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Barry Jacobs On ACC Opening Losses

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Don't expect too much difficulty for ACC teams in their 2012-13 openers.

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Except for Maryland, that is. The Terrapins, first-division ACC contenders, launch their season against Kentucky at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., home of the NBA's Brooklyn Nets and, soon, the NHL's Islanders. The Wildcats are ranked third in the preseason Associated Press poll.

The Terps are among the nine ACC members debuting on Friday, Nov. 9.

The only league squad that opens on an opponent's home court is Virginia, which journeys in-state to George Mason. The Patriots are coached by Paul Hewitt, formerly at Georgia Tech. He replaced Jim Larranaga, currently at Miami.

Speaking of Georgia Tech, the Yellow Jackets inaugurate their newly refurbished and renamed home court, McCamish Pavilion, against Tulane.

Note that Clemson, which historically tended to avoid early tests, hasn't lost a first outing since 1985, Cliff Ellis' debut season. This year the Tigers tee off on Presbyterian, once the football team's perennial punching bag, on Nov. 12.

We should also mention that losing an opener isn't necessarily a problem.

Both Maryland during the 2002 season and North Carolina in 2005 stumbled right out of the gate, only to advance to win a national championship.

Last Time ACC Teams Lost In Openers
School Year Opponent Final W/L 2012-13 Opener
BC 2003 St. Joseph's 19-12 Fla. International
Clemson 1985 Tenn. Tech 16-13 Presbyterian
Duke 2000 Stanford 29-5 Georgia State
FSU 2002 Florida 12-17 South Alabama
Ga. Tech 1994 Michigan 16-13 Tulane
Maryland 2002 Arizona 32-4* Kentucky
Miami 1993 FIa. International 10-17 Stetson
UNC 2005 Santa Clara 33-4* Gardner-Webb
N.C. State 1994 Weber State 11-19 Miami (Ohio)
Virginia 1998 Richmond 11-19 George Mason
Va. Tech 2003 St. Bonaventure 12-17 East Tenn. State
Wake 2011 Stetson 8-24 Radford
* Won NCAA title.