Virginia Basketball's been getting a lot of positive press in the preseason rankings so far, coming in hot in the top 10 of most rankings.
It's still just a little early to start talking basketball full on (raise your hand if, back in August, you thought I'd be typing that sentence come mid-October...put your hand down, liar), but ESPN's Jeff Goodman polled a number of ACC coaches to get their preseason rankings. Unsurprisingly, Virginia comes in at No. 4, behind Duke, Louisville, and North Carolina.
Duke appears to be the clear preseason favorites with 12 of the 18 first place votes. Louisville gets four votes, while Virginia picks up the remaining two.
In some of the coaches' comments, one coach commented that Virginia may win the league because Tony Bennett finally has his guys playing in a system that works. The coach also commented that apparently the Hoos play with a chip on their shoulders because they're not big-time recruits. I don't know if Maryland Gatorade Player of the Year and ESPN/Rivals Top 100 recruit Justin Anderson, ESPN/Scout Top 100 recruit Anthony Gill (albeit a transfer), or Georgia State Player of the Year, McDonald's All-American Nominee and ESPN/Rivals Top 100 Evan Nolte agree with that.
Here's how the teams ranked:
1. Duke Blue Devils - 260 (12)
2. Louisville Cardinals - 238 (4)
3. North Carolina Tar Heels - 236
4. Virginia Cavaliers - 230 (2)
5. Syracuse Orange - 198
6. Pittsburgh Panthers - 172
7. Florida State Seminoles - 138
8. North Carolina State Wolfpack - 136
9. Miami Hurricanes - 126
10. Notre Dame Fighting Irish - 118
11. Clemson Tigers - 110
12-Tie. Wake Forest Demon Deacons - 62
12-Tie. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets - 62
14. Virginia Tech Hokies - 42
15. Boston College Eagles - 30
It will be fun to see how this super-talented Virginia team fares without stars Joe Harris and Akil Mitchell, both of whom are now in the NBA with Cleveland and Houston, respectively.
Any surprises to the list? Looks like among this random sample of 18 coaches, there's a clear-cut top four, a second tier with Syracuse and Pitt, a third tier of Florida State, NC State, Miami, Notre Dame and Clemson, and then the riff-raff at the bottom.