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 CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina State is the preseason favorite to win the Atlantic Coast Conference championship.
The Wolfpack, with four starters back from a team that reached the NCAA round of 16, earned 26 of 53 first-place votes from media members at the league's annual ``Operation Basketball'' media day. It is the first time N.C. State has been picked as the preseason favorite since the 1974-75 season.
In addition, N.C. State junior C.J. Leslie was player of the year, teammate Lorenzo Brown was an all-ACC pick and guard Rodney Purvis was voted rookie of the year.
Duke was second with 21 first-place votes, while North Carolina was third.
Reigning tournament champion Florida State was fourth, followed by Miami, Maryland, Virginia, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Wake Forest and Boston College.
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