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Top questions in power conference ACC
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On September 7, 2013 @ 8:12 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY Sports
Is it March yet? Hardly. With the NCAA tournament far in the rearview mirror and Midnight Madness creeping up, USA TODAY Sports examines several story lines for every major conference heading into the 2013-14 college basketball season.
In spite of all the shake up to the sport as a result of conference realignment, there are still plenty of truths for the upcoming season:
– The new Big East, now made up of the Catholic 7 and three other basketball-only schools, won’t be on the same pedestal that the old Big East was.
– Likewise, the former Big East — the American Athletic Conference — won’t quite be there either.
– And the Atlantic Coast Conference, the biggest beneficiary of realignment, will be very, very good.
The best of the broken-up Big East is now in the ACC. So here is one more not-so-bold prediction: The ACC will be the best power conference in the coming season. The league already featured Duke and North Carolina and adds former Big East heavyweights Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Notre Dame.
Members of the Big Ten may argue otherwise. The league has been glorified as the best conference in the country over the past few seasons and will undoubtedly still be in the running for that title.
Last season wasn’t exactly a benchmark year for the ACC that had its champion beaten in the Sweet 16 and blue-blood Duke blitzed in the second half of an Elite Eight game. Nevertheless, the ACC will be one of the most entertaining leagues in the country. Here’s a look at the most enticing plots heading into the season.
How will the new teams adjust? Seeing Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim representing the ACC will take some getting used to for fans, yet there’s no reason to expect a lengthy transition for the new teams, including Notre Dame (returning Jerian Grant and Eric Atkins) and Pittsburgh (returning Lamar Patterson). “I think we’re going to become the deepest and most powerful basketball conference,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. Syracuse returns C.J. Fair (14.5 ppg, 7.0 rpg) and will be expected to contend with Duke for the … [For more on Starting Five: Top questions in new power conference ACC, click here.]
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