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ACC Basketball Preview: Summary

I see the 12 teams broken down into three tiers. The upper tier of UNC, Duke, Georgia Tech, and Boston College represent your definite NCAA Tournament teams and four teams that have legitimate shots at winning the ACC Tournament. The middle tier of Florida State, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Maryland are teams that will do very well outside the conference with their respective schedules but probably suffer their share of unnecessary losses in the conference as well as a lot of feeding on one another. Clemson, NC State, Miami, and Wake Forest are at the bottom and there is little hope for them to do more than weather the year and in the case of NC State and Wake hope for better fortunes next season with the development of their younger talent and the influx of quality players from high school.

UNC could conceivably win every ACC game they play. I do not think they will but it is possible because they overmatch everyone they play both in terms of personnel and in terms of depth. Duke, Georgia Tech, and Boston College make for an interesting trio chasing the Heels. Duke and GT are very young while BC had veteran talent mixed with some productive younger players. The games amongst these four are the ones they will all be up to play. The matchups against the second tier is were trouble always crops up. A Wednesday night in Tallahassee goes badly or a Sunday evening in College Park turns out to be the worst shooting night of the year. The middle tier games on the road are killers in the ACC. They are the ones you show up to play or you take a loss against a team you were sure you could beat on paper. This is what makes the ACC so freaking tough and this is why only two schools have ever gone through undefeated. So as we weave our way through the early season, teams are finding themselves with full knowledge that once conference play starts they may have to find themselves all over again.

THF ACC Preseason Poll

1. North Carolina, 15-1
2. Duke, 13-3
3. Georgia Tech, 12-4
4. Boston College, 11-5
5. Florida State, 10-6
6. Virginia, 10-6
7. Virginia Tech, 9-7
8. Maryland, 7-9
9. Clemson, 6-10
10. NC State, 5-11
11. Miami 4-12,
12. Wake Forest, 3-13

ACC Tournament

1st Round
FSU def. Wake Forest
Virginia def. Miami
Virginia Tech def. NC State
Clemson def. Maryland

Quarterfinals
UNC def. Clemson
FSU def. Boston College
Virginia Tech def. Duke
Georgia Tech def. Virginia

Semifinals
UNC def. FSU
Georgia Tech def. Virginia Tech

Championship
UNC def. Georgia Tech

NCAA Tournament Bids: Six (UNC, Duke, Georgia Tech, Boston College, Florida State, Virginia Tech)

Player of the Year: Tyler Hansbrough, UNC

Rookie of the Year: Tywon Lawson, UNC

Coach of the Year: Paul Hewitt, GT

All-ACC First Team

Tyler Hansbrough, UNC
Josh McRoberts, Duke
Jared Dudley, BC
Al Thornton, FSU
Sean Singletary, UVa

All-ACC Second Team
Brandan Wright, UNC
Anthony Morrow, GT
Tywon Lawson, UNC
J.R. Reynolds, UVa
Zabian Dowdell, VT