Analysis: ACC releases hoops schedule

North Carolina guard Joel Berry II (2) heads to the hoop as Virginia guard London Perrantes (32) looks on during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game (Alex Brandon)

The ACC released the matchups for the upcoming ACC basketball season on Thursday.

No dates and times have been released yet, but we now know the who, where and how many times of the schedule, which really is the meat of the matter. So who's sitting pretty and who's got the toughest road to hoe, locally?

Make sure you're sitting down because here comes my take:

Easy Street - Duke:

Home/Away: UNC, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech and Pitt (7-1 projection in 8 games)

While I'm clearly hyperbolizing with the 'easy street' bit, Mike Krzyzewski has to love what he's looking at today. The Blue Devils play home and home with UNC and Wake (an every year proposition) and then get 4 games combined vs Virginia Tech and Pitt. Buzz Williams returns everyone save 2 players at VT. Those two players happen to be Zach LeDay and Seth Allen, so that's a big hit, but with a big recruiting class and the sheer force of Buzz's will, they'll be a tough out. Pitt on the other hand has approximately -42 players on scholarship. They're a mess and will likely continue down that road with Kevin Stallings. I'm tempted to stick a Winston-Salem loss here, but nah.

Home Only: Florida State, Virginia, Louisville, Syracuse, Notre Dame (5-0)

The Blue Devils take extra special pride in defending home court. FSU is re-tooling after losing a ton of top shelf talent in Tallahassee. Virginia figures to take a step back with graduation and transfer losses, but Tony Bennett will make sure they have every opponent grinding its teeth. Despite losing Donovan Mitchell, count on the Cards to be relatively ferocious. Syracuse doesn't scare me this season. The best game of the bunch figures to be Notre Dame. It's been well-documented how Mike Brey has tormented his former boss in recent years and any team with Bonzie has a shot. Still - I think the Devils keep a clean sheet at home.

Away Only: Miami, Georgia Tech, Clemson, NC State, Boston College (3-2)

I've got to have them drop at least one of these games and the guess here the L ( or Ls) come at some combination of Miami, GT or State. At the risk of losing my Wolfpack friends here, I think the more likely defeats are in Atlanta and Coral Gables. The Canes bring back a bunch of established talent, first and foremost Bruce Brown. Both Josh Okogie and Ben Lammers are back for more at Tech, so that'll be a slugfest too.

Total tally: 15-3

Manageable - NC State


Home/Away: UNC, Wake Forest, Clemson, Notre Dame (3-5)

It's a whole new regime in Raleigh and I'd expect some immediate dividends given the injection of Keatts-ian energy and work ethic. That said, there's a ton of uncertainty as to what we'll see from the Pack this year, so until I see a few games, it's basically guesswork.

The frontline seems a position of strength. I honestly expect massive improvement from Omer Yurtseven. Abu is Abu and Lennard Freeman is a welcome workhorse to bring back. The guard line certainly has promise, but as this is not an NC State preview post, let's get to the picks.

I just can't see State hanging a loss on the defending national champs in either Raleigh or Chapel Hill. That said - State's frontline should be able to eat against the Heels young, untested big guys. if State gets a dub in Raleigh - LIGHT THE BELLTOWER THERE'S A NEW SHERIFF IN TOWN!!!! A split with Wake Forest seems a fair ambition given what Danny Manning is building in Winston-Salem and gimme the same treatment with Clemson and Notre Dame. A win over Bonzieball might be the highlight at PNC this upcoming year, except that...

Home Only: Florida State, Miami, Duke, Louisville, BC (3-2)

I'm calling a State win over Louisville as the signature victory of Kevin Keatts' initial season in charge of the Wolfpack. Once or twice a year, State rises up and plays to a level high enough to send its fans into ecstasy, only to descend into exasperation most of the rest of the time. BUT AGAIN, new man in charge. As Kevin Keatts said at his presser earlier this week, he's going to put a team that competes and fights every game on the floor. That said, gimme wins over Florida State and BC (with all that NC talent) as well with competitive losses to Miami and Duke.

Away Only: Georgia Tech, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Pitt, Syracuse (2-3)

These all look winnable on paper, but they of course won't be in reality. Wins at Pitt (see above) and Virginia Tech will be the highlights. Virginia will be a 47-39 ugg-fest, the shots won't fall at Syracuse and Georgia Tech is an OT loss when Markell Johnson's running full court effort comes up just long. No repeat Trevor Lacey magic this time.

Total tally: 8-10

Toughest Road - UNC


Home/Away: Duke, NC State, Clemson, Notre Dame (6-2)

I already stuck Duke with a loss above, and that to my mind comes courtesy of the Heels in Chapel Hill. Duke winning there is obviously a strong possibility too but since calling it a split is the easy bailout here, lemme jump on that lifeboat ahead of the women and children. As stated in my NCSU rundown - the Heels baby bigs will face a stern test in both matchups vs the Wolfpack. Luke Maye can board, but there's some questions that'll need answering in both those games. Still - with dudes who've been through it like Joel Berry and Theo Pinson, that championship confidence will shine through. Plus - you know Roy's going to want to show Kevin Keatts who's boss in year one of that new rivalry. Clemson in Chapel Hill seems noteworthy for some reason but I can't put my thumb on it. Two wins vs the Tigers, but Bonzie Wells and the Irish will zap them once (at least).

Home Only: Miami, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Pitt, BC (5-0)

Miami sets off the alarm bells loudest here. I don't think the Jackets can hang at the Smith Center. Absent John Collins, the Deacs don't have enough and Pitt and BC aren't good enough. I do though expect large games from Jerome Robinson and Ky Bowman in front of some friendly fans.

Road Only: Florida State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Syracuse (2-3)

Here's where it gets dicey. All the experience comes in handy for Carolina in these situations, but they'll need some bigtime performances from the role players in more than a few of these games. This is where we get to watch the young guys come to terms with ACC basketball. I think FSU's a win and so is VT. I'm gonna pin Ls on the Heels in the other three. I think finding points on the road may wind up being problematic, which is a weird thing to say about UNC, but there I said it.

Total tally: 13-5

Full match ups:
2017-18 Season
Boston College 2017-18
Home/Road: Syracuse, Notre Dame, Florida State, Miami
Home: Georgia Tech, Clemson, Duke, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech
Road: North Carolina, NC State, Virginia, Louisville, Pitt

Clemson 2017-18
Home/Road: Florida State, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, NC State
Home: Miami, Duke, Louisville, Pitt, Notre Dame
Road: Wake Forest, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Syracuse

Duke 2017-18
Home/Road: North Carolina , Wake Forest , Virginia Tech, Pitt
Home: Florida State, Virginia, Louisville, Syracuse, Notre Dame
Road: Miami, Georgia Tech, Clemson, NC State, Boston College

Florida State 2017-18
Home/Road: Miami, Clemson, Louisville, Boston College
Home: Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Virginia, Pitt, Syracuse
Road: Duke, Wake Forest, NC State, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame

Georgia Tech 2017-18
Home/Road: Clemson, Notre Dame, Wake Forest, Virginia
Home: Miami, Duke, NC State, Virginia Tech, Syracuse
Road: Florida State, North Carolina, Louisville, Pitt, Boston College

Louisville 2017-18
Home/Road: Pitt, Virginia, Florida State, Virginia Tech
Home: Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Wake Forest, Boston College, Syracuse
Road: Miami, Clemson, Duke, NC State, Notre Dame

Miami 2017-18
Home/Road: Florida State, Virginia Tech, Pitt, Boston College
Home: Duke, Wake Forest, Virginia, Louisville, Syracuse
Road: Georgia Tech, Clemson, North Carolina, NC State, Notre Dame

North Carolina 2017-18
Home/Road: Duke, NC State, Clemson , Notre Dame
Home: Miami, Georgia Tech, , Wake Forest, Pitt, Boston College
Road: Florida State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Syracuse

NC State 2017-18
Home/Road: North Carolina, Wake Forest, Clemson, Notre Dame
Home: Florida State, Miami, Duke, Louisville, Boston College
Road: Georgia Tech, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Pitt, Syracuse

Notre Dame 2017-18
Home/Road: Boston College, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, NC State
Home: Florida State, Miami, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Pitt
Road: Clemson, Duke, Wake Forest, Virginia, Syracuse

Pitt 2017-18
Home/Road: Louisville, Syracuse, Miami, Duke
Home: Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, NC State, Virginia, Boston College
Road: Florida State, Clemson, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame
Syracuse 2017-18
Home/Road: Boston College, Pitt, Wake Forest, Virginia
Home: Clemson, North Carolina, NC State, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame
Road: Florida State, Miami, Georgia Tech, Duke, Louisville

Virginia 2017-18
Home/Road: Louisville, Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Syracuse
Home: Clemson, North Carolina, NC State, Boston College, Notre Dame
Road: Florida State, Miami, Duke, Wake Forest, Pitt

Virginia Tech 2017-18
Home/Road: Miami, Virginia, Duke, Louisville
Home: Florida State, Clemson, North Carolina, NC State, Pitt
Road: Georgia Tech, Wake Forest, Boston College, Syracuse, Notre Dame

Wake Forest 2017-18
Home/Road: Duke, NC State, Georgia Tech, Syracuse
Home: Florida State, Clemson, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Notre Dame
Road: Miami, North Carolina, Louisville, Pitt, Boston College

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