RANKING THE LEAGUE
Through Jan. 2
1. Duke: Blue Devils haven’t played since Dec. 20, but they’ve moved back to No. 1 in the country anyway.
2. Virginia: Cavaliers are lined up for another special season in ACC play, but start league play with tough assignment vs. Florida State.
3. North Carolina: Tar Heels win twice since Christmas, and next the ACC schedule starts with guard Cameron Johnson’s return to Pittsburgh.
4. Virginia Tech: Hokies capture first ACC victory of season for any team by sticking it to Notre Dame for a Happy New Year.
5. N.C. State: Wolfpack anxious to see how it fares in ACC competition after going 12-1 in non-league play.
6. Florida State: Seminoles are a Top 10 team in basketball, but the football team didn’t even make it to a bowl.
7. Louisville: Cardinals have time to recover from loss to Kentucky, but league slate begins with pair of road games.
8. Clemson: Tigers are glad to have guard Marcquise Reed back from an injury — just in time for a couple non-league wins and a trip to Duke.
9. Syracuse: Orange sputters at times in nonleague play, but high hopes exist anyway.
10. Notre Dame: Irish has taste of former Big East foes as ACC slate begins with Virginia Tech, Syracuse and Boston College.
11. Miami: Hurricanes might have figured some things out on the defensive end prior to league slate.
12. Boston College: Loss to Hartford is no way to gear up for the start of conference competition.
13. Pittsburgh: First ACC game with Jeff Capel as coach comes against North Carolina. So does that make it a rivalry the former Duke player and assistant?
14. Wake Forest: Losing to Tennessee was one thing, but dropping contest to GardnerWebb seemed rather disturbing.
15. Georgia Tech: Yellow Jackets can move up on this list if they defeat Wake Forest in the league opener.