Looking ahead: ACC preview

Rasheed Sulaimon, Mike Krzyzewski and Duke have enough talent to compete for a national title. Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Prior to the start of the 2013-14 season, the ACC was supposed to be the best league in college basketball. Although it didn't fulfill those expectations, next season appears to be different.

The conference adds perennial national title contender Louisville, Duke brings in ESPN's No. 1 recruiting class and North Carolina will be talented enough to go deep. The ACC's key will be for the bottom of the league to get more competitive and have those teams win games in their respective nonconference schedules.

Favorite: Duke Blue Devils

Duke will be the team to beat in the ACC with or without Jabari Parker. The Blue Devils return a solid core led by point guard Quinn Cook, a strong floor leader and a capable shooter. However, he must improve defensively for Duke to go far. He'll be pushed by ESPN's No. 4-rated prospect, Tyus Jones. The freshman is explosive off the dribble, sees plays and has the potential to be a disruptive defender on and off the ball. They'll be joined in the backcourt by Rasheed Sulaimon, a junior who should be one of the better shooting guards in the country.