Compilation: UNC NCAA Projections 3/17
Let's take a look at Selection Sunday predictions for Carolina's NCAA Tournament destination. As you undoubtedly already know, the selection show is tonight at 6 p.m. on CBS. Of course, between now and then, the Tar Heels face Miami in the ACC championship game at 1 p.m. in Greensboro. That game won't make a dramatic difference in Carolina's seeding, but a victory over the Hurricanes (current RPI of 4) could nudge the Heels up a seed.
CBSSports.com: Jerry Palm has consistently been the least bullish on Carolina, and that's still true today. Despite two wins in Greensboro, he has Carolina as an 8 in Salt Lake City, facing Colorado for the likely opportunity to take on Gonzaga.
Yahoo! Sports: Carolina is on the 8 line, with the 9s being Missouri, San Diego State, Temple and Colorado.
ESPN: Not updated as of this writing (but may be by the time you click), last listed the Tar Heels as a 7 in Philadelphia.
USA Today: For some reason, Salt Lake City has been a popular pick for Carolina lately. That's the spot here, as the Tar Heels are a 7 seed and facing Temple, with the winner likely to get Gonzaga.
Crashing the Dance: Here's why the above numbers are so confusing. This projection is based solely on numbers and past NCAA committee seedings. It has the Tar Heels at the top of the 7 seeds, meaning a win today would probably make Carolina at least a 6. That makes the 8 seed projections a little dubious.
Carolina isn't as comfortably out of the 8-9 seed range as I had thought, quite honestly. I personally thought two wins in Greensboro would bump the Tar Heels up to at least a 7, with a championship giving them hopes of a 6. But if the prognosticators are correct, Carolina needs to beat Miami today just to be reasonably safe of not being in the 8-9 game.
Three locations have shown up most frequently lately: Philadelphia (with an opening game win setting up a matchup against a Big East team, probably Georgetown), Lexington (likely meaning Louisville in the second game) and Salt Lake City (probably involving Gonzaga). Carolina hasn't been shipped west since 2004, when they went to Denver (they went to Dayton in 2006, which was like going to Siberia, but that's another story). If the committee sees a chance to make them travel, especially because there are frequently so many complaints when the Tar Heels play in Greensboro or Charlotte, it's reasonable to think they might take it.