Spring preview 2018: ACC

Leona Maguire

Spring preview 2018: ACC

College

Spring preview 2018: ACC

As the college golf season gets ready to resume, Golfweek will preview each automatic-qualifier conference in Division I, offering picks to win, midseason All-Conference teams and more.

All of our conference previews will reside here.

Next up: ACC.

• • •

Men

Conference championship: April 20-22, Old North State Club, New London, N.C.

Defending champion: Duke

Team rankings: Georgia Tech (5), Wake Forest (12), Clemson (16), North Carolina (20), Duke (24), Louisville (32), Florida State (35), North Carolina State (36), Notre Dame (48), Virginia (64), Virginia Tech (80), Boston College (129)

Midseason All-Conference team: Bryson Nimmer, Clemson (16); Stephen Franken, N.C. State (17); Will Zalatoris, Wake Forest (18*); Harry Ellis, Florida State (25); Cameron Young, Wake Forest (35)

What to expect: Georgia Tech has no players ranked inside top 40 but five at 86th or better, including No. 41 Jacob Joiner and No. 48 Luke Schniederjans. Freshman Noah Norton (81) could be the Jackets’ best player come May. Wake Forest has a huge void to fill this spring after Zalatoris turned pro last month. Clemson lost some key players from last season, but Nimmer has been a bright spot as Doc Redman was slow out of the gates last fall. North Carolina has experience on its side, as does Duke. Florida State could be a real darkhorse behind talented duo Harry Ellis and John Pak.

Pick to win: Georgia Tech

• • •

Women

Conference championship: April 20-22, Sedgefield CC, Greensboro, N.C.

Defending champion: Duke

Team rankings: Duke (4), Louisville (20), Virginia (21), Wake Forest (26), Florida State (32), North Carolina (33), Clemson (36), Miami (37), North Carolina State (38), Notre Dame (42), Virginia Tech (47), Boston College (121)

Midseason All-Conference team: Leona Maguire, Duke (9); Jennifer Kupcho, Wake Forest (10); Emilia Migliaccio, Wake Forest (13); Ana Belac, Duke (19); Jaravee Boonchant, Duke (20)

What to expect: Duke boasts conference’s best player (Maguire) and deepest team. Virginia Elena Carta, the 2016 NCAA individual champ is the team’s fifth-best ranked player at No. 81. Louisville had a nice fall behind its star, Lauren Hartlage, and Virginia boasts a talented duo in Beth Lillie and Anna Redding. Migliaccio has been a nice addition to Kupcho-led Wake Forest, but fielding enough healthy players has been a problem again for the Deacons. Florida State underperformed last fall compared to last season, but the Seminoles, along with several others teams, remain in the ACC conversation. This league is deep.

Pick to win: Duke

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