NC State is ranked No. 2 in the nation and has a head-to-head victory against Louisville. And yet, even though the teams are tied in the loss column of the ACC standings, the Cardinals — not the Wolfpack — will be the No. 1 seed at next week’s conference tournament at Greensboro Coliseum.
Louisville (21-2, 14-2 ACC) got the nod because it has a better winning league winning percentage, the result of playing two more games than State, which at 17-2 overall and only 12-2 in the ACC wasn’t able to make up games lost during a two-week COVID pause.
Although both teams will receive double byes into Friday’s quarterfinals, the difference in the seedings could potentially be significant.
As the No. 2 seed, coach Wes Moore’s Wolfpack could potentially play Virginia Tech — one of the two teams to beat it during the regular season — in its first tournament game at 6 p.m. on Friday. The seventh-seeded Hokies will first face No. 10 Miami on Thursday.
Third-seeded Georgia Tech, No. 6 Notre Dame and No. 11 Clemson are only on State’s side of the bracket.
The highlight of the top half of the bracket, at least from an Old North State perspective, is a second-round matchup between eighth-seeded North Carolina and No. 9 Wake Forest at noon on Thursday. The winner will take on Louisville 24 hours later.
The tournament will begin on Wednesday with a matchup between No. 12 Pittsburgh and No. 13 Boston College with the winner getting a date against No. 5 Syracuse. Florida State, at No. 3, received the other double bye.
Duke and Virginia have opted out this season because of COVID-19 concerns and won’t participate.
2021 ACC Women’s Basketball Tournament
Greensboro Coliseum (March 3-7)
First Round – Wednesday, March 3
Game 1: No. 12 Pitt vs No. 13 Boston College – 2 p.m.
Second Round – Thursday, March 4
Game 2: No. 8 North Carolina vs No. 9 Wake Forest – Noon
Game 3: No. 5 Syracuse vs Game 1 winner – 2:30 p.m.
Game 4: No. 7 Virginia Tech vs No. 10 Miami – 6 p.m.
Game 5: No. 6 Notre Dame vs No. 11 Clemson – 8:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals – Friday, March 5
Game 6: No. 1 Louisville vs Game 2 winner– Noon
Game 7: No. 4 Florida State vs Game 3 winner – 2:30 p.m.
Game 8: No. 2 NC State vs Game 4 winner – 6 p.m.
Game 9: No. 3 Georgia Tech vs Game 5 winner – 8:30 p.m.
Semifinals – Saturday, March 6
Game 10: Semifinal 1 – Noon
Game 11: Semifinal 2 – 2:30 p.m.
Championship – Sunday, March 7
Game 12: Winners of semifinal contests – Noon