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Saturday October 23rd

UNC men's basketball earns No. 1 seed in NCAA Tournament

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The North Carolina men's basketball team is a No. 1 seed in the South Region of the 2017 NCAA Tournament.

UNC will play No. 16 seed Texas Southern in Greenville, S.C., on Friday. If the Tar Heels win, they'll face the winner of No. 8 seed Arkansas and No. 9 seed Seton Hall. Should it advance through the first two rounds, North Carolina would play in Memphis for the Sweet 16 and Elite Eight.

North Carolina (27-7, 14-4 ACC) rolled through the regular season and won the ACC regular-season title by two games. But a Friday loss to Duke (27-8, 11-7 ACC) knocked UNC out of the ACC Tournament and jeopardized its chance of earning a top seed in the NCAA Tournament.

But the Tar Heels' tough strength of schedule down the stretch and No. 5 RPI ranking kept them as a top seed, while ACC Tournament champion Duke fell to a No. 2 seed in the East Region.

North Carolina excelled at home with a 16-0 record this season, but the Tar Heels struggled away from home this season. Losses at Georgia Tech and at Miami were the biggest blemishes on their tournament resume, while the team's two toughest road tests resulted in losses at Duke and at Virginia. The same went for nonconference tests, as both Kentucky and Indiana got the best of UNC away from Chapel Hill.

But home wins over Duke, Virginia and Florida State bolstered the Tar Heels' case, as did an impressive showing in the Maui Invitational early in the season.

@CJacksonCowart

sports@dailytarheel.com

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