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Top ACC Games To Watch

With every ACC team’s schedule announced, which games should you circle on your calendar?

NCAA Division I Men's Lacrosse Championship Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

The ACC was the tenth and finals conference to have every team announce their schedule.

With that, let’s list some of the best regular season games involving ACC teams in 2017.

We’ll start with listing some nonconference games to watch.

FEBRUARY

Air Force @ Duke (February 5) (This game is on Sunday)

Virginia @ Loyola (February 11)

Duke @ Denver (February 18)

Albany @ Syracuse (February 18)

Johns Hopkins @ North Carolina (February 25)

Army West Point @ Syracuse (February 25)

Virginia @ Penn (February 25)

MARCH

High Point @ Virginia (March 1)

North Carolina @ Denver (March 4)

Maryland @ Notre Dame (March 4)

Duke @ Richmond (March 5)

Loyola @ Duke (March 11)

Hofstra @ North Carolina (March 11)

Cornell vs. Virginia (in Costa Mesa, CA) (March 11)

Notre Dame @ Denver (March 12)

Syracuse @ Johns Hopkins (March 18)

Maryland @ North Carolina (March 25)

Ohio State @ Notre Dame (March 25)

Virginia @ Johns Hopkins (March 25)

APRIL

Syracuse @ Hobart (April 5)

Marquette @ Notre Dame (April 11)

Cornell @ Syracuse (April 11)

Duke @ Marquette (April 22)

MAY

Notre Dame @ Army West Point (May 6)

Syracuse @ Colgate (May 6)

Duke vs. Boston University (in Bethpage, NY) (May 7)

TOP GAME: Obviously it’s Cuse-Hopkins! No question about that! But there’s also Maryland-North Carolina in the National Championship rematch at Fetzer Field that’s also really good too. Maybe if the editors didn’t go to Syracuse or Johns Hopkins, maybe that game would be the top game.

TOP MATCHUP: Obviously it’s Joel Tinney against whichever Syracuse defender will be on him. But I’m also interested in how Notre Dame’s offense, led by Ryder Garnsey, Mikey Wynne, and Sergio Perkovic, will fare against Maryland’s defense, with Tim Muller and an injured Mac Pons as well, along with new goaltender Dan Morris. This will probably be Morris’ first big test as the new netminder after Kyle Bernlohr graduated.

UNDER-THE-RADAR GAME: When you’re dissecting the ACC, pretty much no game is an under-the-radar game. So I guess I’ll go with the annual Cuse-Hobart rivalry, even with the Statesmen winning the NEC championship last year and having a strong chance to repeat this year as well. Plus, the game is at Hobart for the second straight season. Trap game?

From the nonconference games to the conference games, here’s my Top 5.

  1. North Carolina @ Notre Dame (April 22) - The past two years, these two teams met in the regular season finale to decide who was the regular season ACC champion and top seed in the ACC tournament. The home team has won both meetings, but UNC won both meetings last year, including in the NCAA Quarterfinals.
  2. Virginia @ Duke (April 15) - This will probably decide who goes to the ACC Tournament and who plays Penn in the fifth place game. It’s been like this for the past two years as well, and both of these teams are way different than they were a year or two ago.
  3. Duke @ North Carolina (April 2) - The annual rivalry on Tobacco Road is the final game being played at Fetzer Field. The Tar Heels will surely like to send their long-time home off on a high note, while Duke will look to play the devil.
  4. Syracuse @ North Carolina (April 15) - Syracuse has been North Carolina’s kryptonite in their past three meetings. UNC’s last win over the Orange was two years ago at Fetzer Field. North Carolina’s defense won’t have to face Dylan Donahue this year, but they still have to face Sergio Salcido and Nick Mariano.
  5. Virginia @ Syracuse (March 5) - This will be Lars Tiffany’s first ACC game as head coach of Virginia. It’ll be in the Carrier Dome, where it can be noisy at times and the Orange play very well inside. How will Virginia’s system be by the time of their conference opener? Will they finally win an ACC game?