A new season comes with new expectations and excitement from those in ACC country. Despite losing eleven out of the fifteen all-conference players from last season, the ACC is still in a prime position to have a breakout year this season.
Heading into the new season, the ACC finds itself in unfamiliar territory after the conference as a whole has been overlapped by the SEC and Big 10. This season is pivotal for the ACC if they can manage to find a team to make a deep run in March. That bridge between the ACC and the other conferences will be closed.
Last season the race to be named regular-season champion was a tight race throughout the season with four teams competing until the last week of the season before Florida State eventually pulled away by a game and won the league outright. Including in that magical run for the Seminoles was Head Coach Leonard Hamilton winning his third ACC coach of the year honor.
As far as this year goes, the ACC will have three different tiers of teams, all fighting for the same thing.
The first tier of teams will be the ones that will have an immediate impact on the championship run in the ACC.
Those in the first tier of championship-caliber are as followed.
- North Carolina
- Florida State
Virginia- Comes into the 2020-2021 season as the defending National Champion after the Covid-19 pandemic canceled the entire NCAA Tournament in March. The Cavaliers projected starting five has one of the most diverse groups in all of college basketball, including three seniors, a junior, and a sophomore in Casey Morsell.
Duke- Coach Krzyzewski enters his 40th season as the Head Coach of the Duke Blue Devils’ expectations for this season are sky-high. The Blue Devil faithful is hungry for another Final Four trip after a long, five year hiatus without one. The Blue Devils will be in prime position this year after three crucial starters decided to return for the 2020-2021 season. Duke will turn to Jordan Goldwire, Wendell Moore, and Matthew Hurt to lead the way for this young team.
North Carolina- Plagued by injuries last season, North Carolina had one of the worst seasons in school history. It’s a new year and, Roy Williams has his Tar Heels ready to rock and roll into the new year. North Carolina will turn to a junior and a senior to lead the charge this year. Small Forward, Leaky Black, who averaged 6.5 points per game, and a Power Forward in Garrison Brooks, who averaged 16.8 points per game last season.
Florida State- It might not be as magical of a season this year as it was last season, but as long as Leonard Hamilton is in charge of things, the Seminoles will be in contention year in and year out. Despite losing Trent Forrest and Devin Vassell from last season’s team, Florida State will be just fine. This season, Florida State will be lead by a pair of seniors in the frontcourt.
6. Georgia Tech
7. NC State
12. Virginia Tech
13. Notre Dame
14. Wake Forest
15. Boston College
Player of the year:
Garrison Brooks – North Carolina
The 2020-2021 college basketball season will get underway on November 25th.