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The Toughest ACC Schedule Belongs To...

Well it’s no one in North Carolina

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NCAA Basketball: Miami at North Carolina State
Jim Larranaga doesn’t look to thrilled about his road trips this year.
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

There are all sorts of ways to gauge which team has the toughest ACC schedule.

You can examine various analysts’ ratings based on pet mathematical formulas, which is what the vast majority of observers do. You can go deeper and look at various coaches’ records against one another, and better rate the likelihood of a given result. You can put in perspective when meetings take place, prelude a good indicator of outcome.

All those measures are revealing and perhaps definitive. But, as far as a granular view of ACC matchups within an unbalanced schedule, we’d direct your attention to which venues teams must visit.

As noted earlier here, three programs are the dominant forces during the ACC regular season, at least since 2012 when Tony Bennett’s Virginia clubs came to the fore. UVa, Duke and UNC each have finished among the conference’s top five in every one of those seven seasons.

So we’d argue the team that’s required to visit all the home courts of that trio confronts the toughest task. As it turns out there’s only one such club, as the following chart illustrates.

That uphill route is to be run by Miami, which plays at Cameron Indoor Stadium, JPJ Arena, and the Smith Center. Jim Larranaga’s Hurricanes also host the Tar Heels.

The only teams that meet the contemporary behemoths more often are Notre Dame, facing UVa and UNC home-and-home and Duke in Durham, and Louisville, which has a similar tit for tat arrangement with those two dominators. First-year Cardinals coach Chris Mack at least gets Duke on UL’s tasty home floor at the Yum! Center.

Games to be Played at Venues of Most Successful ACC Clubs
(x Indicates Game on the Road, x/x Indicates Games Home and Away)
D x x 0 x x x x 0 0 x/x 0 x/x
V 0 0 x 0 x/x x 0 x/x x 0 x/x x
NC 0 0 x x x/x x/x x/x x/x x 0 x 0
Road 1 1 2 2 3 3 2 2 2 1 2 2
Total 1 1 2 2 5 4 3 5 2 2 3 3

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