Georgia Tech’s ACC schedule was released Thursday by the ACC. The 18 games run from Dec. 30 (at Notre Dame) through March 3 (Wake Forest at McCamish Pavilion).
Here are 5 observations about the Tech schedule.
1. Tech’s rise in prominence after coach Josh Pastner’s first season is reflected in its 13 games on the ESPN family of networks. The Yellow Jackets played in nine games on an ESPN network last year in the regular season and 10 the previous season. Further, seven of the 13 will be broadcast on ESPN or ESPN2, as opposed to one such game last season.
“The exposure is very important. Every one of our ACC games will be televised,” Pastner said in a statement. “But for us to get exposure on the wider range, for everyone to see the Georgia Tech brand, it’s a special thing. It’s important that we play well and win those games as well.”
2. Tech will go on the road for back-to-back games against teams that likely will have interest in payback, North Carolina (Jan. 20) and Florida State (Jan. 24). The Tar Heels and Seminoles were Tech’s most notable upset victims last season, both at McCamish Pavilion.
Those games are the final two segments of what likely is Tech’s toughest three-game stretch in ACC play. UNC and FSU will be preceded by a home game against Virginia on Jan. 18. The Cavaliers have had considerable success against Tech of late. UVA coach Tony Bennett is 9-2 against the Jackets, including a 62-49 win last season in Charlottesville, Va.
3. The Jackets have two ACC games when they will play on one day’s rest. They’ll play Jan. 18 (Thursday) at home against Virginia and then go on the road for a 2 p.m. game at North Carolina two days later. At the end of the regular season, Tech will be at home for N.C. State on March 1 (Thursday) and then play its final regular-season game against Wake Forest on March 3 for a noon game.
That’s not unusual. North Carolina has three such games, including one span of three games in five days.
Wake Forest will have a considerable rest advantage for the regular-season finale, as the Demon Deacons’ most recent game will have been the previous Saturday. North Carolina will have three days off before playing the Jackets in Chapel Hill, N.C.
4. Tech will play Yale on Jan. 6 during the spot when it would have had its open date in the league schedule. Rather than use the rest, Pastner’s preference has been to schedule a game to keep the team in a rhythm. Tech played Division II Tusculum last year during its open date.
Yale has won or shared the Ivy League title twice in the past three season and defeated Baylor in the NCAA Tournament in 2016.
5. Tech’s overall schedule is treacherous in parts, not as much in others. The Jackets play nine games against teams that finished last season in the top 22 in RPI (North Carolina, Duke, Louisville, UCLA, Florida State, Virginia and Notre Dame) and six against teams in the bottom 37 (Coppin State, North Texas, Bethune-Cookman and Florida A&M).
The Jackets play home-and-home with Virginia and Notre Dame, as well as Wake Forest and Clemson.