ACC Hoops: North Carolina tabbed as No. 1 in preseason poll

Tar Heels’ Bacot tabbed as ACC Preseason Player of the Year

FILE - 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. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File) (David J. Phillip, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ROANOKE, Va. – The ACC released it’s preseason poll for the upcoming 2022-2023 Men’s Basketball season. The North Carolina Tar Heels were voted to finish first in the conference, just one season removed from being National Runner-Up.

The Virginia Cavaliers were tabbed to finish third this upcoming season. Tony Bennett and company are hoping to return to the standard as they return all five starters and have more depth than they’ve had in seasons past. Part of that starting five will be the team’s top scorer Jayden Gardner who was also named to the preseason All-ACC Second Team.

Reigning ACC Champion Virginia Tech was selected to finish 7th. The Hokies lost their leading scorer Keve Aluma and Storm Murphy who maxed out college eligibility. But there will be a core of returners including the ACC Tournament MVP Hunter Cattoor. He also received a vote for the preseason ACC Player of the Year. Justyn Mutts will also be back in Blacksburg. He was named to the preseason All-ACC Second Team.

North Carolina forward Armando Bacot celebrates after scoring against Kansas during the first half of a college basketball game in the finals of the Men's Final Four NCAA tournament, Monday, April 4, 2022, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson) (Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Taking preseason All-ACC Player of the Year honors was Richmond native and North Carolina big man Armando Bacot. He received 100 votes. Also receiving votes was his teammate Caleb Love of North Carolina, Isaiah Wong of Miami, Terquavion Smith of NC State and Jeremy Roach of Duke.

Receiving the most votes for preseason ACC Freshman of the Year was Dereck Lively II of Duke. Also receiving votes in that category Dariq Whitehead, Tyrese Proctor, Kyle Filipowski and Mark Mitchell II--all of Duke. Tyler Nickel, Seth Trimble and Jalen Washington-- all of North Carolina, JJ Starling of Notre Dame, Prince Aligbe of Boston College and Isaac McKneely of Virginia.

Full ACC Preseason Poll:

1. North Carolina

2. Duke

3. Virginia

4. Miami

5. Florida State

6. Notre Dame

7. Virginia Tech

8. Syracuse

9. Wake Forest

10. NC State

11. Clemson

12. Louisville

13. Boston College

14. Pitt

15. Georgia Tech

About the Author:

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.