Record-tying number of league teams open Thursday and Friday
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Led by No. 1 regional seeds North Carolina and Virginia, the Atlantic Coast Conference placed seven teams among the 2016 NCAA Basketball Tournament field announced Sunday evening.
The Tar Heels and Cavaliers will be joined by defending NCAA champion Duke, Miami, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Syracuse.
The ACC’s seven teams matches the league record set in first set 2007 and equaled in 2009. This year’s two number-one regional seeds raise the ACC’s all-time number to 34, most among all conferences.
ACC champion North Carolina (28-6) earned the No. 1 seed in the East. The Tar Heels open Thursday in Raleigh, North Carolina, against the winner of the first-round game between Florida Gulf Coast (20-13) and Fairleigh Dickinson (18-14).
UNC is set for its 47th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and its NCAA-leading 15th as a No. 1 seed. UNC owns a 112-44 all-time record in the tournament with NCAA championships in 1957, 1982, 1993, 2005 and 2009. The latter two national titles came under the watch of current head coach Roy Williams, who is leading the Tar Heels to the NCAA Tournament for the 12th time in 13 seasons.
Virginia (26-7) is top-seeded in the Midwest Region and will also open play in Raleigh on Friday against No. 16 Hampton (21-10).
The Cavaliers earned their fifth No. 1 regional seed and will making their 20th NCAA Tournament appearance, their third straight and their fourth in five years under current head coach Tony Bennett. The Cavaliers are 25-19 all-time in the NCAAs, including Final Four appearances in 1981 and 1984.
Miami (25-7) earned the No. 3 seed in the South Region and will open play against 14th-seeded Buffalo (20-14) on Thursday in Providence, Rhode Island.
The Hurricanes are making their eighth all-time NCAA Tournament appearance and their second in five years under ACC Coach of the Year Jim Larrañaga. The Hurricanes are 6-7 all-time in NCAA Tournament play. This will be Miami’s fourth postseason appearance under Larrañaga and its second straight following last season’s runner-up appearance in the NIT.
Defending NCAA champion Duke (23-10) is seeded fourth in the West Region and also opens on Thursday in Providence against No. 13 UNC Wilmington (25-7).
The Blue Devils are playing the NCAA Tournament for the 21st consecutive season and 40th overall. Duke is 105-34 in the tournament with national championships in 1991, 1992, 2001, 2010, 2015, Head coach Mike Krzyzewski is the NCAA’s all-time leader in tournament victories, posting an 88-26 record in his 36 seasons at Duke.
North Carolina will be joined in the East Regional by No. 6 Notre Dame and No. 10 Pittsburgh.
Notre Dame (21-11) opens in Brooklyn on Friday against the winner of the “first four” game between No. 11 Michigan (22-12) and Tulsa (20-11). The Fighting Irish are NCAA bound for the 35th time and for the second consecutive year. Head coach Mike Brey is taking his 11th Notre Dame to the NCAA Tournament and making his 13th appearance overall.
Pittsburgh (21-11) faces No. 7 Wisconsin (20-12) on Friday in St. Louis. The Panthers are set for their 25th NCAA Tournament and 10th under current head coach Jamie Dixon. Pittsburgh is 24-26 in the tournament all-time, including a 12-10 mark under Dixon, whose resume with the Panthers includes one Elite Eight and two Sweet 16 appearances.
Syracuse (19-13) joins Virginia in the Midwest as the No. 10 seed and faces No. 7 Dayton (25-7) on Friday in St. Louis. The Orange will be playing in the NCAA Tournament for the 38th time and for the 32nd time under head coach Jim Boeheim, who led his alma mater to the national title in 2003.
The ACC’s seven teams and four top-four regional seeds in this year’s NCAA Tournament field equal the most of any other league.
The ACC is the winningest conference in NCAA Tournament history with a .659 winning percentage and is the only conference in nation that has not had a losing record in NCAA Tournament play since 1987. League teams posted a 17-5 record in the NCAA Tournament in 2015, marking the 14th postseason that ACC teams have combined for 10 or more wins. That number also leads all conferences.