NCAA Women's Basketball

Loaded Blue Devils again favorites in ACC

10/23 1:29 PM

Duke was picked to win the ACC preseason women's basketball poll by both media and coaches. The Blue Devils, who return all five starters, were 33-3 last season and have advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight the last four years.

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- It's a new-look ACC, but a very familiar team is atop the ACC preseason polls.

Duke was picked to win the league by both the media and the ACC coaches. The Blue Devils, who return all five starters, were 33-3 last season and have advanced to the NCAA Elite Eight the last four years.

Elizabeth Williams, Chelsea Gray, Tricia Liston, Haley Peters and Alexis Jones all return for the Blue Devils. It's the ninth time since preseason voting began in 1991 that the Blue Devils were selected as the favorites and the 13th straight year they were picked in the top three.

League newcomer Notre Dame was picked second, and Maryland -- which is in its last year in the ACC before moving to the Big Ten -- was selected third. North Carolina, which will be under the direction of assistant Andrew Calder while coach Sylvia Hatchell is being treated for leukemia -- was fourth.

Those teams were followed by Georgia Tech and Florida State (tied in the media poll; fifth and sixth, respectively, in the coaches' poll), Syracuse, Virginia, Miami, North Carolina State, Boston College, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Clemson and Pittsburgh.

Maryland senior Alyssa Thomas was pick by both groups as preseason player of the year; she has won that honor in the regular season the past two years.

Notre Dame, Syracuse and Pittsburgh join the ACC this season. Maryland will depart and Louisville will join the ACC in 2014-15.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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