In the spirit of Halloween, let’s examine some potentially spooky scheduling situations facing ACC squads this season. We all experience anxiety about frightening things that we know are in our future, but sometimes we can also get a good scare from an unexpected source. Below we will present examples of both types of hair-raising situations.
Fright Night: Potentially Scary Non-Conference Match-ups
When schools release their non-conference schedules over the summer, most fans focus on the name-brand opponents first. This frequently means that they fail to notice some of the tricky mid-major schools on the ledger — teams that are often as good or better than many power conference schools. Below is a list of such frightening opponents for ACC teams this year. Beware of these so-called “buy” games, and don’t be surprised if some of these teams put a real scare into your favorite ACC squad. (preseason KenPom ranking in parenthesis)
- November 11 – Eastern Michigan (#88) at Pittsburgh – The top four scorers return for the Eagles, the second highest-rated team in the MAC (KenPom’s ninth-best conference in the preseason).
- November 13 – Chattanooga (#93) at North Carolina – The Mocs are coming off a 29-6 year as the defending Southern Conference champs. They return four starters and will expect to be in the Big Dance again next March.
- November 15 – Iona (#102) at Florida State – Normally a mid-major school that loses four key players wouldn’t represent that much of a threat, but Iona is a program that wins at a high level year after year. The Gaels have won at least 20 games in each of Tom Cluess’ six seasons at the helm.