Spring preview 2019: ACC

Duke’s Virginia Elena Carta, following her NCAA Championship win Tracy Wilcox/Golfweek

Spring preview 2019: ACC

College

Spring preview 2019: ACC

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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 18-20, Old North State Club, New London, N.C.

Defending champion: Georgia Tech

Team rankings: Duke (2), Georgia Tech (3), Wake Forest (8), Clemson (10), North Carolina State (22), Louisville (23), North Carolina (30), Florida State (34), Virginia (56), Notre Dame (80), Virginia Tech (113), Boston College (168)

Midseason All-Conference team: Alex Smalley, Duke (4); Chandler Eaton, Duke (6); Luke Schniederjans, Georgia Tech (9); Bryson Nimmer, Clemson (11); Matthias Schmid, Louisville (15)

What to expect: This could be a heck of a tournament. As it stands, the firepower includes two of the top three teams in the nation and four of the top 10. Duke has looked like a juggernaut ever since a surprise run to the semifinals at last year’s NCAAs, Georgia Tech is its usual potent self, Wake Forest boasts a young but high-potential roster and Clemson has two of the most talented players in all of college golf. And we haven’t even mentioned the four other programs at a tier below lurking with great talent. This one is almost impossible to predict. Ultimately, though, I defer to the Yellow Jackets. The defending champs have won nine of the last 13 conference titles, so the program knows the formula best here. Georgia Tech also shockingly failed to pass through NCAA regionals as a No. 1 seed last year and missed nationals by one shot for the second straight season. There will be huge motivation to avenge that, which means really kicking into gear once conference championship season starts. Expect the Yellow Jackets to do so.

Pick to win: Georgia Tech

• • •

Women

Conference championship: April 18-20, Sedgefield CC, Greensboro, N.C.

Defending champion: Duke

Team rankings: Duke (6), Virginia (12), Wake Forest (15), Florida State (20), Clemson (22), Miami (27), Louisville (29), North Carolina (39), North Carolina State (51), Virginia Tech (60), Notre Dame (70), Boston College (97)

Midseason All-Conference team: Frida Kinhult, Florida State (8); Emilia Migliaccio, Wake Forest (10); Jaravee Boonchant, Duke (24); Virginia Elena Carta, Duke (27); Anna Redding, Virginia (31)

What to expect: Really, you pick against Duke here at your own peril. And I won’t. The Blue Devils are two-time defending champions and owners of five of the last seven titles, with their 2018 romp coming by a whopping 27 shots. They do have plenty of competition, though, in the ACC, and Duke doesn’t really boast a standout player at the moment. Wake Forest has two in Emilia Migliaccio and Jennifer Kupcho, the defending NCAA individual champ who didn’t have her best fall but is in the argument for women’s college golf’s most talented player. Florida State is teeming with potential thanks to a cadre of high-powered freshmen. So don’t write off the challengers. Duke is never intimidated, though, and in the end they boast plenty of talent and pedigree to continue the dominance.

Pick to win: Duke

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