The ACC schedule has been finalized for the upcoming college basketball season. Here’s why Duke should take home conference regular season and tournament championships.
The Duke Men’s Basketball schedule for the upcoming college basketball season has officially been released. This year will feature tough non-conference games, however a very manageable ACC schedule. Check out why the Blue Devils should be able to sweep the ACC regular season and tournament titles this year.
Despite high expectations and a preseason #1 ranking last year, Duke finished 5th in the ACC regular season standings. The Blue Devils struggled with numerous issues including injuries to key players, Grayson Allen’s suspension, and Coach K’s back surgery which all occurred during conference play. Additionally, they had to play a very extremely difficult ACC schedule which saw them face Florida State, Louisville, Syracuse, Miami, and UNC on the road, all resulting in losses.
One main complaint against Duke Basketball scheduling is that they wait until extremely late to play true road games (first one at Indiana on Nov. 29), which doesn’t prepare them for the ACC season. However, things will be a lot different this year with Duke scheduled to play much easier ACC road games. They will have tough matchups at Miami, Virginia Tech, and North Carolina, but otherwise the Blue Devils will play last year’s six worst conference teams on the road (BC, NCSU, Pitt, WF, GT, Clemson). The Blue Devils will avoid traveling to FSU, Virginia, Louisville, Syracuse, and Notre Dame, playing each at home this season.
Even though Duke didn’t earn a double-bye in the 2017 ACC Tournament, the Blue Devils became the first program in conference history to win four games in four consecutive days to win the ACC title. Additionally, last year’s title gave Duke Basketball the most conference tournament championships in league history (20) and 14 for Mike Krzyzewski.
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However, Duke lost several key players from last year’s ACC Championship team. Grayson Allen is the only returning player with significant appearances in the conference tournament last season. The Blue Devils will have a young and inexperienced roster, but should be the most talented team with the highest potential in the ACC. Freshmen Marvin Bagley, Trevon Duval, Gary Trent, and Wendell Carter are all 5-star prospects who will play a key role.
By the time the conference tournament comes around, Coach K should have the team playing at a high level. If everyone stays healthy, Duke will also have the depth to make deep runs in the ACC and NCAA tournaments. The Atlantic Coast Conference tournament will return to Brooklyn, NY at the Barclays Center March 6-10.
Duke Basketball is coming off an eventful offseason and will have very high expectations for the upcoming season. After observing the full 2017-18 schedule for the Blue Devils, they should have no problems sweeping the conference championships this season.