The ACC edges the SEC as the top recruiting conference in 2010, with five teams in the top 25. The SEC also has five teams in the top 25, but their average ranking is not as high as the five ACC schools. North Carolina leads the way in the ACC (No. 4 overall) after winning an intense recruiting battle for Harrison Barnes. He joins fellow five-star prospect Reggie Bullock and highly ranked four-star prospect Kendall Marshall. Five-star forward C.J. Leslie joins a couple of impact guards - Ryan Harrow and Lorenzo Brown - placing N.C. State No. 2 in the conference. Next is Duke, who has its top-five prospect in guard Kyrie Irving. A balanced class with four four-star prospects has Wake Forest at No. 4 in the ACC. Tony Bennett's balanced five-man class, in his first full recruiting year at the school, means Virginia is No. 5. Maryland's class is led by four-star prospect Mychal Parker. Florida State boasts a couple of four-star recruits in Okaro White and Ian Miller.
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Best recruiting battle
The recruiting saga of Harrison Barnes, the No. 2 overall prospect in the Rivals150, was a classic. With practically every school in the country recruiting him, Barnes narrowed his list to hometown school Iowa State, Duke, Kansas, North Carolina, Oklahoma and UCLA.
At one time, Kansas was strong with Barnes, but he began to become fixated on the ACC. Duke had the upper hand early, with coach Mike Krzyzewski extending an offer before UNC's Roy Williams. But once Williams identified Barnes as his top recruiting target, North Carolina quickly made up ground on Duke and eventually beat the Blue Devils for Barnes' signature.
Top three classes
With Barnes joining five-star prospect Reggie Bullock and four-star prospect Kendall Marshall, North Carolina captures the top spot in the ACC recruiting rankings and the No. 4 spot nationally. More important, these were coach Roy Williams' top three recruiting priorities, giving North Carolina a perfect record in recruiting this class.
North Carolina State scored big in the spring period when they landed five-star prospect C.J. Leslie in an intense recruiting battle with Kentucky. A dynamic backcourt of five-star prospect Ryan Harrow and four-star prospect Lorenzo Brown team with Leslie, giving NC State the second-best recruiting class in the ACC and the No. 5 class nationally.
Duke might have lost out on Barnes, its top recruiting target, but Mike Krzyzewski still signed a strong class. Elite combo guard Kyrie Irving leads the three-man class, which also includes top-50 combo forward prospect Joshua Hairston and Rivals150 combo guard Tyler Thornton.
Wake Forest landed a five-man class and Virginia signed a six-man classes, which has both schools in the top 20 nationally. Four of Wake Forest's recruits are four-star prospects, with shooting guard J.T. Terrell (No. 53 overall) leading the way.
Virginia's strong class is even more impressive when one considers it was put together by Tony Bennett in his first full recruiting cycle as the Cavaliers' coach. His prize recruit is shooting guard K.T. Harrell. Although he is the No. 30 prospect in the Rivals150, Harrell does not have much of a national reputation. Three other Virginia signees also are ranked in the Rivals150.