With every starter back from a team that made a run to the Final Four a year ago, North Carolina was picked by reporters to win the ACC during the conference’s annual media day Wednesday. The Tar Heels received 57 of a possible 59 votes in the preseason poll.
Virginia Tech, which lost leading scorers Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen, was picked to finish in sixth place. Maryland and new Coach Mark Turgeon were picked to finish ninth, the lowest preseason ranking the Terrapins have ever had since the ACC began doing this poll back in 1970.
It was Virginia that got the most recognition amongst area schools, tabbed to finish in fourth place in Coach Tony Bennett’s third season at the school. That’s the highest predicted finish for the Cavaliers since 2002.
The Hokies were not represented on the all-conference team, which was dominated by North Carolina. In addition to being tabbed as the favorite to win the conference, Tar Heels forward Harrison Barnes was named the ACC’s preseason player of the year and was the only unanimous selection on the preseason all-conference team. Joining him was forward John Henson and center Tyler Zeller, who were the No. 2 and 3 vote getters.
Miami’s Malcolm Grant, Duke’s Seth Curry and Virginia’s Mike Scott were also named to the all-conference team. Scott and Curry tied for the last spot with 20 votes. Duke’s Austin Rivers was named the preseason rookie of the year.
Here’s the complete ballot, including votes:
Predicted order of finish (first-place votes in parentheses)
1.North Carolina (57)
ACC Preseason all-conference team (votes in parentheses)
F Harrison Barnes, North Carolina (59)
F John Henson, North Carolina (47)
C Tyler Zeller, North Carolina (46)
G Malcolm Grant, Miami (32)
G Seth Curry, Duke (20)
F Mike Scott, Virginia (20)
ACC Rookie of the Year (votes in parentheses)
1.Austin Rivers, Duke (57)
2.James McAdoo, North Carolina (1)
3.Nick Faust, Maryland (1)