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Latest NCAA Tournament Projections for UNC

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Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

These things are pretty worthless and I am probably guilty of feeding the beast a little by posting these but where would I be without posts based entirely on speculation right?

Here are the latest projections:

SB Nation(Chris Dobbertean): East Region #4 seed in Spokane

CBS Sports(Jerry Palm): Midwest Region #5 seed in Spokane

ESPN(Joe Lunardi): East Region #4 seed in Spokane

USA Today(Shelby Mast): South Region #5 seed in Orlando

Wow, seems like everyone wants UNC to play in Spokane, WA right now. In two of the four projections UNC is the #4 seed in a region where Kansas is the #1 seed. Jerry Palm has UNC as the #5 seed in the Midwest with Wichita State as the #1. Of all the #1 seeds out there, they are probably the best option to face should UNC makes it to the Sweet Sixteen.

In terms of getting to Raleigh, UNC still has work to do. Based on UNC sitting on the 4-5 seed spot, simply knocking off Duke might not get the Tar Heels to Raleigh though it could prevent Duke from joining Virginia there. Well, unless you are Joe Lunardi who, despite Duke losing to Wake Forest last night, still has Duke as a #2 seed in Raleigh because he's apparently hung up on the Blue Devils playing NC Central or something.

At this moment, anyone promoting Duke's resume as being vastly superior to UNC's isn't paying attention. Both teams are at 23-7 and their RPI profiles are remarkably similar.

UNC Duke
RPI Rank 18 8
Records 23-7 23-7
Home 15-3 16-0
Away 6-4 5-5
Neutral 2-0 2-2
SOS Rank 19 8
RPI 1-50 4-3 4-4
RPI 51-100 7-1 6-1
RPI 101-200 8-3 8-2
RPI 201+ 4-0 5-0

UNC's three 101-200 losses are UAB, Wake Forest and Miami. Duke has losses to Notre Dame and Wake Forest.

Of the three 100-200 losses for UNC, the one to Miami is the most maddening. The UAB loss is also but at least that was a road game as was the loss at Wake Forest. Losing to Miami at home was pretty much unacceptable and is a thorn in UNC's side both with the NCAA seeding and the ACC Tournament.

Regardless of the projection, the formula remains the same: win.