NCAA Selection Sunday was a solid day for Atlantic Coast Conference basketball with six teams earning bids to the NCAA Tournament.
The Virginia Cavaliers, who beat the Duke Blue Devils 72-63 to earn their first ACC championship since 1976, earned a No.1 seed in the East Region. The Cavaliers will take on No.16 seeded Coastal Carolina out of the Big South Conference to open up their tournament play.
Coach Mike Krzyzewski and his Blue Devils are once again in the field of 68. Duke enters the NCAA Tournament as the No.3 seed in the Midwest region and has a matchup with the No.14 seed Mercer Bears of the Atlantic Sun Conference.
Roy Williams also made the field with his North Carolina Tar Heels being awarded a No.6 seed in the East Region, and they will play a tough No.11 seed in the Providence Friars out of the Big East Conference. Providence has momentum coming into the tournament after winning the Big East Conference tournament by beating the Creighton Bluejays.
The Pittsburgh Panthers made the field as well. They solidified their position in the tournament by beating Wake Forest and North Carolina in the ACC Tournament. Jamie Dixon’s club earned a No.8 seed in the South Region and will play the No.9 seeded Colorado Buffalos out of the Pac-12.
Jim Boeheim’s Syracuse Orange stumbled into the NCAA tournament losing five of their last seven contests. The Orange still earned a No.3 seed in the tournament, but they are going to have to play strong against the No.14 seeded Western Michigan Broncos out of the MAC. Syracuse is going to have to find answers quickly for their issues or they could end up being a team that suffers an early exit.
Last, but not least, the NC State Wolfpack played their way into the tournament bracket by having a strong showing in the ACC Tournament. The Pack beat the Miami Hurricanes and the Syracuse Orange in the tournament and earned their shot to get into the field of 64. They are going to have to play against the Xavier Musketeers of the Big East in a First Four game on Tuesday March 18th for the No.12 seed in the Midwest. Winner of that game will take on the No.5 seeded St. Louis Billikens.
You really can’t say that there were any ACC teams who got shafted by the selection committee. You could make an argument for the Clemson Tigers. They could have probably solidified a spot with a win over Duke, but they fell a bucket short. NC State because of their play in the tournament took their spot. Plus, it kind of helped that NC State has a player that needed to be showcased on the tournament stage in ACC Player of the Year T.J. Warren.
These are fair selections for the ACC Conference and it is going to be interesting to see how far these teams advance in the coming weeks.
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