RANK­ING THE LEAGUE

Through Jan. 2

The Progress-Index Weekend - - HOOPS INSIDER -

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.

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