The ACC had four undefeated teams through December 14: Duke at 9-0 and Miami at 9-0, and Clemson and North Carolina at 8-0. Such a start may strike fans as unusually strong. For good reason - it is. This is only the fourth time, after 1984, 1993, and 2004, that four ACC teams started a season with at least eight straight victories. In 1984 Duke lost its ninth game to drop from the ranks of the undefeated. In 1993 North Carolina lost its ninth game to likewise fall from grace. In 2004 it was Virginia that did not get past 8-0.
There were fewer ACC members in each of those previous seasons, making previous four-team contingents at 8-0 that much more impressive. The longest that three ACC teams maintained season-opening winning streaks was 1986, when Clemson, Duke, and UNC each won at least 11 games coming out of the gate.
The deepest into a season that a pair of ACC squads remained undefeated was a combined 37 games. That happened three times. In 1973 Maryland started 10-0, its streak ended by N.C. State, which finished 27-0 (but on probation and ineligible for NCAA Tournament play. Eight seasons later Virginia got off to a 23-0 start, while Wake Forest was 14-0. Duke began 1986 with 16 consecutive victories, a run ended by UNC in the opening game at the Smith Center. The Tar Heels went on to win their first 21 outings that year, although it was the Blue Devils who reached the NCAA title game. This season, Clemson can run its record to 13-0 before it hosts North Carolina on Jan. 6. The Heels could be 14-0 entering that meeting.
Most Teams Starting At Least 8-0
|Year||8-0+||ACC Mbrs||Teams And Records To Start The Season|
|2008||4||12||Duke 9-0, Clemson 8-0, Miami 9-0, North Carolina 8-0|
|2005||3||11||Duke 15-0, Georgia Tech 9-0, N.C. State 8-0|
|2004||4||9||Georgia Tech 14-0, Wake Forest 11-0, Florida State 10-0, Virginia 8-0|
|2003||3||9||Duke 12-0, Wake Forest 11-0, Clemson 9-0|
|2001||3||9||Wake Forest 12-0, Duke 10-0, Virginia 10-0|
|1993||4||9||Virginia 11-0, Duke 10-0, Clemson 9-0, North Carolina 8-0|
|1986||3||8||North Carolina 21-0, Duke 16-0, Clemson 11-0|
|1984||4||8||North Carolina 21-0, Virginia 10-0, Wake Forest 10-0, Duke 8-0|
|1982||3||8||North Carolina 13-0, Virginia 12-0, N.C. State 9-0|
|1976||3||7||Maryland 11-0, Wake Forest 10-0, N.C. State 8-0|
" Only in 1984, 1986, 2001, and 2004 did three ACC teams reach double-digits in wins before losing their first game of the season.
" One-third of this year's ACC members were still undefeated after playing eight games. In 1993 and 2004 the percentage was 44 percent (four of nine); in 1984 it was half of the league's membership (four of eight). " Seventy ACC squads started a season with at eight straight victories. Only 49 of those (70 percent) posted winning records in the games remaining after their undefeated streak came to an end.
" Duke has started more seasons with double-figure victories (12) than any other ACC school, followed by Wake (7), Clemson and Virginia (6). All but one of those Duke starts came under Mike Krzyzewski. Bill Foster's 1980 squad opened the year 12-0.
" This is coach Roy Williams' best start in five seasons at North Carolina. His first team opened with six straight wins in 2004 before losing in triple overtime to Wake Forest.
|LONGEST WINNING STREAKS TO OPEN A SEASON|
|32-0 North Carolina, 1957*|
|N.C. State, 1973*|
|North Carolina, 1986|
|North Carolina, 1984|
|North Carolina 1998|
|Georgia Tech, 2004|
|Wake Forest, 1981|
* Entire season.