No. 4 Duke at No. 2 Virginia headlines week ahead in ACC
A look at things to watch this week in the Atlantic Coast Conference:
GAME OF THE WEEKEND: No. 4 Duke at No. 2 Virginia. The Cavaliers (19-0, 7-0) are one of the nation’s last two unbeatens and starting a three-game stretch against ranked league opponents led by Hall of Fame coaches. First is Saturday’s visit from Mike Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils (17-3, 4-3). The Cavaliers have had nearly a week off since a close win at Virginia Tech. ”We know we’re vulnerable,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett said then. Duke is coming off a loss at No. 8 Notre Dame and the game comes two days after Krzyzewski dismissed junior guard Rasheed Sulaimon from the team for failing to meet team standards.
LOOKING AHEAD: No. 13 North Carolina has won 11 of 12 since losing at top-ranked Kentucky to move to 7-1 in the league. The Tar Heels get their shot at Virginia at home Monday, two days after visiting No. 10 Louisville. Meanwhile, the Cardinals travel to No. 23 Miami on Tuesday to face a team that won at Duke but was blown out at home Wednesday by a Georgia Tech team that was 0-7 in the league.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Boston College’s Olivier Hanlan might be the ACC’s best player on a bad team. He’s tied for fifth in scoring (16.5 points) and has 13 straight double-figure games heading into Saturday’s trip to Clemson. He had 25 points in the Eagles’ only conference victory against Georgia Tech. He followed that with 11 points and tied his career high with nine assists in an 81-72 loss to Louisville.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Six ACC teams rank among the nation’s top 26 teams in assist-turnover ratio, with Notre Dame having the best ratio at 1.71 and No. 6 Pittsburgh (1.54) and No. 7 Virginia (1.53) also among the 10 best in that key stat. No other conference has more than three.
ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE: The ACC has three teams in the top 10 – and none are traditional powers Duke or North Carolina. The newest member of that club: No. 9 Florida State (19-2), winner of six straight with home wins against the Blue Devils and then-No. 4 Louisville. ”We were talking about what champions look like, and it is not just beating the No. 4 team in the country,” coach Sue Semrau said after beating Wake Forest. ”It looks like doing everything the next day and the next day.”
Compiled by AP Sports Writers Aaron Beard and Joedy McCreary in Raleigh, North Carolina.