The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

Duke ... and everyone else

The Godfather division\nLike every other publication this side of Chapel Hill last year, The Cavalier Daily boldly picked Duke to finish first in the ACC. The Blue Devils did that and more, winning their fourth national championship with coach Mike Krzyzewski. Gone are the days of early NCAA Tournament exits; Eric Maynor, Joe Alexander and Scottie Reynolds have receded into an infinite distance. Indeed, with senior forward Kyle Singler, the NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player, as well as All-ACC guard Nolan Smith and forwards Miles and Mason Plumlee, the defending champions return all but three of their regular contributors. Add top-five recruit in point guard Kyrie Irving and Stephen Curry's younger brother Seth into the mix, and Duke seems ripe for a 13th ACC championship with Coach K. No other team in the country offers a balance of rim-rattling forwards and smart, quick perimeter players. Singler's ghostly pallor notwithstanding, a 12th Final Four appearance seems likely for Krzyzewski and the team everyone loves to hate.

The Larry Bird race-for-second-place division\nDubbed by one NBA scout as the next Kobe Bryant, freshman forward Harrison Barnes should win 17 games by himself this season for North Carolina. Granted, that scout probably also thinks President Obama was born in Kenya and Tupac is hiding under the bed. Still, the 6-foot-8 one-and-done has all the tools to lead a Tar Heel squad that began to hit its stride during last season's NIT back to prominence. With a healthy Tyler Zeller and the rest of North Carolina's talented frontcourt, coach Roy Williams & Co. should easily win 20 games this season.

Malcolm Delaney. Jeff Allen. Dorenzo Hudson. Let's move on.

The large coaches division\nBoth Florida State and N.C. State ranked in the top four in the ACC in scoring defense last season. They also each have blue chippers in forwards Chris Singleton and Tracy Smith. With three players at least 6-foot-8 expected to make solid contributions in the frontcourt, the Seminoles should make another bid for third place and a 20-win season, despite the departure of Solomon Alabi to the NBA. As for the Wolfpack, Sidney Lowe and his interesting red jacket will be on the hot seat if N.C. State doesn't put together a winning season. The addition of freshmen C.J. Leslie, Ryan Harrow and Lorenzo Brown may lift some pressure off Smith and help the Wolfpack contend in 2010-11.

The Kenny Powers-in-Mexico division \nNo More Greivis. Yes, you hated him, and yes, he contorted his face like no one since Tyler Hansbrough. But give the former Terp this much credit - he stayed in school, unlike one Sylven Landesberg, who may or may not be lighting it up in Israel right now. Digressions aside, Maryland also loses Landon Milbourne and Eric Hayes, two of their leaders and top scorers. Still, Gary always finds a way to make things interesting - especially with graduation rates.

Oliver Purnell skipped town on Clemson. To go to DePaul. Anyway, first-year coach Brad Brownwell faces a tall task in his inaugural year - find a way to replace Trevor Booker. The power forward ranked at least second in field goal percentage in the ACC and averaged more than 15 points and eight rebounds per game twice during his career as a Tiger. His low-post presence will surely be missed, but Demontez Stitt may be able to replace him as a leader. Miami, meanwhile, finished in last place last season. Malcolm Grant and Durand Scott should keep the 'Canes near .500.\n\nThe Comcast Sportsnet division\nThe absence of Derrick Favors will show just how stupid the one-and-done policy is; Tony Bennett needs to rip off his jacket a few more times; Joe Trapani has no one else.\n\n"The horror, the horror!" division\nDino the Dinosaur got the boot for recruiting too many good players. Now they're all gone. And so are the Demon Deacons' chances in 2010-11.

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