Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Digest: Tar Heels Picked as Top Team in ACC

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Digest: Tar Heels Picked as Top Team in ACC

Article excerpt

Tar Heels are preseason hoops favorites in ACC

North Carolina is the preseason favorite to win the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Tar Heels return one of their most- experienced lineups in seven seasons.

North Carolina received 60 of 89 first-place votes from media members at Wednesday's ACC media day, leading two-time regular- season champion Virginia and defending NCAA Tournament champion Duke. The Tar Heels return four starters and nine of their 10 leading scorers from last year's team, which finished 26-12.

North Carolina is already a favorite to win its sixth NCAA championship and third under Roy Williams, tied with Kentucky atop USA Today's preseason coaches poll. Both teams received 749 total points, but the Tar Heels got 12 first-place votes to 11 for the Wildcats.

The Cavaliers received 18 first-place votes in the ACC, with the Blue Devils getting eight first-place votes. (AP)

Players say Pitino is staying * Louisville graduate transfer Trey Lewis says athletic director Tom Jurich has assured players that Hall of Famer Rick Pitino will remain the Cardinals coach amid escort allegations.

Speaking during the Atlantic Coast Conference media day Wednesday, Lewis says Jurich "explained to us that coach Pitino is going to be our coach."

Lewis also says Pitino has told them "that he's going to be here for a long time," so players aren't worried about his future.

Pitino didn't attend the media day on the advice of counsel.

Allegations emerged earlier this month that an ex-staffer hired an escort and other dancers to strip and have sex with players and recruits from 2010-14. (AP)

Mizzou soccer plays for SEC title * The Missouri women's soccer team can clinch a share of the Southeastern Conference regular- season title with a victory in Thursday's nationally televised home game against Texas A&M. The game airs at 8 p.m. on SEC Network.

The Tigers (9-4-4, 7-2-1 SEC) can finish no lower than third in the conference and already secured a first-round bye in next week's SEC Tournament in Orange Beach, Ala. Missouri is tied with No. 6 Florida for first place. The Gators play their regular-season finale Thursday at Georgia. …

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