Here’s a surprise. The ACC media has gone out on a limb and dubbed Duke the preseason favorite in the conference.
This tends to happen a lot – like 12 of the last 20 years and four of the last five.
Of course the Blue Devils don’t finish first in the league every year they’re expected to do so. Over the past two decades, dating back to 1998, Mike Krzyzewski’s clubs wound up atop the ACC standings six of the dozen times they were picked to pace the field.
North Carolina was expected to finish first in six of the last 20 seasons, and fulfilled its perceived destiny five times.
That leaves only two years, 2005 and 2013, in which the blue boys weren’t the early favorites. Wake Forest was tabbed in ’05, finished second and won the ACC tournament. In 2013 NC State was the top choice, and finished fourth. The Wolfpack hasn’t won an ACC tournament since 1987.
No team picked lower than sixth topped the conference since the ACC media began preseason voting in 1970.
Teams Picked to Finish First in ACC Preseason, Last 20 Years
|Year||Team||Actual Finish||Finished First (Preseason)|
|2017||Duke||fifth||North Carolina (2)|
|2013||NC State||fifth||Miami (5)|
|2011||Duke||second||North Carolina (3)|
|2005||Wake Forest||second||North Carolina (2)|
|2003||Duke||second||Wake Forest (6)|
|2000||North Carolina||third||Duke (2)|