The media herd already had concluded that Virginia, which won its first dozen ACC games, would win six more and finish undefeated in league play.
In-state rival Virginia Tech made sure that didn’t happen, even if it took surviving a blown late lead in regulation and a two-basket deficit late in overtime to beat the Cavaliers on their home court.
The Hokies’ victory over the Cavs at JPJ Arena in Charlottesville means that 19 seasons have now passed since a team cruised through the ACC without a loss. The 1999 Duke squad coached by Mike Krzyzewski was 16-0, most wins ever en route to a perfect league record.
Three coaches -- Frank McGuire, Norman Sloan, and Dean Smith -- each had two undefeated teams in ACC play. McGuire had one at UNC and another at USC. Sloan posted both at NC State, and Smith had two at Chapel Hill, most recently in 1987.
South Carolina’s unbeaten record came in 1970, a year prior to exiting the conference to pursue a grandiose vision that never bore fruit.
Of the eight squads unbeaten in ACC regular-season competition, two went on to win an NCAA championship -- UNC in 1957 and NC State in 1974. Both Duke teams, one under Vic Bubas and the other under Krzyzewski, reached a Final Four.
|MAYBE NEXT YEAR
Undefeated Teams in ACC Play, All Time
|School||Season||ACC Record||1st ACC Loss||NCAA|
|South Carolina||1970||14-0||Tourn. Final||None|
|North Carolina||1984||14-0||Tourn. Semis||2nd Round|
|North Carolina||1987||14-0||Tourn. Final||Elite 8|