No. 5 Louisville, No. 8 NC State top ACC preseason picks

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — Fifth-ranked Louisville is the preseason favorite to win the Atlantic Coast Conference women’s basketball title, while senior guard Dana Evans is the pick to become the league player of the year.

The league released its preseason picks Tuesday after voting by a media panel as well as a separate set of picks by the coaches. Both agreed on the Cardinals as the favorite, followed by No. 8 North Carolina State after the Wolfpack won the ACC Tournament last season for the first time since 1991.

Both polls listed No. 23 Syracuse as picked to finish third, but diverged from there. The coaches picked North Carolina fourth under second-year coach Courtney Banghart, followed by Georgia Tech and No. 22 Notre Dame — led by new coach Niele Ivey taking over for Hall of Famer Muffet McGraw.

The media panel had the Fighting Irish fourth, followed by the Tar Heels.

The league’s other new coach is Kara Lawson, who had worked as an NBA assistant coach and a broadcaster before taking over at Duke to replace Joanne P. McCallie. The Blue Devils were picked 10th in the 15-team league by the media panel and 11th by the coaches.

In addition, Florida State will play under associate head coach Brooke Wyckoff while longtime head coach Sue Semrau takes a leave of absence to be with her ailing mother. The Seminoles were picked to finish sixth by the media panel and eighth by the coaches.

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