After a grueling nonconference slate, Duke will get some of its toughest competition out of the way right at the beginning of its ACC schedule.

The conference released its women's basketball schedule Thursday afternoon, with the Blue Devils getting sent to Miami for their opener Dec. 31 and visiting Louisville Jan. 4. Duke's ACC home opener will be against N.C. State Jan. 7. All three opponents finished 10-6 or better in conference play last year, and those challenges will come on the heels of matchups against recent juggernauts Oregon State, Ohio State and South Carolina.

Following the gauntlet at the beginning, the Blue Devils' schedule is highlighted by a game in Chapel Hill against North Carolina Jan. 21 and Syracuse Feb. 15 and home contests against Notre Dame Feb. 4, Florida State Feb. 19 and the Tar Heels to wrap up the regular season Feb. 25.

Duke finished tied for second in the conference last year and lost to the Fighting Irish in the ACC tournament championship. The Blue Devils' full ACC schedule is below with home games in bold.

Dec. 31 at Florida State

Jan. 4 at Louisville

Jan. 7 vs. N.C. State

Jan. 11 at Wake Forest

Jan. 14 vs. Virginia

Jan. 18 at Virginia Tech

Jan. 21 at North Carolina

Jan. 25 vs. Boston College

Jan. 28 at Pittsburgh

Feb. 1 vs. Georgia Tech

Feb. 4 vs. Notre Dame

Feb. 7 vs. Wake Forest

Feb. 11 at Clemson

Feb. 15 at Syracuse

Feb. 19 vs. Florida State

Feb. 25 vs. North Carolina