Roy Williams following loss to Miami: “I really thought we were going to win the game”

Miami’s Ja’Quan Newton spoils North Carolina's “Senior Night” after sinking the game winning shot at the buzzer on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C.
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Miami’s Ja’Quan Newton spoils North Carolina's “Senior Night” after sinking the game winning shot at the buzzer on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C.
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North Carolina

What UNC's loss to Miami means for its ACC tournament seed.

February 28, 2018 10:12 AM

While not an ideal way to send the seniors out at home, UNC’s loss to Miami on Tuesday did not affect its chances at the No. 2 seed in the ACC tournament.

If the Tar Heels (11-6 ACC) beat Duke (12-5) on Saturday, they will be the No. 2 seed in Brooklyn next week for the ACC tournament. With a win at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Saturday, UNC would hold all the tiebreakers over Duke, N.C. State and Clemson.

N.C. State (10-6) closes at Georgia Tech on Thursday and at home with Louisville on Saturday. Clemson (10-6) faces Florida State at home on Wednesday and goes to Syracuse on Saturday.

So how does the tiebreaker work?

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If only UNC and Duke finish 12-6, the Tar Heels would have a head-to-head sweep over the Blue Devils. Easy enough.

Winning percentage breaks the tie among the teams in the group. If State finishes 12-6 with UNC and Duke, UNC would have a 3-1 group record (2-0 vs. Duke and 1-1 vs. State). That, by winning percentage, would best State’s 2-1 group record (1-0 vs. Duke and 1-1 vs. UNC).

If Clemson finishes 12-6 with UNC and Duke, UNC would have the same 3-1 group record (1-1 vs. Clemson), while Duke would be 1-2 (1-0 vs. Clemson) and the Tigers would be 1-2.

If all four teams finish 12-6, UNC would again have the best group record (4-2), followed by N.C. State (3-2), Clemson (2-3) and Duke (1-3).

If UNC loses at Duke on Saturday, that’s where Tuesday’s loss could potentially cost the Heels a double-bye. If State wins out, it would be the No. 3 seed and UNC would be the No. 5 seed. The top four teams get a bye into Thursday's quarterfinals. The next five seeds have to play in the first round on Wednesday. The bottom six seeds have to start in Tuesday's play-in round.

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At 11-7 in the ACC, UNC would be tied with the winner of Saturday’s game between Miami and Virginia Tech (who are both 10-7). The Canes and the Hokies, by virtue of head-to-head wins, have the tiebreaker over UNC.

UNC would be the No. 6 seed with two N.C. State wins and either two Clemson wins or one Clemson win and a Miami win.

If both State and Clemson lose out, UNC would still be the No. 4 seed (jumped by the Virginia Tech-Miami winner for the No. 3 seed).

UNC can’t finish lower than the No. 6 seed.