Irish Stew: ACC men's basketball power rankings (Jan. 23)

Tom Noie
South Bend Tribune

Each Monday with conference play in full swing, NDI Notre Dame men’s basketball insider Tom Noie offers his power rankings of the Atlantic Coast Conference’s 15 teams.

The rankings are based on the weeks each team experienced. Here are NDI’s ACC rankings for the week of Jan. 16-22. Teams are listed from strongest to weakest with overall and conference records as of Monday in parenthesis.

Coaches' quotes come from the Jan. 23 teleconference. Jeff Capel and Mark Gottfried did not participate in the call because it was a game day for their teams.

1. Florida State (18-2; 6-1 ACC)

Last week: 3

Noting: The sixth-ranked Seminoles finished an ACC stretch Saturday of six-straight games against ranked teams. They went 5-1. The only loss was at No. 9 North Carolina.

Quoting: “We don’t have the luxury of getting a big head or looking ahead. We have not accomplished anything so early in the season.”

• Seminoles coach Leonard Hamilton

2. North Carolina (18-3; 6-1)

Last week: 2

Noting: The Tar Heels have quietly won six in a row since dropping their league opener at Georgia Tech.

Quoting: “It’s a weird, weird schedule, but that’s a story for another day. We have to get better.”

• Tar Heels coach Roy Williams.

3. Notre Dame (17-3; 6-1)

Last week: 1

Noting: A win over No. 12 Virginia would push No. 14 Notre Dame to the second spot. The Irish are 1-3 against ranked teams with the lone win at home over Louisville.

Quoting: “We know we have our hands full against a great program in Virginia. We’ve not had any answers for Virginia’s program. They’re really, really good. A great challenge for us.”

• Irish coach Mike Brey

4. Virginia (15-3; 5-2)

Last week: 4

Noting: A stretch of three of four and four of six on the road starts Tuesday against Notre Dame.

Quoting: "Certainly we know what we're going into, the quality of play of Notre Dame and how they're playing. We've played real well against them, but you have to play well against them."

• Cavaliers coach Tony Bennett

5. Louisville (16-4; 4-3)

Last week: 5

Noting: The No. 13 Cardinals lost Saturday at Florida State, which started a stretch of four of five league games on the road. Louisville is without point guard Quentin Snyder, out with a hip flexor injury.

Quoting: “We’re battling and playing as hard as we possibly can play. That makes me real proud of our guys.”

• Cardinals coach Rick Pitino

6. Duke (15-4; 3-3)

Last week: 8

Noting: Grayson Allen and Luke Kennard started the second half of Saturday’s comeback victory over Miami (Fla.) on the bench. The No. 17 Blue Devils wiped out a 12-point halftime deficit and won by 12.

Quoting: “In the flow of the game, I go with my gut feel. That’s one of the things that Coach (Mike Krzyzewski) has told me repeatedly. Last year when we played Georgia Tech in the situation where he couldn’t be there and then this year is to trust my instincts. That’s something I don’t really have a problem doing.”

• Blue Devils associate head coach Jeff Capel after Saturday’s win over Miami (Fla.)

7. Wake Forest (12-7; 3-4)

Last week: 12

Noting: Saturday’s victory at North Carolina State snapped a 25-game ACC road losing streak dating back nearly three seasons.

Quoting: “I expect to win every game we play. That’s the mindset we’re fostering. Doesn’t matter where we play, we want to win.”

• Demon Deacons coach Danny Manning

8. Georgia Tech (11-8; 3-4)

Last week: 9

Noting: The Yellow Jackets are 2-1 at home in league play and get home games this week with No. 10 Florida State and No. 15 Notre Dame.

Quoting: “Got a tough stretch coming up. This league is a gauntlet.”

• Yellow Jackets coach Josh Pastner

9. Virginia Tech (15-4; 4-3)

Last week: 10

Noting: Virginia Tech’s gauntlet of six of eight league games on the road got off to a good start with a victory at Clemson.

Quoting: “We want to score in transition (but) we’ve been giving up too many points in transition.”

• Hokies coach Buzz Williams

10. Syracuse (11-9; 3-4)

Last week: 6

Noting: The Orange are 0-4 on the road in league play with all four losses by double digits following Saturday’s 18-point setback at Notre Dame.

Quoting: "I have no idea. If I had an idea, we'd do something about it. It comes down to execution. We just haven't executed on the road."

• Orange coach Jim Boeheim on the difference between playing at home and on the road.

11. Miami (Fla.) (12-6; 2-4)

Last week: 7

Noting: Up by 12 at halftime of Saturday’s game at Duke, Miami allowed the home team to run off 20 unanswered points to start the second half, part of a 22-1 run that culminated in a 70-58 loss.

Quoting: “We had a bad week last week. Probably played the worst half of basketball (at Duke). You’re constantly looking at where you are and what you need to get better.”

• Hurricanes coach Jim Larranaga

12. Boston College (9-11; 2-5)

Last week: 11

Noting: After opening league play with a home victory over Syracuse, Boston College has lost five of its last six.

Quoting: “Over the past week, we’ve had some guys start emerging and playing a little more consistently. Hopefully we can keep that going.”

• Eagles coach Jim Christian

13. North Carolina State (13-7; 2-5)

Last week: 14

Noting: Guard Dennis Smith leads all ACC freshmen in scoring (18.9) and assists (6.6).

Quoting: “Defensively, we’re giving points away at times. We’ve had some mental errors defensively that seem like those add up against us pretty quick. That’s got to get better.”

• Wolfpack coach Mark Gottfried after his team’s loss to Wake Forest

14. Clemson (11-8; 1-6)

Last week: 13

Noting: Clemson’s first four league losses were by a combined 24 points before being beaten by 32 at Louisville. Tigers then lost at home Sunday to Virginia Tech. Woof.

Quoting: “We’re struggling a little bit the last couple of weeks. Defensively, we’re just not playing well enough to win.”

• Tigers coach Brad Brownell

15. Pittsburgh (12-7; 1-5)

Last week: 15

Noting: Pittsburgh has lost four straight and five of six and has been idle since a Jan. 17 loss at North Carolina State.

Quoting: “We’ve had a week off and probably needed it in some regards. We’ve had some adversity but it’s time to fight through that.”

• Panthers coach Kevin Stallings