Duke’s permanent rival is now … Wake Forest?


With the ACC expanding to 15 teams once Pitt, Syracuse and Notre Dame make their merry way down the coast* from the Big East, the conference will eventually have to find a way to put together an 18 game schedule.

On Wednesday, the league announced the framework of what that schedule might look like.

“The addition of Notre Dame gives us an opportunity to reinforce a number of conference rivalries in basketball and Olympic sports while also giving our schools greater flexibility in nonconference football scheduling,” said ACC Commissioner John Swofford in a press release. “With Pitt, Syracuse and Notre Dame joining us, it is an exciting time in our league and our schools have made decisions that position us extremely well for the future.”

The schedule is simple: each team will have two permanent partners, whom they will play a home-and-home with annually. They will also play two more home-and-home series that rotate, while getting five league games at home and five more on the road. That equals 18 games.

The ACC also announced the permanent partners:

Boston College – Notre Dame and Syracuse
Clemson – Florida State and Georgia Tech
Duke – North Carolina and Wake Forest
Florida State – Clemson and Miami
Georgia Tech – Clemson and Notre Dame
Maryland – Pitt and Virginia
Miami – Florida State and Virginia Tech
North Carolina – Duke and NC State
NC State – North Carolina and Wake Forest
Notre Dame – Boston College and Georgia Tech
Pitt – Maryland and Syracuse
Syracuse – Boston College and Pitt
Virginia – Maryland and Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech – Miami and Virginia
Wake Forest – Duke and NC State

I have two initial reactions: UNC getting home-and-home series with NC State and Duke is awesome, especially with the way that the Wolfpack are trending. That said, it is disappointing that Duke’s second partner ended up being Wake Forest. I get that Wake is a North Carolina school and that the ACC probably didn’t want to piss off a North Carolina school by leaving it out of the rivalry with the other three North Carolina schools.

But still — Wake Forest?

Am I the only one that would have rather have seen Duke and Maryland get matched up twice a year? Or Duke and Syracuse? Or Duke and NC State? The point here isn’t to insult Wake Forest; eventually that program will get back to the level it was in 2009 and 2003 and 1996.

I just believe there were much better options for permanent rivalries with Duke than Wake Forest.

*(None of those schools are anywhere near the Atlantic ocean. Just pointing that out.)

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @robdauster.

LATE NIGHT SNACKS: Syracuse wins Atlantis, Miami gets upset

Brad Horrigan/The Courant via AP
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(This will be updated throughout the day.)

GAME OF THE DAY: Syracuse 74, No. 25 Texas A&M 67

The Orange got 20 points from Michael Gbinije and 15 points and five assists from Trevor Cooney as they won the Battle 4 Atlantis title on Friday afternoon. We wrote on this game earlier. Are the Orange for real this year?


No. 10 Gonzaga 73, No. 17 UConn 70: Eric McClellan and Kyle Dranginis made some big plays down the stretch as the Bulldogs held on to win a game they led by as much as 21 in the second half. Kyle Wiltjer scored a team-best 17 points for Gonzaga, which finished third at the Battle 4 Atlantis. Rob Dauster wrote more about the Bulldogs and their second-half performance here.

Alabama 64, No. 20 Wichita State 60: Not only did the Shockers drop their second straight at the AdvoCare Invitational, but they also saw Anton Grady leave the game on a stretcher after being involved in a scary second-half collision. He was awake and alert shortly after leaving the court. While the Shockers’ losses to USC and Alabama don’t help them from an NCAA tournament standpoint, the bigger issue is the team’s health.


Quincy Ford, Northeastern: Not only did he score 24 points in the upset win over No. 15 Miami, but he hit the game-winning jumper, too. Video here.


Wichita State’s bigs: Five of them (Anton Grady, Zach Brown, Rashard Kelly, Bush Wakumota, Eric Hamilton) finished a combined 3-for-21 from the floor with 14 points and 14 fouls. Wakumota shot one of the worst threes you’ll ever see with Wichita State down 62-60 with 10 seconds left.

Grady suffered a scary neck injury late in the game, but early reports sound positive.


  • Jamal Murray went for 21 points and three assists without a turnover at No. 1 Kentucky rolled over South Florida. The big question: How bad is Tyler Ulis’ elbow injury?
  • Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart both had 13 points as No. 8 Villanova knocked off Georgia Tech to win the Preseason NIT, 69-52.
  • No. 23 Xavier raced out of the gates against USC and led by as much as 32, going on to win 87-77 in Orlando. Trevon Bluiett led four Musketeers in double figures with 16 points and James Farr added 12 to go along with nine rebounds off the bench.


  • Stanford finished third at the Preseason NIT with a 69-66 win over Arkansas, closing the game on a stunning 21-1 run. Rosco Allen scored eight of his career-high 25 points during that run, and Marcus Allen’s goal-tended layup with 2.6 seconds remaining gave the Cardinal the lead for good.

Good luck Goodluck: UNLV’s Okonoboh to transfer

Goodluck Okonoboh
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UNLV sophomore Goodluck Okonoboh is transferring out of the program, a source told

The 6-foot-10 center was the No. 31 recruit in the Class of 2014, but he never was able to find a place in the UNLV rotation. He averaged 2.9 blocks as a freshman, but is a career 34 percent free throw shooter that never proved he could be more than just an athlete.

With Ben Carter getting eligible and UNLV landing Stephen Zimmerman this season, Okonoboh’s minutes dried up. He played just 19 minutes total against UCLA and Indiana.