No. 8 North Carolina Tar Heels (10-3) at No. 16 Clemson Tigers (11-2), Saturday, January 5, 12:00 PM ET, ESPN2
So who is the best team in the ACC? Is it Duke or is it one of the two teams meeting in Clemson, South Carolina on Saturday afternoon? The No. 8 North Carolina Tar Heels travel down to enemy territory to take on No. 16 Clemson. North Carolina (10-3) has won three in a row since losing back-to-back games to UConn and Kentucky in mid-December. The Tigers on the other hand are 11-2 after losing Miami in their last game, and their only other loss was a two-point loss to Memphis.
The Tar Heels dispatched Pitt in their last game, giving them a surge of momentum leading into this key league game. Brad Brownell's Tigers are one of the surprises in college basketball, ranked No. 16 in the country in the NET and sitting at 1-1 in the ACC after their game with Miami Wednesday night. To this point, the Tigers look like a team that could find themselves on the 2-seed line.
The problem for both teams and why this game holds extra importance is that once again the ACC is top-heavy. Heading into this matchup, outside of Clemson, North Carolina, and Duke, no team in the conference is ranked higher than 53 in the NET. As a result, any game involving two of those three teams takes on added significance because it looks like quality-win opportunities may be few and far between.