March Madness: UNC-Wilmington draws 12-seed, ACC’s Virginia in NCAA Tournament

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WILMINGTON — The field is set for the 2017 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. Villanova, the defending national champion and BIG EAST title holder, received the top overall seed out of 68 teams and plays in the East Region.

UNC-Wilmington received a 12-seed in the East Region and head to Orlando, Florida for a date with ACC’s Virginia Cavaliers. The first-round match up is set for Thursday, March 16. Tipoff time and the television information will be announced Monday (March 13).

The Seahawks are making its sixth appearance in the Big Dance after clinching the Colonial Athletic Association’s (CAA) automatic bid following back-to-back CAA Titles.  UNCW has made it to the Round of 32 just once with a 93-89 overtime win against University of Southern California (2002).

Virginia will make its 21st NCAA Tournament appearance and fourth straight for the first time since 1981-84.

The winner of the Virginia-UNC Wilmington game will meet No. 4 seed Florida (24-8) or No. 13 seed East Tennessee State (27-7) in the second round on Saturday, March 18.

The Cavaliers advanced to the NCAA Midwest Regional final last year after earning their fifth No. 1 seed in school history. This is Virginia’s fifth NCAA Tournament appearance under two-time ACC Coach of the Year Tony Bennett. UVA advanced to the NCAA Final Four in 1981 and 1984.

The other pod of teams competing in Orlando includes squads from the West Region. Those match ups are No. 3 seed Florida State (25-8) vs. No. 14 seed Florida Gulf Coast (26-7); No. 6 seed Maryland (24-8) vs. No. 11 seed Xavier (21-13).

The first-round contest infamously known for upsets is 5-seed vs. 12-seed. From 2008-2016, No. 12 seeds have won 17 of 32 games.

In addition to Villanova, the other No. 1 seeds include: North Carolina (27-7); Kansas (28-4) and Gonzaga (32-1). Duke received a two-seed in the East Region, while Wake Forest and North Carolina Central earned spots to give the state of North Carolina five teams in March Madness.

Click here for the compete 2017 NCAA Tournament interactive bracket.