Even at 11-6, UNC’s NCAA resume, bracket projections good

By R.L. Bynum

At No. 32 in the NET rankings, Carolina’s NCAA tournament resume is about as good as it could be for an 11–6 team, thanks to lots of “good losses.”

No team has played more than the Tar Heels’ seven Quad 1 games. They are one of six teams — along with West Virginia (29 in NET rankings, 10–6), Washington State (70, 8–10), Butler (80, 10–8), Nebraska (96, 9–8) and Mississippi (100, 8–8) — that are 1–6 in those games.

Maryland is the only other team with seven Quad 1 games. The Terps (11–5) are 3–4, with one of those Q1 wins against Miami 88–70 on Nov. 20 at Uncasville, Conn.

UNC’s NET ranking is much higher than the other 11–6 teams — Virginia Tech (58), Colorado (60), Bradley (62), Pittsburgh (64), Cincinnati (87), BYU (89), Loyola Marymount (102), Syracuse (118) and San Jose State (119).

The Tar Heels are 2–0 in Quad 2 games, 5–0 in Quad 3 games and 3–0 in Quad 4 games.


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


In other metrics, Carolina is No. 19 in TeamRankings, No. 23 in KenPom and No. 34 in Bart Torvik’s rankings.

CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm and ESPN’s Joe Lunardi both project UNC for the South region, with Palm predicting a No. 5 seed and Lunardi a No. 6 seed.

Carolina is in much better shape than last season when it navigated the NCAA bubble in February before going on a run to earn a No. 8 seed and make the national championship game.

UNC will go from a Quad 1 game in Tuesday’s 65–58 loss to Virginia to its weakest opponent of the season Saturday when the Tar Heels visit Louisville (342 NET ranking, 2–15). That game will hurt Carolina’s NET ranking regardless of the outcome. The previous weakest opponent was The Citadel (318, 5–11).

UNC’s lone Quad 1 win came 89–84 in overtime in New York on Dec. 17 against Ohio State.

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The loss at Virginia, without Pete Nance and with Armando Bacot only playing briefly, was the latest of the six Quad 1 losses, along with Iowa State (70–65 in Portland on Nov. 25), Alabama (103–101 in 4 OTs in Portland on Nov. 27), at Indiana (77–65 on Nov. 30), at Virginia Tech (80–72 on Dec. 4) and at Pittsburgh (76–64 on Dec. 30).

Two non-conference wins moved down a classification, with UNCW (91 in NET, 12–4) going from a Quad 2 to a Quad 3 and Gardner-Webb (175, 6–9) moving back from a Quad 3 to a Quad 4.

Under the current NET rankings, UNC has five more Quad 1 games remaining: both Duke (22 NET ranking, 13–4) games, both N.C. State (28, 13–4) games and the home game against Virginia (16, 12–3). The home game against the Wolfpack will become Quad 2 if it slips three spots.

With a rise of six spots from either team, the game at Wake Forest (81, 12–5) and/or the home game against Miami (36, 14–2) would become Quad 1.

You might wonder how Clemson could be 14–3 and alone atop the ACC at 6–0 yet have a NET ranking of 59. It’s because of two damaging Quad 4 losses — 60–58 on Nov. 11 at South Carolina (NET ranking of 245, 8–8) and 76–48 to Loyola Chicago (265, 6–10) on Dec. 30 in Atlanta.

The only other teams in the top 100 of the NET with two Quad 4 losses are Utah State (24th in the NET rankings, 13–3 with four Quad 1 wins) and Yale (82, 9–5). The Tigers are 3–1 in Quad 1 games, though.

UNC schedule quad breakdown

OpponentNET rankingQuadOutcome
UNCW913Win
College of Charleston452Win
Gardner-Webb1754Win
James Madison853Win
Portland1863Win
Iowa State101Loss
Alabama61Loss
At Indiana371Loss
At Virginia Tech581Loss
Georgia Tech1473Win
The Citadel3184Win
Ohio State141Win
Michigan782Win
At Pittsburgh641Loss
Wake Forest813Win
Notre Dame1664Win
At Virginia161Loss
At Louisville3424
Boston College2094
N.C. State281
At Syracuse1182
Pittsburgh642
At Duke221
At Wake Forest812
Clemson592
Miami362
At N.C. State271
At Notre Dame1663
Virginia161
At Florida State2263
Duke171

ACC standings

TeamLeagueOverallNET ranking
Clemson6–014–359
No. 16 Miami5–114–236
No. 13 Virginia4–212–316
No. 24 Duke4-213–422
Wake Forest4–212–581
Pittsburgh4–211–664
Syracuse4–211–6118
N.C. State3–313–428
North Carolina3–311–632
Florida State3–35–12226
Boston College2–48–9209
Virginia Tech1–511–658
Notre Dame1–59–8166
Georgia Tech1–58–8147
Louisville0–62–15342

Tuesday’s results
No. 13 Virginia 65, North Carolina 58
Notre Dame 73, Georgia Tech 72, OT
Wednesday’s results
No. 16 Miami 88, Boston College 72
Syracuse 82, Virginia Tech 72
No. 24 Duke 77, Pittsburgh 69
Clemson 83, Louisville 70
Wake Forest 90, Florida State 75
Saturday’s games
No. 16 Miami at N.C. State, noon, RSN
North Carolina at Louisville, 2 p.m., ESPN
Pitt at Georgia Tech, 3 p.m., ACCN
No. 13 Virginia at Florida State, 4 p.m., ESPN2
No. 24 Duke at Clemson, 5 p.m., ACCN
Notre Dame at Syracuse, 7 p.m., ACCN
Wake Forest at Boston College, 8 p.m., ESPN2


UNC statistics


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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