It’s the best time of the year as we head into the thick of the holidays and the start of the college basketball season. Already, we’ve seen some major clashes with Duke losing to Michigan State and Louisville topping Seton Hall.
Here’s our breakdown after the first week of college hoops:
1. Duke (1-1)
Duke climbs to the top of the rankings after UVA tumbled. Head coach Mike Kkrzyzewski has a great team, although a young one. DJ Steward and Jalen Johnson look like stars that can carry this team all season. A 75-69 home loss against No. 8 Michigan State doesn’t change this (for now).
2. Louisville (4-0)
The Cardinals have one of the more impressive wins in this early part of the year when they took down Seton Hall. The team is playing well and shooting the rock exceptionally well from the floor. Louisville always has a good team and this year is no different.
3. North Carolina (3-1)
I’m hesitant to put the Tar Heels this high because the team was dreadful last year, but they are 3-1, with the one loss coming against No. 17 Texas. But they have loaded up on talent again and have the looks of a strong team. We will know more about UNC after games against No. 3 Iowa and No. 23 Ohio State.
4. Florida State (0-0)
FSU has not played a game yet but the talent this team has gives them the benefit of the doubt. Somehow, this team always has multiple 7-footers and long shooting guards that clog passing lanes who can shoot. This year is no different.
5. Virginia Tech (3-0)
VT was a late add to Villanova’s schedule after Temple paused activities. After they settled down in the game, Tech dominated Nova in overtime. This is the premier win for the league so far and just shows how you will have to bring your A-game every week in the ACC.
6. Clemson (3-0)
The Tigers aren’t just good at football; the basketball team took down Purdue and Mississippi State this week and did so with a balanced attack Let’s see if they keep up this success for the entire season.
7. Virginia (2-1)
UVA was feeling disrespected for not being ranked higher to start the year according to the fans on Twitter. However, they laid an egg against San Francisco and now they have tumbled from the top of the league all the way to No. 6. Look for this team to bounce back and move up all year… but their style of play allows for lesser opponents to stay in games. I could see the Cavaliers dropping a few games this year but at the same time making a deep run in the conference and NCAA tournaments.
8. Syracuse (1-0)
Syracuse was able to hold off a scare from Bryant after not practicing for 14 days. The Orange have the talent to play a game cold, but this is not something you want to see happen again. I expect the Orange to get back in the gym and find their groove. Losing Bourama Sibide for four weeks hurts the depth down low, but Jim Boeheim will find a way to overcome it.
9. Miami (1-0)
Miami took down North Florida behind a strong performance from sophomores Isaiah Wong and Harlond Beverly, while Chris Lykes is still a force for the Hurricanes.
10. NC State (2-0)
The Wolfpack always have a strong team but often play second (or third) fiddle to Duke and UNC. Devon Daniels appears to be building on a strong junior season and elevating his game for his senior season. The Wolfpack will be a threat all year.
11. Boston College (1-2)
BC lost to Villanova, beat URI, then lost to St Joe’s… That’s quite the gauntlet to start the season. The URI win propels them over the rest of the bottom tier in the conference.
12. Notre Dame (0-1)
Notre Dame doesn’t have a win, but their only game was a loss to Michigan State. I can’t knock them too much in the power rankings for losing to the No. 13 team in the country… so they will sit at 12 for now.
13. Wake Forest (2-0)
Wake is 2-0 and that’s fantastic. But this team is searching for depth and has an extremely soft schedule to start the season. It will be interesting to see what they do when they start conference play.
14. Pittsburgh (1-1)
Pitt dropped an opening season game against local team Saint Francis and did not look all that good while doing so. They bounced back on Saturday beating Drexel, but it looks to be a long season in Oakland for third year coach Jeff Capel.
15. Georgia Tech (0-2)
The Yellow Jackets lose to Georgia State and Mercer… that’s bad. Next up is Kentucky looking to bounce back after their loss against Richmond. Tech might not win a game until Dec. 18 (Florida A&M) and even that one is in doubt.