A look at things to watch this week in the Atlantic Coast Conference:
GAME OF THE WEEKEND: Syracuse at No. 13 Virginia. Sure, Syracuse (13-7) is just 3-4 in the league, but Jim Boeheim's return from an NCAA suspension has helped spark a three-game winning streak that includes Monday's win at No. 20 Duke. And that has the Orange back near the middle of the league standings entering Sunday night's matchup. ''Our defense has been better these three games than it was and that's probably the major difference,'' Boeheim said. Meanwhile, the Cavaliers (14-4, 3-3) have gotten off to a slower-than-expected start after going 32-4 in ACC play while claiming the past two regular-season titles.
LOOKING AHEAD: The 20th-ranked Blue Devils (14-5, 3-3) carry a three-game losing streak into Saturday's trip to North Carolina State, and things won't get easier with a visit to No. 15 Miami looming Monday night. The Hurricanes (14-3, 3-2) blew out the eventual NCAA champion Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium last year, and that team returned intact this season to face a young group leaning heavily on a six-man rotation. ''Our kids have fought the whole year,'' Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. ''They're undermanned.''
PLAYER TO WATCH: South Florida transfer Zach LeDay has been a big part of Virginia Tech's strong start in the ACC. The 6-foot-7 junior ranks among the ACC's leaders in scoring (15.9) and rebounding (8.6) for a team that earned its 4-1 ACC start since the 2008-09 season. LeDay scored 22 points in Wednesday's 83-81 loss at Notre Dame, but the Hokies (12-7, 4-2) still sit near the top of the league standings entering Sunday's home game against No. 2 North Carolina (17-2, 6-0).
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: The arrival of Adam Smith has reversed Georgia Tech's 3-point shooting struggles. The graduate transfer from Virginia Tech ranks among the ACC's best in 3-point shooting (44.5 percent) while making a league-high 3.4 3s per game. And that has Georgia Tech in the upper third of the league at 37 percent from behind the arc while making 6.6 per game the season, up from league lows of 27 percent and 4.2 made 3s a year ago.
ON THE WOMEN'S SIDE: No. 17 Louisville started 1-4 but has climbed alongside third-ranked Notre Dame atop the ACC standings with 11 straight wins. Myisha Hines-Allen is leading the Cardinals (14-5, 6-0) with 15.1 points and 7.6 rebounds per game entering Monday's trip to Syracuse, while fellow sophomore Mariya Moore had a career-high 31 points and the winning free throws last weekend at N.C. State.
Compiled by AP Basketball Writer Aaron Beard in Raleigh, North Carolina.