The ACC conference was also home to six NCAA tournament teams.
This upcoming season, Duke is considered to take the conference by storm. Duke was selected No. 1 in the conference with V-Tech following at two, and North Carolina at three.
But just like last season, they will have competition in the ACC.
Last season, NC State was one of the teams that beat the Blue Devils. This season, the Wolfpack retained Tracy Smith, and brought in three highly-touted freshman to compete with Duke once again.
The Tar Heels will seek revenge on the Blue Devils as they defeated the 'Heels by more than ten in both places last season. V-Tech also brought back an experience squad that was snubbed last March. Each of these teams could knock off Duke at least once this upcoming conference season.
Duke Blue Devils - The Blue Devils returned two players from last years big three. Nolan Smith, and Kyle Singler are one of the main reason's the Blue Devils are the No. 1 overall team in all of College Basketball. They brought in a great 2010 recruiting class, and Seth Curry will be active after sitting out a year. The Blue Devils are the most talented team in the ACC. They have talent, depth, scoring and the best coach.
Miami Hurricanes - The Hurricanes lost Dwayne Collins, and James Dews from last years squad. However, they were able to retain Durand Scott, Reggie Johnson, and Malcolm Grant. With the majority of their roster freshman, and sophomores not many people are giving the 'Canes a chance in the ACC. However, with Scott leading the way I assume the 'Canes will surprise. Not to mention, giving Johnson more minutes will only speed up his production and allow his to produce consistently.
Virginia Tech Hokies - The Hokies returned almost every skilled player from last years NIT squad. However, before the season could start the Hokies learned they would be without J.T Thompson and Allen Chaney for the year. Not to mention, forward Cadarian Raines is still battling a foot injury. The Hokies had high aspirations this season, but the injury bug bit before they could grasp success. I don't expect a huge downfall, but the Hokies are certainly not No. 2 in the ACC.
North Carolina State Wolfpack - The Wolfpack were one of the three teams to defeat the defending champion Blue Devils. Tracy Smith paced NC State with 23 points, and helped shock then-No. 6 Duke. This season, the Wolfpack returned Smith, Javier Gonzalez, Richard Howell, and added three freshman who will have a big impact. The Wolfpack was selected to finish inside the top-five but may crack the top-three.
ACC Player of the Year
Harrison Barnes (UNC) - Last season, the Tar Heels were runner-ups in the NIT tournament. Yes, NIT. This season, they may be Final Four bound with freshman Harrison Barnes. Barnes has drawn many comparisons to current NBA players. The most notable is Kobe Bryant. He has the physical tools to lead the Tar Heels to a Carmelo Anthony like season. And because of that Barnes is my ACC Player of the Year.
Most Improved Player
Miles Plumlee (DUKE) - Last season, because of Brian Zoubek, and poor play, Miles Plumlee lost his starting position after the North Carolina victory. He played behind Zoubek for the rest of the season, and his game advanced because of it. Plumlee is more defensive, and is one of the most explosive players on the Blue Devils roster. This year, Plumlee will have the chance to rebound and take charge in the frontcourt. With more minutes, I expect more production.
Harrison Barnes (UNC) - Harrison Barnes is so talented. On top of winning ACC Player of the Year, I believe he will be the top newcomer in the conference.
All-ACC First Team
G- Nolan Smith, G- Malcolm Delaney, F- Harrison Barnes, F-Kyle Singler, F-Tracy Smith
For more CoHoops news follow us on Twitter (@Collegiate_Hoop) or subscribe via email