No. 11 Virginia at No. 16 Louisville tops ACC's week ahead
A look at things to watch this week in the Atlantic Coast Conference:
GAME OF THE WEEKEND: No. 11 Virginia at No. 16 Louisville. The Cavaliers (16-4, 5-3 ACC) pulled off an improbable comeback to win at Wake Forest on Tuesday, keeping them amid a crowd in the top half of the league. Now they host the Cardinals (17-3, 6-1), who are alone in second place and have won three straight games. Another loss would sink the Cavs further back in the standings. In that Wake Forest win, Virginia coach Tony Bennett briefly scrapped his pack-line defense in favor of a zone because ''it shows you how desperate we were. ... We just said, `You never know.'''
LOOKING AHEAD: The Cardinals are in the midst of a big two-game stretch, which continues with Monday night's visit from No. 2 North Carolina. The Tar Heels (18-2, 7-0) are alone atop the league and host winless Boston College on Saturday to close an easy opening month of the ACC schedule, so the trip to Louisville will be their toughest test in league play so far.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Malik Beasley has been coming on strong for Florida State. He ranks fourth in the league in scoring (17.3 ppg), is eighth in field-goal percentage (.516), seventh at the free-throw line (.829) and is averaging nearly six rebounds per game. The Seminoles (13-7, 3-5) play host to Clemson on Saturday and North Carolina State on Monday with a chance to return to .500 in league play after
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: It's been a rough year in conference play for three of the four schools in North Carolina. Not counting the games they've played against each other, those three - Duke, N.C. State and Wake Forest - are a combined 3-15 in the league.
ON THE WOMEN'S SIDE: Keep an eye on No. 11 Florida State, which is on the cusp of returning to the Top 10. The Seminoles brought a six-game league winning streak into their visit to Wake Forest on Thursday night and have held 16 of 18 opponents to 70 or fewer points - the exceptions being No. 1 Connecticut and No. 14 Louisville.
Compiled by AP Basketball Writer Aaron Beard and AP Sports Writer Joedy McCreary in Raleigh, North Carolina.