- Associated Press - Friday, January 31, 2014

A look at five things to watch in the Atlantic Coast Conference this week:

GAME OF THE WEEKEND: No. 17 Duke at No. 2 Syracuse. Jim Boeheim’s Orange (20-0, 7-0) sit atop the league with Mike Krzyzewski’s Blue Devils (17-4, 6-2) trying to make up ground. It’s a matchup of Hall of Fame coaches who are also the winningest in men’s Division I history with more than 1,900 combined victories. The school expects a capacity crowd to the Carrier Dome (35,446) to set a school single-game attendance record. “I’ve coached 1,000 games,” Boeheim said after Wednesday’s win at Wake Forest. “That’s too many games to get excited about one game. … Every game is important, every game counts the same and you have to approach it that way.”

LOOKING AHEAD: Clemson got off to its best start in league play in 17 years at 4-1, but the Tigers followed with blowout losses at Pittsburgh and North Carolina. Now the Tigers head into a key stretch. After traveling to Florida State on Saturday, Clemson returns home Tuesday night to host struggling Georgia Tech in the kind of game the Tigers can’t afford to let get away.

PLAYER TO WATCH: Virginia’s Malcolm Brogdon has stepped up his game in league play. The 6-foot-5 redshirt sophomore is averaging about 15 points and 2.1 steals while shooting 51 percent in eight league games for the Cavaliers (16-5, 7-1), providing another reliable scoring option to Joe Harris heading into Sunday’s game at No. 18 Pittsburgh.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Boston College’s defensive struggles have sunk the Eagles near the bottom of the league. BC is allowing opponents to average 73.7 points and shoot 45.9 percent on the season, both worst in the league. BC also ranks 13th out of 15 teams by allowing 36 percent shooting from behind the arc. “Guarding consistently for 40 minutes, we have not done that this year,” BC coach Steve Donahue said.

ON THE WOMEN’S SIDE: No. 2 Notre Dame travels to No. 3 Duke in a matchup of the teams projected to finish atop the league Sunday. The Fighting Irish won at No. 8 Maryland on Monday so a win at Cameron Indoor Stadium would put Notre Dame in firm control of the league race. They’re the only two unbeaten teams remaining in the league race.


Compiled by AP Basketball Writer Aaron Beard in Raleigh, N.C.

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