Miami-Clemson matchup headlines this weekend in the ACC
A look at the upcoming week around the Atlantic Coast Conference:
GAME OF THE WEEKEND: No. 18 Miami at No. 19 Clemson. The emergence of the Tigers (14-1, 3-0) has been one of the unexpected developments of the early part of the conference season, with their 10-game winning streak and their best start since 2008-09 pushing them near the top of the standings. They’ll get a test from a Miami team that has been in the national rankings all season. The Hurricanes (13-2, 2-1), who are 40-1 under coach Jim Larranaga when scoring at least 80 points, will try to keep the offense flowing against a Clemson team that allows just 63.5 points per game.
LOOKING AHEAD: All those young players at Duke must learn to beat good teams on the road if the seventh-ranked Blue Devils are to live up to their potential. Duke (13-2, 1-2) already has road losses to Boston College and North Carolina State, and face a critical challenge on Monday night at Miami. The Hurricanes are 6-0 in home games against Top 25 teams under Larranaga.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Luke Maye has been the most consistent player for defending national champion North Carolina. Maye had career bests of 32 points and 18 rebounds in a 30-point victory over Boston College, becoming the first UNC player since Antawn Jamison in 1998 with a 30 and 15 game at the Smith Center. The hero of the Tar Heels’ regional final victory over Kentucky last March has reached double figures in either scoring or rebounding in all but two games this season, both losses.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: At least one advanced statistical metric seems to favor the ACC. The league had five teams in the top 20 of Ken Pomeroy’s efficiency ratings through Tuesday night’s games, the most of any conference, led by No. 3 Virginia. Duke ranks sixth, North Carolina is 10th, Notre Dame is 14th and Clemson slots in at No. 17. Two more teams — No. 22 Florida State and No. 26 Miami — are on the cusp.
ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE: Perennial powers Louisville and Notre Dame are joined by a surprise team — Virginia — atop the women’s standings. The unranked Cavaliers (11-6, 4-0) have shaken off an early-season slump and brought a seven-game winning streak into their matchup Thursday night at Boston College. They don’t have a starter averaging more than 11.2 points but are allowing only 58.4 points per game and have held their last five opponents to 63 or fewer points.
Compiled by AP Sports Writer Joedy McCreary in Raleigh, North Carolina.
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