February 20, 2015

A look at things to watch this week in the Atlantic Coast Conference:

GAME OF THE WEEKEND: Miami at No. 12 Louisville. The Hurricanes (17-9, 7-6) are battling to improve their NCAA tournament chances. They can help themselves Saturday against the Cardinals (20-6, 8-5). Miami routed Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium but also lost to the likes of Eastern Kentucky and Georgia Tech. The Cardinals are coming off a loss at Syracuse and chasing one of the ACC tournament's top four seeds that comes with a double-round bye. The Cardinals will have senior guard Chris Jones, who missed the Syracuse loss due to an indefinite suspension that has since been lifted.

LOOKING AHEAD: Another team in that NCAA chase, North Carolina State, finds itself in similar position to Miami as it visits rival North Carolina on Tuesday. Last weekend's road upset of Louisville was a big boost for the Wolfpack. After hosting Virginia Tech on Saturday, North Carolina State goes for its first win in Chapel Hill since 2003.

PLAYER TO WATCH: With Justin Anderson out for Virginia, Malcolm Brogdon is carrying a heavier load for the No. 2 Cavaliers. The redshirt junior all-ACC performer has averaged 14.7 points in the three games since Anderson suffered a finger injury that will keep him out several weeks, including 18 points in Monday's win against Pittsburgh. Virginia hosts Florida State on Sunday. ''He is steady, he is tough, and he is often guarding the best perimeter player,'' Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. ''In all ways, he is an ambassador for this university and this program.''

INSIDE THE NUMBERS: There have been three league games in which a team blew a double-figure halftime lead and lost. Notre Dame trailed by 18 in the first half and 42-30 at half before winning at N.C. State, Louisville was down 36-25 at half and trailed by 18 after halftime before beating beat UNC in overtime and Florida State rallied from 16 down in the first half and 36-25 at half to beat Miami.

ON THE WOMEN'S SIDE: Two years in, and No. 4 Notre Dame has lost just once against ACC opponents. The Fighting Irish completed a 19-game perfect run through the league regular season and tournament last year, and improved to 11-1 in Year 2 after Monday's win against No. 10 Duke. Led by Jewell Loyd and freshman Brianna Turner, the Fighting Irish traveled to Georgia Tech on Thursday night and host No. 8 Louisville on Monday. ''There are so many good teams in this league, we have to be ready every night and I think we are,'' coach Muffet McGraw said this month. ''I think we're really coming along and finding our way.''

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Compiled by AP Basketball Writer Aaron Beard in Raleigh, North Carolina.

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