When the ACC basketball schedule came out Thursday afternoon, these were five games that caught my eye:
December 30: The schedule kicks off with an early Dec. 9 game between Boston College and Duke, but more interesting in the second day of ACC play, when Duke hosts Florida State in the best of six conference games that day.
January 6: North Carolina is probably going to be better (again) than people are expecting, despite the players the Tar Heels lost. After an uncharacteristically mundane season, Virginia is primed to bounce back. This Jan. 6 game in Charlottesville will be a good indicator of how these two fit into the ACC power structure.
January 27: Kevin Keatts makes his first visit to Chapel Hill. The good news for N.C. State: It’s hard to imagine things going any worse for N.C. State at North Carolina than last year. The bad news: The Tar Heels come into the Saturday noon game after four days off; the Wolfpack plays at Pittsburgh on Wednesday at 9 p.m.
March 1: Less than a week before the ACC tournament, Virginia Tech visits Miami in a game that may not seem like much now, but could have enormous implications on the ACC standings. Miami is a potential title contender and Virginia Tech’s program is on an upward arc under Buzz Williams.
March 3: UNC at Duke, part II. On top of everything else on the line, it’s senior night for Grayson Allen.
Sports columnist Luke DeCock: 919-829-8947, firstname.lastname@example.org, @LukeDeCock