2. Miami (6-1, 1-0)
After an incredible run to the Elite Eight in 2022, Jim Larranaga’s squad topped that with the program’s first ever Final Four appearance last season. Clearly, Miami is the one program that’s played their best basketball in recent years and taken advantage of their opportunities in this ACC. A few of the key pieces from that Final Four squad aren’t in Coral Gables anymore but there are still enough pieces for these Hurricanes to compete in this conference race.
This season got off to a good start, with the Hurricanes winning their first five games. Offense has carried the torch for the Hurricanes, who weren’t particular good on defense against FIU but won the Bahams Championship with performances against Georgia and Kansas State. Unfortunately, the Hurricanes then had a rough outing at Rupp Arena against Kentucky in a 22-point loss before bouncing back with a conference win over Notre Dame this past weekend.
Norchad Omier, Nijel Pack, and Wooga Poplar all played significant roles on last season’s Final Four squad while Florida State transfer Matthew Cleveland is fitting in nicely with the Hurricanes. Aside from a few lapses against FIU and a second half letdown at Kentucky, Miami looks really good this season. In actuality, the metrics are much lower on the Hurricanes than some of the national rankings, but the Hurricanes are winning games for the most part, even if they’ve yet to beat a truly great opponent.