The fifth-seeded Yellow Jackets wasted no time taking a convincing step toward both.
Tyaunna Marshall and Alex Montgomery scored 14 points each to help Georgia Tech rout Virginia Tech 81-58 on Thursday in a first-round game.
The Yellow Jackets (22-9) advance to the quarterfinals against No. 13 Maryland (23-6), the No. 4 seed, today.
NO. 19 NORTH CAROLINA 78, CLEMSON 64
In Greensboro, N.C., Italee Lucas scored 14 points and North Carolina snapped a four-game losing streak by beating Clemson in the first round.
The sixth-seeded Tar Heels (23-7) advance to play No. 14 Florida State in tonight's quarterfinals.
Kirstyn Wright had 16 points for 11th-seeded Clemson (10-20).
WAKE FOREST 74, VIRGINIA 68
Brittany Waters had 21 points and 11 boards to help Wake Forest beat Virginia in the first round.
Wake Forest (15-16) also forced 21 turnovers and earns a rematch with No. 8 and top-seeded Duke in a quarterfinal today.
NORTH CAROLINA STATE 71,
BOSTON COLLEGE 70
Brittany Strachan hit two free throws with 14.3 seconds left to help North Carolina State beat Boston College in the first round.
The 10th-seeded Wolfpack (14-16) earn a trip to today's quarterfinals to face 10th-ranked Miami, the tournament's No. 2 seed.
SOUTH CAROLINA 62,
In Nashville, Tenn., Ieasia Walker scored 15 points to lead fifth-seeded South Carolina past 12th-seeded Mississippi in the first round.
The Gamecocks (17-13) will face fourth-seeded Georgia in today's quarterfinals after splitting a pair of regular-season meetings with the Lady Bulldogs.
FLORIDA 68, ARKANSAS 59
In Nashville, Tenn., Ndidi Madu had 12 points and 10 rebounds as eighth-seeded Florida beat ninth-seeded Arkansas in the first round.
The Gators (18-13) will face the top seed, No. 4 Tennessee, in the quarterfinals today.
LOUISIANA STATE 60, ALABAMA 36
LaSondra Barrett scored 14 points as seventh-seeded Louisiana State beat 10th-seeded Alabama in the first round.
The Lady Tigers (19-12) will face No. 16 Kentucky in the quarterfinals today.
NO. 15 WISCONSIN-GREEN BAY 75,
WRIGHT STATE 54
In Fairborn, Ohio, Julie Wojta scored 20 points and Wisconsin-Green Bay (28-1, 17-0 Horizon League) beat Wright State for its 19th consecutive victory.