Mandy Mitchell

Interesting draws for Triangle teams

Posted March 17, 2013
Updated March 18, 2013

I've been lucky enough to cover a lot of great moments in my career, and I must say, last year's NC State Selection Sunday is among my favorites.

Watching the show in the WRAL sports office was intense. It took until the very last pick for NC State to be named to the field. That's when I rushed over to campus to interview one excited group of players.

The mood is very different for the Pack this year. The team expected to be in the tournament. In fact, when this year began, the team expected to be in the Final Four.

Mark Gottfried now has the task of getting his guys fired up for one last run at expectations. "Our guys need to feel excited, which I think they are," said Gottfried. It is easy to see why NC State can't get too excited about the future too soon.

Gravley: Breaking down opening matchups for Triangle teams Gravley: Breaking down opening matchups for Triangle teams

State should be able to get past its first opponent in Temple. The Owls played in a tough conference this year and played well, but the Pack has the talent edge. But waiting in the next round is No. 1 seed Indiana. This is the kind of team NC State hoped to see in Atlanta, not in week one. The Wolfpack has an opportunity to prove itself in the first weekend of this tournament. Knock off the No. 1 seed, and this team might just live up to expectations after all.

North Carolina has a similar opportunity in week one. If the Tar Heels can get past Villanova, they will get a rematch with Kansas. The NCAA sure does love to put Roy Williams up against his former team. UNC lost to Kansas in the Elite 8 last year, and they would meet them for a chance at the Sweet 16 this year.

The Tar Heels are playing with some renewed confidence following the performance in Greensboro. UNC clearly showed mental toughness in getting past the Duke loss to make it to the finals of the ACC Tournament, and they played well against tournament two-seed Miami. I wouldn't be surprised to see North Carolina playing next week.

Duke may have seen itself as a one seed last week at this time, but the Blue Devils probably didn't predict an early exit from the ACC tourney. Duke has a pretty good draw. They will play Albany on Friday, and then it's a match-up with either Cincinnati or Creighton. Both teams are decent, but shouldn't be a real problem for the Blue Devils. It would be a real upset if Duke doesn't make it to the second weekend of this tournament.

It is a really interesting year in college basketball. There is no true favorite heading into this tournament, so I don't think it would surprise any of us to see some lower seeds in the later rounds.


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  • VT1994Hokie Mar 20, 2013

    UNC had the toughest draw of any ACC team. I thought all others were decently equal. It will be a great story line after the game--for sure. Heck. This time I can't blame ol Roy.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again01 Mar 18, 2013

    View quoted thread

    I was being funny, but honestly, of all the regions to be in, I think I like being in Indiana's. Obviously, you'd rather play them in a much later round so maybe someone else could upset them. But they're beatable. They are 3-3 in their last six games. If the GOOD State team shows up (assuming we get past Temple), we could pull that one off.

    I think Carolina has a much tougher time with Kansas in Kansas City (assuming they get past Nova).

  • taskmaster27858 Mar 18, 2013

    That Indiana vs NC State matchup, is a good matchup for State, if they get pass Temple, they will have a chance to beat Indiana. It should be a close one. GO Wolfpack!!!

  • wjuliang Mar 18, 2013

    View quoted thread

    lol. Good one TBKr.

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again01 Mar 18, 2013

    View quoted thread

    They also hosed Indiana, making them play NC State in the round of 32. :)

  • blue_devil_33 Mar 18, 2013

    The seedings are what they are. Unless you're a powerhouse (I have yet to see one this season) or a #1 playing a #16, there are very few easy games no matter what your seeding is or where you've been placed. A lot of teams on equal footing but the real contenders will be the four teams remaining and the team left standing will have most certainly earned the right to be called champion.

  • PacknoPride Mar 18, 2013

    View quoted thread

    link, or just something you created in your mind?

  • sburks1906 Mar 18, 2013

    Well I must say, the seedings were an indictment on the ACC. That said, I think Duke would have been a #1 seed if they won the conference tournament. And for that reason, I wouldn't be surprised to see Duke go far in the NCAA tournament.

  • DurhamDevil Mar 18, 2013

    View quoted thread

    Whiny beotch...your comments are once again totally pathetic. Already looking for excuses for your team?

    Duke is STILL #1 RPI and SOS - as they have been all season long. They have already beaten the #1 and #5 seed in their region as well as the #5 and #11 seeds in YOUR bracket. Oh, we also beat the #8 seed in your bracket (that would be YOU) two times this season.

  • Turheel Mar 18, 2013

    View quoted thread

    I haven't seen any of us Tar Heel fans predict a FF for this team. On the otherhand, their chances are only slightly less than Duke's to get there. I wish them both well. (State and Miami too!)GO HEELS!




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