ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 09: Head coach Mark Turgeon of the Maryland Terrapins reacts during the first half against the North Carolina Tar Heels during the Quarterfinals of the 2012 ACC Men's Basketball Conferene Tournament at Philips Arena on March 9, 2012 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
The 2012-13 ACC basketball schedule hasn't been announced yet, but that doesn't mean Mark Turgeon doesn't know what it is. And it also doesn't mean he particularly likes it:
Maryland, which should still be young but improved next season, also got a heavy schedule: Duke, Virginia, North Carolina and Florida State twice, according to coach Mark Turgeon.
"Mine's not easy,'' Turgeon said. "But I don't know how else you could do it.''
Two games were added to the conference slate in anticipation of Pittsburgh and Syracuse joining; that won't happen until 2013, but the decision about the conference schedule was made well in advance of that. That means each team will get seven home-and-home matchups, instead of the former five.
In layman's terms: the league is still unbalanced, and everyone's in a huff over that. I don't know why people are acting up now. It's always been unbalanced. It sucks, but it's the game now.
That said, it could be a lot worse if you're Maryland. Both Virginia and FSU are big names that look scary on paper right now, but neither one are sure-bets for the tournament and both lose the core of last season's team. Maryland was always going to play Duke twice as long as it was an option, and UNC is no surprise either. This is largely just a continuation of the rotation from last year; the question for me is who the other three home-and-home opponents are. If they're N.C. State, Miami, and Georgia Tech, yeah, you have a problem. If they're Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, and Boston College, the story is obviously very different.
Point being: good to know, but still uncertain what the real story is here. If I wasn't lazy I suppose I could look at the rotations and figure out another opponent or two, but, well, I'm lazy.
Oh, and, as JP Finlay points out, Mark Gottfried sure does make the most of this:
"I traded Virginia Tech for Duke twice and Clemson for Florida State twice,'' said Gottfried, who will also play North Carolina twice. "TV looked at our team and thought we'd be good.''
Gah, he's unlikable. Surely you didn't expect the easiest schedule every single year? I know where he's coming from, though; a weak conference schedule papered over some serious cracks last season, and is partially why everyone in the media is pimping his team.
This is what Randy would call "lowering expectations."