Update: Also, President Barack Obama(just mentioning it, anyone goes political I will delete the comment) picked the Heels to win. His bracket is interesting. Chalk in the end but there are some intriguing upsets early on. Obama has one advantage over anyone else picking his bracket: He played against the Heels. In that respect he has first hand knowledge of what he is getting with his pick.
UNC is favored well mostly favored. I am not sure I like them being favored.
First, Joel Sokol, a professior at Georgia Tech, ran computer simulations and determined UNC will win the NCAA Tournament. No word if The Toe was included in the equation.
Secondly, here are the betting odds(which I am not condoning outside of a bracket pool) via March to Madness:
North Carolina 5/2
Michigan State 14/1
Wake Forest 25/1
Odds to win the South Region:
North Carolina 1/3
Arizona State 14/1
Western Kentucky 60/1
Morgan State 350/1
Stephen F Austin 350/1
Which round will North Carolina be eliminated?
Round of 64 90/1
Round of 32 9/2
Sweet 16 5/2
Elite 8 4/1
Final 4 3/1
Championship Game 9/2
Not Eliminated 4/1
Odds to win the tournament MOP:
Tyler Hansbrough (North Carolina) 8/1
Ty Lawson (North Carolina) 8/1
Levance Fields (Pittsburgh) 10/1
Earl Clark (Louisville) 12/1
Terrence Williams (Louisville) 12/1
Sam Young (Pittsburgh) 12/1
DeJuan Blair (Pittsburgh) 12/1
AJ Price (Connecticut) 12/1
Hasheem Thabeet (Connecticut) 12/1
Wayne Ellington (North Carolina) 12/1
Finaly, Basketball Prospectus has previews of the four regions here and here. Ken Pomeroy provided probabilities with a note of caution. They only got one conference tournament right(CUSA) out of nine they projected. Here are the probabilities for winning the tournament:
Here is UNC's fill line:
Seed 2ndRd Swt16 Elite8 Final4 Final Champ
1 North Carolina 96.95 79.61 46.89 31.60 18.90 9.62
In reading the rationale behind picking Memphis, John Gasway is harping on the defense and proclaimed that even though Memphis' gaudy defensive numbers down the stretch came against the weak sisters in Conference USA, they were so good that against top flight competition it will carry the day. Basketball Prospectus has been on a kick in the past two seasons concerning defensive efficiency as almost the sole arbiter of what makes a good basketball team. This is an interesting juxtposition from Gary Parrish who argues offensive effeciency will ultimatelty carry the day. As I stated yesterday, I think if you have both, you are in good shape. Memphis does not have a good offense which should be even more alarming since they played in Conference USA. In the end UNC is looking at the same probability as UL and Pitt and yes seeing the four seed in your region with the sixth best chance to win the darn thing does not warm the cockles of my heart.