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UNC earns Midwest #1 seed in NCAA Tournament

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The Tar Heels are headed to Columbus!

ACC Basketball Tournament - Quarterfinals Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

North Carolina’s road to Minneapolis will start in Columbus, OH, where they are the #1 seed in the Midwest region. They’ll kick things off on Friday against Iona. The Tar Heels are the third overall #1 seed in the tournament.

UNC came into Selection Sunday likely needing a little help to make it into the NCAA Tournament as a #1 seed, whether fairly or not. Most Bracketology had Carolina on the one line following Kentucky’s loss to Tennessee on Saturday, but there was still some uncertainty involving the SEC and Big 10 title games.

The Tar Heels played a very tough schedule and picked up big wins against Duke, Gonzaga, and three other currently-ranked teams. They went undefeated on the road in conference play in a season in which the ACC will likely have at least seven teams in the tournament.

All of UNC’s hard work didn’t go unnoticed by the committee. They played excellent basketball down the stretch and were rewarded with a #1 seed. With both Duke and Virginia nabbing higher one seeds and starting their tournament journeys in Columbia, SC, Carolina will have to head a bit further from home.

This year’s field feels particularly top-heavy. There are some real juggernauts at the top, making the importance of the #1 seed even more obvious. While UNC has played well enough to face any challenge in front of them, it’s still better to be able to avoid playing the other top teams until the Elite Eight or Final Four. Getting the #1 seed allows them to do that.

Here are the other 15 teams in UNC’s region:

1. North Carolina

2. Kentucky

3. Houston

4. Kansas

5. Auburn

6. Iowa State

7. Wofford

8. Utah State

9. Washington

10. Seton Hall

11. Ohio State

12. New Mexico State

13. Northeastern

14. Georgia State

15. Abilene Christian

16. Iona

What do you think of UNC’s draw here? How do you feel about Carolina’s chances of making it to Minneapolis?