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ACC Hoops weekly roundup

Recapping the ACC so far this season

NCAA Basketball: ACC Operation Basketball Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Going to start something new for BTP where we look at each ACC team on a weekly basis to recap the week that was in hoops. If you’re like me, you’re just now getting into college basketball now that football is in the throws of bowl season, so what better time to look at where each team is? Let’s get started!

Virginia (9-0), ranked #5

The Cavaliers are the only team in the ACC that are still undefeated, and that’s not all that surprising. They’ve had some tests early on, particularly against Wisconsin (we’ll get to them later), Maryland and VCU, but they all weathered those tests as Virginia usually does under Tony Bennett. Also unsurprising is the fact that UVA is holding opponents to just barely above 50 points per game, which is gross. Playing Virginia is like being strangled by an anaconda - a very slow, painful death. It’s very likely UVA will still be undefeated when they open ACC play against Florida State.

Next three games:

  • 12/19 - At South Carolina
  • 12/22 - William & Mary
  • 12/31 - Marshall

Duke (10-1), ranked #2

The best way I can describe watching Duke so far this year is they are a freight train coming to wreck everybody. I honestly cannot remember a Duke team that was this young that was this talented right out of the gate. Between Zion Williamson and RJ Barrett, it’s hard to even fathom how teams come up with a scheme to defend that, though Gonzaga showed it can be done. I am super curious to see how this Duke team handles ACC play. Duke also shares a common opponent with NC State in Auburn, so of course I’m ready to make all sorts of transitive property observations based on the results of that game happening tonight.

Next three games:

  • 12/20 - Texas Tech
  • 1/5 - Clemson
  • 1/8 - At Wake Forest

Florida State (9-1), ranked #11

Leonard Hamilton’s team is a 6 point loss to Villanova from an undefeated start, and this feels like one of the better teams to come out of Tallahassee during this era. When was the last time FSU was ranked this high? We’ll really get a good sense of just how good this team is when they open ACC play against UVA in January. It does feel weird to look at FSU’s roster and not see at least three seven footers, but there’s still plenty of size on this team, a staple of Hamilton’s tenure.

Next three games:

  • 12/19 - North Florida
  • 12/22 - Saint Louis University
  • 1/1 - Winthrop

NC State (9-1), not ranked

That Wisconsin loss is going to stick with me for a while because it’s just so damn annoying. Flopping is no way to go through life, Badgers. Just ask Penny Hardaway how he feels about it. But one thing that has really impressed me in year two under Keatts is how this team hasn’t dwelled on that loss one bit. In fact, they’ve used it to really improve themselves, particularly in how the Pack put away both Vanderbilt and Penn State. State’s schedule has been super weak, so it’s all the more important for State to try and grab a win over a top ten Auburn team. That’d be a major feather in the NCAA tournament resume.

Next three games:

  • 12/19 - Auburn
  • 12/22 - South Carolina Upstate
  • 12/28 - Loyola MD

Virginia Tech (9-1), ranked 13

So remember I mentioned that I would bring up the transitive property? NC State beat Penn State, and Penn State beat Virginia Tech. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions. Anyways, the Hokies have started strong yet again under Buzz Williams, and have done all of it without Chris Clarke, who was suspended indefinitely before the season started. I still haven’t seen any official reason for what happened there, so it’s pretty impressive that Buzz has this team playing so well without him. Clarke was an important part of their team last season.

  • Next three games:
  • 12/19 - NC A&T
  • 12/28 - Maryland Eastern Shore
  • 1/1 - Notre Dame

Boston College (8-2), not ranked

Ky Bowman is still in Chestnut Hill, and he’s still one of the better guards in the conference. But come on, how on earth do you lose to IUPUI (I always pronounced this ooooh EEEEE pooo EEEEE) at home?? That’s a pretty inexcusable loss. Losing to Providence in a shootout is one thing. But IUPUI? Good grief.

Next three games:

  • 12/22 - At Depaul
  • 12/31 - Hartford
  • 1/5 - At Virginia Tech

UNC (8-2), ranked 9

This team is a bit of an enigma. They’re still a really talented team, but I’m having a tough time figuring them out. Are they the team that got demolished by Michigan, or are they the team that throttled Gonzaga? Perhaps we’ll get some clarity soon, as Carolina plays Kentucky very soon.

Next three games:

  • 12/22 - Kentucky
  • 12/29 - Davidson
  • 1/2 - Harvard

Louisville (8-3), not ranked

In his first season at Louisville, Chris Mack has already brought home a pretty awesome win against Michigan State. I have not had a chance to watch the Cardinals yet this year, but it seems like they’re making great progress already to get out from under the shadow of Pitino’s mess already.

Next three games:

  • 12/21 - Robert Morris
  • 12/29 - Kentucky
  • 1/6 - Miami

Pittsburgh (8-3), not ranked

Quick question - does anybody know how many wins Pitt had all of last season? That’s right - they only had eight wins total! Safe to say that Jeff Capel has made a significant difference already, eh? They nearly beat Iowa on the road, too. I have a feeling these guys are going to be a tough out in conference play.

Next three games:

  • 12/20 - New Orleans
  • 12/29 - Colgate
  • 1/5 - UNC

Clemson (8-3), not ranked

Truth be told I haven’t had a chance to watch much of Clemson this year, other than they nearly lost to Radford a few weeks ago. That would’ve been a brutal loss. Moving on, they have a pretty difficult opening to conference play coming up, opening up with at Duke, at Syracuse and then UVA in the first three games. That’s going to be tough for the Tigers to come out of that at anything better than 1-2 at best.

Next three games:

  • 12/22 - at South Carolina
  • 12/30 - Lipscomb
  • 1/5 - at Duke

Notre Dame (8-3), not ranked

So speaking of Radford, Notre Dame did lose to them! Also, Rex Pflueger tore his ACL, so he’s out for the rest of the season. I haven’t quite been able to figure the Irish out yet either, but I don’t quite think this will be one of the better teams that Mike Brey has led during his time in South Bend. We should learn more about the Irish at the start of conference play, as they have a moderately favorable opening slate of conference games.

Next three games:

  • 12/20 - Jacksonville
  • 12/29 - Coppin State
  • 1/1 - at Virginia Tech

Wake Forest (6-3), not ranked

Yeesh. Danny Manning’s squad has been not great, Bob! They lost at home to Houston Baptist, who’s currently 3-6. That same Houston Baptist squad had 96 points scored on them by Wisconsin, who probably won’t score that many points ever again in a game. Wake nearly lost at home to Davidson, and also lost to Richmond on the road. This team is just bad. I’ll be shocked if Manning lasts much longer in Winston.

Next three games:

  • 12/22 - at Tennessee
  • 12/29 - Gardner Webb
  • 1/2 - Cornell

Syracuse (7-4), not ranked

What in the world has happened to the Orange? They’ve now lost two in a row, including a loss to Old Dominion. With four losses already, it’s going to be difficult to find any sort of signature resume building wins for this team unless they can turn things around in conference play. That seems unlikely given how things have started, though.

Next three games:

  • 12/22 - Arkansas State
  • 12/29 - Saint Bonaventure
  • 1/5 - at Notre Dame

Georgia Tech (5-4), not ranked

Oh...oh no. A loss to Gardner Webb at home by ten points? My goodness. This team stinks. Let’s move on.

Next three games:

  • 12/19 - at Arkansas
  • 12/22 - Georgia
  • 12/28 - Kennesaw State

Miami (5-4), not ranked

Miami has lost four in a row and those losses include losses to Yale, Penn and Rutgers. What the hell, Canes? What’s going on down there? Granted, three of those losses were by a combined nine points, but still...what the hell?

Next there games:

  • 12/19 - Houston Baptist
  • 12/22 - FAU
  • 12/29 - Campbell