The Duke Blue Devils didn’t win the ACC during the regular season or in the tournament last season; the Miami Hurricanes were able to claim both of those titles. Duke is known for their success, and not winning either one of those last season is not acceptable to Coach Mike Krzyzewski. They will look to get back to the top of the ACC this season.
The Blue Devils have been a staple of the ACC for years now and have been one of the best teams alongside North Carolina. Duke will look to get back on top of the ACC and look to position themselves well for the NCAA tournament. However, this season won’t be easy because of the new additions to the ACC. The ACC will see three new teams coming in to the conference in Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame. These teams will do well this year in the ACC and bring added depth to the conference.
All three of those teams finished in the upper half of the Big East last season and will look to continue that trend in the ACC. They are great additions to the ACC and great basketball schools whom have been on the way up the past few years. Notre Dame, under Mike Brey, has developed a successful basketball program at a football school. Pittsburgh, who has seen better days under Jamie Dixon, should be improved this year, and look to their move to the ACC to secure better recruits in the future. Syracuse will be fine as long as they have Jim Boeheim as their coach and will look to compete in the ACC like they did in the Big East.
Duke will see this as an added challenge to their schedule because the ACC wouldn’t be as strong this season as it has in past without the addition of these three schools. North Carolina is struggling with offseason issues, and Miami took a hit with most of their players leaving. There are a few teams that should improve from last season, such as Boston College, and a couple teams that were really young, but you never know if they will be able to put it all together for a great season.
The teams that should contend for an ACC title are the two who pretty much made the ACC in Duke and North Carolina, two schools with a great rivalry and great recruits. The other three that could be looking to contend are the three newcomers to the conference in Syracuse, Notre Dame and Pittsburgh. All three of these teams pose a unique threat to the rest of the conference because every team will have to figure out how to play these teams and vice versa.
This will be an interesting year for a few conferences like the ACC because of the new teams. This is still Duke and North Carolina’s conference, and they both should be contending for a title. Duke is the top team in the conference and should be able to show the new guys it won’t be that easy to walk in and expect to win.