NCSU starts NCAA play Tuesday; Duke, UNC, NCCU wait until Friday
Posted March 16
Updated March 17
Raleigh, N.C. — North Carolina State beat Syracuse in the ACC Tournament Friday. That was apparently enough to get the Wolfpack into the NCAA Tournament as they earned a No. 12 seed in the Midwest Region and will play Xavier Tuesday in Dayton at 9:10 p.m.
Should NC State (21-13, 9-9 ACC) prevail, they will then fly to Orlando to meet No. 5 seed St. Louis in the second round on Thursday evening.
Game times, TV, radio:
NC State vs. Xavier: Tuesday at 9:10 p.m. on truTV and Mix 101.5
Duke vs. Mercer: Friday at 12:15 p.m. on WRAL-TV and 99.9 FM The Fan
UNC vs. Providence: Friday at 7:20 p.m. on TNT and 620 The Buzz
NCCU vs. Iowa State: Friday at 9:50 p.m. on TNT and 620 The Buzz
“It was really tense.” NC State head coach Mark Gottfried said. “I think the room erupted. Our guys just really played their way in.”
NC State was just .500 in conference play, but boasted wins over Syracuse, Pittsburgh, Florida State and Tennessee. They also got a lot of lobbying assistance from Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski who said that the ACC is better than it ever has been with the growth of conference realignment.
“We were ecstatic,” NC State forward Kyle Washington said.
With their overall credentials of the season, Duke (26-8, 13-5 ACC) will also play in the Midwest Region as a No. 3 seed and open up in Raleigh on Friday at noon against No. 14 Mercer (26-8, 14-4 Atlantic Sun). It will be the 19th consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament for Duke, who last missed the Dance in 1995. The Blue Devils lost in the ACC Championship Sunday to Virginia, 72-63.
Both North Carolina (23-9, 13-5 ACC) and North Carolina Central (28-5, 15-1 MEAC) will play in the East Region during Friday's evening session.
The Tar Heels will be the No. 6 seed and open against Big East Conference champion Providence (23-11, 10-8) on Friday at 7:20 p.m. in San Antonio. Providence, will be making their first tournament appearance since 2004. North Carolina rattled off a conference best 12-game win streak spanning late January to early March.
"The NCAA Tournament is always an exciting time and I am so pleased for our kids. They have overcome a lot and put themselves in a position to play in the Tournament," UNC head coach Roy Williams said. "We have had some outstanding wins this year, both in and out of league play, over teams that received some very high seeds in the field, so we know we are capable.
LeVelle Moton’s Eagles, having earned their first-ever NCAA Tourney bid, will play Iowa State (26-7, 11-7) out of the Big 12 on Friday at 9:50 p.m. in San Antonio. The Cyclones won four in a row, including the conference tournament and own eight wins over ranked opponents this season.
NCCU, meanwhile, has won a school best 20 in a row, including the MEAC crown in Norfolk Saturday.