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How We See The ACC Finishing

All eyes should be on Virginia. Or most anyway.

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Oct 28, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski during ACC media day at The Ritz-Carlton.
Oct 28, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Duke Blue Devils coach Mike Krzyzewski during ACC media day at The Ritz-Carlton.
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Now that we've finished up our ACC Previews - and it takes a lot longer now with 15 teams - here's how we think the ACC will work out in the end.

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#1. Virginia. Virginia has some real advantages this year. First, it's a veteran team. And second, a shorter shot clock just makes Tony Bennett's defense a bigger pain in the ass. A lot of guys are going to rush. Aside from all that, UVA is just...really good.

#2. UNC. We're going against the grain a bit here. We just think Virginia has been more consistently good. And while UVA  could theoretically get four games with Duke and UNC,  they'll get half of that - with UNC at home. ACC road games are at Virginia Tech, never easy for the 'Hoos, at Georgia Tech, at FSU, at Wake Forest, at Louisville, at Pitt, at Duke and at Clemson, which of course isn't at Clemson this year, which is a break.

UNC meanwhile always will play Duke twice. But UNC also visits FSU, Syracuse, Virginia Tech, Louisville, Notre Dame, BC - and finishes on the road with trips to State, Virginia and Duke. Between UVA and Duke is a home game with Syracuse. So Virginia gets a big advantage in scheduling.

#3. If we weren't Duke fans, we'd still pick them high simply because Coach K always has his guys playing at a high level. And he has some talented players too. We've barely scratched the surface with the freshmen. The Final Four won't be easy for this team, but Duke will win plenty of games.

#4. Notre Dame. Like Virginia and UNC, Mike Brey has seasoned talent and last season Notre Dame found a wonderful identity. He's been at this a long time. The Irish will be near the top again.

#5. Florida State. Leonard Hamilton has a brutal defense most years. That won't change, but he'll have a load of offensive performers.

#6. Louisville. Two words: Rick Pitino. Two more: the Unforgettables. Pitino is many things, some of them contradictory, but he is undeniably a brilliant coach and motivator. And the stresses of this season will feed into that.

#7. Syracuse. This might be too low. Boeheim has some scorers this season.

#8. NC State. Mark Gottfried has convinced us. He can coach.

#9. Miami. This might also be too low. Miami is a veteran team and brilliantly coached. It's tough to move up in the ACC now though.

#10. Wake Forest. Why? Because we think Danny Manning is laying the groundwork for a tremendous program and has enough talent to move up some.

#11.Pitt. This year Pitt may prove that you can be better and still have a worse record.

#12. Virginia Tech. Another team to keep an eye on. Buzz Williams has really upgraded his talent. They'll have issues but he has way more talent than last year.

#13. Georgia Tech. We hate seeing Tech struggle. But it may do so one more time.

#14. Clemson. At Duke, eight was enough. At Clemson, eight isn't enough to run Brad Brownell's very aggressive defense well.

#15. Boston College. Seven freshmen. Fuggetabout it.