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March Madness projections for North Carolina basketball entering ACC Tournament

North Carolina basketball heads to the ACC Tournament with its NCAA Tournament chances hanging by a thread.

The Tar Heels (19-12) ended the regular season as the first preseason No. 1 team to reach 12 losses, according to ESPN Stats and Information. Now, UNC is in need of a good week in Greensboro if it hopes to hear good news on Selection Sunday.

As it stands, Carolina remains on the wrong side of the bubble, according to recent bracketology projections.

UNC is 49th in the NET (NCAA Evaluation Tool) rankings and has a 1-9 record against Quadrant 1 opponents. Neutral-site games against teams ranked inside the top 50 in the NET are considered Quad 1 opportunities.

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The Tar Heels won’t get that opportunity in their opening game of the ACC Tournament. UNC will play 10th-seeded Boston College (15-16) or 15th-seeded Louisville (4-27) at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Both teams are well outside of the top 50.

But if Carolina advances to Thursday, it’ll get the chance to play No. 2 Virginia, which qualifies as a Q1 opponent. A pair of wins would be the first step toward getting back in the conversation for an at-large bid. The Tar Heels are 3-2 in neutral-site games.

Ahead of the ACC Tournament, here are some UNC bracketology projections as of Monday morning.

Joe Lunardi, ESPN.com: Next four out

Lunardi has UNC among the next four teams out in a group that includes Michigan, Vanderbilt and Oregon. The Wolverines are 54th in the NET, with a 3-11 record in Q1 games. The Commodores are 83rd in the NET, with four Quad 1 wins.

Jerry Palm, CBSSports.com: First four out

Palm has UNC in a group including Oklahoma State, Arizona State and Wisconsin as the first four teams out. Michigan, Penn State, Mississippi State and Utah State are Palm’s last four in the field.

USA TODAY: First four out

USA TODAY has UNC among Michigan, Penn State and Oklahoma State in the first four out. Those projections have Southern California, Wisconsin, Auburn and Arizona State as the last four teams in the field.

Bracket Matrix: Next four out

The Bracket Matrix formula considers the preeminent bracketology projections from across the web and averages them out to create a composite 68-team field. The Tar Heels are among the next four teams out, projected into the field in four of more than 100 projections considered as of Monday morning. Wisconsin is the last team in and Arizona State is the first team out of the field.

Staff writer Rodd Baxley can be reached at rbaxley@fayobserver.com or @RoddBaxley on Twitter.

This article originally appeared on The Fayetteville Observer: March Madness outlook for North Carolina entering ACC Tournament