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Bracketology: North Carolina projected as a #1 seed ahead of Selection Sunday

Can the Tar Heels hang on to it?

NCAA Basketball: Gonzaga at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

With only a few hours to go before we know exactly where UNC will be headed for the NCAA Tournament, the Tar Heels are currently projected to be a #1 seed by nearly all the major prognosticators. Carolina briefly fell to the 2 line after losing to Duke in the ACC Tournament semifinals on Friday, but a loss by Kentucky put them right back among the top four.

Some caveats still exist when it comes to Carolina being a #1 seed when the Selection Committee announces their decisions at 6 pm tonight. Tennessee is playing Auburn for the SEC Tournament crown and Michigan State is trying to knock off Michigan to win the Big 10. Both Tennessee and Michigan State have an argument for why they could be a #1 seed if it all breaks right for them today, so Tar Heel fans should probably be hoping for Auburn and Michigan to pull it off in order to basically guarantee UNC a one seed.

If one team mentioned above wins and the other loses, it’s going to come down to decision time for the committee. Do they reward UNC/MSU/Tennessee for playing a harder schedule than Gonzaga? The Zags had a one seed in the west completely sewn up until they lost to Saint Mary’s in their conference championship. Now, a team that has played a more competitive schedule may be able to steal it away. That team would have to head out west and would almost certainly have Gonzaga as their #2 in a de facto road game, which is no easy task, but I think most teams would take it with not having to worry about that until at least the Elite Eight.

Carolina’s projected one seed currently comes in the Midwest region with Michigan State as the two seed in most bracketology. That would allow the Heels to start in Columbia, SC, and stay closer to home overall. That’s obviously the preferred outcome, but it’ll all depend on how the afternoon’s games shake out.

So, what now? We wait. We scoreboard watch. We frantically refresh Joe Lunardi’s predictions to see the latest, and we wait to hear what they have decided the Tar Heels have earned later today.

Go Tigers, Go Wolverines!