Six basketball programs in the Carolinas won’t be sweating Selection Sunday.
At 6 p.m. on CBS, the NCAA men’s basketball tournament bracket will be revealed, and this group from North and South Carolina is comfortably in the Big Dance with either an automatic or at-large bid.
Here’s a look at the six teams that will represent the Carolinas in this year’s tournament:
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Coastal Carolina: The Chanticleers won 24 games this season with the help of Warren Gillis and Josh Cameron, who combined to average 26 points. Coastal, which will be one of the lowest seeds in the tournament, topped Winthrop by 11 in the Big South championship game to make it to the tournament for the fourth time in school history.
Wofford: Southern Conference player of the year Karl Cochran led Wofford past Furman in the Southern Conference tournament, putting the Terriers back in the tournament for a second straight time. They will likely be a 12 seed. Mike Young will be a hot name for coaching vacancies across the country once the season is over after this 28-win season.
Davidson: The Wildcats essentially guaranteed their spot by beating Virginia Commonwealth handily to win the Atlantic 10 regular season title, then survived a scare in their first conference tournament game before losing in the semifinals. Now Bob McKillop looks for his first NCAA tournament victory without Stephen Curry on the roster.
Duke: The Blue Devils will be in Charlotte later this week, but don’t expect any opening-weekend letdowns like the Mercer and Lehigh losses of previous years. This Duke team may be the only thing standing in the way of an undefeated season for Kentucky.
North Carolina: The Tar Heels have locked up their third consecutive season of at least 10 losses after an up-and-down year. But a deep run to the ACC tournament championship game, where the Tar Heels lost to Notre Dame, gives North Carolina a top-four seed in one of the regionals.
N.C. State: Mark Gottfried has guards Cat Barber and Trevor Lacey to thank for the Wolfpack’s late-season turnaround. Forgetting that embarrassing loss to Duke in Greensboro, the Wolfpack played well down the stretch with wins against Louisville and UNC and could make noise in the NCAAs as a nine or 10 seed.