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Bracketology: How high can North Carolina climb?

North Carolina v Virginia Tech

BLACKSBURG, VA - JANUARY 22: Luke Maye #32 of the North Carolina Tar Heels looks to shoot against the Virginia Tech Hokies in the first half at Cassell Coliseum on January 22, 2018 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Lauren Rakes/Getty Images)

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On Monday, North Carolina passed Michigan State and Purdue on the Seed List (UNC is No. 7 overall). Wednesday, the Tar Heels backed up their route of Louisville by winning another road game at Syracuse. That’s six straight ACC victories - all but two of which are against teams in today’s bracket. Carolina now has 10 Quadrant 1 wins, which ties the Tar Heels with Kansas for the most in that category (by a two-win margin). Which brings us to this question: How high can Carolina climb?

The answer, of course, depends on these next two weeks. But given their strong schedule and depth of quality wins, a No. 1 seed isn’t out of the question if the Tar Heels beat Duke (again) to close the regular season and/or win the ACC tournament.

Overall, several ACC teams benefitted today by the confusing state of the SEC. The middle of the bracket is littered with SEC teams who ebb and flow like the tides of the ocean. These next two weeks will be important for them, too.

With another full weekend ahead, here’s where we stand ...

UPDATED: February 23, 2018

FIRST FOUR PAIRINGS - Dayton (First Round)


  • Baylor vs. Washington | Midwest Region
  • Texas vs. LSU | West Region
  • SOUTHERN vs. SAVANNAH ST | South Region
  • FL GULF COAST vs. NICHOLLS | East Region

BRACKET PROJECTION

SOUTH - AtlantaEAST - Boston
CharlottePittsburgh
1) VIRGINIA1) VILLANOVA
16) SOUTHERN / SAVANNAH ST16) FL GULF CST / NICHOLLS
8) Alabama8) Miami-FL
9) Creighton9) Florida
San DiegoBoise
5) Ohio State5) Kentucky
12) LOUISIANA12) St. Bonaventure
4) West Virginia4) GONZAGA
13) E. TENNESSEE ST13) VERMONT
DallasWichita
6) Florida State6) Virginia Tech
11) Saint Mary’s11) MIDDLE TENNESSEE
3) Texas Tech3) CINCINNATI
14) CHARLESTON14) BUCKNELL
DetroitNashville
7) Arizona State7) Butler
10) Providence10) Kansas State
2) MICHIGAN STATE2) North Carolina
15) WRIGHT STATE15) WAGNER
WEST - Los AngelesMIDWEST - Omaha
WichitaDetroit
1) KANSAS1) Xavier
16) PENNSYLVANIA16) UNC-ASHEVILLE
8) Seton Hall8) Arkansas
9) Texas AM9) TCU
BoiseDallas
5) Clemson5) Michigan
12) NEW MEXICO ST12) LOYOLA (CHI)
4) Wichita State4) Tennessee
13) SOUTH DAKOTA ST13) MURRAY STATE
San DiegoPittsburgh
6) Houston6) RHODE ISLAND
11) LSU / Texas11) Baylor / Washington
3) ARIZONA3) Purdue
14) RIDER14) BUFFALO
NashvilleCharlotte
7) NC State7) Missouri
10) NEVADA10) Oklahoma
2) AUBURN2) Duke
15) UC-IRVINE15) MONTANA

NOTES on the BRACKET: Virginia is the No. 1 overall seed - followed by Villanova, Xavier, and Kansas

Last Four Byes (at large): Kansas State, Providence, Saint Mary’s, St. Bonaventure

Last Four IN (at large): Baylor, Texas, LSU, Washington

First Four OUT (at large): Marquette, Syracuse, USC, Utah

Next four teams OUT (at large): UCLA, Mississippi State, Louisville, Georgia

Breakdown by Conference ...

SEC (9): AUBURN, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Texas AM, LSU

ACC (8): VIRGINIA, Duke, North Carolina, Clemson, Florida State, Miami-FL, Virginia Tech, NC State

BIG 12 (8): TEXAS TECH, Kansas, West Virginia, Oklahoma, TCU, Kansas State, Baylor, Texas

Big East (6): VILLANOVA, Xavier, Butler, Seton Hall, Creighton, Providence

Big 10 (4): MICHIGAN STATE, Purdue, Ohio State, Michigan

Pac 12 (3): ARIZONA, Arizona State, Washington

American (3): CINCINNATI, Wichita State, Houston

Atlantic 10 (2): RHODE ISLAND, St. Bonaventure

West Coast (2): GONZAGA, Saint Mary’s

Mountain West (1): NEVADA

ONE BID LEAGUES: Loyola-Chicago (MVC), Rider (MAAC), Middle Tennessee (C-USA), Louisiana (SBELT), Pennsylvania (IVY), Montana (BSKY), Wright State (HORIZON), Nicholls (SLND), East Tennessee State (STHN), UC-Santa Barbara (BWEST), Buffalo (MAC), Florida Gulf Coast (ASUN), Murray State (OVC), Charleston (CAA), UNC-Asheville (BSO), Savannah State (MEAC), South Dakota State (SUM), New Mexico State (WAC), Vermont (AEAST), Bucknell (PAT), Wagner (NEC), Southern (SWAC)

Bracketing principles: read them for yourself at www.ncaa.com.