Cavaliers, Orange play out of Midwest

It’s a strong year for the ACC as far as NCAA Tournament selections, as the league got seven teams into the Big Dance even with Louisville self-imposing what would have been a sure invitation.

The ACC flexed its muscles with two of its schools, North Carolina and Virginia, getting No. 1 seeds. Virginia couldn’t quite get over the hump in Saturday’s ACC Tournament championship game over a North Carolina squad that proved itself to be the top team in the league and a justifiable No. 1 seed.

Fortunately for Tony Bennett’s squad, however, Saturday night’s loss to UNC didn’t cost the Cavaliers a No. 1 seed, as the Selection Committee recognized UVa’s impressive 26-7 season and granted it the top spot in the Midwest.

The Cavaliers will play an in-state school, Hampton, in Raleigh on Thursday afternoon at 3:10 p.m. (TruTV). A win there draws the victor of Butler and Texas Tech, who play Thursday’s first game at PNC Arena at 12:40 p.m.

Hampton is making its sixth NCAA Tournament appearance in school history, and its second straight. Last year the Pirates won a play-in game before becoming a sacrificial lamb for undefeated Kentucky. The Pirates have pulled off miracles in the past, having upset No. 2 seed Iowa State back in 2001, so the Cavaliers don’t want to completely overlook this one.

In the very likely scenario the Cavaliers prevail…