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PREDICTIONS

1. North Carolina: The returning cast makes the Tar Heels a huge favorite in the ACC, as well as nationally.

2. Wake Forest: James Johnson has reminded folks in Winston-Salem of Rodney Rogers and could be first-team All-ACC this season.

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3. Duke: After helping the "Redeem Team" win gold in Beijing, Coach K's other redeem team might have to settle for bronze in the ACC.

4. Miami: The fan base isn't as large as for football, but a second straight NCAA tournament appearance could do the trick.

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5. Virginia Tech: The Hokies faded a little at the end of last season; more experience and depth should get them back into the NCAA tournament.

6. Clemson: If the Tigers can shoot free throws better, they'll have an easier time making the NCAA tournament again.

7. Florida State: Leonard Hamilton has always been a great recruiter; the jury is still out on whether he can make the Seminoles competitive in the ACC.

8. Boston College: Al Skinner is going to start feeling some heat if the Eagles don't improve from last season.

9. Maryland: The lack of frontcourt depth will make it tough for the Terps to compete with the top half of the league.

10. Georgia Tech: The Yellow Jackets still haven't recovered from the double loss of Thaddeus Young and Javaris Crittenton two years ago.

11 North Carolina State: After being picked too high last season, the Wolfpack is going to be near the back or at the bottom of the pack.

12. Virginia: The obnoxiously loud public-address system at John Paul Jones Arena might have to be turned down a little if the Cavaliers struggle.

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MEDIA PICKS*

1. North Carolina

2. Duke

3. Wake Forest

4. Miami

5. Clemson

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6. Virginia Tech

7. Maryland

8. Georgia Tech

9. N.C. State

10. Florida State

11. Boston College

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12. Virginia

* Atlantic Coast Sports Writers Association


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