Duke stays home as UNC, NC State, NCCU hit the road for NCAAs

March 16, 2014 

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Duke forward Jabari Parker (1) vies for a rebound with Virginia forward Anthony Gill (13)and guard Malcolm Brogdon (15) in the first half.

CHUCK LIDDY — cliddy@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

Duke is staying home, North Carolina and N.C. Central are going west and N.C. State is headed to Dayton, Ohio. All four teams will begin play later this week in the NCAA tournament.

The Blue Devils and Tar Heels could rest easy on Selection Sunday. They knew they were in. As could the NCCU Eagles after their MEAC tournament win.

It was a different story at N.C. State, where the Wolfpack anxiously awaited its fate after it lost against Duke on Saturday in the ACC tournament semifinals. The NCAA tournament selection committee, though, believed the Wolfpack did enough to warrant a spot in the 68-team field.

N.C. State received one of the final at-large spots in the tournament. The Wolfpack, seeded 12th in the Midwest, will play against Xavier on Tuesday in Dayton. Xavier, which finished fourth in the Big East, was also one of the final teams to receive an at-large bid.

If the Wolfpack beats Xavier, it would play against Saint Louis, the Midwest fifth’s seed, in Orlando on Thursday.

Duke, meanwhile, will begin NCAA tournament on Friday in Raleigh at PNC Arena. The Blue Devils, the No. 3 seed in the Midwest, will play against No. 15 Mercer, which won the Atlantic Sun Conference.

UNC had to wait a while before seeing its name pop up on the Selection Show. The Tar Heels were one of the final teams announced. They will enter the tournament as the No. 6 seed in the East, and they will play No. 11 Providence, which won the Big East tournament, on Friday in San Antonio.

The 14th-seeded N.C. Central Eagles will also head to San Antonio to face No. 3-seed Iowa State Friday night.

If UNC defeats Providence, it could face the Cyclones or another Triangle-area team in the Eagles.

Game times will be announced later on Sunday night.

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