The first week of the college basketball season has come and gone and already we have seen some wild upsets across the country. The ACC has held its own to date with some interesting moments mixed in. Here is some of how the first seven-plus days have played out in the league.
The first national polls had four ACC teams ranked. Duke at #2, Louisville at #4, North Carolina at #6, and Virginia at #9. This is tied for the most of any league in the nation. To begin non-conference play, the conference got off to a great start going 14-1. The 14 wins came by an average of 20.1 points per game. The strong start included a couple of noteworthy wins like Duke at Madison Square Garden vs Kansas (68-66) and Florida State over in-state rival and #6 in the country Florida (63-51). That was the six straight win by the Seminoles over the Gators.
Virginia Tech head coach, Mike Young, reached a milestone in the first week of action. He earned his 300th career win at Clemson last Tuesday night. He is one of ten head coaches in the league to have at least 300 career wins. Freshman Landers Nolley II had himself quite a first night against the Tigers as he scored 30 points in the opener to become the first Hokie freshman to do that in the opening game of the season.
The ACC Player and Freshman of the Week is the same guy. North Carolina’s Cole Anthony is the first Tar Heel freshman with consecutive games of at least 20 points and 10 rebounds. He had 34 points and 11 boards vs The Fighting Irish. Then, he backed that up with a 20-point 10 rebound game against UNCW. The 34 points vs Notre Dame is the most by a freshman in his first game.
Xavier Johnson of Pittsburgh has scored in double-figures in 30 of 35 career games. He has scored 10 or more points in all 14 non-conference games with the Panthers since arriving at the school.
Boston College big man, Nik Popovic, is now 31 points away from reaching the 1000-point club. When he reaches that mark, he will become the 45th member of the Eagles basketball program to attain that number. In his first two games as a member of Boston College, grad student Derryck Thornton recorded his first two career 20-point efforts.
North Carolina State freshman Manny Bates began his career by blocking five shots vs Georgia Tech then adding seven more against Detroit Mercy. It’s the sixth-most in school history. He is the first N.C. State player to have five or more blocks in back to back games since the 2014-15 season.
Next week, more from the ACC.
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