UNC's Seeding and NCAA Tournament Possibilities

All things aside, I'm happy for Leonard Hamilton. Let's get his photo up there.

Speaking of where the Heels will land, I will as always being liveblogging the Tournament Selection Show, much to my fiancée's horror. Previous examples of maniac typing are available here, here, and elsewhere in the archives, if your curious. So that'll start around 5:30, if you want to be here, hang out, and reload like mad.

Now, I'm pretty confident UNC will be a number one seed. They've lost three conference games – the selection committee treats tournament wins and losses just as another conference game – and played their conference tournament without one of their best players and still came within a shot of beating another Top-20 team. I think they've removed any doubt of what seed they're getting. But in which region?

First of all, Kentucky is probably the overall number one seed. 16-0 in conference, two overall losses, it's a lock. The question is, in which region? Kentucky is pretty close to both St. Louis (the Midwest) and Atlanta (the South), and an argument can be made for either. I would put them in St. Louis. Syracuse will probably get the second number one seed, and play in Boston (East). That leaves UNC, Michigan State, and Kansas, and Missouri fighting for those last two spots. Again, I think UNC is a lock, but I don't know if the committee thinks they're better than Michigan State (They should). If Kentucky is in St. Louis and UNC is the third number one seed, UNC plays in Atlanta. If UK is in Atlanta, UNC is possibly in St. Louis, but Michigan State could also bump them to Phoenix (West).

All of this has a big emphasis on who is the two seed in UNC's regional. If they're in Phoenix, they'll almost certainly be paired off against Kansas or Missouri, whoever the committee thinks is better. (I think they'll lean towards Missouri, frankly.) Neither team is really the one UNC wants to be facing – Roy Williams definitely doesn't want to play Kansas, but I'm even more nervous about the Tigers – but it's pretty much avoidable. If UNC is the their-overall seed, they'll still end up playing a Big Ten team, and there's a chance that will happen in St. Louis, if the committee sends the Wildcats to Atlanta. So you definitely want to be rooting for Kentucky to go to St. Louis.

The other two number two seeds are up for grabs but I'd lean towards a second Big Ten team (Ohio State? Maybe Wisconsin?) and Duke. There's good chance Duke will be the last two seed, and be paired up with Kentucky, a matchup I really want to see for reasons elucidated earlier. If Duke ends up paired with Syracuse, well, we'll get more JIm Boeheim complaining which is mildly entertaining at least.

Beyond that, it become more mysticism than anything else. Florida State might have played themselves into a three seed, but probably won't be put in UNC's bracket. Stat should make the tournament. Virginia's a little more borderline, at this point but also in. Once there is a bracket, things will be a lot clearer, and we can all spend the evening frantically entering bracket contests. (That one, frankly, is th one I generally opt for, but also the one sponsoring the SB Nation blogs all week. If there's interest in getting a blog-contest going let me know, but I never seem to accrue enough commentators to make it worthwhile.)

Anyway, liveblogging commences around 5:30 when I get into full-on cranky TV watching mode. Be there or be elsewhere, considerably calmer, I suppose.

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