While the home, road and home/road opponents in each team’s ACC schedules have been known for some time now, on Wednesday it was learned how all the pieces would fit together with the conference releasing the league schedule for the 2015-16 campaign. And given the amount of talent both returning to and entering the conference, the ACC race is set up to be one of the nation’s best (if not the best).
Conference play opens up with two games December 30, with a North Carolina team pegged by some as an early favorite in both the ACC and national title conversations, hosting Clemson and Syracuse visiting Pittsburgh.
Three days later there are six conference games scheduled, one of which being reigning ACC champion Notre Dame visiting Virginia (the ACC recognizes the conference tournament winner as its official champion). Tony Bennett’s Cavaliers have finished atop the ACC regular season standings each of the last two seasons, and even with the loss of Justin Anderson they have the ability to do so for a third consecutive season.
Also on January 2, reigning national champion Duke plays what will be its first true road game of the season when they take on Boston College. However, it should be noted that while Duke won’t play a road game in the non-conference portion of its schedule the Blue Devils will take on Kentucky, VCU, Georgetown or Wisconsin, and Utah on neutral courts. Duke will play six of its first nine ACC games away from Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Overall the ACC schedule is a loaded one, thanks in large part to the amount of talent within the conference. NC State, which like North Carolina reached the Sweet 16 last season, visits Chapel Hill January 16 and Virginia visits a Florida State team expected to be much-improved the following day. As for one of sports’ greatest rivalries, Duke and North Carolina will meet February 17 in Chapel Hill (Syracuse and Louisville meet the same night in another matchup of coaches in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame) with the return meeting set for March 6 in Durham.
Click here to see the full ACC schedule (includes non-conference games) for the 2015-16 season.