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Early look at next year's ACC basketball

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Has the super-conference finally arrived?

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

FSU's season ended yesterday. There is obviously a lot of changes coming in the ACC with transfers and players leaving early, but here is my March, 2015 prediction of next year's ACC.

Keep in mind that pundits have been talking about the ACC becoming a super-conference for a few years, but next year is the year actually it happens. The ACC will be LOADED.

1. Virginia

The Hoos are filthy. Already 32-4 in conference the past two years, which is the best run since Duke's late 90s teams, they only have one senior. If everyone returns, they're the best team in the country. If Justin Anderson goes pro, then they're just the best team in the ACC. They also have Darius Thompson (Tennessee) sitting out this year, and he may be their best defender.

2. North Carolina

UNC has no seniors who were regulars, and - despite being absolutely loaded with blue chip recruits - they don't have a single player who is a slam dunk to leave early. The Heels talented roster will be scary if they reach their potential.

3. Duke

The Blue Devils will lose a ton - Jahlil Okafor, Tyus Jones, and Justise Winslow are all candidates for the 1st round, and Quinn Cook graduates. That only leaves them with 4 returning McDonald's All Americans, the poor guys. Of course, they're bringing in two 5* recruits, and will most likely land at least one more 5* in this class. They also have transfer Sean Obi who sat out this season, and he's the best rebounder in the nation.

4. NC State

The Wolfpack lose Ralston Turner, but that might be it, and they have West Virginia transfer Terry Henderson to take over that spot. They return seven players who were top 100 recruits, and their loaded sophomore class (this year's freshmen) will have a year of off season under their belts.

5. Syracuse

Rakeem Christmas is gone, but everyone else is back from a solid team. They're currently set to have 11 top 100 recruits on the roster. DaJuan Coleman should also be back assuming his knees can handle it.

6. Louisville

The Cardinals graduate Wayne Blackshear, will almost certainly lose Montrezl Harrell to the draft, and may lose sophomore Terry Rozier as well. Of course, they have the top ranked recruiting class in the conference, and will be deep with talent.

7. Miami

The Canes return everyone from a 10-8 team. Assuming Angel Rodriquez can figure out what went wrong down the stretch, the Canes will be deep and experienced. PF Kamari Murphy (Oklahoma State) will be eligible after sitting out a year.

8. Florida State

The Noles lose Kiel Turpin, but bring in the 2nd ranked ACC recruiting class (which will probably be No. 3 after Duke finishes). The key is that FSU is in desperate need of help on the wing, and incoming 5* freshman Dwayne Bacon is one of the most college ready wings in the class. Xavier Rathan-Mayes will put up better overall numbers once he's surrounded by more talent.

9. Notre Dame

Bad news: Notre Dame was 7-13 in the past two years without Jerian Grant, and 38-9 with him. He graduates. Good news: Notre Dame has another superstar in junior-to-be Demetrius Jackson.

10. Pittsburgh

The core trio of Jamel Artis, Michael Young, and James Robinson are all slated to return. The problem is that the core trio has led a defense which is terrible.

11. Virginia Tech

Buzz Williams has a talent infusion on the way, but they'll need time to get their feet wet. He had four freshmen this year who were all solid players, and they'll be joined by some more ACC quality talent.

12. Wake Forest

Keeping up the theme of "team X returns pretty much everyone," Wake Forest returns pretty much everyone. But Danny Manning needs better players.

13. Clemson

This assumes Jaron Blossomgame returns. If not, the Tigers could be in trouble.

14. Georgia Tech

The Yellow Jackets are way too talented to finish 14th, but they may fire their coach, and if they don't fire their coach then they're in trouble anyway.

15. Boston College

The Eagles lose more than anyone. They were already really bad. Jim Christian has a monumental rebuild on his hands. Close your eyes, BC fans.