GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Duke was selected as the favorite to win the 2019-20 Atlantic Coast Conference Men’s Basketball Championship, as chosen by media members at 2019 Operation Basketball. Picked as the preseason ACC favorite for the fourth straight season and the sixth time in seven years, the Blue Devils were followed by North Carolina, Louisville and reigning national champion Virginia atop the poll.
Duke received 51 first-place votes out of the 111 total votes and finished with 1,564 points. UNC picked up 19 first-place votes and 1,493 points, while Louisville earned 29 first-place votes and 1,448 points. Virginia received the remaining 12 first-place votes and racked up 1,405 points.
Louisville junior forward Jordan Nwora was picked as the Preseason ACC Player of the Year. A 2019 Third-Team All-ACC selection and the 2019 ACC Most Improved Player honoree, Nwora averaged 17.0 ppg and 7.6 rpg a season ago.
North Carolina guard Cole Anthony was selected as the Preseason ACC Freshman of the Year. Anthony was a 2019 USA Today First-Team All American and Virginia Gatorade Player of the Year. He also was named MVP at the 2019 McDonald’s All-American Game and at the 2019 Jordan Brand Classic.
Nwora and Anthony each earned spots on the Preseason All-ACC First Team and were joined by Duke sophomore guard Tre Jones, Notre Dame senior forward John Mooney and Virginia senior forward Mamadi Diakite.
The Preseason All-ACC Second Team was comprised of NC State senior guard Markell Johnson, Duke freshman center Vernon Carey Jr., Miami junior guard Chris Lykes, North Carolina junior forward Garrison Brooks and Florida State senior guard Trent Forrest.
The 2019-20 regular season begins Nov. 5. This season marks the ACC’s first-ever 20-game conference slate, including seven league matchups to begin the regular season on Nov. 5 and 6, with doubleheaders each evening on ACC Network. Nov. 5 features Louisville at Miami (6:30 p.m.), followed by Georgia Tech at NC State (8:30 p.m.). On Nov. 6, the network airs Notre Dame at North Carolina (7 p.m.), followed by reigning national champion Virginia playing at Syracuse (9 p.m.).
The ACC’s current 15 member schools have captured eight of the last 19 NCAA Championships and 17 overall, including Virginia’s first title in 2019. Current ACC member schools have combined for 62 Final Four appearances and a national-best 639 NCAA Tournament wins. League teams have combined to win an NCAA-record 74 NCAA Tournament games over the past five seasons, highlighted by a 68-29 mark versus teams from outside the conference.
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. Three of the six active Division I coaches currently in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame are competing in the ACC again this season – Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, North Carolina’s Roy Williams and Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim.
ACC Preseason Order of Finish (first-place votes in parentheses)
1. Duke (51), 1564
2. North Carolina (19), 1493
3. Louisville (29), 1448
4. Virginia (12), 1405
5. Florida State, 1157
6. NC State, 1038
7. Notre Dame, 915
8. Syracuse, 910
9. Miami, 768
10. Pitt, 577
11. Clemson, 564
12. Georgia Tech, 437
13. Boston College, 382
14. Virginia Tech, 334
15. Wake Forest, 328
Preseason All-ACC Team
Jordan Nwora, Louisville, 95
Tre Jones, Duke, 89
Cole Anthony, North Carolina, 81
John Mooney, Notre Dame, 51
Mamadi Diakite, Virginia, 49
Markell Johnson, NC State, 39
Vernon Carey Jr., Duke, 19
Chris Lykes, Miami, 18
Garrison Brooks, North Carolina, 11
Trent Forrest, Florida State, 11
Preseason ACC Player of the Year
Jordan Nwora, Louisville, 55
Cole Anthony, North Carolina, 31
Tre Jones, Duke, 19
John Mooney, Notre Dame, 3
Mamadi Diakite, Virginia, 2
Markell Johnson, NC State, 1
Preseason ACC Freshman of the Year
Cole Anthony, North Carolina, 89
Vernon Carey Jr., Duke, 8
Wendell Moore Jr., Duke, 5
Casey Morsell, Virginia, 3
Cassius Stanley, Duke, 3
Matthew Hurt, Duke, 3