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ACC Tournament Seeding Scenarios for UNC

Here’s your Rooting Guide for Saturday’s games.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: MAR 09 ACC Tournament - North Carolina v Miami Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Here we are, the last Saturday of the ACC regular season. Unlike the last couple of seasons, Carolina has a real interest in the contests that come before them as they take the court with Duke that evening. There’s some other stuff going on in that game, something that ESPN and the ACCN will cover, but as far as Carolina is concerned, this is about building momentum for the post season.

First know this, with Duke’s win Tuesday night the Tar Heels cannot even tie for the regular season crown. Due to tiebreakers they wouldn’t have gotten the top seed, anyway, but there’s still something about taking the title in this season that would have meant something. Still, the Tar Heels’ seed, as of this moment, isn’t set.

In fact, the Tar Heels basically control what seed they’ll have by virtue of the fact that they’ll play last.

Coming into Saturday, the Tar Heels are tied with Notre Dame for second, and then Miami is fourth. The Tar Heels and Irish are both 14-5, the Hurricanes are 13-6. As we are all painfully aware, the Tar Heels only played Miami and Notre Dame once, and lost each one convincingly. Thus, both teams have a tiebreaker over Carolina. So, as we go into Saturday, Notre Dame has the two-seed, Carolina the three, and Miami the four. All three have clinched the double-bye, as Wake Forest has already finished their regular season at 13-7 but were swept by the Hurricanes, thus giving Miami the tiebreaker if they finished tied for fourth.

There’s no doubt that finishing with the two or three-seed would be better for Carolina, but even the fact they have the double bye is a win since they only go about six or seven deep right now. Still, there’s no reason why you can’t hope for the best seed possible.

Thus, in the service of your watching, here’s all the Scenarios you’ll need. Follow along on Saturday, crossing off each one as the result comes in.

First-the schedule:

  • Miami @ Syracuse, 1 PM, ESPNU
  • Pittsburgh @ Notre Dame, 2:30 PM, ESPNNEWS
  • UNC @ Duke, 6 PM, Every channel that ESPN owns...

Miami Loses, Notre Dame Loses, UNC Wins:

UNC is the 2-seed, Notre Dame is the 3-seed, Miami is the 4-seed

Miami Loses, Notre Dame Wins, UNC Wins:

Notre Dame is the 2-seed, UNC is the 3-seed, Miami is the 4-seed

Miami Loses, Notre Dame Wins, UNC Loses:

Notre Dame is the 2-seed, UNC is the 3-seed, Miami is the 4-seed

Miami Loses, Notre Dame Loses, UNC Loses:

Notre Dame is the 2-seed, UNC is the 3-seed, Miami is the 4-seed

Miami Wins, Notre Dame Wins, UNC Wins:

Notre Dame is the 2-seed, UNC is the 3-seed, Miami is the 4-seed

Miami Wins, Notre Dame Loses, UNC Wins:

UNC is the 2-seed, Notre Dame is the 3-seed, Miami is the 4-seed

Miami Wins, Notre Dame Loses, UNC Loses:

Notre Dame is the 2-seed, Miami is the 3-seed, UNC is the 4-seed

Miami Wins, Notre Dame Wins, UNC Loses:

Notre Dame is the 2-seed, Miami is the 3-seed, UNC is the 4-seed

Get all that?

If you need the Cliff Notes version, it’s this: a win by Notre Dame clinches the 2-seed based on their tiebreakers as they have beaten both the Tar Heels and Miami in their only meeting. A win by Miami puts pressure on Carolina to win their game against Duke to stay one game ahead of the Hurricanes, otherwise they lose the tiebreaker. A loss by the Hurricanes guarantees the Tar Heels finish with no worse than the 3-seed.

So if you want the highest seed possible, root for Pittsburgh and Syracuse to pull off some mild upsets, then sit back and see if the Tar Heels can spoil Coach K’s Final game.