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“Seeding really doesn’t matter too much,” Tar Heels guard P.J. Hairston said after Carolina’s loss to Florida State in the ACC title game Sunday, but before he knew his team would have a `1’ by its name. “As long as you get in the dance, it’s an equal opportunity to get to the Final Four.”

The Tar Heels open their run in the Midwest regional against the winner of a first-round game between Lamar and Vermont.

Led by freshmen Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, either of whom could be one-and-done in Calipari’s turnover-heavy program, Kentucky is the No. 1 overall seed. Kentucky was placed in the South region and potentially could play six games without having to leave the Southeast.

Kentucky will open its 52nd NCAA tournament appearance in Louisville against the winner of a first-round game between Mississippi Valley State and Western Kentucky, but it gets tougher from there. A possible second-round opponent is UConn, with No. 4 Indiana and No. 2 Duke possibly waiting beyond that. Indiana handed Kentucky its first loss this year and anyone who knows college hoops knows about Duke-Kentucky: This is the 20th anniversary of Duke forward Christian Laettner’s last-second catch-and-shoot game-winner against the Wildcats.

In the West, Michigan State will begin its quest for its seventh Final Four since 1999 against No. 16 LIU. The bottom of the West draw features No. 2 Missouri, which won the Big 12 tournament but got penalized for a weak nonconference schedule.

“That hasn’t changed at all over the years,” Hathaway said when asked whether the committee rewards programs that beef up their schedules.

In the East region, Syracuse opens against UNC Asheville with a possible third-round matchup against Jared Sullinger and Ohio State. Other games include No. 3 Florida State, which went 4-1 against Duke and North Carolina this year, against No. 14 St. Bonaventure, which was a surprise winner of the A-10 conference tournament and took a bubble spot away.

Maybe Drexel’s?

“There must be a lot of people on the basketball committee that don’t know too much about basketball,” said Dragons coach Bruiser Flint, whose team went 27-6.

Others left out included Miami, Northwestern, Nevada and Oral Roberts. All had flaws, as did Iona, though the Gaels’ strength of schedule appeared to carry them through.

“We tried to play teams or conferences ranked above ours, and most of those games we really had to play on the road to get those games,” Iona coach Tim Cluess said. “We spent seven, eight weeks in a row on the road this year, but those were the teams we had to play to give ourselves a chance.”