Posted by Matt Patton on March 13th, 2016
The ACC got seven bids to the NCAA Tournament. While not a huge surprise, Syracuse was very, very fortunate to earn an at-large bid. Additionally, Roy Williams ended up correctly predicting that both North Carolina and Virginia would wind up on the top seed line. Here are some quick best- and worst-case scenarios for the ACC teams in the field.
North Carolina Celebrated Another ACC Tournament Title Yesterday. (Photo by Liz Condo, theACC.com)
North Carolina (#1 East): The Tar Heels were the second overall seed, which shows how much the committee respects winning both the regular season and conference tournament titles (and perhaps also considered the time Marcus Paige missed from injury). That means a pair of opening round games in Raleigh, but the bad news for North Carolina fans is that the #4 and #5 seeds in the region (Kentucky and Indiana) are both grossly underseeded. It almost guarantees a challenging Sweet Sixteen game in Philadelphia.
- Best Case: The Tar Heels build on their recent momentum and win the National Championship.
- Worst Case: North Carolina’s Sweet Sixteen opponent is firing on all cylinders from behind the arc and sends the Tar Heels packing.
Virginia (#1 Midwest): In another surprise twist, Virginia was a #1 seed and the third overall (the committee must have watched the ACC Tournament!) with a trip to Raleigh on tap for the first weekend. The Cavaliers have a great chance to make it to the regional in Chicago, but #5 Purdue could be a very challenging Sweet Sixteen opponent. The rest of the bracket is favorable with one glaring exception: #2 seed Michigan State. The Spartans will be favored to meet Virginia in the Elite Eight and have ended Virginia’s postseason in each of the past two seasons.
- Best Case: Virginia finally breaks through and silences the doubters with the school’s first National Championship.
- Worst Case: Virginia, worn out by an incredibly talented Purdue team, is destroyed by the Spartans (leaving Tony Bennett thrilled that he opted to not go to the Big Ten).
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