North Carolina should still be top seed
Posted March 15, 2009
WRAL's Sports Managing Editor Dane Huffman believes that Duke, not North Carolina deserves the No. 1 seed next week in Greensboro because they could win the ACC tournament title, which would make them the true conference champ, and therefore deserving of staying home instead of the Tar Heels.
While Duke winning the ACC tournament would be a truly great achievement, it does not entitle them to a better seed than the Tar Heels. Dane points out that the official ACC champ is the tourney champ, and to the victor should go the spoils, but winning the tournament has never carried with it an automatic 1 seed to the big dance.
Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, NCAA seeding is based on each individual team's overall balance of work throughout the season, not three days in a conference tournament.
This argument could be a little more cloudy if these two teams hadn't played each other, and maybe if they only played once. But the fact is that UNC handled Duke both times, with the final game deciding the regular season championship, recognized by the league or not.
Carolina also has spent nine out of a possible 18 weeks ranked number one in the country. Compare that with Duke, which was atop the polls for just one week. The fact that the Tar Heels were able to sustain the losses of senior starter Marcus Ginyard, freshman all-american Tyler Zeller, and the mid-season suspension of William Graves only makes their season more impressive.
I doubt that the image of North Carolina is tarnished by the loss to FSU without ACC player of the year Ty Lawson. The Tar Heels have proved all year that they are one of the top four teams in the country, Duke has not. Duke has shown that they are a really good team, and they will be rewarded for their season win or lose on Sunday with a probable 2 seed.
Huffman beleives the economy will somehow factor in where the committee places the Heels and Devils, because if they are split up they can draw more fans. We all know the NCAA loves money, but if Ole' Roy or Coach K were sent packing because of a recession, it would not be pretty.
There have been rumblings that after the first and second round games in Charlotte in 2005, Duke and UNC would never share the same building again. The Devils were booed during their practice session, both games, and even when they went out to dinner in the Queen city. Whether a team is cheered or not shouldn't have any bearing on another team playing close to home if they've earned it.
I believe Carolina is still a 1 seed and will be in Greensboro next week. The Blue Devils are definitely a strong 2 and will stay home as well. Whether or not they want to be there is a different story.