Four Reasons Why UNC Should Be A #1 Seed In the NCAA Tournament


The #15 ranked Tar Heels are currently sitting at 14-4 this season with a 4-1 record in the stacked ACC. No team in the entire league has a losing record besides 8-9 Virginia Tech at the moment. Five teams are ranked in the top 15 and one (Virginia) remains unbeaten at 17-0. The ACC is officially “back”.

What’s on my mind are four reasons about why the Tar Heels should be in the discussion and included as a #1 seed come NCAA Tournament time. I realized being ranked #15 currently doesn’t do them any favors, but there is a lot of season left, and a lot of big games for this team to climb into that discussion.

Reason #1 – The ACC is LOADED.

As I eluded in the opening paragraph, the ACC is clearly one of, if not the best conference in the country this season. Three teams in the top 6 of the rankings (#2 Virginia, #4 Louisville, and #6 Duke) to go along with #12 Notre Dame and #15 UNC prove my point.

The Heels are going to have to win the regular season championship and have some signature wins down the stretch (January 31st vs. Louisville & February 2nd @ Virginia would be a great start!) for this to happen. If they come out of the ACC as the regular season champs with multiple victories against teams that are going to be in the top 10 likely all season, they will have as impressive a résumé as anyone.

Reason #2 – They beat good teams.

Some schools like to give themselves a cupcake schedule early in the year to rack up wins, raise their ranking and rely on that to get them where they want to go. Not the Tar Heels. One thing I’ve loved about following this club for as long as I have is they always have multiple worthwhile match-ups outside of just ACC play. So far this year against ranked opponents the Heels are 4-2.

The losses came @ #1 Kentucky 84-70 and against #13 Nortre Dame 71-70. They’ve beaten #22 UCLA (78-56), #18 Florida (75-64), #12 Ohio State (82-74) and #5 Louisville (72-71).

On the horizon for the Heels are games against the following ranked opponenets: (6) Lousiville, (2) Virginia, and two games with (4) Duke. That’s four more games against teams all in the top six in the country. I say if they go 3-1 in those games that’s going to not only be good enough to win the ACC outright, but get them ranked high enough to be a #1 seed. That would give them a 7-3 record against ranked opponents.

Reason #3 – Deep and balanced.

This team is deep, young, athletic and most recently, they’ve come around to play very well together. Since the 14-point loss to Kentucky on December 13th, the Heels are winners of eight of their last nine contests with the one loss coming at the hands of Notre Dame by one point.

They’ve since won three in a row and have winnable games coming up with Wake Forest, Florida State, and Syracuse. That comes before the biggest test of the season with back to back games against Louisville and Virginia.

They now play 10 guys at least nine minutes a game and five of them are scoring 9 PPG or better. As good as Marcus Paige was last season and as much hype as he had coming into the season, this team isn’t “Paige and friends” at all. Justin Jackson has played well this season as a highly touted freshman that didn’t enroll at Lexington. Deep and balanced clubs are built for success in tournament play.

Reason #4 -Playing with something to prove.

More from North Carolina Tar Heels

After their successful run last year with a team with low expectations (by UNC standards) they’ve got something to prove with the return of Paige, a strong recruiting class, and the improvements of their incumbent players. I see the team playing strong down the stretch of ACC play and being right in the mix to win the regular season and conference tournament championships.


As it stands now, I don’t believe they’ve earned the right to be a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament if I’m being honest. Had they not dropped two games to Butler and Iowa and been comfortably sitting inside the top ten, they’d be a stronger choice. I do believe they’ve got enough games against great competition that if they play well and win those key games, they’ll have done enough to be one of the four 1 seeds come March Madness.