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A Final Regular-Season ACC Snapshot: Rankings, Analysis, NCAA/NIT Outlook

By David Glenn

Only four years ago, the Atlantic Coast Conference put together one of the most dominant regular seasons in modern college basketball history, then followed it up with a fantastic performance in the NCAA Tournament.

Virginia, Duke and North Carolina earned three of the four #1 seeds in the Big Dance that year, and of course the Cavaliers won the national championship. Overall, seven ACC teams played in the 2019 NCAA Tournament, collectively posting a sparkling 15-6 record, with Duke, Florida State, UNC and Virginia Tech joining UVa to give the league five members of the Sweet 16.

The ACC hasn’t been the same since.

After COVID-19 wiped out the 2020 postseason, the ACC has had three consecutive mediocre regular seasons, especially as measured by its own lofty standards (click here for the entire 1979-2023 breakdown). Multiple metrics currently rank the league seventh among the 32 Division I conferences, well behind the Big 12, Big Ten, SEC and Big East … and even below the Pac-12 and Mountain West.

Remember, though, that a so-so regular season doesn’t always translate to a poor postseason. While in 2021 the ACC followed its subpar regular season with a disastrous NCAA Tournament (a 4-7 collective record, its worst since 1979), last year the league silenced its many season-long critics by going 14-5 in the Big Dance. UNC, Duke and Miami advanced to the Elite Eight, and the Tar Heels and Blue Devils famously faced off at the Final Four.

What will this postseason bring? We’ll see starting next month, beginning with the ACC Tournament in Greensboro on March 7-11. At least nine league teams still have conceivable routes to at-large bids to the NCAA Tournament, although a few may be overly optimistic.

With that in mind, here are our revised ACC power rankings, from 1 through 15, with lots of detailed information on each team and the usual reminder: These are NOT predictions of future results/standings but rather a reflection of the teams’ “body of work” in games already played (through Tuesday).

  1. Miami (23-5, 14-4 ACC)

Head Coach: Jim Larranaga (73, 12th season, 5 NCAA Tournaments)

Wins Over NCAA Locks: 66-64 vs. UVa, 81-59 vs. Duke, 74-64 over Providence (n), 68-61 vs. Rutgers

Wins Over NCAA Bubble: 71-68 at Pitt, 80-73 vs. NCSU, 80-72 at UNC, 78-74 at CU, 96-87 vs. WF, 76-70 at VT, 92-83 vs. VT

Losses: 88-70 to Maryland (n), 76-70 at GT, 83-81 (OT) at NCSU, 68-66 at Duke, 71-68 at Pitt

Regular-Season Games Remaining: FSU, Pitt

ELO/KenPom/NET/RPI/SOR Team Rankings (of 363): 9/31/31/13/12

Offensive/Defensive Efficiency Rankings (of 363): 8/115

Most Starts: G Isaiah Wong, G Nigel Pack, G Wooga Poplar, F Jordan Miller, C Norchad Omier

Current Postseason Projection: NCAA Tournament (4 seed)


Jim Larranaga, who first became a college head coach in 1977(!), has adjusted to the game’s recent, revolutionary changes as well as anyone. After three straight losing campaigns with the Hurricanes from 2018-19 through 2020-21, he has taken full advantage of the modern transfer portal and Name-Image-Likeness revolutions while still developing some of his own talented prep signees. Larranaga, who led the Hurricanes to their first/only ACC title in 2013 and the best NCAA Tournament finish (Elite Eight) in program history in 2022, may have the best offensive team of his career this time. Four starters — Isaiah Wong (ACC), Nigel Pack (Big 12), Jordan Miller (Atlantic-10) and Norchad Omier (Sun Belt) — were all-conference honorees prior to this season. The fifth, Wooga Poplar, complements that quartet with his three-and-D skills.


  1. Virginia (21-4, 13-3 ACC)

Head Coach: Tony Bennett (53, 14th season, 8^ NCAA Tournaments)

Wins Over NCAA Locks: 86-79 over Baylor (n), 70-61 over Illinois (n), 69-62 (OT) vs. Duke

Wins Over NCAA Bubble: 63-50 vs. NCSU, 76-67 at WF, 65-58 vs. UNC, 78-68 vs. VT

Losses: 69-61 vs. Houston, 66-64 at UM, 68-65 at Pitt, 74-68 at VT

Regular-Season Games Remaining: at BC, at UNC, CU, Louisville

ELO/KenPom/NET/RPI/SOR Team Rankings (of 363): 7/24/16/12/9

Offensive/Defensive Efficiency Rankings (of 363): 50/25

Most Starts: PG Kihei Clark, G Reece Beekman, G Armaan Franklin, F Jayden Gardner, C Kadin Shedrick

Current Postseason Projection: NCAA Tournament (3 seed)


Coach Tony Bennett appears poised for his sixth first-place ACC finish (counting ties) in the last 10 years, even though his lineup likely lacks the NBA-caliber talent (e.g., Malcolm Brogdon, Justin Anderson, Ty Jerome, De’Andre Hunter, Trey Murphy) of those other squads. Bennett tweaked this year’s original starting five — the only ACC group that returned intact from last season, which ended with the Cavaliers in the NIT — in mid-January, replacing elite shotblocker Kadin Shedrick with higher-scoring Ohio transfer Ben Vander Plas. In any given game, Kihei Clark, Reece Beekman, Armaan Franklin, Jayden Gardner or even Vander Plas (e.g., versus UNC) can be UVa’s MVP, and the team’s defense remains the league standard. Offensively, while the Cavs handle, pass and shoot 3-pointers brilliantly, they have been only OK in ACC play overall.


  1. Duke (20-8, 11-6 ACC)

Head Coach: Jon Scheyer (35, 1st season, 0 NCAA Tournaments)

Wins Over NCAA Locks: 71-64 over Xavier (n), 68-66 vs. UM, 74-62 over Iowa (n)

Wins Over NCAA Bubble: 77-69 vs. Pitt, 63-57 vs. UNC, 75-73 vs. WF

Losses: 69-64 to Kansas (n), 75-56 to Purdue (n), 81-70 at WF, 84-60 at NCSU, 72-64 at CU, 78-75 at VT, 81-59 at UM, 69-62 (OT) at UVa

Regular-Season Games Remaining: VT, NCSU, at UNC

ELO/KenPom/NET/RPI/SOR Team Rankings (of 363): 20/34/29/22/27

Offensive/Defensive Efficiency Rankings (of 363): 63/30

Most Starts: PG Jeremy Roach, G Tyrese Proctor, F Mark Mitchell, F Kyle Filipowski, C Dereck Lively II  

Current Postseason Projection: NCAA Tournament (7 seed)


With only two returning scholarship players, among the lowest numbers nationally, the Blue Devils needed big-time immediate impacts from both their highly touted, seven-man freshman class and their four-man cluster of immediately eligible transfers. Surprisingly, so far, only one guy in each group has been up to that task consistently. Rookie forward Kyle Filipowski, the likely ACC freshman of the year, has been a double-double machine, and Northwestern graduate transfer Ryan Young has been an efficient, reliable contributor in the post. A preseason top-10 team, Duke has spent the past month outside the AP Top 25. More growth is needed, and quickly, from freshmen Tyrese Proctor, Dereck Lively II, Mark Mitchell and Dariq Whitehead.


  1. Pittsburgh (20-8, 13-4 ACC)

Head Coach: Jeff Capel (48, 5th season, 0 NCAA Tournaments)

Wins Over NCAA Locks: 68-65 vs. UVa, 71-68 vs. UM, 87-58 at Northwestern

Wins Over NCAA Bubble: 68-60 at NCSU, 65-64 at UNC, 76-74 vs. UNC, 81-79 vs. WF

Losses: 81-56 vs. WVU, 91-60 to Michigan (n), 71-67 to VCU (n), 75-74 at Vanderbilt, 75-74 vs. CU, 77-69 at Duke, 71-64 vs. FSU, 79-72 at VT

Regular-Season Games Remaining: SU, at ND, at UM

ELO/KenPom/NET/RPI/SOR Team Rankings (of 363): 36/61/50/59/47

Offensive/Defensive Efficiency Rankings (of 363): 40/86

Most Starts: PG Nelly Cummings, G Jamarius Burton, G Greg Elliott, F Blake Hinson, C Federiko Federiko

Current Postseason Projection: NCAA Tournament (9 seed)


After four straight losing campaigns to begin his Pitt tenure, coach Jeff Capel needed to show significant progress this year. With that mission clearly accomplished, the Panthers now have a legitimate chance at the best ACC finish of their 10 seasons as a member. (Their only time above ninth place came in their first year, 2013-14, when they went 26-10, 11-7, and placed fifth under coach Jamie Dixon.) If Pitt remains on track for an NCAA Tournament bid, which would be its first since 2016, Capel will be the frontrunner for the ACC coach of the year honor. With five fifth-year collegians and a junior college transfer among their top six players, these Panthers are about as old (e.g., 23-24) and experienced as any key group in league history, and that often shows up in their aggressiveness, hoops IQ, poise, resilience, savvy and toughness.


  1. North Carolina State (21-7, 11-6 ACC)

Head Coach: Kevin Keatts (50, 6th season, 1 NCAA Tournament)

Wins Over NCAA Locks: 84-60 vs. Duke, 83-81 (OT) vs. UM

Wins Over NCAA Bubble: 77-69 vs. UNC, 73-69 at VT, 79-77 at WF, 76-64 over Dayton (n)

Losses: 80-74 to Kansas (n), 68-60 vs. Pitt, 80-73 at UM, 78-64 at CU, 80-69 at UNC, 63-50 at UVa, 75-72 at SU

Regular-Season Games Remaining: WF, CU, at Duke

ELO/KenPom/NET/RPI/SOR Team Rankings (of 363): 33/43/36/31/29

Offensive/Defensive Efficiency Rankings (of 363): 38/54

Most Starts: G Terquavion Smith, G Jarkel Joiner, G Casey Morsell, F Jack Clark, C DJ Burns

Current Postseason Projection: NCAA Tournament (9 seed)


During his first five seasons with the Wolfpack, coach Kevin Keatts had only two teams with the personnel required to follow the blueprint that had made him successful at UNC Wilmington: several quality guards, fast tempo, dynamic offense, decent defense. His first team in Raleigh tied for third in the ACC and made the NCAA Tournament as a #9 seed; his second squad, which finished 24-12, barely missed the Big Dance. This year’s Pack may be State’s best edition since 2015 (Sweet 16 under Mark Gottfried). Likely first-round NBA pick Terquavion Smith, a dangerous shooter, has upgraded his passing and defense. Jarkel Joiner, an Ole Miss transfer, is tough, reliable and another probable All-ACC pick. With DJ Burns, a charismatic Winthrop transfer, delivering consistently with his crafty moves in the post, the Pack may finally be back.


  1. North Carolina (16-11, 8-8 ACC)

Head Coach: Hubert Davis (52, 2nd season, 1 NCAA Tournament)

Wins Over NCAA Locks: none

Wins Over NCAA Bubble: 80-69 vs. NCSU, 102-86 vs. Charleston, 91-71 vs. CU, 88-79 vs. WF

Losses: 70-65 to Iowa St. (n), 103-101 (4OT) to Alabama (n), 77-65 at IU, 80-72 at VT, 76-74 at Pitt, 65-58 at UVa, 65-64 vs. Pitt, 63-57 at Duke, 92-85 at WF, 80-72 vs. UM, 77-69 at NCSU

Regular-Season Games Remaining: at ND, UVa, at FSU, Duke

ELO/KenPom/NET/RPI/SOR Team Rankings (of 363): 58/44/48/39/52

Offensive/Defensive Efficiency Rankings (of 363): 39/55

Most Starts: G RJ Davis, G Caleb Love, F Leaky Black, F Pete Nance, C Armando Bacot

Current Postseason Projection: NCAA bubble/NIT


More than four months after entering the 2022-23 campaign atop the national rankings, the Tar Heels desperately need a second straight late-season turnaround to avoid becoming the worst preseason #1 flop in the history of the Associated Press men’s basketball poll, which started in 1948. In the modern era (1980-present), no preseason #1 team has ever missed the NCAA Tournament, yet Carolina seemingly finds itself with only two possible routes to dodge that ugly fate: 1-sweeping its final four regular-season games (at Notre Dame, Virginia, at Florida State, Duke), with the Cavaliers and Blue Devils representing opportunities for its two highest-caliber victories of the entire season, or 2-winning the ACC Tournament in Greensboro as a low seed, just as Virginia Tech (a #7 seed, the lowest ever to win that event) saved itself a year ago by earning the league’s automatic NCAA bid. While senior center Armando Bacot continues to rank among the top candidates for the ACC player of the year honor that barely eluded him in 2022, the Tar Heels otherwise remain highly erratic and largely unpredictable with their chemistry, decision-making, defense, fastbreak, passing, 3-point shooting (an ACC-worst 29.7 percent in conference play) and off-the-bench contributions. Just 1-5 in their last six games, the Heels are under intense pressure to avoid making the wrong kind of history.


  1. Clemson (19-8, 11-5 ACC)

Head Coach: Brad Brownell (54, 13th season, 3 NCAA Tournaments)

Wins Over NCAA Locks: 72-64 vs. Duke

Wins Over NCAA Bubble: 75-74 at Pitt, 78-64 vs. NCSU, 77-57 vs. WF, 101-94 (2OT) vs. Penn St., 68-65 at VT, 51-50 vs. VT

Losses: 60-58 at South Carolina, 74-71 to Iowa (n), 76-58 to Loyola-Chicago (n), 87-77 at WF, 62-54 at BC, 78-74 vs. UM, 91-71 at UNC, 83-73 at Louisville

Regular-Season Games Remaining: SU, at NCSU, at UVa, ND

ELO/KenPom/NET/RPI/SOR Team Rankings (of 363): 68/83/62/90/69

Offensive/Defensive Efficiency Rankings (of 363): 104/69

Most Starts: PG Chase Hunter, G Brevin Galloway, F Ian Schieffelin, F Hunter Tyson, C PJ Hall

Current Postseason Projection: NCAA bubble/NIT


When Clemson spent December and January atop the ACC standings, Brad Brownell was the clear-cut frontrunner for the ACC coach of the year honor. The Tigers remain a well-coached team, and their defense has performed at an almost UVa-like level during conference play, but gradually they’ve gravitated toward the middle of the pack. What happened? Well, after a very weak nonconference schedule mostly failed to expose their warts, many ACC opponents did. Mediocre guard play, higher turnover numbers and poor 3-point shooting contributed heavily to Clemson’s 1-4 record over the last three weeks. This is still a nice story, led by much-improved senior forward Hunter Tyson and sparkplug center PJ Hall, but it may end in the NIT.


  1. Wake Forest (17-10, 9-7 ACC)

Head Coach: Steve Forbes (57, 3rd season, 0 NCAA Tournaments)

Wins Over NCAA Locks: 81-70 vs. Duke

Wins Over NCAA Bubble: 78-75 at Wisconsin, 92-85 vs. UNC, 87-77 vs. CU, 77-75 vs. VT, 68-65 (OT) vs. Utah Valley

Losses: 77-75 to LMU (n), 77-57 at CU, 72-70 to LSU (n), 81-57 at Rutgers, 88-79 at UNC, 76-67 vs. UVa, 81-79 at Pitt, 79-77 vs. NCSU, 75-73 at Duke, 96-87 at UM

Regular-Season Games Remaining: at NCSU, ND, BC, at SU

ELO/KenPom/NET/RPI/SOR Team Rankings (of 363): 63/79/77/64/65

Offensive/Defensive Efficiency Rankings (of 363): 26/156

Most Starts: PG Tyree Appleby, G Cameron Hildreth, G Damari Monsanto, F Andrew Carr, C Matthew Marsh

Current Postseason Projection: NCAA bubble/NIT


When the Demon Deacons improved from 6-16 to 25-10 in coach Steve Forbes’ first two campaigns, it became clear that the program was oh-so-close to just its second NCAA Tournament bid since 2010. Alas, after losing superstars Alondes Williams and Jake LaRavia to the NBA, the Deacons have been unable to take that next step so far this season. Thanks largely to sensational point guard Tyree Appleby, a 24-year-old Florida transfer in his sixth year at the college level, Wake remains a fantastic team offensively. Defensively, though, the Deacs have been vulnerable both at the rim and the 3-point stripe. Barring a four-game sweep to close the regular season or a shocking ACC Tournament run, this journey will end with another NIT trip.


  1. Virginia Tech (16-12, 6-11 ACC)

Head Coach: Mike Young (59, 4th season, 2 NCAA Tournaments)

Wins Over NCAA Locks: 74-68 vs. UVa, 78-75 vs. Duke

Wins Over NCAA Bubble: 70-65 over Oklahoma St. (n), 79-72 vs. Pitt, 80-72 vs. UNC, 61-59 over Penn St. (n), 77-49 vs. Dayton

Losses: 77-75 at Charleston, 70-65 (OT) at BC, 77-75 at WF, 68-65 vs. CU, 73-69 vs. NCSU, 82-72 at SU, 78-68 at UVa, 51-50 at CU, 92-83 at UM, 82-76 vs. BC, 77-70 at GT, 76-70 vs. UM

Regular-Season Games Remaining: at Duke, at Louisville, FSU

ELO/KenPom/NET/RPI/SOR Team Rankings (of 363): 88/72/64/73/75

Offensive/Defensive Efficiency Rankings (of 363): 29/125

Most Starts: PG Sean Pedulla, G Hunter Cattoor, G Darius Maddox, F Justyn Mutts, C Grant Basile

Current Postseason Projection: NCAA bubble/NIT


The Hokies have the most unusual, hard-to-explain resume in the ACC. In the last month alone, they posted home wins over UVa and Duke, two of the best teams in the league. Earlier, they earned impressive nonconference victories over Oklahoma State, Penn State and Dayton. However, Tech has lost twice to a Boston College team with a losing record, twice to a Clemson team whose weaknesses have been exposed by other familiar foes, and most recently to a struggling Georgia Tech squad. When everyone is healthy and available, the Hokies remain a dangerous team, but various backcourt complications, including multiple injuries and Darius Maddox’s month-long absence, could leave this season in the what-might-have-been category.


  1. Syracuse (16-11, 9-7 ACC)

Head Coach: Jim Boeheim (78, 47th season, 35 NCAA Tournaments)

Regular-Season Games Remaining: at CU, at Pitt, GT, WF

ELO/KenPom/NET/RPI/SOR Team Rankings (of 363): 72/98/101/109/96

Offensive/Defensive Efficiency Rankings (of 363): 80/133

Most Starts: PG Judah Mintz, G Joe Girard, F Chris Bell, F Benny Williams, C Jesse Edwards

Current Postseason Projection: Probable NIT


Despite a second straight middling season under legendary coach Jim Boeheim, it’s a wild time to be a Syracuse fan. This April will mark the 20th anniversary of the Orange’s only NCAA title, led by freshman sensation Carmelo Anthony. This year’s team, though likely NIT-bound, has the ACC’s second-best group of rookies, behind only Duke, including an All-Freshman team lock in Judah Mintz. Although retirement questions continue to swirl around Boeheim, at 78 the oldest coach in NCAA Division I men’s basketball history, recruiting has received an intriguing lift from an uncommon source: SU booster Adam Weitsman, a convicted felon turned billionaire upstate New York entrepreneur who is showering elite Orange targets with large NIL offers. Buckle up!


  1. Boston College (13-15, 7-10 ACC)

Head Coach: Earl Grant (46, 2nd season, 0 NCAA Tournaments)

Regular-Season Games Remaining: UVa, at WF, GT

ELO/KenPom/NET/RPI/SOR Team Rankings (of 363): 128/197/184/163/141

Offensive/Defensive Efficiency Rankings (of 363): 249/123

Most Starts: PG Jaeden Zackery, G Makai Ashton-Langford, G DeMarr Langford, F Prince Aligbe, F TJ Bickerstaff

Current Postseason Projection: None


The Eagles’ ongoing NCAA Tournament drought, which will extend to 14 years in March, is by far the ACC’s longest. (Pitt is second, at six years.) Since the 2010 dismissal of coach Al Skinner and the 2012 retirement of athletic director Gene DeFilippo, BC is on its third coach and fourth AD. That instability serves as the backdrop for second-year coach Earl Grant, who took College of Charleston to only one Big Dance in his seven years there. Grant had an understandably difficult BC debut last season, but his bottom-tier finish this time, with four returning starters and lots of experience on hand, is harder to explain. The Eagles did improve after the return of senior center Quinten Post (foot injury), their best player, but not enough to save their season.


  1. Florida State (8-20, 6-11 ACC)

Head Coach: Leonard Hamilton (74, 21st season, 8^ NCAA Tournaments)

Regular-Season Games Remaining: at UM, UNC, at VT

ELO/KenPom/NET/RPI/SOR Team Rankings (of 363): 190/215/225/227/231

Offensive/Defensive Efficiency Rankings (of 363): 170/254

Most Starts: G Caleb Mills, G Darin Green Jr., G Jalen Warley, F Matthew Cleveland, F Cameron Corhen

Current Postseason Projection: None


Leonard Hamilton, a three-time ACC coach of the year and FSU’s all-time wins leader, had losing records in two of his first three seasons (2003 and 2005) in Tallahassee, but he hasn’t had one since. With that 17-year over-.500 streak about to end, immmediately after a disappointing 17-14 campaign, there are inevitable retirement questions surrounding Hamilton, who will turn 75 in August and thus ranks among the oldest head coaches in Division I men’s basketball history. Although their legendary depth, length and athleticism often have enabled the Seminoles to have the #1 defense in the ACC and sometimes even nationally, this year’s team has much less of those elements and has been punished from 3-point land and on the defensive boards.


  1. Notre Dame (10-17, 2-14 ACC)

Head Coach: Mike Brey (63, 23rd season, 13 NCAA Tournaments)

Regular-Season Games Remaining: UNC, at WF, Pitt, at CU

ELO/KenPom/NET/RPI/SOR Team Rankings (of 363): 235/171/194/256/222

Offensive/Defensive Efficiency Rankings (of 363): 81/288

Most Starts: G Trey Wertz, G JJ Starling, G Cormac Ryan, F Dane Goodwin, F Nate Laszewski

Current Postseason Projection: None


This is a fascinating but highly uncertain time in South Bend. On Jan. 19, 23rd-year Fighting Irish coach Mike Brey announced he will step down after this season. Five of the team’s top six players are seniors, two top signees bailed after Brey’s decision, and the admissions department (while OK with grad transfers) has been stingy about most underclassmen, even in the portal era. A consistent success story in the Big East (13 seasons, 9 NCAA Tournaments, 4 NITs), Brey’s program became much more volatile in the ACC, with a league title and two Elite Eight trips but also (soon) three losing records in the last five seasons. Among the many names worth watching here are Pat Kelsey (College of Charleston) and Chris Holtmann (Ohio State).


  1. Georgia Tech (11-17, 3-14 ACC)

Head Coach: Josh Pastner (45, 7th season, 1 NCAA Tournament)

Regular-Season Games Remaining: Louisville, at SU, at BC

ELO/KenPom/NET/RPI/SOR Team Rankings (of 363): 208/200/208/214/173

Offensive/Defensive Efficiency Rankings (of 363): 238/143

Most Starts: G Deebo Coleman, G Miles Kelly, G Kyle Sturdivant, G Lance Terry, C Rodney Howard

Current Postseason Projection: None


This has become familiar territory for Tech, which made only one NCAA Tournament (as ACC champions in the pandemic-plagued 2020-21 season) in coach Josh Pastner’s first six seasons. The Yellow Jackets simply don’t have enough offensive firepower in most games, with only guard Miles Kelly (13 ppg) in double figures, and their defense is the worst of Pastner’s tenure. That ugly combination has led to 12 double-digit losses, including several embarrassments: 72-51 at Clemson, 86-43 versus Duke and 68-58 at lowly Louisville. After Tech’s ACC title, then-athletic director Todd Stansbury (fired last fall) gave Pastner a contract extension worth about $2 million per year through 2025-26. New AD J Batt can’t possibly like what he’s seen thus far.


  1. Louisville (4-24, 2-15 ACC)

Head Coach: Kenny Payne (56, 1st season, 0 NCAA Tournaments)

Regular-Season Games Remaining: at GT, VT, at UVa

ELO/KenPom/NET/RPI/SOR Team Rankings (of 363): 262/279/308/298/292

Offensive/Defensive Efficiency Rankings (of 363): 247/287

Most Starts: G El Ellis, G Mike James, F Jae’lyn Withers, F Brandon Huntley-Hatfield, C Sydney Curry

Current Postseason Projection: None


The last time Louisville won fewer than 10 games, during the 1941-42 season (7-10), the university declined to field a team the following season. The cause was World War II, not the Cardinals’ poor play, and the school wasn’t even an NCAA member yet. Now, of course, Louisville is a three-time NCAA champion (1980, 1986, 2013*), and the program’s expectations reflect that reality. First-time head coach Kenny Payne, a freshman on the Cards’ 1986 title team, has five seasons left on a $3.35 million per year contract. While it’s true that some of the ACC’s most successful coaches (e.g., Mike Krzyzewski, Dean Smith) had rough starts to their tenures, it’s also true that they avoided ranking among the worst teams in league history.


^ – also would have coached in 2020 NCAA Tournament (cancelled/COVID)

NOTE: (n) = neutral court; vs. = home game; efficiency rankings from KenPom.com.


(featured image via Todd Melet) 

David Glenn (DavidGlennShow.com@DavidGlennShow) is an award-winning author, broadcaster, editor, entrepreneur, publisher, speaker, writer and university lecturer (now at UNC Wilmington) who has covered sports in North Carolina since 1987.

The founding editor and long-time owner of the ACC Sports Journal and ACCSports.com, he also has contributed to the Durham Herald-Sun, ESPN Radio, the New York Times, the Washington Post, Raycom Sports, SiriusXM and most recently The Athletic. From 1999-2020, he also hosted the David Glenn Show, which became the largest sports radio program in the history of the Carolinas, syndicated in more than 300 North Carolina cities and towns, plus parts of South Carolina and Virginia.

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