North Carolina's preference for Memphis could leave NYC open for Nova

ByDana O'Neil ESPN logo
Saturday, March 11, 2017

If North Carolina is awarded the overall No. 1 seed on Selection Sunday and given the opportunity to request its preferred NCAA tournament locations, the Tar Heels would want to be slotted in Greenville, South Carolina, for the first weekend and Memphis, Tennessee, for the South Regional, a source told ESPN.

That means Villanova, another likely No. 1 seed, could be the top seed in the East Regional, played at Madison Square Garden in New York, even if the selection committee ranks the Tar Heels higher.

The NCAA introduced a new wrinkle to its seeding process this season, allowing the top seed to choose where it would like to play its tournament games. Teams had to submit their requests by March 3.

In the past, the selection committee placed teams by geography, attempting to keep higher-seeded schools as close to their campuses as possible.

North Carolina is closer to New York than Memphis by 300 miles, and there has been speculation as to which team would be awarded New York, with both Villanova and UNC vying for the overall No. 1 spot. Madison Square Garden is about 100 miles from the Villanova campus.

North Carolina has apparently eliminated the drama, assuming the committee can honor the school's request.