Last season was an exciting one for America’s premiere conference. Virginia went from the projected sixth place finish to winning both the ACC regular season and tournament, just to be knocked out by UMBC in the first round, the first 16-1 upset in NCAA history. Duke showcased their elite freshman class, and Marvin Bagley III and co. brought the Blue Devils all the way to the elite eight.

Clemson, NC State, and Virginia Tech all performed above expectations, while Notre Dame and Louisville failed to make it into the big dance. The ACC did not have a team in the final four, but they did have an incredible year. Last year was filled with emotions, upsets, and madness. Next season will be no less exciting.

This season, Duke looks to lead the pack with three of the best freshman in the country and an elite floor general in Tre Jones. The ACC rounds out their elite freshman class with UNC’s Nassir Little and Syracuse’s Jalen Carey. Returning stars for Virginia in Kyle Guy, DeAndre Hunter and Ty Jerome as well as Boston College’s Ky Bowman and UNC’s Luke Maye make an interesting dynamic in the conference.

The usual favorites, like Duke, UNC, Virginia, and Syracuse, will most likely finish at the top of the conference. However, past the powerhouses, the seeds for the tournament are up for grabs. Miami, Notre Dame, and Clemson all lost high level players, but they still have talent to make them compete. Louisville is coming off a rough year, but with new head coach Chris Mack, the Cardinals remain in consideration for a high seed.

Overall, the ACC never fails to be exciting throughout the whole year. Expect upsets, close scores, and a lot of madness. All there is left to do is count the days until opening tip arrives.

Projected standings (Regular Season)

1. Duke
2. Virginia
3. North Carolina
4. Syracuse
5. Florida State
6. Boston College
7. Virginia Tech
8. Clemson
9. Notre Dame
10. Louisville
11. North Carolina State
12. Miami
13. Wake Forest
14. Georgia Tech
15. Pittsburgh

Projected 1st Team

G: Nassir Little, UNC

G: Tyus Battle, Syracuse

F: RJ Barrett, Duke

F: DeAndre Hunter, Virginia

F: Luke Maye, UNC

Projected Second Team

G: Kyle Guy, Virginia

G: Ky Bowman, Boston College

G: TJ Gibbs, Notre Dame

F: Zion Williamson, Duke

F: Oshae Brissett, Syracuse

Projected Player of Year
Nassir Little, UNC

Projected Coach of Year
Tony Bennett, Virginia

Projected Freshman of Year
Nassir Little, UNC

By Samuel Bass

Writing sports, college basketball, ACC hoops