North Carolina remains on NCAA Tournament bubble ahead of clash with Duke
North Carolina is still on the bubble in Joe Lunardi’s latest bracketology projection ahead of its game vs. Duke on Saturday night.
The Tar Heels have been playing better recently and have won 3 straight contests. However, only 1 of those wins (Virginia) have come against a team that’s expected to make the NCAA Tournament.
UNC’s overall résumé remains questionable ahead of hosting Duke this weekend. Carolina is currently in the “first four out” section of Lunardi’s bracketology update. Other teams in that section include Michigan, Arizona State and Utah State.
However, if Carolina wants to make the field of 68 it will have to surpass some other teams on the bubble. Mississippi State, Nevada, Penn State and Wisconsin are the last 4 teams in Lunardi’s field entering Saturday’s action.
North Carolina’s biggest issue is Quad 1 victories — or the lackthereof. The Tar Heels have just 1 such win while Mississippi State, Nevada, Penn State and Wisconsin all have at least 4.
That makes Saturday’s matchup vs. Duke even more critical for the Tar Heels, even beyond the usual motivations that follow the Tobacco Road rivalry game.
A win over the Blue Devils would give UNC a 2nd Quad 1 victory on the season. That could be enough to push Carolina above teams like Wisconsin and Penn State, who are ranked well below the Tar Heels in the NET.
Tipoff vs. Duke is at 6:30 p.m. ET on Saturday night.