UNC men's basketball earns No. 1 seed in NCAA Tournament

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

They are a 7 seed in the East region and will open against the Marquette Golden Eagles on Friday at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville.

Marquette (19-12, 10-8 Big East) won four of their last five regular season games before losing to Seton Hall 82-76 in the Big East tournament quarterfinals. They are 4-9 lifetime in the NCAA Tournament.

SC on Sunday received its first NCAA bid since 2004, and the seventh-seeded Gamecocks will have a home-state advantage when they play No. 10 seed Marquette in the first round Friday at Bon Secours Wellness Arena in Greenville.

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The NCAA introduced a new wrinkle to its seeding process this season, allowing the top seed to choose where it would like to play its tournament games. This will be the 16th time they have been a No. 1 seed.

Duke is also potentially in the mix.

That means Villanova, another likely No. 1 seed, could be the top seed in the East Regional, played at Madison Square Garden in NY, even if the selection committee ranks the Tar Heels higher.

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The absence of the two guards provided a small window of opportunity for the Bulldogs, one that closed quickly in the second half. The Dogs played Kentucky as hard as anyone during the regular season, losing 90-81 in overtime in Lexington and 82-77 at home.

The Blue Devils will play Troy Friday in Greenville, South Carolina.

After winning the MEAC to get into the tournament, North Carolina Central University is a 16 seed and will play University of California, Davis in the First Four in Dayton on Tuesday. In Brooklyn, however, Duke played the best basketball and beat UNC. Kentucky, UCLA, Cincinnati and even Wichita State could pose a major challenge to North Carolina, but for now, the Tar Heels are a lock for a deep run.

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