UNC Basketball: ACC Tournament seeding on the line in final stretch

CHAPEL HILL, NC - FEBRUARY 08: Kenny Williams
CHAPEL HILL, NC - FEBRUARY 08: Kenny Williams /

The final four games will be big for UNC Basketball as we approach the ACC Tournament

As we go into this weekend, the North Carolina Tar Heels currently sit in a double-bye for the upcoming Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.

There are just three weekends left of play before the conference heads to New York for the annual tournament.

Thanks to a win by Florida State over Clemson on Wednesday, the Tar Heels sit just a half game behind both the Tigers and Duke Blue Devils.

That sets up an interesting situation this weekend.

The Tar Heels will travel to Louisville for a tough road matchup against the Cardinals on Saturday night’s ESPN game. A win guarantees the Tar Heels a winning record in conference play and increases their odds for a double-bye.

Clemson and Duke will square off on Sunday, with the winner grabbing a hold of the No. 2 seed for now and the loser dropping to No. 3 or No. 4. If UNC beats Louisville, the Tar Heels will be the No. 3 seed right now.

A win would also put Louisville a game and a half behind the Tar Heels in the standings. But a loss would certainly hurt the Tar Heels chances.

If UNC loses to Louisville, they fall behind the Cardinals and into the No. 5 seed.

Virginia is pretty much a lock for the No. 1 seed, holding a 3.5 game lead over Duke and Clemson with just four games remaining.

For UNC, avoiding Virginia until the ACC Championship Game means getting that No. 2 or No. 3 seed. The way the tournament is seeded is the No. 4 will play either No. 5 or No. 12/No. 13 if there’s an upset.

The quarterfinals would pair No. 1 vs. No. 4 and No. 2 vs. No. 3 if there are no upsets.

UNC’s journey to a No. 2 or No. 3 seed won’t be easy. They have the fourth-toughest remaining schedule left, playing three road games against Louisville, Syracuse and then Duke in the season finale.

Their lone home game left comes against Miami who is currently 7-6 and 1.5 games back of the Tar Heels.

In order to get that No. 2 or No. 3 seed, UNC would likely have to go 3-1 in this final four-game stretch of the season. Going 2-2 could get it done if those wins come against Louisville and Duke.

But going 1-3 or 0-4 would be a complete disaster heading into March Madness.

They would want to avoid the No. 5 seed as well, as that feeds into the top region of the ACC Tournament.

The Tar Heels are playing some of their best basketball of the season right now, riding a four-game win streak including beating Duke, NC State and Notre Dame in a matter of five days.

Next: UNC vs. Louisville preview

Staying hot will likely result in a double-bye and hopefully a deep run in the ACC and NCAA Tournaments.