By R.L. Bynum
GREENSBORO — North Carolina needs to keep winning to make the NCAA tournament but there was a surprising good sign for the Tar Heels in Thursday’s updated NET rankings.
The No. 7-seed Tar Heels (20–12) didn’t figure to go up in the NET by beating Boston College (now 171 in the NET) 85–61. But they moved up five spots to 44th heading into their ACC Tournament quarterfinal matchup Thursday at 7 p.m. (ESPN) against No. 2-seed Virginia (23–6) in the Greensboro Coliseum.
UNC benefitted from Ohio State’s 65–57 victory Wednesday in the Big Ten Tournament over Wisconsin, which jumped the Buckeyes six spots to 57.
NCAA quadrant system
Quadrant 1 (UNC is 1–8 in these games): 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 (6–4): Home 31–75, neutral 51–100, road 76–135
Quadrant 3 (7–0): Home 76–160, neutral 101–200, road 135–240
Quadrant 4 (6–0): Home 161 or lower, neutral 201 or lower, road 241 or lower
The Tar Heels’ 89–84 overtime victory over Ohio State (14–18) in New York on Dec. 17 is their best non-conference victory. It looks even better after the Buckeyes’ 73–69 second-round win Thursday over Iowa (19–13, 38 in the NET). That should help UNC’s NET ranking.
A rise of seven more spots by Ohio State in the NET would make that a Quad 1 victory, and that’s possible if the Buckeyes can beat Michigan State (19–11, 31 in the NET) on Friday.
The bad NET news is that Carolina will have only one Quad victory regardless of how tonight’s game with Virginia comes out.
UNC’s 71–63 victory in Chapel Hill over the Cavaliers is currently classified as a Quad 1 win. That will become a Quad 2 win if the Tar Heels win tonight because Virginia is at 30 in the NET (the lowest possible for a home win to be Quad 1).
Beating Virginia tonight, however, would make an ACC Tournament victory over the Cavaliers a Quad 1 win because a neutral-court win against a team with a NET of 50 or better is a Quad 1.
The current bracket projections show that the Tar Heels still have plenty of work to do to make the NCAA field. ESPN lists UNC as the third team on its “First four out” and only one of the 99 projections on bracketmatrix.com has it in the field. That one is Mondays are for Brackets, not the most high-profile site, and it has Carolina as a No. 11 seed, meaning a trip to the First Four.
Patrick Stevens, who does bracket projections for The Washington Post, said that UNC should be in the field if the Tar Heels advance to the ACC Tournament championship game.
|Tuesday’s first round|
|No. 13 Georgia Tech 61, No. 12 Florida State (9–23) 60|
|No. 10 Boston College 80, No. 15 Louisville (2–19) 62|
|No. 11 Virginia Tech 67, No. 14 Notre Dame (11–21) 64|
|Wednesday’s second round|
|No. 9 Wake Forest 77, No. 8 Syracuse (17–15) 74|
|No. 5 Pittsburgh 89, Georgia Tech (15–18) 81|
|No. 7 North Carolina 85, Boston College (16–17) 61|
|No. 6 N.C. State 97, Virginia Tech (19–14) 77|
|No. 1 Miami 74, Wake Forest (19–14) 72|
|No. 4 Duke 96, Pittsburgh (22–11) 69|
|No. 2 Virginia 68, North Carolina (20–13) 59|
|No. 3 Clemson 80, N.C. State (23–10) 54|
|Duke 85, Miami (25–7) 78|
|Virginia 76, Clemson (23–10) 56|
|Duke (26–8) 59, vs. Virginia (25–7) 49|
|28||Friday||W, 101–40||Johnson C. Smith||Home||Exhibition|
|11||Friday||W, 102–86||College of Charleston||Home||2–0|
|20||Sunday||W, 80–64||James Madison||Home||4–0|
|Phil Knight Invitational|
|24||Thursday||W, 89–81||First round: Portland||Portland||5–0|
|27||Sunday||L, 103–101, |
No. 1 Alabama
|ACC/Big Ten Challenge|
|30||Wednesday||L, 77–65||No. 21 Indiana||Bloomington, Ind.||5–3|
|4||Sunday||L, 80–72||Virginia Tech||Blacksburg, Va.||5–4, |
|10||Saturday||W, 75–59||Georgia Tech||Home||6–4, |
|13||Tuesday||W, 100–67||The Citadel||Home||7–4|
|CBS Sports Classic|
|17||Saturday||W, 89–84, OT||Ohio State||New York||8–4|
|30||Friday||L, 76–74||Pittsburgh||Pittsburgh||9–5, |
|4||Wednesday||W, 88–79||Wake Forest||Home||10–5, |
|7||Saturday||W, 81–64||Notre Dame||Home||11–5, |
|10||Tuesday||L, 65–58||No. 14 Virginia||Charlottesville||11–6, |
|14||Saturday||W, 80–59||Louisville||Louisville, Ky.||12–6, |
|17||Tuesday||W, 72–64||Boston College||Home||13–6, |
|21||Saturday||W, 80–69||N.C. State||Home||14–6, |
|24||Tuesday||W, 72–68||Syracuse||Syracuse, N.Y.||15–6, |
|1||Wednesday||L, 65–64||Pittsburgh||Home||15–7, |
|4||Saturday||L, 63–57||No. 12 Duke||Durham||15–8, |
|7||Tuesday||L, 92–85||Wake Forest||Winston-Salem||15–9, |
|11||Saturday||W, 91–71||Clemson||Home|| 16–9, |
|13||Monday||L, 80–72||No. 16 Miami||Home||16–10, |
|19||Sunday||L, 77–69||N.C. State||Raleigh||16–11, |
|22||Wednesday||W, 63–59||Notre Dame||South Bend, Ind.||17–11, |
|25||Saturday||W, 71–63||No. 14 Virginia||Home||18–11, |
|27||Monday||W, 77–66||Florida State||Tallahassee, Fla.||19–11, |
|4||Saturday||L, 62–57||No. 12 Duke||Home||19–12,|
|8||Wednesday||W, 85–61||Boston College||Greensboro||20–12|
|9||Thursday||L, 68–59||No. 14 Virginia||Greensboro||20–13|
Photo courtesy of the ACC
R L , if this team was as committed to their success as you are to your profession they would be a great college team. Too bad they are not. Too bad they are not worthy of being NCAA tournament participants.