SU's ACC basketball schedule released

Slate highlighted by home-and-home with Duke, road trip to UNC

Searching for the perfect Valentine's Day gift for that "special someone" in your life?

Thanks to the Atlantic Coast Conference, you don't have to look any further.

The ACC released its full men's basketball schedule for the 2014-15 season Wednesday afternoon. The obvious headliner on Syracuse's calendar is a return visit by the Duke Blue Devils to the Carrier Dome on Feb. 14. The game will be televised on ESPN.

In total, the Orange will play 18 conference games this season. Below is a complete listing from Syracuse Athletics:

At Virginia Tech, Jan. 3, noon

At Georgia Tech, Jan. 7, 7 p.m.

Florida State, Jan. 11, 8 p.m.

Wake Forest, Jan. 13, 8 p.m.

At Clemson, Jan. 17, 4 p.m.

Boston College, Jan. 20, 7 p.m.

Miami, Jan. 24, 4 p.m.

At North Carolina, Jan. 26, 7 p.m.

Virginia Tech, Feb. 3, 9 p.m.

At Pittsburgh, Feb. 7, 4 p.m.

At Boston College, Feb. 11, 7 p.m.

Duke, Feb. 14, 6 p.m.

Louisville, Feb. 18, 7 p.m.

Pittsburgh, Feb. 21, noon

At Notre Dame, Feb. 24, 8 p.m.

At Duke, Feb. 28, TBA

VIrginia, March 2, 7 p.m.

At NC State, March 7, noon

There are a couple of key takeaways from this list of opponents.

One is that the Orange better be clicking on all cylinders by the latter half of February. A brutal three-game homestand against Duke, Louisville and Pittsburgh could very well determine the front-runner for the ACC regular-season title. Life won't get any easier for SU, which closes the regular season by playing three of four games on the road.

The good news is the front end of the schedule is occupied by a number of last season's ACC bottomfeeders. This should allow the Orange to gradually ease into its tougher matchups late in the season.

Additionally, Syracuse should benefit mightily from facing both Louisville and Virginia at home.

We'll see how everything shakes out in January, but Orange Nation definitely has a number of dramatic showdowns to anticipate.

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