UNC-Notre Dame headlines busy weekend around the ACC
A look at things to watch this week in the Atlantic Coast Conference:
GAME OF THE WEEKEND: No. 2 North Carolina at Notre Dame. The Tar Heels (19-3, 8-1) breezed through the first half of the conference schedule but are coming off a loss at Louisville that trimmed their lead in the ACC standings to one game. The schedule gets tougher during the second half, and next up is a visit to Notre Dame (15-7, 6-4), which dropped out of the Top 25 after losing two of three.
LOOKING AHEAD: No. 19 Louisville at Duke. Rick Pitino makes his first visit to Cameron Indoor Stadium and he's bringing a Cardinals team that's in second place but can keep the pressure on the Tar Heels by continuing to win. For Duke, this marks the start of a run of four straight games against Top 25 opponents, with the Blue Devils returning the trip 12 days later. Plus, it's the 1,000th men's game to be played at the historic arena.
PLAYER TO WATCH: No. 9 Virginia has reeled off five straight wins and Malcolm Brogdon is a big reason why. He's scored at least 20 points four times during the winning streak, most recently putting up 27 - one shy of a career high - in a rout of Boston College. Brogdon says he's ''trying to make sure we establish our identity now, so we can make a run in March.''
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: The three most improved scorers in the conference all play within a 30-minute drive of one another in the North Carolina Triangle region. Duke guard Grayson Allen is averaging more than 16 points more than he did as a role player last season, increasing his average to 20.6 points. N.C. State's Anthony ''Cat'' Barber - the league's top scorer - is averaging 23.4 points, more than 11 more than he did a year ago. And North Carolina guard Joel Berry is scoring eight points per game more than he did in 2014-15.
ON THE WOMEN'S SIDE: No. 13 Louisville has been on quite a tear, entering Thursday night's visit to North Carolina on a 14-game winning streak. The Cardinals face a huge test on Sunday - a visit from No. 3 Notre Dame. The Irish have won 46 of 47 games against ACC opponents since joining the conference for the 2013-14 season.
Compiled by AP Sports Writer Joedy McCreary in Raleigh, North Carolina.