The NCAA Tournament brackets are out and UNC will head to San Antonio for a Friday game versus 11th seeded and Big East champion Providence. The Tar Heels are scheduled to play at 7:20 PM EDT on Friday. The game will be shown on TNT.
Should UNC win that game they would face the winner of #3 seed Iowa State(champions of the Big 12) and #14 seed NC Central, the MEAC champion. Needless to say, potentially having to get by the champions of the Big East and Big 12 makes this a very difficult road to advance into the Sweet Sixteen at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Here is what Roy Williams had to say about UNC's NCAA seeding.
“Our team is really excited to be playing in San Antonio in the NCAA Tournament. We know we did not play well against Pitt and we must play better Friday against Providence. Their coach, Ed Cooley, was an assistant with Al Skinner at Boston College and will certainly have the Friars fired up and ready to play us.
"The NCAA Tournament is always an exciting time and I am so pleased for our kids. They have overcome a lot and put themselves in a position to play in the Tournament. We have had some outstanding wins this year, both in and out of league play, over teams that received some very high seeds in the field, so we know we are capable. But we must play better than we have over the last two weeks if we want to reach our big-time dreams.
"I am glad we play on Friday as that gives us an extra day to practice and prepare for our game against Providence.”
The #1 seed in the East Region is fellow ACC member Virginia. The Cavaliers took the ACC regular season and tournament championships, a feat that is usually an automatic path to a #1 seed. That wasn't the case last season with Miami and the chatter prior to the brackets being announced pointed to Virginia also being a #2 seed. The selection committee saw it differently and Virginia got the well-deserved top seed in the East.
As for how UNC ended up as the #6, the official 1-68 seeding list from the NCAA has the Heels at #21 overall. That seeding is slightly ahead of UNC's RPI at 25th and KenPom which has UNC at 26th. The #21 overall seed means UNC is top #6 seed and properly placed in the region with the weakest #1. The top of the East region largely follows the 1-68 list. Villanova is the #5 overall and therefore the #2 in the East. Iowa State is the #12 overall which would make them the #3. The only deviation from the overall list is Michigan State swapped spots with Louisville.
Other general bracket observations:
-NC State made it into the field and will play Xavier in Dayton for the right to play in the round of 64. NC State was a very borderline tournament team but the win over Syracuse was apparently enough to get into a First Four game.
-Overall the ACC got six teams in when it was thought the league would only get five bids. Pittsburgh is a #9 seed in the South Region and could face overall #1 seed Florida in the third round. Syracuse will also be in the South Region seeded third. Duke did end up in Raleigh playing as a #3 seed. The Blue Devils will face #14 Mercer.
-The NCAA Selection Committee rewarded Wichita State's 34-0 record with a #1 seed then proceeded to give the Shockers a string of tough games. Assuming the Shockers advance to the round of 32 they could face Kentucky then after that Louisville then possibly Duke or Michigan. The issue there for WSU is the sheer talent level is going to be so much higher than what they've seen most of the season.
-There is a lot of love being showered on Michigan State and Louisville. The Cardinals were seeded far too low at #4 and Michigan State played with a lot of injuries throughout the season. Those injuries have all healed and the Spartans have a talented and experienced team which is the best combination to make a run for the title...that is unless they run into UNC in the East Regional final.