Louisville, Hokies keep chasing top-4 spot in ACC standings
A look at the upcoming week around the Atlantic Coast Conference:
GAME OF THE WEEKEND: Louisville at Virginia Tech. The Cardinals and Hokies enter the next-to-last weekend of the ACC’s regular season trying to overtake No. 15 Clemson in the standings and earn one of the top-four seeds and two-round byes in the conference tournament. Louisville (18-10, 8-7) — which earlier this week learned it must vacate 123 victories and its 2013 national title after an NCAA appeals panel upheld sanctions from a sex scandal case — is coming off a blowout loss to No. 5 Duke while Virginia Tech (20-8, 9-6) knocked off the Tigers to pull even with them and with N.C. State with three league games remaining.
LOOKING AHEAD: All eyes are on Clemson in that fourth spot in the standings — at least, for now. A three-game losing streak has made the Tigers’ position tenuous, and they face another test from a nationally ranked opponent when they host a rematch with No. 25 Florida State on Wednesday night. Clemson’s current slide started with the Seminoles knocking off the Tigers in overtime on Feb. 14 .
PLAYER TO WATCH: Doral Moore has been a bright spot in a rough year for Wake Forest, which needed him to step up after John Collins left for the NBA following a sophomore season that ended in the NCAA Tournament. Moore entered Wednesday night’s game at Pittsburgh leading the ACC and ranking second nationally with a shooting percentage of .706. He’s on pace to break the league record of .697 set by North Carolina’s Brendan Haywood in 2000.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: The ACC’s top three teams in the national rankings — No. 1 Virginia, No. 5 Duke and No. 10 North Carolina — also rank highly in Ken Pomeroy’s efficiency rankings. The ACC is the only conference with three teams in the top 10, with the Cavaliers first, the Blue Devils third and Tar Heels seventh. Only one other conference — the Big Ten — has multiple teams in the top 10.
ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE: With No. 4 Louisville and No. 5 Notre Dame having sewn up the top two seeds in next week’s league tournament, the focus shifts to the race for the other two top-four seeds and the two-round byes that accompany them. No. 9 Florida State and No. 23 N.C. State each brought 10-4 ACC records into Thursday night’s games, with No. 20 Duke and Miami at 10-5 entering their regular-season finales.
Compiled by AP Sports Writer Joedy McCreary in Raleigh, North Carolina.
More AP college basketball: http://collegebasketball.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_Top25