North Carolina Basketball: ACC Tournament Seeding Scenarios

Josh HallmanContributor IIIMarch 5, 2013

Every ACC team has two games left in the regular season, and as usual not much has been decided. Miami will be the No. 1 seed, and with all likelihood Duke will be the No. 2.After that it gets a little tricky.

Here's the current ACC standings for the top five teams, with Carolina holding a one-game lead over both N.C. State and Virginia for third place:

Miami 14-2

Duke 12-4

UNC 11-5

Virginia 10-6

N.C. State 10-6

UNC has a much tougher two-game finish than either Virginia or N.C. State, and the Tar Heels aren't exactly in good shape with the tie-breakers. Here's the remaining schedule for all three contenders for the third seed in Greensboro:

UNC at Maryland vs. Duke

N.C. State vs. Wake at Florida State

Virginia at Florida State vs. Maryland


If All Goes Well

Carolina controls its own destiny, and if the Tar Heels win the final two regular season games they will be the No. 3 seed in the ACC tournament. That's hardly an easy task, as Maryland is on the NCAA tournament bubble and will be desperate for a win in College Park on Wednesday night. If UNC is able to get past Maryland, a rematch with Duke in Chapel Hill awaits.

Ryan Kelly has returned from a foot injury that forced him to miss most of the ACC season, and his career-high 36 points against Miami on Saturday showed that he won't be needing any extra time to find his form.

Duke still hasn't lost a game with Ryan Kelly in the lineup this season, so obviously the finale will be a huge challenge for the Heels. If Carolina drops one or both of these games, their seed in the ACC tournament will be decided by Virginia, N.C. State and the tie-breaker rules.


The Tie-breakers

If two teams end up tied in the final regular season standings, their head-to-head results are the first step in breaking the deadlock. Since Carolina is 1-1 against both the Cavaliers and the Wolfpack this season, the tie-breaker would go to step two.The second step is the teams' record against the best team in the conference.

Since UNC went 0-2 against Miami this season, and Virginia and N.C. State only had to face the Hurricanes once, the Tar Heels would lose a head-to-head tie-breaker against either team.

If all three teams finish in a tie, their records against each other will decide the seeds. The Cavaliers split the season series with UNC, and defeated N.C. State in the only matchup between the two teams. This puts Virginia at 2-1 against Carolina and State, giving them the No. 3 seed in a three-way tie scenario. The Tar Heels split the season series with both, and would be awarded the No. 4 seed based on their 2-2 record.N. C. State was 1-2, and would be forced to play on Thursday as the No. 5 seed.

Avoiding the No. 5 seed is extremely important to Carolina's postseason chances, and as long as they don't lose both games, they're guaranteed a first round bye.Obviously the three-seed would be very nice, but as long as the Tar Heels beat the Blue Devils on Saturday night, all will be right in Chapel Hill.