This is a huge week for ACC basketball. Six teams within 2 games of each other at the top of the standings and a scary Syracuse right behind in 7th. So here are the top 5 games from today to Sunday in the ACC this week.
5. Syracuse at Louisville – Wednesday, 7pm-ESPN – This is a far bigger game for Syracuse as they attempt to jump Louisville and propel into the top 5 of the ACC standings. Cuse matches up well against Louisville and the Cardinals are without their 7 footer Mahmoud. Cuse is still a bubble team and even though Louisville doesn’t have much to play for, a win at the Ville doesn’t come easily and is strong in the eyes of the committee.
Best matchup: Damion Lee vs Michael Gbinije
4. Pittsburgh at Syracuse – Saturday, 2pm-ESPN2 – Huge chance for Pitt to steal a tough win in the eyes of the committee. Jamel Artis nearly put up a triple-double in the first matchup 7 weeks ago. Cuse will need a better defensive performance out of Tyler Roberson this time around. This is toughest remaining road game for the Panthers and a big game between two old Big East rivals.
Best Matchup: Tyler Roberson vs. Jamel Artis
3. Duke at Louisville – Saturday, 12pm-ESPN – Same applies above for Duke as it did for Syracuse when it comes to playing at Louisville. The Blue Devils are back in the rankings. They need to continue to stay hot, even though this game will come after the game in the spot below on this list. Duke beat the Cardinals last week for their FIRST WIN AGAINST A RANKED TEAM this season. ACC road wins are tough to come by and this could help propel Duke in the seedings. Could be a tough week for Louisville.
Best Matchup: Derryck Thornton vs. Quentin Snider
2. Duke at North Carolina – Wednesday, 9pm-ESPN – First of two in this historic rivalry. North Carolina tries to keep their small lead over the rest of the ACC against the red hot Blue Devils. This game would be number 1 on the list if Amile Jefferson was returning, but a win at UNC without Jefferson would mean just that much more for Duke. For UNC, they struggled to beat BC and haven’t beaten a ranked opponent in ACC play. Tobacco Road will be jumping Wednesday Night.
Best Matchup: Grayson Allen vs. Justin Jackson
1. Miami at North Carolina – Saturday, 1pm-CBS – Biggest game of the season for Miami. After struggling to beat FSU and Pitt, a win at UNC would be a huge statement. Angel Rodriguez has been playing well but he hasn’t seen a guard like Marcus Paige yet this season. These are two high-scoring teams with UNC at 84 ppg and Miami at 78 so this could be a shootout. UNC will probably play differently depending on the outcome of the Duke game. If they beat Duke, I think they also win this game. If they lose to Duke, Miami could pounce.
Best Matchup: Angel Rodriguez vs. Marcus Paige