Some things never change. Barring any insane atmospheric changes, the sky will always be blue, day will be light and night will be dark, and the Earth will be round. The same goes for the ACC in College Basketball. It will always be the conference to beat.
Obviously UNC is the team to beat. They are the reigning NCAA Tournament champions, and return star guard Joel Berry II, along with Theo Pinson, Luke Maye, and incoming freshman Jalek Felton. Yes, the Tar Heels lost a lot of big time players. However, Roy Williams knows how to win, and North Carolina will most likely have another 20-plus win season and find themselves in contention to repeat. However, there are some teams that can top the Heels.
- Duke – The Blue Devils had arguably the best recruiting class in the nation, so that already has them one step ahead of most teams. Not to mention that college superstar and supertripper Grayson Allen will be back. He may be hated, but this doesn’t deny him of the amazing talent he is. Coach K’s roster is loaded, and they seem like a good bet for a Final Four team come March.
- Louisville – The Cardinals have a loaded roster. It may not have the star power that most big time schools have, but every team in the nation would love to have Quentin Snider, Anas Mahmoud, Deng Adel, and Jaylen Johnson. Louisville is balanced and experienced. The only thing haunting them is how they will fare during Pitino’s suspension. Only time will tell for Rick’s squad, but anything short of a Sweet 16 appearance would be inconceivable.
- Miami – The Canes were expected to have an off-year after the departures of Angel Rodriguez, Sheldon Mac, and Tonye Jekiri. However, they silenced the critics and finished 21-12 with an NCAA Tournament birth. They return 3 of their top 5 scorers from a year ago, and boast one of the best coaches in the nation in Jim Larranaga. It won’t be easy for Miami, but they should pass 20 wins again, and even win a game or two in March.
- Syracuse – The Cuse has had a rough year. They missed the big dance and lost Tyler Lydon to the NBA draft, not to mention 2 other double-digit scorers. However, the Orange provide a lot of hope. They do return Tyus Battle and Taurean Thompson – two players who show a lot of promise heading in to the new season. Also added are Freshmen Matthew Moyer and Oshae Brisssett, as well as the return of 7-2 Paschal Chukwu. Yes, it is a long shot for the Orange. However, they seem to know how to defy odds.