N.C. State tabbed as hoops favorite for first time since 1974-75; Tigers picked 8th

Clemson just behind Maryland, Virginia, ahead of Georgia Tech in Operation Basketball balloting

N.C. State's C.J. Leslie, left, tries to back under the basket while being defended by Clemson's Milton Jennings in an NCAA college basketball game at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, S.C. on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012. (AP Photo/Anderson Independent-Mail, Mark Crammer)

Photo by Mark Crammer

N.C. State's C.J. Leslie, left, tries to back under the basket while being defended by Clemson's Milton Jennings in an NCAA college basketball game at Littlejohn Coliseum in Clemson, S.C. on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012. (AP Photo/Anderson Independent-Mail, Mark Crammer)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – For the first time since the 1974-75 season, NC State has been picked as the favorite in Atlantic Coast Conference in voting by the media at the league’s annual Operation Basketball.

The Wolfpack, which returns four starters from last season’s team that posted a 24-13 record and advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, received 26 of the 53 first-place votes and totaled 601 points.

Duke, which also returns four starters, was second with 589 points, including 21 first-place votes while North Carolina was third with 520 points. Defending ACC Florida State received the remaining six first place votes and placed fourth with 484 points.

Miami was picked for fifth with 436 points, followed by Maryland (341), Virginia (287), Clemson (277), Georgia Tech (189), Virginia Tech (169), Wake Forest (151) and Boston College (90).

NC State junior forward C.J. Leslie, who averaged 14.7 points and 7.3 rebounds per game last season, was voted the Preseason ACC Player of the Year while teammate Rodney Purvis was named Preseason ACC Rookie of the Year.

Leslie heads up the ACC Preseason All-ACC team and is joined by Wolfpack teammate Lorenzo Brown, Duke’s Mason Plumlee, Florida State’s Michael Snaer and North Carolina’s James Michael McAdoo.

Listed below are results of the voting in the ACC Operation Basketball preseason poll.

Team Predictions

1. NC State (26) 601

2. Duke (21) 589

3. North Carolina 520

4. Florida State (6) 484

5. Miami 436

6. Maryland 341

7. Virginia 287

8. Clemson 277

9. Georgia Tech 189

10. Virginia Tech 169

11. Wake Forest 151

12. Boston College 90

(53 ballots)

Preseason All-ACC

Lorenzo Brown, Jr., NC State

C.J. Leslie, Jr., NC State

James Michael McAdoo, So., North Carolina

Mason Plumlee, Sr., Duke

Michael Snaer, Sr., Florida State

Preseason ACC Player of the Year

C.J. Leslie, Jr., NC State

Preseason ACC Rookie of the Year

Rodney Purvis, Fr., NC State

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