LAST SEASON'S RECORD: 24-7, 11-5
OUTLOOK: With plenty of size, the Deacons will present problems for opponents, especially if they can find players to replace the scoring lost with the departure of guard Jeff Teague and forward James Johnson. Look for freshman Ari Stewart to make an early impact and for Al-Farouq Aminu to emerge as one of the league's top players. If their defense falters and point guard Ish Smith isn't a more effective scorer, it could be a long season.
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LAST SEASON'S RECORD: 19-15, 7-9
OUTLOOK: Either a supporting cast emerges to help productive, versatile stars Malcolm Delaney and Jeff Allen, or Delaney and Allen can only duplicate last year's NIT finish.
LAST SEASON'S RECORD: 10-18, 4-12
OUTLOOK: The Cavaliers could take advantage of an easy schedule (playing UNC and Duke once) to go .500 in the league, but if Sylven Landesburg, the team's best player, gets frustrated, the Wahoos fight it out with N.C. State and Miami for last place in the ACC.
LAST SEASON'S RECORD: 34-4, 13-3
OUTLOOK: The Tar Heels need to find a couple of outside shooters to replace the 3-point field goals lost with Wayne Ellington, Ty Lawson, Danny Green. Ed Davis stars,UNC's big men dominate, and the Tar Heels return to the Final Four for the third consecutive season.
LAST SEASON'S RECORD: 16-14, 6-10
OUTLOOK: Tracy Smith can emerge as a force in the post and improve his free-throw shooting and passing to lead a young Wolfpack team. If coach Sidney Lowe continues the carousel at point guard and never settles on a rotation, it makes no progress.
LAST SEASON'S RECORD: 19-13, 7-9
OUTLOOK: The Hurricanes caught a break with their conference schedule, as they will Duke, North Carolina and Clemson just once each. If Dwayne Collins asserts himself more on the block and sophomore wing DeQuan Jones develops a game that matches his awesome athletic ability, Miami could be a surprise NCAA Tournament contender.
LAST SEASON'S RECORD: 21-14, 7-9
BEST-CASE SCENARIO: The freshmen forwards add some much-needed size. If Greivis Vasquez settles for too many outside shots, the Terps remain in the same 7- to 9-win range, leading to another early bow out of the NCAA Tournament.
LAST SEASON'S RECORD: 12-19, 2-14
OUTLOOK: Derrick Favors might be the nation's best freshman big man since Ohio State's Greg Oden. If Paul Hewitt can use Favors as skillfully as Thad Matta used Oden, and if Iman Shumpert can cut down on his turnovers, the Yellow Jackets could finish as high as third place in the ACC.
LAST SEASON'S RECORD: 25-10, 10-6
OUTLOOK: Chris Singleton and Solomon Alabi need to replace point guard Toney Douglas' leadership - while moving up from 11th in the conference in rebound margin (+0.9) from last season.
LAST SEASON'S RECORD: 30-7, 11-5
OUTLOOK: Athletic forwards Mason and Miles Plumlee are the keys for this team. If they dominate the boards and find ways to create space for Kyle Singler, Jon Scheyer and Nolan Smith, Duke could win the ACC and go deep into the NCAA Tournament. A Final Four trip seems unlikely, though, because the Blue Devils don't have a player who can create his own shot in the closing seconds of a close game.Boston College
LAST SEASON'S RECORD: 22-12; 9-7
BEST-CASE SCENARIO: The four returning starters can fill the scoring and leadership vacuum left by former point guard Tyrese Rice. But if Rice proves to be irreplaceable, the offense stalls without improved interior play to send the program tumbling back to the NIT.