UNC Basketball: Around the ACC Conference Update

Jan 7, 2023; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Caleb Love (2) comes up the court with North Carolina Tar Heels guard R.J. Davis (4) against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the second half at Dean E. Smith Center. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 7, 2023; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Caleb Love (2) comes up the court with North Carolina Tar Heels guard R.J. Davis (4) against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish during the second half at Dean E. Smith Center. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /

We take a look to see how the UNC basketball program’s ACC counterparts are doing a quarter of the way into conference play.

As the calendar has turned to 2023, there are some surprising faces at the top of the ACC standings.  We take a look at how the conference is shaping up and how each team has fared since our last update below.

Boston College Eagles

The Eagles lost at Syracuse but bounced back with a home victory against Notre Dame last week.  However, the Eagles couldn’t execute down the stretch and came up one point short of an upset win against Duke on Saturday.

BC is in the middle of the conference race right now, but their schedule for the next few weeks is very difficult, with road trips to Miami, UNC, and Virginia coming up before the end of the month.

Record: 8-8 (2-3 in ACC)

Clemson Tigers

The Clemson Tigers currently sit alone atop the ACC, and we are not talking about football.  The Tigers picked up solid wins against NC State and Virginia Tech to set up a battle for first place with Pitt on Saturday.  PJ Hall and company came back from a second-half deficit to leave the “Oakland Zoo” with a one-point victory and claim the top spot in the conference at this point.

There’s a good shot Clemson cracks the Top 25 this week, and the Tigers have a very winnable game at home against Louisville on Wednesday night.  Should they take care of business, Littlejohn Coliseum will be rocking when they host Duke on Saturday.

At this point, it would be surprising if Clemson doesn’t finish near the top of the standings, as they still have a combined seven games against Louisville, Notre Dame, Florida State, Boston College, and Georgia Tech on their schedule.  The Tigers also catch Duke, UNC, Virginia, and Miami all just once this season.

Record: 13-3 (5-0 in ACC)

Duke Blue Devils

The Blue Devils routed FSU on New Year’s Eve but struggled in two road games this past week.  They were stomped on the road by NC State and needed a pair of late free throws to escape Boston College with a one-point win on Saturday.

Derrick Lively has not lived up to expectations and Jeremy Roach has been battling injuries, which has resulted in a Duke team that isn’t as flashy or explosive as usual.  Dariq Whitehead’s recent emergence will be critical if they are going to be a threat to win the conference.

We will learn a lot more about them this week, as they host Pitt and have a road game at Clemson on Saturday.

Record: 12-4 (3-2 in ACC)

Florida State Seminoles

After a terrible showing in non-conference play, the Noles have rebounded nicely to open their ACC slate.  They were blown out at Duke but defeated Georgia Tech to win Leonard Hamilton’s 600th career game on Saturday.

FSU currently has a winning record in the league, and although they have probably already played themselves out of the NCAA Tournament at-large mix, they are still talented enough to hang with anyone in the ACC on a given night.

Record: 5-11 (3-2 in ACC)

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

The Yellow Jackets have only won one game in league play thus far, but it was a big one as they upset Miami to hand the Hurricanes just their second loss of the season.

If they are going to get hot it needs to start now, as they host unranked opponents in three of their next four games.

Record: 8-7 (1-4 in ACC)

Louisville Cardinals

Louisville’s disastrous season has continued, as they were blown out at rival Kentucky and have still not won a conference game all season.  They lost by just one against Syracuse and hung with Wake Forest this week, but lost both contests on their home court.

Things don’t get any easier for the Cardinals as they are at Clemson and host UNC this week.

Record: 2-14 (0-5 in ACC)

Miami Hurricanes

The ‘Canes won at Notre Dame, but were then upset at Georgia Tech last week.

With Isaiah Wong still leading a talented roster, they should remain a threat to compete for the conference crown, as their only games against currently ranked teams the rest of the season are both against Duke.

Record: 13-2 (4-1 in ACC)

North Carolina Tar Heels

The Tar Heels let a lead slip away at Pittsburgh in a game that they controlled for the most part, which caused them to drop right back out of the AP Poll after briefly coming back in at 25th.  They did, however, bounce back with consecutive home wins against Wake Forest and Notre Dame to secure a winning ACC record for the first time this season.

UNC has gotten more production out of the bench of late, and RJ Davis, Caleb Love, and Armando Bacot are still arguably the most dynamic trio in the country when the guards are playing under control and getting everyone else involved.  Bacot is averaging a double-double and is the ACC Player of the Year frontrunner at this point.

The Heels have a massive road game at Virginia on Tuesday, followed up by a trip to struggling Louisville on Saturday.

Record: 11-5 (3-2 in ACC)

NC State Wolfpack

The Wolfpack lost at Clemson but followed that up with a huge week where they blew out Duke at home and won on the road at Virginia Tech.

Terquavion Smith is one of the most exciting guards in the country, and State can put up points in a hurry when they are taking care of the basketball.  We will learn a lot more about them in the next few weeks, as they have a home game against Miami and a trip to Chapel Hill coming up soon.

Record: 13-4 (3-3 in ACC)

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Notre Dame has gotten off to a horrible start to conference play, as they remain winless following losses to Miami, Boston College, and UNC.

For a team that returned plenty of starters from last year’s squad that made it to the NCAA Tournament Round of 32, this season’s start has been a major disappointment.

The Irish will look to pick up their first ACC win on Tuesday night when they host Georgia Tech.

Record: 8-8 (0-5 in ACC)

Pittsburgh Panthers

The Panthers picked up huge come-from-behind victories at home against UNC and Virginia, but couldn’t stay unbeaten in league play as they let a late lead slip away Saturday against Clemson.

We will see if Pitt is a true contender soon, with their next three games coming on the road beginning Wednesday night at Duke.

Record: 11-5 (4-1 in ACC)

Syracuse Orange

The Orange picked up victories over Boston College and Louisville but came up short at Virginia on Saturday.

Jim Boeheim’s squad will look to defend home court against Virginia Tech and Notre Dame this week.  Syracuse needs to start stacking wins if they are going to build a solid NCAA Tournament resume, as they lack any real signature victories thus far.

Record: 10-6 (3-2 in ACC)

Virginia Cavaliers

Virginia has lost some steam after rising into the AP Top 5 earlier in the season, as they were beaten at Pitt prior to a bounce-back win against Syracuse on Saturday.

The Cavaliers are experienced but still struggle to score at times.  The Wahoos host UNC in a huge game on Tuesday night.

Record: 11-3 (3-2 in ACC)

Virginia Tech Hokies

The Hokies have been disappointing in ACC play thus far, with their only victory coming at home against the Heels (who were missing Armando Bacot).  They are on a four-game losing streak after losses to Boston College, Wake Forest, Clemson, and NC State.

If they are going to turn it around soon it will have to come on the road, as their next three games are at Syracuse, Virginia, and Clemson.

Record: 11-5 (1-4 in ACC)

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Wake continues to find stars in the transfer portal, as this year Tyree Appleby has become one of the ACC’s best guards.  The Deacs’ loss to UNC was sandwiched between victories over Virginia Tech and Louisville.

Wake could build a solid at-large resume if they can take care of business against the lesser teams in the conference and pick up a couple of big victories down the road.

Record: 11-5 (3-2 in ACC)

Conference Standings

Clemson (5-0)

Miami (4-1)

Pittsburgh (4-1)

Virginia (3-2)

North Carolina (3-2)

Wake Forest (3-2)

Duke (3-2)

Syracuse (3-2)

Florida State (3-2)

NC State (3-3)

Boston College (2-3)

Virginia Tech (1-4)

Georgia Tech (1-4)

Notre Dame (0-5)

Louisville (0-5)

Next. Bacot Approaching Rebounding Record. dark

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