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.

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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
UNCW863Win
College of Charleston492Win
Gardner-Webb1443Win
James Madison442Win
Portland1633Win
Iowa State261Loss
Alabama81Loss
At Indiana191Loss
At Virginia Tech381Loss
Georgia Tech1473Win
The Citadel2824Win
Ohio State101Win
Michigan682Win
At Pittsburgh701Loss
Wake Forest813
Notre Dame1734
At Virginia161
At Louisville3474
Boston College2214
N.C. State632
At Syracuse1593
Pittsburgh702
At Duke171
At Wake Forest812
Clemson783
Miami332
At N.C. State631
At Notre Dame1733
Virginia161
At Florida State2414
Duke171

DateMonth/dayTime/scoreOpponent/event
(current ranking)
LocationTV/record
October
28FridayW, 101–40Johnson C. Smith HomeExhibition
November
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:
No. 11
Iowa State
Portland5–1
27SundayL, 103–101,
4 OTs
Consolation:
No. 3 Alabama
Portland5–2
ACC/Big Ten Challenge
30WednesdayL, 77–65 No. 18 IndianaBloomington, Ind.5–3
December
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
January
4WednesdayW, 88–79Wake ForestHome10–5,
2–2 ACC
7SaturdayW, 81–64Notre DameHome11–5,
3–2 ACC
10TuesdayL, 65–58No. 8 VirginiaCharlottesville11–6,
3–3 ACC
14SaturdayW, 80–59LouisvilleLouisville, Ky.12–6,
4–3 ACC
17TuesdayW, 72–64Boston CollegeHome13–6,
5–3 ACC
21SaturdayW, 80–69No. 22 N.C. StateHome14–6,
6–3 ACC
24TuesdayW, 72–68SyracuseSyracuse, N.Y.15–6,
7–3 ACC
February
1WednesdayL, 65–64PittsburghHome15–7,
7–4 ACC
4SaturdayL, 63–57 DukeDurham15–8,
7–5 ACC
7Tuesday7 p.m.Wake ForestWinston-SalemESPN
11Saturday2 p.m.ClemsonHome ESPN2
13Monday7 p.m.No. 19 MiamiHomeESPN
19Sunday1 p.m.No. 22 N.C. StateRaleighESPN
22Wednesday9 p.m.Notre DameSouth Bend, Ind.ESPN or ESPN2
25Saturday6 or 8No. 8 VirginiaHomeESPN
27Monday7 p.m.Florida StateTallahassee, Fla.ESPN
March
4Saturday6:30DukeHomeESPN
ACC Tournament
7–11Tuesday-SaturdayTBATBAGreensboroTBA
If tickets for home games are available, you can purchase them here.
ACCN means the game airs on ACC Network.

Photo via @UNC_Basketball

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