You would think that, with all the times the Triangle area's three ACC men's programs sent representatives to the NCAA tournament over the years (111, to be exact), there would be plenty of overlap in their visits to the Sweet 16. You would be mistaken.
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This is just the fourth time Duke, North Carolina and N.C. State survived two rounds of the NCAAs in the same season. Presumably this is a harbinger of better things to come - next week.
The previous instances in which all three reached the same Sweet 16 were 1986, 1989 and 2005. In each of those years either Duke (1986, 1989) or UNC (2005) reached the Final Four.
Over the 40 seasons of widened NCAA opportunity, UNC now has advanced to the Sweet 16 or beyond 25 times, Duke 24, NC State seven.
In only five of those 40 seasons (12.5 percent), no ACC team from the Triangle reached the regional semifinals - 1976, 1979, 1984, 1996 and last year.
|RARELY SO SWEET
Duke, UNC and NC State in Sweet 16 Since NCAA Took Multiple Entrants From Same League
(Listed by Appearances in Sweet 16 and Beyond, Titles UnderLined)
|1977||North Carolina (4-1)|
|1981||North Carolina (4-1)|
|1982||North Carolina (title)|
|1983||North Carolina (2-1)||NC State (title)|
|1985||North Carolina (3-1)||NC State (3-1)|
|1986||North Carolina (2-1)||Duke (5-1)||NC State (3-1)|
|1987||North Carolina (3-1)||Duke (2-1)|
|1988||North Carolina (3-1)||Duke (4-1)|
|1989||North Carolina (2-1)||Duke (4-1)||NC State (2-1)|
|1990||North Carolina (2-1)||Duke (5-1)|
|1991||North Carolina (4-1)||Duke (title)|
|1992||North Carolina (2-1)||Duke (title)|
|1993||North Carolina (title)|
|1995||North Carolina (4-1)|
|1997||North Carolina (4-1)|
|1998||North Carolina (4-1)||Duke (3-1)|
|2000||North Carolina (4-1)||Duke (3-1)|
|2005||North Carolina (title)||Duke (2-1)||NC State (2-1)|
|2007||North Carolina (3-1)|
|2008||North Carolina (4-1)|
|2009||North Carolina (title)||Duke (3-1)|
|2011||North Carolina (3-1)||Duke (2-1)|
|2012||North Carolina (3-1)||NC State (2-1)|
|2015||North Carolina||Duke||NC State|