UNC-Duke rematch tops ACC's final regular-season weekend
A look at things to watch this week in the Atlantic Coast Conference:
GAME OF THE WEEKEND: No. 8 North Carolina at No. 17 Duke. The final weekend of the regular season includes a rematch of the fierce rivalry roughly 2 1/2 weeks after the Blue Devils won by a point in Chapel Hill. The Tar Heels (24-6, 13-4) are tied with No. 7 Miami atop the league and can claim the No. 1 seed at the ACC Tournament with a win against the Blue Devils (22-8, 11-6). ''We'll have a big week of practice and go in there with a lot of energy,'' UNC senior Marcus Paige said after Monday's win against Syracuse. ''There's no reason for us not to.''
LOOKING AHEAD: The league begins play in its tournament in Washington on Tuesday. There will be several storylines, including whether the league will have a fifth straight champion from a school based outside of North Carolina to follow Notre Dame last year. And it will also be the second straight year the 15-team league will have only 14 teams in its tournament, with No. 11 Louisville sitting out due to a self-imposed ban due to NCAA violations as Syracuse did a year earlier.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: The league has six players with at least 10 double-doubles this season. North Carolina's Brice Johnson has a league-high 18 - including 39 points and 23 rebounds at Florida State - followed by Notre Dame's Zach Auguste (17), Georgia Tech's Charles Mitchell (15), Wake Forest's Devin Thomas (13), North Carolina State's Abdul-Malik Abu (13) and Louisville's Chinanu Onuaku (11). Johnson has posted 11 of his double-doubles in ACC play, while Onuaku (10) is the only other player to have at least 10 in league play.
PLAYER TO WATCH: Miami's Sheldon McClellan has been the Hurricanes' most reliable scorer. He's failed to reach double figures just three times all season and has a current streak of 17 games, including 17 points in Wednesday's win at Notre Dame. The redshirt senior is averaging 15.6 points on 50-percent shooting entering Saturday's regular-season finale at Virginia Tech.
ON THE WOMEN'S SIDE: The women's tournament is underway in its traditional home of Greensboro, North Carolina. Second-ranked and top-seeded Notre Dame begins its tournament play in Friday's quarterfinals along with No. 7 Louisville, the tournament's second seed. The semifinals are Saturday and the championship game is set for Sunday afternoon, with the Fighting Irish looking for a third title in as many seasons in the ACC.
Compiled by AP Basketball Writer Aaron Beard in Raleigh, North Carolina.