Over the weekend, Ken Pomeroy — the czar of college basketball statistics — released his 2016-17 projections. As one might expect, the ACC came out quite favorable in these ratings. Four ACC teams, led by Duke at No. 1, landed inside the top 10: Duke, North Carolina (No. 5), Virginia (No. 7) and Louisville (No. 9). Pomeroy also has the Blue Devils projected to be the No. 1 offense in America: 120.8 points per 100 possessions — 4.5 points ahead of the No. 2 offense (Villanova). UNC led the nation in this category last season (123.3 points per 100 possessions). The numbers have Duke slated to win 25 games during the regular season (with five losses), including 14 ACC victories.
Pomeroy’s numbers have three more ACC programs inside his top 25: No. 12 Syracuse, No. 23 Clemson and No. 24 Miami. Jaron Blossomgame and the Tigers are projected to score 109 points per 100 possessions, which is projected as 27th in the nation in offensive efficiency. This, if it comes true, would be the second highest value during Brad Brownell’s tenure at the school. Last season, Clemson score 112.1 points per 100 possessions.
The Cavaliers of Virginia and their pack-line scheme are projected by Pomeroy as the top defense entering the season: 86.6 points per 100 possession. This would be their lowest total since just two seasons ago, when the 2015 Cavaliers let up just 83.5 points per 100 possessions, which is one of the best numbers from the last ten years. It may not be the prettiest product in the world to watch casually, but there’s no question that the Wahoos get results.
Next comes NC State: the Wolfpack check in at No. 36. Pomeroy has the Pack as 28th in offensive efficiency — 108.9 point per 100 possessions. During Mark Gottfried’s tenure in Raleigh, the Wolfpack have never finished outside of the top 35 in offensive efficiency; the high-water mark of that stretch came during the 2012-13 season, when State scored 115 points per 100 possessions — 10th best in the nation.
Following NC State, the ACC has four more teams inside the top 51: Virginia Tech (No. 39), Florida State (No. 40), Notre Dame (No. 50) and Pittsburgh (No. 51). The Fighting Irish and Panthers are separated by less than a tenth of a point. That gives the conference essentially 12 of the top 50 teams in the nation, according to Pomeroy’s projected efficiency margin. The same 12 teams are projected to finish inside the top 34 in terms of offensive efficiency.
Here’s where the final three ACC teams rank: No. 76 Wake Forest, No. 107 Georgia Tech and No. 154 Boston College.
The complete ratings:
5. North Carolina
36. NC State
39. Virginia Tech
40. Florida State
50. Notre Dame
76. Wake Forest
107. Georgia Tech
154. Boston College