ACC Basketball Power Rankings: Post-Tournament
1. Virginia Cavaliers (LW: 1) 35-3 (16-2)
Where they finished: One year after becoming the first 1-seed to lose in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, the Cavaliers brought home their first national title. They survived another first round scare in addition to 3 straight victories by less than 5 points. Everyone beware, UVA will likely return multiple starters.
2. Duke Blue Devils (LW: 3) 32-6 (14-4)
Where they finished: Zion could only carry the Blue Devils so far. And by so far I mean to the Elite Eight. Duke ran into a well-coached Michigan State team, and the nation’s most talented team couldn’t make enough plays down the stretch to keep the dream alive. Coach K will have to try again next year with a different set of talented freshmen.
3. North Carolina Tar Heels (LW: 2) 29-7 (16-2)
Where they finished: The Tar Heels got the best of their Tobacco Road rivals during the regular season, knocking off a Zion-less Duke squad twice en route to a share of the ACC regular season title. UNC couldn’t translate that success to the postseason, falling in the ACC semifinals and then the Sweet 16 round of the tournament.
4. Florida State Seminoles (LW: 4) 29-8 (13-5)
Where they finished: The Noles maximized the talent on their roster for the second straight season, reaching the finals of the ACC tournament and later the Sweet 16. It was a great finish to the season considering they began ACC play by losing 4 of their first 5.
5. Virginia Tech Hokies (LW: 5) 26-9 (12-6)
Where they finished: The Hokies had much loftier goals coming into the season than a 5th place conference finish and getting bounced in the quarterfinals of the conference tournament. VT rebounded by reaching the Sweet 16 and nearly knocking off Duke, but the offseason just became very tricky with head coach Buzz Williams now leaving for Texas A&M.
6. Louisville Cardinals (LW: 7) 20-14 (10-8)
Where they finished: Louisville could not take advantage of their hot start, falling in the ACC quarterfinals before getting upset in the tournament by 10 seed Minnesota. The Cardinals are still trending up, however, due to a full offseason with their head coach, and a young roster that’s getting even younger with 5 strong recruits joining the team for next season.
7. Syracuse Orange (LW: 6) 20-14 (10-8)
Where they finished: The Orange find themselves in the same boat as Louisville, even finishing with identical records. A mixed bag of results culminated with a first round loss to Baylor, but things could’ve been much worse after a series of off-court distractions that could derail any season.
8. NC State Wolfpack (LW: 8) 24-12 (9-9)
Where they finished: The Wolfpack fell short of their tournament aspirations after posting a strong 12-1 non-conference record (including a victory over Final Four team Auburn). They hoped to make up for their poor finish with a solid NIT run, but dropped a 1-point game to eventual runner-up Lipscomb in the quarterfinals.
9. Clemson Tigers (LW: 9) 20-14 (9-9)
Where they finished: Clemson was another bubble casualty after struggling to find consistency and only posting one signature victory all season (2/9 over Virginia Tech). Still, they secured a spot in the NIT, which yielded similar results to their season: an opening round victory over Wright St followed by a second round defeat to Wichita St.
10. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (LW: 10) 14-18 (6-12)
Where they finished: The Yellow Jackets continued their decade of futility, missing the tournament for the 9th straight season. The silver lining is that Georgia Tech managed to finish ahead of teams that have had success in recent years, such as Miami, Boston College and Notre Dame.
11. Boston College Eagles (LW: 11) 14-17 (5-13)
Where they finished: Star guard Ky Bowman could only carry this team so far, and in this case that was 11th place in the conference. Now that Bowman has declared for the draft, BC has to take a long look to figure out how their going to replace that production, and find enough on top of that to move up.
12. Miami Hurricanes (LW: 12) 14-18 (5-13)
Where they finished: The Canes had an extremely trying season, losing players from their 2017-18 squad to the draft, eligibility and injuries. While their depth was an issue all season, Chris Lykes received plenty of experience as the #1 scoring option. His continued development should help reverse the fortunes of a program that belongs in the NCAA Tournament year after year.
13. Pittsburgh Panthers (LW: 13) 14-19 (3-15)
Where they finished: Pitt and its extremely young squad took their lumps this season, but managed to pull out a first round victory in the ACC Tournament. Still, the Panthers appear to be a year or two away from making a real push for the NCAA Tournament.
14. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (LW: 14) 11-20 (4-14)
Where they finished: Wake finished with a 11-20 record for the second straight season, but the administration has enough confidence in head coach Danny Manning to give him another shot at it next year. The coaching staff will have to prove they can develop the team’s wealth of young talent if they want to remain in Winston-Salem.
15. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (LW: 15) 14-19 (3-15)
Where they finished: Notre Dame has been extremely unlucky with injuries over the last few seasons, and 2019 was no different. The Fighting Irish rallied late in the season, however, winning their first game of the ACC Tournament, and next season should be better with a wealth of experience in their lineup.