ACC sets conference record with nine teams in NCAA Tournament
The ACC made NCAA Tournament history, just not the one it seemed on a collision course with for so mjuch of the regular season.
The conference landed nine teams in the bracket field with Sunday’s announcement, a league record and two behind the Big East’s all-time mark of 11 set in 2011.
No. 1 seed North Carolina led the way, joined by Duke, Louisville, Florida State, Miami, Notre Dame, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest.
Here’s a rundown of each ACC team’s opening matchup:
• NORTH CAROLINA: No. 1 seed in South Region. Open Friday vs. No. 16 Texas Southern in Greenville, S.C. The Tar Heels, a No. 1 for the 16th time are the league’s 36th all-time No. 1.
• DUKE: No. 2 seed also opens in Greenville vs. No. 15 Troy on Friday. Coach Mike Krzyzewski, the tourney’s all-time wins leader at 90-27, has the Blue Devils in their 22nd straight tourney.
• LOUISVILLE: No. 2 seed in the Midwest face Jacksonville State on Friday in Indianapolis. This is the Cardinals’ 42nd appearance and the 13th under Rick Pitino.
• FLORIDA STATE: No. 3 seed in the West face in-state opponent No. 14 Florida Gulf Coast on Thursday in Orlando. This is the Seminoles first tourney appearance in four years.
• VIRGINIA: No. 5 seed in the East open in Orlando on Thursday vs. No. 12 UNC Wilmington. This is the Cavaliers’ fourth straight tourney and fifth in six years under Tony Bennett.
• NOTRE DAME: No. 5 in the West, the Fighting Irish open Thursday in Buffalo vs. No. 12 Princeton. This is Mike Brey’s 12th tourney appearance and ninth in the last 11 seasons.
• MIAMI: No. 8 seed in the Midwest faces No. 9 Michigan State on Friday in Oklahoma. Jima Larranaga is taking the Hurricanes to a third tourney in his six years.
• VIRGINIA TECH: No. 9 seed in the East, the Hokies face No. 8 Wisconsin on Thursday in Buffalo. This is the program’s first tourney since 2007.
• WAKE FOREST: In for the first time since 2010, the Demon Deacons are playing in the First Four on Tuesday in Dayton, Ohio. The winner gets the No. 11 seed and a date with No. 6 Cincinnati in Sacramento on Friday in the South Region.
Clemson, Georgia Tech and Syracuse all entered the conference tournament as teams with the potential to make the NCAAs, but the Yellow Jackets didn’t make it out of the first round, the Orange lost their opening game and the Tigers fell in the second round.
All three made the NIT field, with Syracuse a No. 1 seed, Clemson a No. 2 and Georgia Tech a sixth seed.
For the ACC, which has more NCAA tourney bids and championships than any other conference, this remains a chance to flex its muscle and add to this nugget. Since the tournament began in 1987, it is the only conference to not have a losing record in a single season.
- Duke Blue Devils
- Florida State Seminoles
- FOX Sports South
- North Carolina Tar Heels
- Notre Dame Fighting Irish
- Virginia Cavaliers
- Virginia Tech Hokies