The 2013-2014 Virginia basketball schedule has begun to take shape, with the ACC's release of this season's scheduling lineup. Conference teams will once again play an 18 game schedule against the now-14 other opponents in the league - remember: Notre Dame, Pitt, and Syracuse are in, while one season remains before the Maryland for Louisville swap.
Of its 14 conference opponents, Virginia will play 5 teams at home only, 5 teams on the road only, and then 4 home-and-homes to get to 18 games. Because they are our designated conference rivals, we knew they we would see Virginia Tech and Maryland twice each. Virginia's other two (rotating) home-and-home opponents will be Florida State and Notre Dame next season.
Here's a full look at next season's ACC schedule breakdown:
In terms of overall strength, Virginia's conference schedule should be around the middle of the pack. Of the teams that UVA plays twice, none are expected to be atop the league, while only Virginia Tech is expected to be in the basement. FSU, Maryland, and Notre Dame will likely be picked to finish somewhere in the middle of the league. Virginia went 5-1 against the teams it will play twice next season - the Hoos swept Virginia Tech and Maryland, while splitting its 2012-2013 series with FSU.
Around the conference, in its final ACC season, Maryland will see neither Duke nor North Carolina at home. What a crazy coincidence from the ACC offices!
UVA also officially announced a home-and-home with VCU. The Rams will visit Charlottesville this season, with the Hoos playing in Richmond in 2014-2015.
We know about a couple other out-of-conference match-ups too. Virginia will finish a "two-for-one" series by traveling to Wisconsin-Green Bay (where Tony Bennett used to play and his father coached. Paul Jesperson's commitment also likely had a hand in scheduling this road trip...oops). UVA will host a to-be-determined team in the ACC-B1G Challenge and play in the less-than-inspiring Corpus Christi Challenge early-season tournament. A road game against Tennessee has not been confirmed, but a return trip is likely.
There are a handful of open OOC spots remaining, which Virginia will likely fill with some in-state teams and possibly some cupcakes (your Radfords and Hamptons of the world). These games are inevitable; it is, however, important to grab opponents that will have RPIs in the 150-200 range rather than the "RPI-killer" 300-350 range. There's also still plenty of time to announce a matchup or two against higher level opponents. Virginia's complete schedule won't be released until some time late this summer or early this fall.
What matchups are you looking forward to this season?