The wait is finally over. I say that both in terms of the long march towards the madness of the NCAA Tournament, as well as the fact that the Tar Heels were the very last game to be announced on the Selection Sunday broadcast. But our impatience was rewarded with good news: As we all hoped, North Carolina will play the first weekend of the tournament in the friendly confines of Charlotte. The victory over Duke on Friday wrapped that up for the Heels, who are the #2-seed in the West Region.
Here is the full bracket:
What immediately jumps out is that UNC is the highest-rated two-seed in the field. Virginia, Villanova, and Kansas were all generally agreed upon to be the top 3 teams and Xavier was in danger of losing their shot at a one-seed after losing in the Big East Semifinal. UNC being in their region indicates that the Committee sees them as the #5 team overall and Xavier as #4. Had the Tar Heels managed to pull off the upset against Virginia last night, the top spot in the West would likely have been theirs. As is, a two-seed and a weekend in Charlotte feels really good for a team that lost a ton of talent from the previous season.
Carolina’s first game will be against the Bisons (yup, they spell it with an S on the end) of Lipscomb, who are making their first ever appearance in the NCAA tournament. Should the Tar Heels handle their business, they will face the winner of Texas A&M and Providence. Also featuring in the region are Michigan and Ohio State, who the Heels have faced already this season. Joining us as well is UNC-Greensboro, coached by Wes Miller, a UNC alum.
As far as our hated rivals are concerned, the Blue Devils are the 2-seed in the Midwest Region. As far as our hated neighbors are concerned, NC State is the 9-seed in the Midwest. Nine ACC teams in total made the Big Dance, the most of any conference.