The ACC has announced conference scheduling pairings for its next two basketball seasons. While we won't know the full schedule, including dates, times, and TV until this summer, (as well as a complete out-of-conference list), today we get our first taste of UVA's ACC schedule.
Each conference team will play 18 conference games against the other 14 ACC teams - this means that the Hoos will play 9 home games and 9 road games. The team will play 5 teams on the road only, 5 teams at home only, and 4 teams twice, both home and road.
Last year, the Hoos were maligned for failing to play Syracuse, North Carolina, Duke, and Pitt more than one time each. This year, Maryland's departure should already help prevent further ridicule, as Louisville becomes one of Virginia's two "permanent scheduling partners" (Virginia Tech is the other). In an age where the conference schedule is increasingly unbalanced, having Louisville as a permanent partner is a nice "anchor" to prevent issues like last season's. And having Virginia Tech is a nice "anchor" to make sure Virginia picks up two wins.
Along with the Cardinals and the Hokies, UVA will also play NC State and Wake Forest twice in 2014-2015 (and Clemson and Miami two times the following year).
Here's the full breakdown of Virginia's ACC opponents:
For a look at the schedules for all 15 ACC teams (and a quite pretty one at that), check out this release from the ACC website.
Predicting relative schedule strength is tough to do this far out. Before last season, playing Maryland and Notre Dame twice looked like a sure SOS boost, but both teams underperformed expectations. But, since people often measure strength of schedule by only looking at the elite teams played, these two announcements are probably not the most exciting for Wahoo fans. We don't see Duke, UNC, or Syracuse twice; but, once again, having Louisville there should assuage that issue. (On the other hand, it isn't a terrible thing to play teams twice that we have a good shot at beating. Wins are good).
Duke and Syracuse were once again matched to play a home-and-home. So, there's that.
The games to circle on next year's home schedule will be Duke's visit to JPJ, along with the Cardinal's first trip as an ACC member. UVA will make its first visit to the Carrier Dome for an ACC game (though UVA did play the Orange in Syracuse in 2008).
We know a bit about Virginia's out-of-conference opponents as well. Virginia will play GW at JPJ on Friday, 11/21/14 (with a return trip to the Smith Center in DC in 2015). The following week, UVA will head to the Barclays Center Classic in Brooklyn, along with Vanderbilt, La Salle, and Rutgers (games are the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving). The Hoos also owe VCU a return trip to Richmond. Then, there's the Big Ten - ACC Challenge, where UVA is due to play a road game.
Those 5 games already form a decent core to the out-of-conference schedule. In the unpredictable world of scheduling, look for Tony Bennett to attempt to attempt to get another home-and-home against a high-major, and/or another respectable low to mid-major, then fill out the slate with a handful of in-state or otherwise beatable teams.
The full schedule was announced last year in late August, but we'll be sure to update you on any news as it becomes available. (The team's ACC-Big Ten Challenge matchup should be released in the next few weeks).
UPDATE (12:30 PM):
Welp, that didn't take long. Looks like we have another piece of scheduling news, as reports are that Virginia will host Harvard in Charlottesville. With the Crimson expected to be top-25 team next season, it's another strong addition to what is shaping up to be a solid out-of-conference schedule:
Virginia will host Harvard next season in Charlottesville as part of its non-conference schedule, source told @CBSSports. Date is TBD.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) April 22, 2014