No. 2 Virginia, ACC set for week's marquee Top 25 matchups

After two weeks of big games in the Big 12, now it's the Atlantic Coast Conference's turn to have the marquee games on this week's AP Top 25 schedule.

The league has three games matching teams ranked in the top 15, none bigger than fourth-ranked Duke's visit to second-ranked Virginia on Saturday night.

''We know how good they are,'' Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. ''We know how good this league is, so we're just trying to prepare the right way.''

The Blue Devils (17-2, 4-2) also travel to No. 8 Notre Dame (19-2, 7-1) on Wednesday night. Then, No. 13 North Carolina (17-4, 7-1) travels to No. 10 Louisville (16-3, 4-2) on Saturday afternoon before the Duke-Virginia matchup.

It's the start of a demanding three-game stretch for the Cavaliers (19-0, 7-0). Two days after playing Duke, Virginia travels to North Carolina on Monday night before hosting Louisville a few days later.

Virginia is one of the last two unbeatens left in college basketball. It beat Duke last year in the ACC tournament final for the program's first league title since winning its only other crown in 1976.

IN THE BIG 12: The Top 25 schedule is a bit lighter in the Big 12.

No. 19 Texas (14-6, 3-4) travels to No. 20 Baylor (15-4, 3-3) on Saturday as the only game matching ranked teams this week. The Longhorns started the week with an 89-86 loss at No. 15 Iowa State on Monday night.

The league had six games matching ranked teams two weeks ago and three last week.

RANKED IN THE VALLEY: The Missouri Valley Conference matches its two ranked teams this week, with No. 12 Wichita State traveling to No. 18 Northern Iowa on Saturday.

The game marks the first time since January 1982 that two ranked league teams will play each other, according to the league.

The Shockers (18-2, 8-0) have won 26 straight league games for the third-longest streak in league history, while the Panthers (18-2, 7-1) have their highest ranking in history.

STILL NO. 1: Kentucky remained No. 1 in this week's Top 25, earning 64 of 65 votes in ballots cast Monday. The Wildcats reclaimed one of the two first-place votes they lost to the Cavaliers last week.

Kentucky (19-0, 6-0 Southeastern Conference) returns to action Thursday at Missouri then hosts Alabama on Saturday.

It's the second time this month that Kentucky played Missouri and Alabama in consecutive games. The Wildcats beat the Tigers by 49 points and the Crimson Tide by 22 in the first matchups.

THE NEWCOMERS: No. 21 Georgetown, No. 23 Miami and No. 25 Butler are back in the poll after appearances in December.

Georgetown hosts Xavier on Tuesday then travels to Creighton on Saturday. Miami hosts Georgia Tech on Wednesday and travels to instate rival Florida State on Sunday. And Butler travels to Marquette on Saturday.

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Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap

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