Carolina has played NCAA-high six Quad 1 games, but Heels need ‘good wins’ to go with the ‘good losses’

By R.L. Bynum

The narrow loss at Pittsburgh made Carolina’s return to the AP Top 25 men’s poll brief. But the good news for the Tar Heels is that the 76–74 setback came in a Quad 1 game, and can be classified as a “good loss” for NCAA men’s tournament resume purposes.

UNC (9–5, 1–2 ACC) is one of six teams in the country that has played an NCAA-high six Quad 1 games, but is tied for the second-worst record in those games at 1–5 with South Dakota State (194 in the NET rankings). No 5-ranked Arizona (5 in NET) is 5–1, No. 24 Ohio State (10 in NET) is 3–3, No. 9 Gonzaga (13 in NET) is 3–3 and Florida (61 in NET) is 0–6.

NCAA quadrant system

Quadrant 1: Home games against teams with a NET ranking of 30 or better, neutral-site games against teams ranked 50 or better and road games against teams ranked 75 or better
Quadrant 2: Home 31–75, neutral 51–100, road 76–135
Quadrant 3: Home 76–160, neutral 101–200, road 135–240
Quadrant 4: Home 161 or lower, neutral 201 or lower, road 241 or lower

Carolina’s lone Quad 1 win came 89–84 in overtime over the Buckeyes on Dec. 17 in New York. The other Quad 1 losses in addition to Pittsburgh (70 NET ranking) are against Iowa State (26), Alabama (8), at Indiana (19) and at Virginia Tech (38).

With College of Charleston (No. 23) debuting in the AP Top 25 poll and Ohio State (No. 24) and Iowa State (No. 25) returning, Carolina has faced five currently ranked non-conference teams (also No. 7 Alabama and No. 15 Indiana).

Under the current NET rankings, UNC only has five more Quad 1 games: Both matchups against No. 11 Virginia (16 in NET) and No. 16 Duke (17), in addition to the game at N.C. State (63).

There is a potential for two more, with Wake Forest (81) six away from UNC’s Feb. 7 game at Winston-Salem becoming a Quad 1 game, and Miami (33) three away from the Tar Heels’ Feb. 13 home game against the Hurricanes becoming Quad 1.

The Tar Heels, No. 29 in the NET rankings, are 3–0 in Quad 2 games, 4–0 in Quad 3 games and beat The Citadel in their lone Quad 4 contest.

When UNC beat Gardner Webb, that was a Quad 4 game, but the Bulldogs are now 144 in the NET, making that a Quad 3 game. Conversely, the UNCW win moved from a Quad 2 game to a Quad 3 after the Seahawks fell to 86 in the NET rankings.

This week’s two home games won’t help UNC in the NET rankings, with a Quad 3 game Wednesday against Wake Forest (81) and a Quad 4 game Saturday against Notre Dame (173). But the next Quad 1 game is after that on Jan. 10 at Virginia.

“Good losses” can only get Carolina so far, so a win in Charlottesville would be huge for the Tar Heels’ resume.

UNC quad breakdown

OpponentNET rankingQuadResult
College of Charleston492Win
James Madison442Win
Iowa State261Loss
At Indiana191Loss
At Virginia Tech381Loss
Georgia Tech1473Win
The Citadel2824Win
Ohio State101Win
At Pittsburgh701Loss
Wake Forest813
Notre Dame1734
At Virginia161
At Louisville3474
Boston College2214
N.C. State632
At Syracuse1593
At Duke171
At Wake Forest812
At N.C. State631
At Notre Dame1733
At Florida State2414

(current ranking)
28FridayW, 101–40Johnson C. Smith HomeExhibition
7MondayW, 69–56UNCWHome1–0
11FridayW, 102–86College of CharlestonHome2–0
15TuesdayW, 72–66Gardner-WebbHome3–0
20SundayW, 80–64James MadisonHome4–0
Phil Knight Invitational
24ThursdayW, 89–81First round: PortlandPortland5–0
25FridayL, 70–65Semifinals:
Iowa State
27SundayL, 103–101,
4 OTs
No. 1 Alabama
ACC/Big Ten Challenge
30WednesdayL, 77–65 No. 21 IndianaBloomington, Ind.5–3
4SundayL, 80–72 Virginia TechBlacksburg, Va.5–4,
0–1 ACC
10SaturdayW, 75–59Georgia TechHome6–4,
1–1 ACC
13TuesdayW, 100–67The CitadelHome7–4
CBS Sports Classic
17SaturdayW, 89–84, OTOhio StateNew York8–4
Jumpman Invitational
21WednesdayW, 80–76MichiganCharlotte9–4
30 Friday L, 76–74PittsburghPittsburgh9–5,
1–2 ACC
4WednesdayW, 88–79Wake ForestHome10–5,
2–2 ACC
7SaturdayW, 81–64Notre DameHome11–5,
3–2 ACC
10TuesdayL, 65–58No. 14 VirginiaCharlottesville11–6,
3–3 ACC
14SaturdayW, 80–59LouisvilleLouisville, Ky.12–6,
4–3 ACC
17TuesdayW, 72–64Boston CollegeHome13–6,
5–3 ACC
21SaturdayW, 80–69N.C. StateHome14–6,
6–3 ACC
24TuesdayW, 72–68SyracuseSyracuse, N.Y.15–6,
7–3 ACC
1WednesdayL, 65–64PittsburghHome15–7,
7–4 ACC
4SaturdayL, 63–57No. 12 DukeDurham15–8,
7–5 ACC
7TuesdayL, 92–85Wake ForestWinston-Salem15–9,
7–6 ACC
11SaturdayW, 91–71ClemsonHome 16–9,
8–6 ACC
13MondayL, 80–72No. 16 MiamiHome16–10,
8–7 ACC
19SundayL, 77–69N.C. StateRaleigh16–11,
8–8 ACC
22WednesdayW, 63–59Notre DameSouth Bend, Ind.17–11,
9–8 ACC
25SaturdayW, 71–63No. 14 VirginiaHome18–11,
10–8 ACC
27MondayW, 77–66Florida StateTallahassee, Fla.19–11,
11–8 ACC
4SaturdayL, 62–57No. 12 DukeHome19–12,
11–9 ACC
ACC tournament
8WednesdayW, 85–61Boston CollegeGreensboro20–12
9ThursdayL, 68–59No. 14 Virginia Greensboro20–13

Photo via @UNC_Basketball


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