It has been all quiet on the Cardinal front other than women's basketball in the middle of their season. The Cards are fresh off a road win against Boston College over the weekend and gear up to take on #4 NC State in Raleigh on Thursday. Road wins are important when it comes to conference play and road wins against ranked opponents are even more crucial when it comes to the NCAA Tournament resume.
Louisville has started ACC play hot, going 5-0 with three home wins and two road wins that are highlighted by a win at a ranked Georgia Tech team. The wins have come against 8-8 Syracuse, 10-7 Pittsburgh, 13-4 Georgia Tech, and 12-5 Boston College (twice).
Between games getting rescheduled and whatnot, the ACC standings look a little funky.
7-0 NC State
4-1 Notre Dame
4-1 Virginia Tech
4-2 North Carolina
4-2 Georgia Tech
3-3 Boston College
2-5 Wake Forest
1-3 Florida State
The Cards and Wolfpack remain the only undefeated teams in the ACC. That will change when the two leaders meet up.
Notre Dame is quickly back near the top of the conference after just a couple down seasons following a coaching change. Virginia Tech is a team that typically hangs around the top of the conference but is known to falter down the stretch. Perhaps this is the year Kenny Brooks and company will finish strong. North Carolina has also looked impressive so far with their two losses coming to NC State and Notre Dame. Georgia Tech is the final four-win team and have proven to be one of the best in the country based off their defense alone.
Boston College has shown signs of being a good team with the duo of Soule and Swartz, but still has a hump to get over. Miami is sitting middle of the pack too and has been a team that can beat the top dogs at times but will then drop a game they shouldn't, historically. Duke is riding on new coach Kara Lawson and several new players, including former Card Elizabeth Balogun, who is averaging 10.9 ppg.. They started hot before losing four of their last six games.
Wake Forest is one of four teams with five losses this year, but is the only of those teams to have multiple wins so far. Based off win percentage, Jen Hoover's team sits about half a game ahead of Florida State, who has surprisingly struggled this year with Coach Semrau back at the helm.
Pittsburgh is down near the bottom, and after their game against the Cards on Jan. 6, it's easy to see why. Syracuse, who is running on a new coach and a mostly new team, has struggled quite a bit this season, as their record has shown, but they have good reason to struggle this year. Virginia has only played three conference games due to COVID-19 issues and is having a downright awful year. Clemson is the other winless team in the ACC but with two more losses than Virginia. Sorry, Arthur, but your Tigers are on pace for a third straight losing season and don't have much fight left in them.
It looks like the ACC regular season title will come down to either Louisville or NC State. Still, you have about four other teams that could sneak into one of the top two spots. If a team does sneak into one of those spots I would put my money on Georgia Tech or Notre Dame. North Carolina continues to surprise, though, yes, NC State throttled them pretty easily when they met, but Courtney Banghart has developed some very good talent.
If the NCAA Tournament started today, roughly nine or 10 teams from the ACC would make it, making this an up year for the ACC. Personally, I'm all for it. Unlike football, women's basketball in this conference is strong and ready to dominate.
After a road game this Thursday, the Cards close out January with three straight home games.
Happy Tuesday and Go Cards!