The 4th ranked Virginia men's basketball team begins conference play on Saturday, as the Cavaliers take on #9 Florida State at John Paul Jones Arena.
UVa is the defending league champion, and it's biggest obstacle in the ACC this year might be #1 Duke.
The Blue Devils have a record of 11-1, and will host Clemson in their conference opener on Saturday at 8pm.
Former St. Anne's-Belfield star Javin DeLaurier has been a role player for the Blue Devils this year, averaging five points per game in his junior season.
"Everyone's really excited," says DeLaurier. "A big part of the reason why you come to Duke is play in the ACC, the best conference in college basketball. I grew up in Virginia, and I've watched my whole life. For a lot of the guys, it's the same way, you grow up dreaming of playing in games like these. So we're really excited to get going."
Duke's top four scorers are all freshman, led by R.J. Barrett's 24 points per game.
DeLaurier says, "We really have tried to prepare them the best we can, but there's really nothing until you get into it. It's kind of trial by fire. We just let them know we've played some good teams early, and we've had some good wins, but the ACC's different. You can't explain it, but if you don't come out on any given day, we've been on the bad end of some losses, and we don't want that to happen to this group, so you guys got to be ready."
Virginia will play Duke in Durham on January 19th, and the teams will square off in Charlottesville on February 9th.
Former STAB Basketball Star Javin DeLaurier & Duke Ready to Begin ACC PlayMore>>
Marty Hudtloff is the Sports Director at WVIR-TV. He joined the NBC29 sports team in October of 2003. He has a degree in broadcast journalism from Bradley University. You can reach out to Marty via Email or Twitter.