The Atlantic Coast Conference, one of the most historic basketball conferences in the country, will tip off on Monday with season No. 70.
If the preseason polls are any indication North Carolina and Duke could be right back in the Final Four again at the end of this season. The two programs played in the semifinals last year in what was Coach Mike Krzyzewski’s final game on the Duke bench.
The Tar Heels lost in the championship game to Kansas but return four starters as Coach Hubert Davis has experience galore.
For the Wake Forest Demon Deacons, Coach Steve Forbes will replace four starters from a 25-win season in what was his breakthrough year.
Forbes and the Demon Deacons will debut on Monday night at 8 p.m. against Fairfield at Joel Coliseum.
The Demon Deacons tuned up for their opener tonight by beating Division II Winston-Salem State 82-69 last week at Joel Coliseum in an exhibition game.
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“We’ve got to learn from it and move on and get ready to play on Monday, which will be a tough game,” Forbes said after the exhibition game. “Fairfield’s got a good team and really good coach, good program. They played Rutgers tough the other night and we got a lot to work on before we get ready to play on Monday.”
Also in action on Monday night will be Kevin Keatts’ N.C. State team which will play Austin Peay at home at 8 p.m.
Of the 15 ACC teams 13 will be in action on Monday. Louisville plays on Wednesday and Notre Dame will play host to Radford on Thursday.
Three ACC teams were ranked nationally in the preseason Associated Press Top 25 poll. North Carolina is the Associated Press’ Preseason No. 1 team for a record 10th time and the first time since the 2015-16 season. Duke was ranked 7th and Virginia was ranked 18th.
While Krzyzewski retired after a hall of fame career and five national championships the three veteran coaches still in the league are Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim (998 career wins), Miami’s Jim Larranaga (696 career wins) and Florida State’s Leonard Hamilton (595 career wins).