Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 3/11/12
The North Carolina Tar Heels (29-5) are the top seed in the Midwest Region after winning the ACC regular season title and falling short in the ACC championship game Sunday. UNC proved again this weekend it has the necessary toughness physical and mental to make a push for the national championship. It must get 6-foot-11 forward John Henson back and healthy to do so, and it would be best if the Harrison Barnes that scored 23 points Sunday keep his motor running at that same pace for the next few weeks. UNC could face an interesting test from athletic Alabama in the third round, methodical Michigan in the Sweet 16, and then an emotional tilt with Kansas in the regional final. The last time Roy Williams had to face his former school the Tar Heels were wiped out in the 2008 Final Four. UNC should come out of this region. The Duke Blue Devils (27-6) will stay in the South Region as the No. 2 seed behind top overall seed Kentucky. The Blue Devils have not played that well over the last couple of weeks and may be without forward Ryan Kelly for some time. Without him, more of a premium is placed on Dukes perimeter shooting, which was poor in the ACC Tournament. Junior Andre Dawkins has just three total points since scoring 22 in a win at Florida State three weeks ago. Duke could have trouble with Notre Dame in the third round, and from the Sweet 16 on, the Blue Devils may be underdogs, especially if they face Baylor. A rematch with Kentucky from the East Region final 20 years ago awaits if the Devils can last that long. The Florida State Seminoles (24-9) earned a No. 3 seed in the East Region after winning their first ever ACC hoops championship on Sunday. FSU is a great defensive team that can beat anyone in the nation when it shoots well, as it proved this weekend. FSU, ironically, is 4-1 versus Duke and North Carolina this season but 0-2 versus the Ivy League and it also lost at lowly Boston College. But this veteran club is on a mission to right a wrong when it was eliminated by VCU in the Sweet 16 last year. FSU could have a tough opener with St. Bonaventure, as regenerating intensity may take a game. Possible battles with Cincinnati in the third round and Ohio State in the Sweet 16 loom. FSU matches up well with the Buckeyes as well as the regions top seed, Syracuse. The Virginia Cavaliers (22-9) got a 10 seed in the West Region after spending much of the season looking like it was headed for a much better seed. UVa struggled down the stretch and will battle injuries and fatigue heading into the NCAAs. The Wahoos have a terrific player in senior Mike Scott and are smart, well-coached team. In a way, they are built for postseason basketball, but must shoot better than they have of late. Virginia opens with West Virginia, and if it gets past the Mountaineers would have to play Ohio State. The N.C. State Wolfpack (22-12) was the last team to appear on the board Sunday evening and as an 11 seed in the Midwest will take on San Diego State of the Mountain West Conference. The Wolfpack played very well at the ACC Tournament and could be a surprise team in the NCAAs if C.J. Leslie continues to play as he has, C.J. Williams avoids foul trouble, and Scott Wood can get open looks. This club has come a long way since Mark Gottfried too over last spring. He had a lot of work to do getting this team on the same page and advancing their games individually and collectively. If NCSY can get past the Aztecs, it could face a Georgetown team its capable of beating. Then a possible date with Kansas in the Sweet 16 might be interesting.
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