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9 p.m., Dean E. Smith Center, Chapel Hill, N.C., ESPN, Chs. 20, 54

Skinny: This one doesn’t need much explanation. The Blue Devils, whose talent coupled with perimeter reliance is reminiscent of 2006 Villanova and 2007 Oregon (both Elite Eight teams), have earned a top-five ranking for the 11th straight season. Meanwhile, the Tar Heels remain a legitimate national title contender. None of that will matter next week, when the Tobacco Road titans could meet as top-five foes for the first time since Feb. 1, 2001.

Patrick Stevens


There are eight Big East teams in this field, with three more (Villanova, Providence, Syracuse) just on the outside. It isn’t so much that many of these teams are great, but rather there are a lot of solid-but-not-spectacular squads in what is an underwhelming season across the country. Even with that depth, at this stage it’s hard to view anyone in the Big East besides Georgetown as a Final Four threat.


1. North Carolina

2. Georgetown*

3. Indiana*

4. Xavier*

5. Arizona

6. Vanderbilt

7. Kansas State

8. Gonzaga*

9. Ohio State

Story Continues →