The ACC on Thursday announced its home and away conference opponents for the 2024-25 basketball season, its first with its newly expanded 18-team membership.

It will also mark the first time since the conference was founded in 1953 that teams will be left out of the ACC Tournament. Only the top 15 teams will qualify for the event in Charlotte.

The 20-game league schedule features home-and-home games against 2 permanent partners, along with 1 other repeat opponent. The other 14 games will be split evenly with 7 home-only and 7 road-only matchups.

Specific game dates, times and television networks will be announced later.

Here are 5 observations from Thursday’s reveal:

Big 4, minus 1

Further proof that the ACC is no longer as North Carolina-centric as people like to think it is.

Even though the conference could have had all 4 of its Tobacco Road teams play one another on a home-and-away basis, it passed on the opportunity. Instead, each will play 2 of its in-state rivals twice with the 3rd spot scheduled against a random opponent.

North Carolina draws Pittsburgh while Duke gets Miami, NC State gets California and Wake Forest gets Stanford. Their permanent partners are as follows:

Duke: UNC and Wake Forest;
UNC: Duke and NC State;
NC State: UNC and Wake Forest;
Wake Forest: Duke and NC State.

California dreaming

Travel logistics are by far the most difficult aspect of the ACC’s expansion into a bi-coastal conference.

Presumably, the 8 teams that are scheduled to play at both Cal and Stanford will do so on the same road trip, with quick turnaround games such as the league’s current Saturday/Monday format.

The teams scheduled to make the trip out West in 2024-25 are Boston College, Florida State, Miami, NC State, Syracuse Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest. UVa and Wake are the only 2 that will also have to travel to Texas to play at SMU in addition to their California trips.

Frequent fliers

While the league’s Easternmost teams will only have to make 1 trip out West, Cal and Stanford won’t be as lucky. Although they’re both scheduled to play SMU as well as each other, there’s no way around the fact that they’re going to rack up some serious frequent flier miles.

Good thing that’s allowed these days thanks to NIL.

The travel partners will likely make 3 cross-country trips – Clemson and Georgia Tech, Duke and Louisville, and Notre Dame-Pittsburgh.

Welcome back

Clemson made an NCAA-record 59 straight trips to Chapel Hill before beating UNC on its home court. The Tigers finally got off the schneid with an overtime win in 2020, then followed that up with an even more impressive victory this season.

That gives Brad Brownell’s team 2 wins in its past 3 visits to Smith Center. Now that the Tigers have gotten the hang of winning at UNC, they won’t have to wait long to get their next shot at extending their hot streak.

They’re scheduled to return to Chapel Hill next season.

Another rematch will take place just down the road in Durham when former Duke point guard Jeff Capel brings Pitt back to Cameron Indoor Stadium for the 2nd straight season. You can bet the Blue Devils won’t be in a hospitable mood after Capel and his Panthers came to Cameron and upset Duke this season.

Big East revisited

Maybe it’s just a coincidence. Or maybe it was done deliberately just to troll Jim Boeheim, who was never a big fan of Syracuse being in the ACC. Either way, the Orange will get to revisit their old Big East days next season by playing all 3 of their home-and-home matchups against rivals from their former conference.

Boeheim’s former team, now coached by Adrian Autry, will face Boston College, Notre Dame and Pitt twice each. Syracuse is the only former Big East team with such a schedule. The only thing that would have made the Orange’s 2024-25 schedule more perfect is if the ACC Tournament was scheduled to be played in Brooklyn.

It’s in Charlotte. But at least it’s not in Greensboro, which would make Jimmy B happy.