GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP)Seventh-ranked Louisville is the favorite to win the Atlantic Coast Conference women’s basketball title, while Virginia Tech post player Elizabeth Kitley is the preseason pick for league player of the year.
In results released Wednesday, the Cardinals received 31 of 60 first-place votes from the league’s panel of 15 head coaches and media members. That put them ahead of the 13th-ranked Hokies in a crowded top tier of the league. Louisville is coming off a Final Four season.
No. 10 North Carolina State, the reigning three-time league champion, was picked third, followed by No. 9 Notre Dame and No. 12 North Carolina.
The 6-foot-6 Kitley was named league player of the year last season as well as an Associated Press third-team All-American after averaging 18.1 points, 9.8 rebounds and 2.4 blocks while shooting 55.1%. Kitley earned 49 of 60 first-place votes, with Louisville guard Hailey Van Lith second with seven votes.
On the team vote, Miami was picked to finish sixth, followed by Duke, Georgia Tech, Florida State and Syracuse.
Virginia was next at 11th, followed by Clemson, Boston College, Wake Forest and Pittsburgh.
Kitley headlined the panel’s 10-player preseason all-ACC team, joining teammates Ashley Owusu and Taylor Soule. Virginia Tech was the only team with three selections.
Louisville had two with Van Lith and Morgan Jones, while N.C. State also had two with Jakia Brown-Turner and Diamond Johnson. The list included Notre Dame’s Olivia Miles, North Carolina’s Deja Kelly and Wake Forest’s Jewel Spear.
Soule and Jones are two intra-conference transfers who played elsewhere in the league last season.
More AP women’s college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-college-basketball and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-womens-college-basketball-poll and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25