CBS Sports has some interesting predictions for the upcoming basketball season, more than four months before the season tips off.
Matt Norlander of CBS Sports released an ACC basketball offseason power rankings list Tuesday with a surprise team at No. 1. No, it wasn’t Duke, North Carolina or Louisville. In fact, it wasn’t Virginia or Notre Dame, either.
The No. 1 spot on the list belonged to the Miami Hurricanes. Here’s Norlander’s explanation as to why Miami is his pick to win the ACC this winter:
Jim Larranaga has done it once before. The Hurricanes won the ACC’s regular season title in 2013, beating second-place Duke and third-place North Carolina. That will be repeated next season. Miami has the league’s best combination of talent and experience. [Guard Bruce] Brown could be among the nation’s top 10 players. Freshman Lonnie Walker figures to make an immediate impact.
But since 2013, the Hurricanes have finished above sixth in the conference just once. Miami was 10-9 in the ACC last season, ending the conference regular season in ninth place.
Defending NCAA champion North Carolina and Duke both lost several key players to the NBA, but those programs, especially Duke, have an uncanny ability of reloading on the fly. Even if Miami has an experience advantage, most are not going to consider the Hurricanes the ACC favorite as Norlander does.
The Tar Heels and Blue Devils are just behind the Hurricanes, ranked second and third, respectively, on the CBS Sports offseason ACC Power Rankings. Louisville and Notre Dame round out the top five.
Here’s a complete look at the CBS Sports Power Rankings:
- North Carolina
- Notre Dame
- Virginia Tech
- Georgia Tech
- Wake Forest
- North Carolina State
- Florida State