It’s getting pretty close to that time of year… Well, kind of. We’re only four months away from the best season of college sports, in my opinion. College basketball is on its way, which means ACC basketball is also on its way. With off-season workouts getting into stride and new recruits learning their place on their respective rosters, things are getting exciting. We’ll be taking a look at the Atlantic Coast Conference’s 15 teams and how the standings will shape up between them. Also, enjoy my in-depth, slightly biased, and varying analyses of each team.
1. Duke Blue Devils– The Blue Devils are back at again, bringing in top recruits and returning a few starters, including star Grayson Allen. Coach K is going to go for his third championship of this decade, you can just feel it in the air. It’ll most likely be a toss up for the top three positions, but Duke is going to be the toughest team in the conference if their recruits pan out.
2. North Carolina Tar Heels– The Tar Heels will be coming off of a tough ending to last season, with two senior leaders in the NBA now. However, I don’t see the Heels faltering much, as they will be keeping point guard Joel Berry II and bringing in some impressive recruits, such as Seventh Woods. Another Final Four appearance could be in the works for Carolina, but it’s going to be a tough ride back to the big game.
3. Virginia Cavaliers– Virginia had a tough Elite Eight exit last season, but they are basically the same team, other than the obvious loss of senior standout Malcom Brogdon. It can be expected that coach Tony Bennett will make something great out of a team featuring senior London Perrantes and five-star recruit Kyle Guy. The Cavaliers might not seem as strong as the Blue Devils or the Tar Heels, but I would advise not forgetting them in the ACC title race.
- Louisville Cardinals– Last season’s hopes were destroyed by NCAA violations, but the Louisville hopefuls should have something to look forward to this season.
- Syracuse Orange– Head Coach Jim Boeheim has a lot of young talent left on this team, despite losing his two stars. Look for a big season out of Tyler Roberson.
- Florida State Seminoles– Quietly had a really solid recruiting class so improvement can be expected.
- Miami Hurricanes– After embarrassingly huge losses last season, mixed in with big wins over top teams, the Hurricanes will be preparing for another strong season. Possible wildcard alert.
- Notre Dame Fighting Irish– The Irish may have seen their last season of being a solid contender for a while, after losing the last important members of their ACC championship squad.
- Pittsburgh Panthers– Expect Pittsburgh to pull off some upsets over big teams, but to be fairly average throughout.
- Clemson Tigers– The Clemson Tigers have had some analysts talk of a surge in the upcoming season, but it might be a year or two longer before anything of that sort happens.
- Virginia Tech Hokies– The Hokies are still in the building stages and have a couple decent recruits coming in.
- North Carolina State Wolfpack– With only Abdul-Malik Abu and Maverick Rowan left, the Wolfpack team is in shambles. Fans don’t need to fret though, it can be expected that they’ll find a way to be North Carolina or Duke at least once.
- Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets– Quietly keeping decent records every year, it may be some time before they get to really winning.
- Boston College Eagles– There’s no way they can go another season without a conference win… Absolutely no way, right?
- Wake Forest Demon Deacons– Without Devin Thomas, it would surprise me if they do much this year. Still no way they’ll go without winning a conference game, sorry Boston College.
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