Every single football season we have to endure the sickening love fest for the SEC. Based on the preseason Coaches Top 25 Poll we could get a reprieve from that as the ACC is poised to take that superior title on the hardwood. Louisville’s new league has five teams ranked, including four in the Top 10. Your Cardinals are ranked 9th, while Duke is 3rd, UNC 6th, UVA 8th, and Syracuse 24th. UofL faces arguably its toughest schedule ever this year as non-conference opponent UK is ranked 1st and Ohio State is 20th.
Five Atlantic Coast Conference basketball teams are ranked among the Top 25 of the USA TODAY Sports coaches preseason poll announced on Thursday, including four among the top 10.
Duke leads the way at No. 3, followed by North Carolina at No. 6, defending ACC champion Virginia at No. 8 and Louisville at No. 9. Syracuse received a No. 24 preseason ranking. The ACC’s four teams ranked among the top 10 leads all conferences.
In addition, ACC members Pitt, Notre Dame, Florida State and Miami are among the teams receiving votes.
Here is a team-by-team capsule of every Top 25 school.
9. Louisville (31-6)
Outlook: Top players Russ Smith and Luke Hancock will be gone, but big man Montrezl Harrell turned down the NBA for another season. Point guard Chris Jones and Wayne Blackshear are the Cards’ other top returnees from a squad that reached the Sweet 16. Opens: Nov. 14 vs. Minnesota in Armed Forces Classic in Puerto Rico (ESPN, 7:30).
View the entire ACC hoops slate HERE.
For the second straight year, the ACC’s participation in Big Monday presented by Verizon is an integral part of the conference schedule. Eight ACC games will be shown, beginning on Jan. 5 and on consecutive Mondays between Jan. 19 and March 2. Big Monday will take a one-week hiatus as ESPN debuts the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship on January 12. Each Big Monday game involving an ACC team is set for a 7 p.m. start and will be televised nationally by ESPN or ESPN2.
Another highlight will be the 62nd annual ACC Tournament, set for Tuesday, March 10 through Saturday, March 14 at the Greensboro Coliseum. All 14 games will be shown nationally on an ESPN network and the ACC Network, including the 8:30 p.m. championship game on Saturday. It marks the first year since 1981 that the championship game is slated for prime time on Saturday night.
Each of the ACC controlled regular-season games, with the exception of the CBS telecasts, will be available through WatchESPN, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, through ESPN on Xbox LIVE, Amazon FireTV, Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Roku devices to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.
The 2014-15 season marks the inaugural campaign for Louisville, further enhancing a league that historically has been college basketball’s strongest.