Men hoop caps
North Carolina — A potentially dominant frontcourt of Deon Thompson, Ed Davis and Tyler Zeller mitigates the departure of four starters, including All-Americans Tyler Hansbrough and Ty Lawson, from last season's national championship team.
Duke — The Blue Devils are probably a year away from national-title material, but forward Kyle Singler and guards Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith form a solid core.
Maryland — Mercurial point guard Greivis Vasquez passed on the NBA and with any semblance of consistency should carry the Terps back to the NCAA tournament.
Boston College — The Eagles may not have an all-ACC player, but led by forward Joe Trapani, there's enough quality to expect a sixth NCAA bid in seven years.
Games to watch
Villanova vs. Maryland (Washington, D.C.), 7:30 p.m., Dec. 6; Virginia Tech at Virginia, 7 p.m., Jan. 28; North Carolina at Virginia Tech, 9 p.m., Feb. 4; Duke at North Carolina, 9 p.m., Feb. 10; Duke at Virginia, 7:45 p.m., Feb. 28.
Players to watch
Malcolm Delaney, Virginia Tech (Jr., 6-3 G, 18.1 ppg, 4.5 apg); Kyle Singler, Duke (Jr., 6-8 F, 16.5 ppg, 7.7 rpg); Greivis Vasquez, Maryland (Sr., 6-6 G, 17.5 ppg, 5.0 apg); Trevor Booker, Clemson (Sr., 6-7 F, 15.3 ppg, 9.7 rpg); Gani Lawal, Georgia Tech (Jr., 6-9 F, 15.1 ppg, 9.5 rpg).
Colonial Athletic Association
Old Dominion — Nearly everybody's back from a 25-10 team, including preseason Player of the Year Gerald Lee and workhorse forward Ben Finney. Guard Kent Bazemore is poised for a breakout season. The league's deepest and most versatile squad.
Northeastern — Four starters return from a third-place team, led by senior guard Matt Janning and forward Manny Adako.
VCU — The Rams lost coach Anthony Grant and Player of the Year Eric Maynor, but center Larry Sanders and three other starters return.
George Mason — Sure, the Patriots lost several significant players from a 22-win team, but don't they always contend?
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