Lou From the Coast's ACC Preview

Posted on November 11, 2008

Another college basketball season is upon us. While most observers predict North Carolina to win the ACC as well as the national championship, here's a quick preview of the ACC (with each team's projected odds of winning the conference championship).

This is a deeper Blue Devils team than the past few years, with four returning starters from a 28-win team. (Courtesy of Duke Athletics)
1: North Carolina (3-5)
If reigning Player of the Year Tyler Hansbrough's injury is more serious than first thought, the Tar Heels might lose a game or two. Assuming he is fine, North Carolina is a lock to win the ACC and a good bet to be crowned national champion at the conclusion of March Madness.

2: Duke (5-1)
This is a deeper Blue Devils team than the past few years, with four returning starters from a 28-win team. Expect Mike Krzyzewski's squad to make another run to the Sweet 16. 

3: Wake Forest (8-1)
Coach Dino Gaudio has this program on the rise, lead by forward James Johnson and guard Ish Smith.

4: Miami (10-1)
Senior guard Jack McClinton leads a Miami squad that won 23 games last season and made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. With four returning starters, the Hurricanes look to return to the Big Dance.

5: Clemson (15-1)
The Tigers will miss Cliff Hammonds and James Mays, but K.C. Rivers and Trevor Booker will keep Oliver Purnell's squad competitive. It won't be easy, but Clemson will return to the NCAA Tournament.

6: Virginia Tech (18-1)
Malcolm Delaney and A.D. Vassalo return from a decent 21-win Virginia Tech team. The Hokies will challenge for a postseason bid, but it will probably be in the NIT.

7: Florida State (25-1)
Coach Leonard Hamilton has yet to take the Seminoles to the Big Dance in six years at the helm, and that likely won't change this season thanks to a lack of depth on the bench.

The Terrapins were 18-14 last season, with an 8-8 record in ACC play.  (Mitch Stringer/PressBox)
8: NC State (40-1)
Sidney Lowe has some talent in Raleigh, including junior forward Brandon Costner and senior guard Courtney Fells, but NC State lacks depth. 

9: Boston College (50-1)
Tyrese Rice, who averaged 21.0 points last season, is one of the ACC's best players. But he can't do it all.

10: Maryland (60-1)
The Terrapins boast a decent backcourt but are thin up front. Greivis Vasquez, who averaged 17.0 points and 6.8 assists last season, will be aided by the presence of Eric Hayes at the point.

11: Virginia (75-1)
Without Sean Singletary (19.8 points per game last season) in the lineup, the Cavaliers have no chance to compete this year.

12: Georgia Tech (100-1)
The Yellow Jackets are loaded with raw talent, but, thanks in part to injuries already suffered, it will be a long year for Paul Hewitt's squad.

Last year's ACC final standings:
North Carolina  (32-2 overall, 14-2 ACC)
Duke  (27-5, 13-3)
Clemson  (24-9, 10-6)
Virginia Tech (19-13,  9-7)
Miami   (22-10, 8-8)
Maryland  (18-14, 8-8)
Florida State  (19-14, 7-9)
Wake Forest  (17-13, 7-9)
Georgia Tech (15-17, 7-9)
Virginia  (15-15, 5-11)
NC State  (15-16, 4-12)
Boston College (14-17, 4-12)

Issue 131: November 2008 

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