UNC's NCAA tournament draw: A favorable road starting close to home

2018 NCAA Tournament: North Carolina earns bid, set to defend title

The Cavaliers are fresh off an ACC tournament championship and enter with a record of 31-2.

The North Carolina Tar Heels meet the Virginia Cavaliers in the 2018 ACC championship game Saturday night for the sixth time in tournament history.

2017 Final Four MOP Joel Berry is back, averaging 17.1 points per game.

NEW YORK - Mikal Bridges had 18 points and Villanova scored the first 19 points and cruised toward its fourth straight trip in the Big East Tournament championship game in a win over Butler. But it hasn't been able to translate that success into the NCAA Tournament. The top seeds in the West Regional include No. 1 seed Xavier, No. 3 seed MI and No. 4 seed Gonzaga.

I wrote multiple times this year that this conference had fallen off the national radar, and that was completely the case until this weekend.

The fifth-seeded Friars (21-13) rallied in the second half from yet another double-digit hole and seemed set to pull off one more upset and earn the automatic NCAA berth.

Virginia is not exactly a team that would topple over like a busted Jenga tower should one of its pieces be hastily removed. But the Friars ran out of gas in OT.

Devon Hall added 15 points, Ty Jerome provided 12 points and six assists and De'Andre Hunter had 10 points for Virginia, which won the tournament crown for the second time in five years.

Selection Sunday for the NCAA Tournament is here and teams sweating out the wait until the brackets are revealed got bad news from the Atlantic 10 Conference. Do you think that was the only time someone was hipped in the game?

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UNC won nine of 11 games before falling to top-ranked Virginia in Saturday's ACC title game.

No. 13 TENNESSEE 62, MISSISSIPPI STATE 59:Lamonte Turner scored 15 points and Tennessee locked down on defense to beat Mississippi State in the quarterfinals of the Southeastern Conference tournament in St. Louis.

The top challenger is Cincinnati (30-4), which got less than an hour to celebrate Sunday's win against Houston in the American Athletic Conference Tournament championship in Orlando before learning its NCAA path. The Cavaliers used this efficiency to hold at least a share of the lead for the final 37 minutes and change.

With the Cougars trailing 74-73, Gray intercepted a pass near midcourt and drove to the basket, handing off to Galen Robinson for a layup with 1:27 remaining.

The Wildcats outscored Providence 16-6 in OT, with Bridges hitting two 3-pointers, Brunson making a dunk and a layup and Donte DiVencenzo adding a layup and a pair of free throws.

-The ACC led the way with nine teams in the tournament, matching a record the ever-expanding conference set past year. They will play Friday night at 9:20 p.m. against Maryland Baltimore County in Charlotte. Guy has been Virginia's leading scorer in each of Virginia's games this tournament.

No. 15 ARIZONA 78, UCLA 67:Deandre Ayton scored seven of his 32 points in overtime and grabbed 14 rebounds for Arizona (26-7) in the Pac-12 tournament semifinals in Las Vegas. Both players led the country in minutes per game at 38.3.

Arizona was twice entangled in a federal investigation into shady recruiting practices.

There may not be a precedent for a nine-loss No. 1 seed, but this battle-tested, surging North Carolina team may yet be the first to do it.

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