Sunday, October 25, 2009

Observations | ACC preseason poll

The tie atop the ACC preseason poll was the first in the 41-year history of voting, although if pressed to pick a winner, Duke had 25 first-place votes to North Carolina's 20.

Other observations on the poll:

1. This is the 19th time North Carolina has been picked to finish first. The Tar Heels won the league in 11 of the first 18 times they were picked. Duke has been picked to finish first 12 times before, winning in seven of those years.

2. Wake Forest, picked sixth overall, received one first-place vote. Georgia Tech, picked fourth, received two.

3. Four of the five returning members of the first, second and third ACC teams from last season were picked on the preseason all-conference team: Maryland's Greivis Vasquez (second team), Clemson's Trevor Booker (second team), Duke's Kyle Singler (second team) and Virginia Tech's Malcolm Delaney (third team).

North Carolina's Ed Davis moved past Georgia Tech's Gani Lawal (third team) and Virginia's Sylven Landesberg (honorable mention) to fill the fifth spot.

4. The 144-point gap between Duke and North Carolina and third selection Clemson is the largest gap between any spots in the poll. Clemson-Georgia Tech (third-fourth, 122 points) and Boston College-Miami (eighth-ninth, 116 points) are the other demarcation points.

5. Biggest jump: Georgia Tech, which finished 12th last year, was picked to finish fourth. Biggest fall: Boston College, which finished tied for fourth last year, was picked to finish ninth. The Eagles were picked to finish 11th last year.

6. Good news for N.C. State: The team picked to finish 12th hasn't actually finished last since expansion. (Clemson was correctly picked to finish last in 2004, the last year of the nine-team ACC.) The average finish of teams picked to finish last since 2006, the first year with 12 teams, is eighth.

7. Even though Duke had the edge on North Carolina in first-place votes, Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association director Rob Daniels said the two teams share first place.

"It's like the AP poll or any poll. It's by points and the ties aren't broken," Daniels said.

-- Luke DeCock