ACC Weekly Digest (Nov 29-Dec 5)
The Week in Review
Feast Week is always an interesting week in the college basketball world. It was no different in the ACC. We learned a little bit about each team this week, but here were some big items I observed:
Duke is…uhhh…VERY good and is in a very…uhhh…not so good conference.
A few teams failed their first real tests of the season
Virginia Tech lost to both Memphis and Xavier in their first real tests of the season.
Wake Forest survived Oregon State but struggled against LSU in their first real tests of the season…although I’m not sure I’d consider bottom tier of the PAC-12 Oregon State a real test (checks Wake Forest’s schedule to this point). Okay, guess it was a test.
Most other teams who participated in some sort of tournament this week were very inconsistent.
Who Had the Best Win Last Week?
This one is obvious - Duke beat #1 Gonzaga in a heckuva game in Las Vegas. There’s no doubt the Blue Devils are the absolute hands down favorite to win the ACC…and likely a Final Four pick.
Who Had the Worst Loss Last Week?
I’m going with Vanderbilt over Pitt. And yes, I promise not to pick Pitt every week. This was a chance for Pitt to get a win against another lower-tier Power-6 opponent…and it was on their home floor. But the Panthers responded with a beatdown from Vanderbilt. I know Pitt has had worse losses, but this one stands out to me a lot.
I would have said Dayton beating Miami was the worst loss for the ACC this week, but Dayton went ahead and knocked off Kansas the next day.
One could even argue for Virginia Tech losing to Xavier, who had 4 of their top 7 out for various reasons. The Hokies had a few chances for a big win in Brooklyn, but return back to Blacksburg winless.
Who Had the Biggest Comeback Last Week?
Georgia Tech was down to Georgia Southern by 14 at one point, but managed to come back and squeak out a 61-59 victory to remain state champs of Georgia. I’d love to see a GT-Georgia State matchup though.
Who Blew the Biggest Lead Last Week?
Notre Dame had a 14 point lead against Texas A&M and former ACC coach Buzz Williams before losing 73-67 to the Aggies.
Who Were the Biggest KenPom Movers This Week?
Louisville (+13) - The Cardinals got two top-50 wins (Miss State and Maryland) this week.
UVA (+13) - The Cavaliers beat Providence and Georgia this week…as well as Lehigh.
NC State (+10) - Not sure how the Wolfpack moved up so much after only beating Louisiana Tech…but hey, sometimes not losing is the best way to move up.
Pittsburgh (-30) - I mean, Pitt just keeps losing to bad teams. They are on the verge of leaving the Top 200.
Miami (-12) - Losing to Dayton and then dropping a 30+ point loss to Alabama can’t ever help your rankings.
Syracuse (-11) - The Orange went 1-2 in Atlantis…and their defense has been ABYSMAL. Not good for the rankings.
KenPom Rankings (as of 6:12pm on Sunday)
Here are the national rankings to start the week based on KenPom rankings.
The first number listed is the national rank.
The second number listed is the change from last week. If a team moves UP the rankings, they get a plus.
Duke (6) (+4)
Virginia Tech (27) (-3)
Florida State (29) (-2)
Louisville (39) (+13)
Notre Dame (40) (-4)
Clemson (45) (+3)
UVA (47) (+13)
UNC (49) (+6)
NC State (59) (+10)
Syracuse (61) (-11)
Georgia Tech (67) (-9)
Wake Forest (92) (+6)
Miami (96) (-12)
Boston College (134) (-3)
Pittsburgh (199) (-30)
This Week’s 5 Most Interesting Games
This is a really fun ACC week because we are a.) beginning the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, b.) starting ACC conference play, c.) getting to witness how some teams respond to big wins AND big losses without much time to rest or reflect.
(6) Duke at (24) Ohio State - No, it’s not Purdue like we all wished it was, but the Blue Devils travel for a true road game at Ohio State after a HUGE regular season win over Gonzaga. How do the Blue Devils respond? How do they handle the pressure of success?
(49) UNC vs. (8) Michigan - I love everything about this game. EVERYTHING. Juwan Howard against Carolina…after the Fab 5 dropped a Final 4 game to the Heels. UNC’s offense at home. Michigan’s struggles but a chance to get on track. This game just oozes with fun.
(45) Clemson at (96) Miami - These are two ACC teams beginning conference play in a game that potentially has more impact down the road than most may think. Miami found themselves (kind of) last week and the Tigers are SO CLOSE to being really good.
(27) Virginia Tech at (46) Maryland - Let’s be honest. Maryland should be in the ACC. This game is just fun geographically and since Maryland used to be in the league. Plus, it’s a Top-50 game and chance for Virginia Tech to get a meaningful game.
(29) Florida State at (2) Purdue - Okay, so Florida State is another one of those teams that could potentially get into the NCAA Tournament this year (that number seems to continually dwindle every week). They probably won’t win this game at Purdue, but I really want to see who FSU is. This is a great measuring stick game.
(61) Syracuse vs. (31) Indiana
(92) Wake Forest vs. (41) Northwestern
(47) Virginia vs. (20) Iowa
(39) Louisville at (59) N.C. State
(49) North Carolina at (67) Georgia Tech
This Week’s Master Schedule
**Rankings based on Sunday evening KenPom rankings**
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 29
(47) UVA vs. (20) Iowa - 7pm - ESPN2 - ACC/Big Ten Challenge
(134) Boston College vs. (194) South Florida - 7pm - ACCN
(40) Notre Dame at (23) Illinois - 9pm - ESPN2 - ACC/Big Ten Challenge
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 30
(61) Syracuse vs. (31) Indiana - 7pm - ESPN2 - ACC/Big Ten Challenge
(199) Pittsburgh vs. (100) Minnesota - 7pm - ESPNU - ACC/Big Ten Challenge
(29) Florida State at (2) Purdue - 7:30pm - ESPN - ACC/Big Ten Challenge
(92) Wake Forest vs. (41) Northwestern - 9pm - ESPNU - ACC/Big Ten Challenge
(45) Clemson at (94) Rutgers - 9pm - ESPN2 - ACC/Big Ten Challenge
(6) Duke at (24) Ohio State - 9:30pm - ESPN - ACC/Big Ten Challenge
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 1
(39) Louisville at (26) Michigan State - 7:15pm - TV? - ACC/Big Ten Challenge
(59) NC State vs. (103) Nebraska - 7:15pm - ESPNU - ACC/Big Ten Challenge
(27) Virginia Tech at (46) Maryland - 7:15pm - TV? - ACC/Big Ten Challenge
(96) Miami at (75) Penn State - 9:15pm - ESPNU - ACC/Big Ten Challenge
(49) UNC vs. (8) Michigan - 9:15pm - ESPN - ACC/Big Ten Challenge
(67) Georgia Tech vs. (32) Wisconsin - 9:15pm - ESPN2 - ACC/Big Ten Challenge
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 3
**ACC CONFERENCE GAMES TIP OFF!**
(40) Notre Dame at (134) Boston College - 6pm - ACCN
(199) Pittsburgh at (47) UVA - 8pm - ACCN
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 4
(45) Clemson at (96) Miami - 12pm - ACCN
(39) Louisville at (59) NC State - 2pm - ESPN2
(92) Wake Forest at (27) Virginia Tech - 2pm - ACCN
(61) Syracuse at (29) Florida State - 4pm - ACCN
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 5
(49) UNC at (67) Georgia Tech - 3pm - ESPN2
Random (and perhaps meaningless) KenPom Stats
Top 3 and Bottom 3 Offenses (national rank in parentheses)
Wake Forest (98)
Boston College (149)
Top 3 and Bottom 3 Defenses
Top 3 and Bottom 3 Tempos
Wake Forest (57)
Boston College (333)
Virginia Tech (334)
Top 50 Matchups Around the Country This Week
(47) UVA vs. (20) Iowa
(40) Notre Dame at (23) Illinois
(6) Duke at (24) Ohio State
(29) Florida State at (2) Purdue
(10) Florida at (44) Oklahoma
(49) UNC vs. (8) Michigan
(27) Virginia Tech at (46) Maryland
(39) Louisville at (26) Michigan State
(20) Iowa at (2) Purdue
(22) Alabama vs. (1) Gonzaga
(43) San Diego State at (8) Michigan
(36) Xavier at (38) Oklahoma State
(41) Northwestern at (46) Maryland
**Last update was 11/26**
In the latest Bracketology, the ACC has a lowly 4 teams slated to make the Big Dance, with UVA and Louisville knocking on the door.
Duke - 1 seed vs. Norfolk State/Texas Southern winner
Florida State - 6 seed vs. Loyola Chicago (wow…what a matchup that would be)
Virginia Tech - 8 seed vs. Colorado State
UNC - 9 seed vs. Texas Tech
FIRST FOUR OUT = UVA, Louisville
KenPom Top 8 and Bottom 8 Power-6 Rankings
TOP 8 POWER-6 (overall ranking in parentheses)
BOTTOM 8 POWER-6(lowest ranked team listed 1st)
Boston College (134)
Oregon State (115)
KenPom Top 8 and Bottom 8 NON-Power-6 Rankings
TOP 8 NON-POWER 6
Loyola Chicago (30)
St. Bonaventure (34)
San Francisco (35)
Saint Mary’s (37)
Mississippi Valley State (358)
Arkansas Pine Bluff (357)
Chicago State (356)
Incarnate Word (355)
Delaware State (353)
Bethune Cookman (352)
Maryland Eastern Shore (351)