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NCAA bracket 2016: North Carolina, Xavier claim top seeds in the East

North Carolina will stay close to home as the top seed in the East.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The North Carolina Tar Heels were rewarded for yet another stellar season, earning the No. 1 seed in the East region. UNC made its case after beating Virginia to win the ACC Tournament. The Tar Heels get the built-in advantage of staying close to home, beginning the NCAA Tournament in Raleigh, N.C.

Check out the full NCAA Tournament bracket

The Tar Heels finished the regular season 25-6 and 14-4 in conference play, becoming the top seed in the ACC Tournament. They went on to steamroll Pittsburgh and Notre Dame in the postseason, with the 78-47 win over the Irish standing out as a dominant beatdown. The Cavaliers gave UNC a much bigger fight in the final round, but the Tar Heels eventually pulled out the 61-57 win. Virginia will travel out to the Midwest region as the No. 1 seed.

The rest of region is loaded at the top, with Xavier getting the No. 2 seed, West Virginia the No. 3 and Kentucky the No. 4. A potential UNC/Kentucky matchup in the Sweet Sixteen seems bound to be one of the best tournament's best games, although mid-major champions Stephen F. Austin and Chattanooga should not be overlooked in this region.

Here's the complete bracket for the East region.

1. North Carolina
16. Florida Gulf Coast/Fairleigh Dickinson

8. USC
9. Providence

5. Indiana
12. Chattanooga

4. Kentucky
13. Stony Brook

6. Notre Dame
11. Michigan/Tulsa

3. West Virginia
14. Stephen F. Austin

7. Wisconsin
10. Pittsburgh

2. Xavier
15. Weber State