North Carolina is in Joe Lunardi's 'last four in' ahead of key matchup vs. Florida State
North Carolina is in one of Joe Lunardi’s four play-in spots heading into this weekend’s pivotal slate of ACC matchups.
That means the Tar Heels would head to Dayton for the play-in round prior to the start of the first round of the NCAA Tournament. According to Lunardi’s latest projection, UNC would face BYU in the play-in round.
North Carolina has struggled vs. tournament teams this season — both in nonconference play and in ACC action. The Tar Heels are 0-7 against teams that are currently in Lunardi’s Field of 68. They do have a win over Michigan, who is currently in the “next four out” designation on Lunardi’s most recent projection.
That win over the Wolverines could prove to be important, though. It’s now considered to be a Q1 win after Michigan’s victory vs. Purdue on Thursday night. That could end up being a big difference-maker on Selection Sunday if the Wolverines stay in Q1.
North Carolina wakes up today with its first Quadrant 1 win of the season, thanks to Michigan’s blowout of Purdue.
— Jeff Borzello (@jeffborzello) February 11, 2022
The good news for North Carolina is there are still a couple opportunities on its schedule to pick up a signature win. The Tar Heels still face Duke and Virginia Tech on the road, both of which would qualify as Q1 victories.
North Carolina’s saving grace has been its performances vs. mediocre and bad opposition. The Tar Heels worst loss this season, according to KenPom, was on the road against Miami on Jan. 18. The Hurricanes are still in the mix for the ACC regular season title, so that likely won’t be held against the Heels on Selection Sunday.
North Carolina faces Florida State at home on Saturday in another must-win game. The Seminoles have lost five straight contests.