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Countdown to Tipoff: ACC Schedule Breakdown

Unlike its nonconference slate, the ACC portion of the Jackets’ schedule will provide them ample opportunities to collect quality wins

NCAA Basketball: Georgia Tech at Clemson Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports


Opponent Date Venue KenPom Preseason Ranking
Opponent Date Venue KenPom Preseason Ranking
Florida State 12/15 Road 18
North Carolina 12/29 OR 12/30 Home 22
Wake Forest 1/3 Home 127
Notre Dame 1/5 OR 1/6 Road 80
Louisville 1/9 Road 28
Pittsburgh 1/12 OR 1/13 Home 84
NC State 1/16 Road 55
Clemson 1/19 OR 1/20 Home 40
Virginia 1/23 Road 16
Duke 1/26 OR 1/27 Road 3
Florida State 1/30 Home 18
Notre Dame 2/6 Home 80
Virginia 2/9 OR 2/10 Home 16
Clemson 2/13 Road 40
Boston College 2/16 OR 2/17 Home 91
Miami 2/20 Road 41
Virginia Tech 2/23 OR 2/24 Road 32
Syracuse 2/27 Home 31
Duke 3/2 OR 3/3 Home 3
Wake Forest 3/5 OR 3/6 Road 127

When the ACC experienced a down year in the unfinished 2019-20 college basketball season, it was part of what allowed Georgia Tech to place 5th in the conference standings at 11-9. But the Jackets shouldn’t count on such fortune again heading into 2021. While the nonconference portion of the schedule doesn’t leave much margin for error, Tech’s conference schedule provides nothing but opportunity. It can withstand some losses - even more than the 9 they had last year - if it picks up some quality wins along the way.

The Yellow Jackets schedule features 12 of its 20 ACC games against KenPom preseason top 40 teams. This includes two against each of #3 Duke #16 Virginia and #18 Florida State with a brutal three game stretch in January where they face said teams in back-to-back-to-back games. It would be unfair to pencil in six losses there but history isn’t on the Jackets side in those matchups. They’re haven’t beaten Duke in a decade and have lost 9 of 10 to Virginia and 14 of 16 to Florida State. If Tech can eke out a win against one of those teams - they’re usually good for one shocker a season - that would have to be considered a success. Anything more than that is gravy.

From there, the schedule gets a bit more palatable. Tech plays just once against perennial contenders North Carolina and Louisville, two teams that the Jackets beat last year. They also face expected contenders Miami, Syracuse and Virginia Tech once, in a run of consecutive games late in the season. If the Jackets find themselves on the bubble late in the season, that could be a season defining stretch. Also on the schedule twice is Clemson, a pair of games that feels like in will have major pecking order implications. Tech finally broke its Littlejohn curse last season at Clemson, and two wins this year would be massive. The Jackets get Pitt, NC State, Notre Dame and Boston College each once with three of those games coming at home. That’s a group of teams expected to middle in the conference so Tech must take advantage and go no worse than 3-1. Finally, the Jackets were rewarded with two games against likely bottom dweller, Wake Forest.