The Atlantic Coast Conference is loaded with its share of college hoops contenders this year, including new additions like the Syracuse Orange and Pittsburgh Panthers.
Are you prepared for the upcoming NCAA basketball season?
Schedule strength throughout the season should
set the table for the Atlantic Coast Conference's top challengers to have a hefty presence in March’s
“Big Dance.” Which of these schedules bodes best for our NCAA basketball picks?
Duke Blue Devils
Duke’s first marquee date comes against the Kansas
Jayhawks as part of Chicago’s State Farm Champions Classic, while finishing
November with the Preseason NIT. December’s action features Mike Krzyzewski’s
squad battling the Michigan Wolverines in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
North Carolina Tar Heels
UNC has a trio of big dates in December, facing
the Michigan State Spartans, Kentucky Wildcats, and Texas Longhorns. The Tar
Heels’ rivalry meetings with Duke will come as ACC play nears its end,
including a regular season finale in Durham.
Syracuse heads west for the Maui Invitational in
its early action, followed by facing some of its former Big East rivals. Jim
Boeheim’s troops square off with the St. John’s Red Storm and Villanova
Wildcats, while the Indiana Hoosiers make their way to Carrier Dome for the
ACC/Big Ten Challenge.
NCAA basketball odds show that Pittsburgh’s slate shapes up lighter than their
above rivals, hoping to run up some attention in November’s ‘cupcake’ contests.
The Fresno State Bulldogs and Lehigh Mountain Hawks visit Petersen Events
Center, while a step up in class comes as part of Brooklyn’s Legends Classic
against Texas Tech.
NC State Wolfpack
NC State finds itself crunched in a year of
rebuild, beginning with early televised matchups against the Cincinnati
Bearcats and Florida Gulf Coast Eagles. The Wolfpack could find themselves on
the losing end of their start to ACC play, with road dates at Notre Dame,
Virginia and Duke in the first five contests.
Virginia draws in-state foe VCU for its second contest
of the year, while December duels loom with the Wisconsin Badgers and Tennessee
Volunteers. Tony Bennett’s boys could pick up late steam with a February
stretch that includes home matchups against Boston College and Maryland.
Florida State Seminoles
Florida State has some early challenges,
including the Puerto Rico Tip-Off and road dates with the Florida Gators and
Minnesota Golden Gophers. Look for the Seminoles to pull off one or two early
upsets, setting FSU up as a sleeper team when the heart of ACC play hits.
The Hurricanes will be a long shot to defend
last year’s ACC Tournament title in this season’s campaign, while taking on a
lighter early schedule. Sports betting highlights have Miami heading to Anaheim for November’s
Wooden Classic, followed by a road battle with the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Notre Dame has its chances to run the table early, with nine of
its first 10 contests at Purcell Pavilion. The schedule steps up with December
matchups against the Indiana Hoosiers and Ohio State Buckeyes, while opening
ACC play at home against Duke.
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