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Duke, UNC, State get tough NCAA draws

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There were groans across the Triangle Sunday night as selections for the NCAA Tournament were announced, and the area's three ACC teams found themselves facing brutal draws.

Duke is the No. 2 seed in the Midwest, North Carolina is the No. 8 in the South and N.C. State is No. 8 in the East, the NCAA announced Sunday. All begin play Friday, and all have difficult roads ahead.

Printable NCAA bracket

The Tar Heels face No. 9 seed Villanova Friday in Kansas City. If they Tar Heels win, they almost certainly would face top-seeded Kansas in Kansas City.

Kansas eliminated UNC 80-67 last year in the Midwest Regional final in St. Louis.

N.C. State will play Temple Friday in Dayton, Ohio. If State wins, it likely would play No. 1 seed Indiana in its next game. The Hoosiers are likely to have a big crowd on hand - Dayton is only 167 miles from IU's Bloomington campus.

The Wolfpack, the preseason favorite in the ACC, finished fifth in the league and lost to Miami in the ACC Tournament semifinals. The Pack has been up and down all season, and will need a superior effort to survive the first two games.

Indiana hammered UNC 83-59 on Nov. 27. But the Hoosiers have had some problems late in the season, losing three of their final six games.

The Blue Devils should have an easier time in the earlier rounds, but looming down the road is  Louisville the No. 1 seed in the Midwest and the No. 1 seed in the tournament overall.

Duke will play Albany on Friday.

Many had seen Duke as a possible No. 1 seed a week ago after their smashing win over North Carolina in the regular-season finale. But then Duke flopped against Maryland in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament and the NCAA gave it a difficult draw.

Many believe Louisville is the best team in the country, and the Cardinals won the Big East title Saturday night in New York City with a stunning comeback against Syracuse.

Overall, the NCAA did the ACC no favors as only four of the league's 12 teams made the field of 68. The field did not include the ACC's Virginia and Maryland.

Miami, the ACC champion, was only a No. 2 seed despite its win over UNC Sunday.

No. 8 N.C. State vs. No. 9 Temple

Site: Dayton, Ohio

Date: Friday March 22nd

Records: N.C. State 24-10, Temple 23-9

Temple coach: Fran Dunphy has been Temple's coach since 2006. Dunphy is the first man ever to lead two Big 5 basketball programs.

Temple key players: Khalif Wyatt, a senior from Norristown, Pa, is averaging 19.8 points per game and shooting 41.3 percent from the field. Scootie Randall, a senior from Philadelphia, is averaging 11.8 points and shooting 39.5 percent.

NCAA Tournament in 2012: N.C. State defeated San Diego State and Georgetown in the first and second rounds, but lost to Kansas in the regional semifinal 60-57. Temple lost in the first round to South Florida 58-44

No. 8 Duke vs. No. 9 Albany

Site: Philadephia

Date: Friday March 22nd

Records: Duke 27-5, Albany 24-10

Albany coach: Will Brown has lead the Great Danes since 2002 winning three America East Conference titles and has made three appearances in the NCAA Tournament.

Albany key players: Senior Mike Black leads Albany averaging 14.9 points a game. Senior guard Jacob Iati averages 12.1 points a game. 

NCAA Tournament in 2012: Duke lost to Lehigh in the opening round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Albany lost to Manhattan in the first round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. 

 

No. 8 UNC vs. No. 9 Villanova

Site: Kansas City, Missouri

Date: Friday March 22nd

Records: UNC 24-10, Temple 20-13

Villanova coach: Jay Wright has been at Nova for 11 seasons. Villanova is 12-7 in NCAA Tournament play under Wright. It has advanced to four Sweet 16's, two Elite Eights and the 2009 Final Four.

Villanova key players: Sophomore JayVaughn Pinkston leads Villanova in scoring, averaging 13.1 points a game. Mouphtaou Yarou leads Nova averaging 7.8 rebounds a game. 

NCAA Tournament in 2012: UNC defeated Vermont, Creighton and Ohio before being knocked out by Kansas in the Elite Eight. Villanova did not qualify for postseason play last year. 

 

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