Duke was chosen as the preseason favorite to win the 2021-22 Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Championship, as selected by media members at the 2021 ACC Tipoff event. The Blue Devils earned the distinction for the seventh time in the last nine seasons and were followed in the poll by Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia and Virginia Tech.
Duke received 47 of the 81 first-place votes and finished with 1,132 points. Florida State, which earned its highest preseason status in its ACC tenure, racked up 14 first-place votes and 1,034 total points. North Carolina tallied five first-place votes and 1,001 points, while Virginia recorded nine first-place votes and 949 points. Virginia Tech earned five first-place votes, while Louisville earned the other first-place vote.
Louisville, Syracuse, Notre Dame, NC State and reigning ACC champion Georgia Tech were voted sixth through 10th, respectively. Clemson, Miami, Wake Forest, Pitt and Boston College rounded out the poll.
Duke freshman power forward Paolo Banchero earned Preseason ACC Player and Freshman of the Year honors. The 6-foot-10, 250-pound native of Seattle, Washington, was a five-star recruit and ranked as the No. 3 overall player in ESPN 100’s rankings for the class of 2021. He was ranked No. 1 in the state of Washington, No. 1 at his position in the ESPN 100 and was named the Washington Boys Basketball Gatorade Player of the Year as a junior. Banchero averaged 22.6 points, 11.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.6 blocks per game his junior season at O’Dea High School.
Banchero finished with 28 votes for Preseason ACC Player of the Year – 12 more than Virginia Tech’s Keve Aluma. Banchero also earned 64 of the 81 votes for Preseason ACC Freshman of the Year.
Syracuse’s Buddy Boeheim earned 68 votes to lead all vote getters on the Preseason All-ACC Team. Boeheim was joined on the first team by Aluma, Banchero, North Carolina’s Armando Bacot and Miami’s Isaiah Wong.
The Preseason All-ACC Second Team is comprised of Georgia Tech’s Michael Devoe, Virginia’s Kihei Clark, Notre Dame’s Prentiss Hubb, Duke’s Mark Williams and Wendell Moore Jr., North Carolina’s Caleb Love and Louisville’s Malik Williams. There was a three-way tie between Moore Jr., Love and Williams for the final spot on the second team.
The 2021-22 regular season opens Nov. 9 with 12 of the 15 ACC teams in non-conference action. League play begins Friday, Dec. 3.
The ACC’s current member schools have captured eight of the last 20 NCAA Championships and 17 overall. Current ACC member schools have combined for 62 Final Four appearances and a national-best 643 NCAA Tournament wins.
Additionally, four of the top eight and six of the top 30 winningest programs in NCAA Division I basketball history currently reside in the ACC. Two of the eight active Division I coaches currently in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame are competing in the ACC again this season – Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim. That is the most of any league nationally.
ACC Men’s Basketball Tipoff – 2021 Preseason Poll
School, Points
1. Duke (47), 1,132
2. Florida State (14), 1,034
3. North Carolina (5), 1,001
4. Virginia (9), 949
5. Virginia Tech (5), 857
6. Louisville (1), 791
7. Syracuse, 781
8. Notre Dame, 599
9. NC State, 555
10. Georgia Tech, 524
11. Clemson, 430
12. Miami, 428
13. Wake Forest, 274
14. Pitt, 253
15. Boston College, 112
First-place votes in parentheses; 81 total voters
Preseason All-ACC
First Team
Name, School, Votes
Buddy Boeheim, Syracuse, 68
Keve Aluma, Virginia Tech, 52
Paolo Banchero, Duke, 49
Armando Bacot, North Carolina, 46
Isaiah Wong, Miami, 37
Second Team
Name, School, Votes
Michael Devoe, Georgia Tech, 25
Kihei Clark, Virginia, 23
Prentiss Hubb, Notre Dame, 17
Mark Williams, Duke, 12
Wendell Moore Jr., Duke, 9
Caleb Love, North Carolina, 9
Malik Williams, Louisville, 9
Preseason Player of the Year
Name, School, Votes
Paolo Banchero, Duke, 28
Keve Aluma, Virginia Tech, 16
Buddy Boeheim, Syracuse, 13
Armando Bacot, North Carolina, 12
Kihei Clark, Virginia, 5
Wendell Moore Jr., Duke, 3
Caleb Love, North Carolina, 2
Mark Williams, Duke, 2
Preseason Freshman of the Year
Name, School, Votes
Paolo Banchero, Duke, 64
Trevor Keels, Duke, 5
Terquavion Smith, NC State, 3
Dontrez Styles, North Carolina, 3
Igor Milicic Jr., Virginia, 3
Wooga Poplar, Miami, 1
Benny Williams, Syracuse, 1
Cameron Hildreth, Wake Forest, 1

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