Carolina is getting a fair bit of prognosticator love, but not on the level of Kansas, UCLA or Memphis, and nothing like what they saw in 2005. So here's a few reasons the Tar Heels could be cutting down the nets come April:
Close game results. Three overtime games. Four games decided by one possession, and only one loss among them. No other high seed has been pushed like this and come out ahead. Kansas only had two one-possesion games in conference, and they lost them both. Memphis didn't have one. Both teams only went to overtime once, and that was back in December. Duke lost two one-possesion games, and their one win came against N.C. State. Only Texas and UCLA has anything resembling UNC's late-game experience, and the Bruins found theirs in the last week of the regular season as the wheels briefly came off.
Not only does UNC have a team that can handle the endgame situations that the NCAA tournament inevitably provides, they've improved as the year went on, and haven't faced these situations in March as often as they did in February. It's something every team needs to win a title, and UNC has it in spades.
Coaching experience. Roy Williams had 15 NCAA appearances - including two second place finishes and another two Final Fours before finally breaking through in his 16th year. And he's not unusual in that regard - Billy Donovan had a 2nd place finish and seven appearances; Jim Boeheim two runner-ups and 21 tournaments; Gary Williams a Final Four and 11 appearances; Lute Olsen 3 Final Fours and 17 appearances before his first championship. The last time a coach won the title without at least a previous Final Four appearance was Jim Calhoun in 1999, and he had 12 tournaments to get used to the idea.
Now as for Roy's coaching opponents, Ben Howland has two Final Four appearances, but only 6 trips to the NCAA. He's a threat. Bill Self has nine appearnces, but has never made it passed the Elite Eight. John Calipari has 1 Final Four in nine tournaments; John Thompson III one Final Four in four tournaments; Rick Barnes one Final Four in fourteen; Bruce Pearl only has four NCAA appearances; and I'm pretty sure Rick Pitino and Mike Krzyzewski have no NCAA experience worth commenting on.
Depth. UNC has eight players who've played more than 30% of the minutes the Heels have been on the court. Most of the top three seeds play seven that often max; Wisconsin plays six, and lowly Texas only manages five. Only Memphis puts nine players on the court for a significant length of time, and they had Conference USA opponents to stretch their legs against.
Alyson Hannigan thinks so. She's purty. And possibly a witch. And she's picked UNC to win it all, just like Theo from the Cosby show thought in 2005. Trust the former child stars - their basketball knowledge is unparalleled.
(Also picking UNC: detective from a crime drama, other detective from another crime drama, dorky guy from a sitcom, other dorky guy from other sitcom, and native North Carolinian from other other crime drama. Fear the Hollywood consensus.)