SPORTS

No. 1 Tar Heels, Bacot headline preseason ACC picks

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Top-ranked North Carolina is the favorite to win the Atlantic Coast Conference, while Tar Heels big man Armando Bacot is the preseason pick for league player of the year.

The Tar Heels received 90 of 101 first-place votes in the poll released Tuesday from media members during last week’s preseason league media day in Charlotte. Seventh-ranked Duke was second. The Tar Heels return four starters after reaching the NCAA championship game in coach Hubert Davis’ debut season.

Bacot’s 31 double-doubles last year tied the NCAA single-season record. Teammates Caleb Love (first team) and RJ Davis (second team) joined Bacot as preseason all-ACC picks.

The Blue Devils are opening their first season under Jon Scheyer after Hall of Famer Mike Krzyzewski’s retirement. They have 11 new players and the top-ranked recruiting class, including the No. 1 prospect in 7-foot-1 Dereck Lively II — who was the preseason pick for league rookie of the year.

No. 18 Virginia was picked third, followed by Miami —coming off its first appearance in the Elite Eight — and Florida State.

Notre Dame was voted sixth, followed by reigning league tournament champion Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Wake Forest and North Carolina State.

Clemson is 11th, followed by Louisville, Boston College, Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech.

Bacot and Love were joined on the preseason all-ACC first team by Duke’s Jeremy Roach, Miami’s Isaiah Wong and North Carolina State’s Terquavion Smith.

Lively and Davis were joined on the second team by Virginia’s Jayden Gardner, Virginia Tech’s Justyn Mutts and Clemson’s P.J. Hall.

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More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

North Carolina players celebrate their victory against Duke after a college basketball game in the semifinal round of the Men’s Final Four NCAA tournament, Saturday, April 2, 2022, in New Orleans. North Carolina won 81-77. With four starters back from the team that blew a 15-point halftime lead to Kansas at the Superdome in New Orleans, the Tar Heels were the runaway pick as the preseason No. 1 in the AP Top 25 on Monday, Oct. 17, 2022.

  • North Carolina head coach Hubert Davis reacts during the second half of a college basketball game against Kansas in the finals of the Men's Final Four NCAA tournament, Monday, April 4, 2022, in New Orleans. With four starters back from the team that blew a 15-point halftime lead to Kansas at the Superdome in New Orleans, the Tar Heels were the runaway pick as the preseason No. 1 in the AP Top 25 on Monday, Oct. 17, 2022.

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