Triangle teams start NCAA play Friday
Posted March 17, 2013
Updated March 18, 2013
Just four teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference, including the three from the Triangle, made the 2013 NCAA Tournament when the selection committee made its choices known Sunday night.
The three Triangle teams – Duke, North Carolina State and North Carolina universities – all begin play on Friday.
Duke, the top seed from the ACC and a No. 2 seed in the Midwest Region, will open the NCAA Tournament against Albany in Philadelphia. That game is slated to tip at 12:15 p.m. on CBS (including WRAL-TV). No. 15 seed Albany (23-10) is the champion of the America East Conference.
NC State and UNC both earned No. 8 seeds; State in the East and UNC in the South.
The Tar Heels have the tougher road to advance beyond the first weekend. They'll first meet 20-13 Villanova on Friday night at 7:20 p.m. (TNT). If they can hold their seed, Round 3 would pit the Heels against No. 1 seed Kansas (29-5), the same team coached by North Carolina's Roy Williams from 1988 to 2003.
North Carolina (24-10) lost 87-77 to Miami in the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championship Sunday, but the Tar Heels have won eight of their last 10 games.
The Wolfpack have Temple in Dayton Friday at 1:40 p.m. in the 8-9 match. That game will air on TBS. The Owls (23-9) have one fewer loss than State, but don't appear to stack up in statistically. Where the Wolfpack are fifth in the nation in field goal percentage (.494), Temple is ranked 192nd, shooting just 43 percent.
The Wolfpack, who won the 1983 national title, ended a season of promise at 24-10 overall, including a fourth-place finish in the Atlantic Coast Conference. The Owls will play this game in an arena that's familiar to them, since the Dayton Flyers are members of the same conference.
Two other North Carolina teams also made the field. North Carolina A&T plays in a "First Four" game Tuesday against Liberty University. The winner of that game will face Louisville, the overall No. 1 seed, on Thursday.
Davidson, a No. 14 seed, opens play against Marquette on Thursday in the East Region. The Wildcats (26-7) are dancing for the second straight season after defending their Southern Conference championship.
Louisville earned the top overall seed in the field, while Kansas, Indiana and Gonzaga also received No. 1s after a topsy-turvy regular season and another round of weekend upsets.
The selection committee had its work cut out after five teams swapped the top ranking in The Associated Press poll, capped by West Coast Conference champion Gonzaga (30-2) moving to the lead spot for the first time in school history.
But it is No. 4 Louisville (29-5) that leads the 68-team field after pulling off a stunning comeback to beat Syracuse in the final of the Big East tournament.
No. 7 Kansas (29-5) defeated rival Kansas State for the Big 12 championship, while No. 3 Indiana (28-6) held on despite falling to Wisconsin in the Big Ten semifinals.