first in FT%, first in 3P%, third in FG%, and fifth in scoring. Their only loss is a one-point defeat against the Northeastern Huskies. Without that loss the Hurricanes may very well be at the top of this list.
4. North Carolina Tar Heels (7-2): The Texas Longhorns might have earned their signature victory of the year when they defeated the then No. 3 Tar Heels. UNC was dropped to No. 11. Although they have a quality win over No. 6 Maryland their loss to Texas and an earlier loss to Northern Iowa raises some questions and drops them to fourth in the ACC Rankings.
5. Louisville Cardinals (7-1): The No. 19 Cardinals’ only loss is a four-point defeat at the hands of the top ranked Michigan State Spartans (MSU is sure having a nice year in collegiate sports). The Cards do not have a win over any particular power team, but they have dominated their foes in every victory and are tied with Duke for first in scoring within the conference.
6. Pittsburgh Panthers (8-1): Pitt is not in the top 25, but they are the ACC team with the most votes while not being ranked. The Panthers and the Cardinals are very similar teams. Pittsburgh is fourth in scoring in the ACC, and has only one loss, which also came from a top ten team – the No. 9 Purdue Boilermakers. Pitt also does not have a particularly impressive win on their record, but they too have been dominant in their eight victories. But, their loss to Purdue was a little more lopsided (59-72) than what Louisville suffered against the No. 1 Spartans.
7. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (7-2): ND has the second most votes out of the unranked ACC teams. They have two losses against Monmouth and Alabama. That being said, the losses were only by two points and one point, respectively. They do not have any standout wins, but are certainly not a team to sleep on. As of now they seem to be the best of the rest.
8. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (6-2): WF collected a solid win against then No. 13 Indiana, but they followed that win with a loss to Vanderbilt before collecting another nice victory over No. 22 UCLA. The Demon Deacons face No. 10 Xavier on December 22, and that game will do much to let us know how good Wake is.
9. Florida State Seminoles (6-2): The OT loss to a solid Iowa team is nothing to be ashamed of, and losing to a decent Hofstra team is also not embarrassing. The Seminoles do not have a standout victory, but FSU could easily climb these rankings as the season progresses.
10. Syracuse Orange (7-3): The Orange round out the remainder of the unranked ACC teams receiving votes. They have two impressive wins against No. 24 Texas A&M and No. 25 Connecticut, but they have also collected losses against Wisconsin, Georgetown, and Saint John’s. Additionally, those three losses have all occurred in the last four games. Syracuse seems to have hit a stumbling block.
11. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-2): The Yellow Jackets are another ACC middle of the pack team that could easily find themselves higher up later in the season. Their one-point loss to East Tennessee State is what has dropped them down to the bottom half of the ACC rankings. Their only other loss was against No. 12 NOVA.
12. North Carolina State Wolfpack (6-3): The Wolfpack had a nice win against then No. 22 LSU, but the Tigers are currently 4-4 and are probably not as good as initially perceived. NCSU has an embarrassing loss against William and Mary to start the season, and rank in the bottom third of the ACC for scoring, FG%, and dead last for 3P%.
13. Virginia Tech Hokies (7-3): The Hokies season opening loss to Alabama State was certainly not what they wanted to start the year with, but they have recovered nicely. Their only other two losses are against the 8-1 Northwestern Wildcats, in OT, and the undefeated No. 4 Iowa State Cyclones. VT is fourth in rebounds, but rank in the bottom half of the ACC for all other team statistics. It certainly seems that Coach Buzz has the Hokies playing better, and transfer Zach LeDay has been doing solid work. The hard part of the season is coming up, and it will be interesting to see how the Hokies stack up against the rest of the ACC when conference play kicks off.
14. Clemson Tigers (6-3): Clemson has no notable victories and ranks 14th in scoring. The reality is that 14 teams in the ACC have winning records and three losses or less. The middle of the pack is extremely muddy and will become more clear once conference play starts.
15. Boston College Eagles (4-6): They were just able to end a five game skid with a blowout victory against Maine, but they are the only team in the ACC that does not have a winning record.