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Virginia gets very manageable NCAA tournament draw

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No potential matchup with Kentucky in Louisville? We’ll take it.

ACC Basketball Tournament - Quarterfinals Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Virginia Cavaliers are the No. 1 seed in the South region of this year’s NCAA tournament, and have reason to be very happy with their region and potential matchups.

For starters, a potential Elite Eight game against the Kentucky Wildcats in Louisville is not to be, as UK is North Carolina’s second seed in the Midwest. Nor will they play the Michigan State Spartans, who are in the East with the Duke Blue Devils.

More urgently, however, their pod in Columbia, S.C. has them up against a Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs team that shoots well but isn’t very lengthy, and if they get past GWU, either the Ole Miss Rebels or Oklahoma Sooners, who rank 44th and 38 in KenPom, respectively.

On tap in the Sweet 16 could be UVA and the Wisconsin Badgers, who played earlier this season in the Bahamas to a 53-46 Wahoos win. The bottom half has the defending national champion Villanova Wildcats as the No. 6 seed, the Purdue Boilermakers at No. 3, and the Tennessee Volunteers as No. 2. Louisville and Knoxville are a little more than three-and-a-half hours apart, while it’s seven-and-a-half from Charlottesville.

Is this the region in which the Cavaliers will get to their first Final Four in 35 years?