The Associated Press released its preseason men's basketball poll Monday. In typical ACC fashion, the conference was well represented, with four of the top 25 ACC schools, including the #1 University of North Carolina Tar Heels.
What that ultimately translates to is a very difficult schedule for the Eagles. Seven games on the Eagles schedule, with the potential for an eighth, are against teams represented in the top 25. What gives further credence to the perceived strength of the ACC is that of those six matchups, only one is against an in-conference opponent. To play that game, the Eagles will have to travel to Fullerton, Calif. to take on the #13 Michigan State Spartans in the Wooden Legacy Tournament. In the tournament, the Eagles, based on performance, could also potentially play the #12 Arizona Wildcats.
As the Eagles get into conference play, they will have to take on the #5 Duke Blue Devils to open the conference slate. Following that game, the Eagles will have to play the #19 Notre Dame Fighting Irish, the first of two games against the Irish. The Eagles will, later in the season, play the #1 North Carolina Tar Heels twice. The Eagles will also face #6 Virginia late in the season.
In short, with the combination of the Wooden Legacy and ACC play, the Eagles appear to have a difficult schedule ahead of them.