Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2015

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 82 of 105

BY ANDREW OWENS N otre Dame emerged as the sur- prise of the ACC during non- conference play. After stum- bling to a 15-17 overall record and 6-12 finish in league play a year ago, the Irish began this campaign with 12 wins in their first 13 games and rose to No. 14 in the final Associ- ated Press poll of 2014. With only one loss heading into the meat of the schedule, the Fight- ing Irish look poised to return to the NCAA Tournament after a one-year hiatus. Here's how the ACC stacks up at the beginning of conference play, with teams listed in order of their pro- jected finish by Blue & Gold Illustrated. 1. DUKE BLUE DEVILS (11-0) Don't expect an early exit in the NCAA Tournament from Duke this year, a season after it lost to Mercer in the round of 64. Even after losing for- wards Jabari Parker and Rodney Hood early to the NBA, the Blue Devils are as talented as any team not named Kentucky. Much of that is due to freshman seven-footer Jahlil Okafor. The rookie center averaged 18.8 points and 8.3 re- bounds in non-conference play. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski's squad is un- likely to be plagued by the frontcourt inconsistency that doomed the Devils a year ago. 2. VIRGINIA CAVALIERS (11-0) The Cavaliers don't have the brand name of Duke or the national appeal of North Carolina, but head coach PECKING ORDER Examining where the Irish stack up in the ACC Junior guard Justin Anderson and the Virginia Cavaliers — the reigning ACC regular-season and tournament champions — are off to a great start in 2014-15. PHOTO BY MATT RILEY/COURTESY UVA

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Blue and Gold Illustrated - February 2015