North Carolina, Duke atop ACC tournament pairings

With its win over Duke on Saturday night at Cameron Indoor Stadium, North Carolina comes away with the No. 1 seed for the fourth time in the past five seasons.

The Tar Heels (27-4, 14-2) open on Friday at noon at Philips Arena against the winner of No. 8 Maryland and No. 9 Wake Forest (Thursday at noon). North Carolina is gunning for its first ACC tournament title since 2008 after losing in the final to Duke a year ago.

The Blue Devils (26-5, 13-3), who have won each of the past three ACC tournaments and 10 of the past 13 overall, settled for the No. 2 seed. They open on Friday at 7 p.m. against the winner of No. 7 Clemson and No. 10 Virginia Tech (Thursday at 7 p.m.).

Either Duke or North Carolina or both has played in the ACC tournament final for each of the past 15 years. The last time an ACC tournament final featured neither team was in 1996 when Tim Duncan-led Wake Forest defeated Stephon Marbury and Georgia Tech 75-74. Maryland (2004) is the only team other than Duke or North Carolina to win an ACC tournament title since then.

Florida State (21-9, 12-4) took the No. 3 seed for the third year in a row. The Seminoles will play Friday at 9 p.m. against the winner of No. 6 Miami and No. 11 Georgia Tech (9 p.m. on Thursday).

Virginia (22-8, 9-7) beat Maryland on Sunday to claim the No. 4 seed and the final first-round bye. This is the Cavaliers’ highest ACC tournament seed since they were the No. 2 seed in 2007. With 22 victories, Virginia has its highest regular-season win total since Ralph Sampson led the Cavaliers to 25 in 1982-83.

Virginia will open Friday at 2 p.m. against the winner of No. 5 N.C. State and No. 12 Boston College (Thursday at 2 p.m.).

The Cavaliers were one of four ACC teams tied for fourth place entering the weekend with 8-7 records in conference play. But Virginia held off Maryland 75-72 in overtime on Sunday behind a career-high 35 points from senior Mike Scott and won a resulting three-way tiebreaker with Miami and N.C. State, who also won their final games.

Clemson lost Sunday to Florida State to fall to No. 7.

N.C. State and Miami lost out in a three-way tie with Virginia by virtue of their records against the other two teams with whom they were tied. Virginia went 2-0 against Miami and N.C. State. N.C. State went 2-1 against Virginia and Miami. And Miami went 0-3 against Virginia and N.C. State.

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