|ACC places league-record 9 in NCAA Tourney
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Led by No. 1 regional seed North Carolina and No. 2 seeds Duke and Louisville, the Atlantic Coast Conference placed a league-record nine teams among the 2017 NCAA Basketball Tournament field announced Sunday.
The Tar Heels, Blue Devils and Cardinals are joined by Florida State, Miami, Notre Dame, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.
The ACC’s nine teams betters the previous league record of seven first set in 2007 and equaled in 2009 and 2016. The nine selections leads all conferences this season and ties for the second-most ever by any conference.
North Carolina (27-7) earned the No. 1 seed in the South Region. The Tar Heels open Friday in Greenville, South Carolina, against SWAC champion Texas Southern (23-11). UNC is set for its 48th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and its NCAA-leading 16th as a No. 1 seed. UNC owns a 117-45 all-time record in the tournament with NCAA Championships in 1957, 1982, 1993, 2005 and 2009. The latter two national titles came under the watch of current head coach Roy Williams, who is leading the Tar Heels to the NCAA Tournament for the 13th time in 14 seasons.
The ACC’s 36 all-time No. 1 regional seeds leads all conferences.
ACC champion Duke (27-8) is seeded second in the East Region and also opens on Friday in Greenville against No. 15 Troy (22-14). The Blue Devils are playing the NCAA Tournament for the 22nd consecutive season and 41st overall. Duke is 107-35 in the tournament with NCAA Championships in 1991, 1992, 2001, 2010 and 2015. Head coach Mike Krzyzewski is the NCAA’s all-time leader in tournament victories, posting a 90-27 record in his 32 previous NCAA appearances as head coach at Duke.
Louisville, seeking its fourth national championship, will be making its 42nd NCAA Tournament appearance and the 13th under head coach Rick Pitino. The Cardinals (24-8) are seeded second in the Midwest Region on Friday and will travel to Indianapolis to face No. 15 seed Jacksonville State (20-14). Louisville captured the 2013 NCAA Championship under Pitino’s watch and also claimed national championships in 1980 and 1986. The Cardinals are 75-42 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
Florida State (25-8) is back in the NCAA Tournament field after a four-year absence. The Seminoles are seeded No. 3 in the West will take on an in-state opponent No. 14 seed Florida Gulf Coast (26-7) on Thursday in Orlando, Florida. The Seminoles are 15-14 in 14 previous NCAA appearances and will be making their fifth trip to tournament under current head coach Leonard Hamilton.
Virginia (22-10) is the No. 5 seed in the East Region and will open play in Orlando on Thursday against No. 12 UNC Wilmington (29-5). The Cavaliers will be making their 21st NCAA Tournament appearance, their fourth straight and their fifth in six years under current head coach Tony Bennett. The Cavaliers are 28-20 all-time in the NCAAs, including Final Four appearances in 1981 and 1984.
Notre Dame (25-9) is No. 5 in the West Region and opens in Buffalo on Thursday against No. 12 Princeton (23-6). The Fighting Irish are NCAA bound for the 36th time and for the third consecutive year. Head coach Mike Brey is taking his 12th Notre Dame team to the NCAA Tournament (and ninth in 11 seasons) while making his 14th appearance overall. Notre Dame owns an all-time NCAA Tournament record of 37-39.
Miami (21-11) earned the No. 8 seed in the Midwest Region and will open play against ninth-seeded Michigan State (19-14) on Friday in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Hurricanes are making their ninth all-time NCAA Tournament appearance and their third in six years under head coach Jim Larrañaga. The Hurricanes are 8-8 all-time in NCAA Tournament play.
Virginia Tech (22-10) will be making its ninth NCAA Tournament appearance, its first since 2007 and first under current head coach Buzz Williams. The Hokies are the No. 9 seed in the East Region and face No. 8 Wisconsin (25-9) on Thursday in Buffalo, New York. The Hokies own an all-time NCAA mark of 6-8.
Wake Forest (19-13) will make its 23rd NCAA appearance, its first since 2010 and first under current head coach Danny Manning when it faces Kansas State (20-13) in one of Tuesday night’s “first four” games at Dayton, Ohio. The winner will advance as an 11th seed to Friday’s South Region matchup against No. 6 Cincinnati (29-5) at Sacramento, California. The Demon Deacons are 28-22 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
The ACC is the winningest conference in NCAA Tournament history with a .662 winning percentage and is the only conference in nation that has not had a losing record in NCAA Tournament play since 1987. League teams set an all-time record last season with 19 NCAA Tournament wins, and the ACC’s combined 36 wins in the 2015 and 2016 tournaments are eight more than the next-closest conference (and two more than any two conferences combined).
2017 NCAA Tournament Pairings (by region and dates)
#8 Wisconsin vs. #9 Virginia Tech Buffalo, N.Y. Thursday
#5 Virginia vs. #12 UNC Wilmington Orlando, Fla. Thursday
#2 Duke vs. #15 Troy Greenville, S.C. Friday
#5 Notre Dame vs. #12 Princeton Buffalo, N.Y. Thursday
#3 Florida State vs. #14 FGCU Orlando, Fla. Thursday
#8 Miami vs. #9 Michigan State Tulsa, Okla. Friday
#2 Louisville vs. #15 Jacksonville State Indianapolis, Ind. Friday
#1 North Carolina vs. #16 Texas Southern Greenville, S.C. Friday
#11 Kansas State vs. #11 Wake Forest Dayton, Ohio Tuesday
If Deacons win, play #6 Cincinnati Sacramento, Calif. Friday