Scheduling is integral to most basketball coaches' efforts to achieve a successful season. So which ACC coaches are most daring in 2014-15 in venturing outside the conference to tackle opponents from the other four power conferences: Big 10, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC?
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Clemson's Brad Brownell and Louisville's Rick Pitino play four rivals from power leagues, more than anyone else in the ACC. The Tigers face three at home, one on the road. The Cardinals take on two at the Yum! Center and two on neutral floors.
At the other end of the spectrum rebuilding BC and Pitt, noted for soft schedules, play a single power opponent. The Panthers go on the road against Indiana in the ACC/Big 10 Challenge. The Eagles host Southern Cal of the Pac-12.
Complicating this analysis are matchups with teams from several strong conferences that specialize in basketball, notably the American Athletic Conference (remnants of the Big East), the Big East, and the Atlantic 10.
UConn, the defending national champ and a Duke opponent, is an AAC member. ACC teams also play the league's Central Florida (FSU), Cincinnati (N.C. State), East Carolina (UNC), South Florida (FSU, N.C. State), Temple (Duke) and Tulane (Wake Forest).
Ambitious Providence, which faces four ACC squads, is a Big East team, as are Butler (UNC); Marquette, a test for Georgia Tech on Thanksgiving; and St. John's and Villanova (Syracuse). The A-10 offers new member Davidson (UNC, UVa) as well as Dayton (Georgia Tech), George Washington (UVa), UMass (BC, FSU, Notre Dame), Richmond (N.C. State, Wake) and VCU (UVa).
One unfortunate schedule change worth noting: Wake Forest and Xavier, a Cincinnati-based member of the Big East, have dropped their annual game honoring the late Skip Prosser, former head coach at each school.
|BIG GAME HUNTING
Scheduled Games Against Power Conference Opponents
|C||4||3||1||0||Rutgers, Auburn, Arkansas, So. Carolina|
|D||2||0||1||1||Michigan State, Wisconsin|
|FS||3||2||1||0||Nebraska, Florida, Miss. State|
|GT||3||2||1||0||Georgia, Northwestern, Vanderbilt|
|UL||4||2||0||2||Minnesota, Ohio St., Indiana, Kentucky|
|NC||3||1||1||1||Iowa, Kentucky, Ohio State|
|NS||3||1||1||1||Purdue, Tennessee, West Virginia|
|ND||2||1||0||1||Michigan State, Purdue|
|SU||3||1||0||2||California, Iowa/Texas, Michigan|
|VT||2||0||2||0||Penn State, West Virginia|
|WF||3||1||1||1||Arkansas, Minnesota, Florida|
|Note: Slash (/) indicates scheduled possibilities during in-season tournament.|