Who? The Tar Heels of North Carolina.
Where? Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where even the fire engines are Carolina blue.
When? March 24th, in Newark, Delaware.
Why? After out-of-conference scheduling and a shaky conference season doomed the Tar Heels last year, Sylvia Hatchell bolstered the schedule slightly, and UNC put up a top-20 RPI.
How? They were an at-large selection.
Surprise? Predicted to finish fourth in the conference by the coaches' poll and fifth by the Blue Ribbon Panel, they tied with Maryland for second and took the second seed on tiebreakers.
Record: 28-6 (14-4 ACC)
Good wins: Maryland, Florida State.
Bad losses: Nothing egregious, though getting pasted by Tennessee is not a good look.
Who's running this show? Sylvia Hatchell, since 1986. Her husband's also a coach, on the D-II level.
Extra, Extra! The News and Observer
If you're looking for a team to cherish the basketball and rarely make bad plays with it, North Carolina is not the team you need. If you're looking for defensive chaos and breakneck offense, North Carolina is definitely the team you need. Senior guard Tierra Ruffin-Pratt spearheads the Tar Heels' attack with 14.9 points and 4.5 assists per game. Freshman phenom Xylina McDaniel anchors the post, averaging 12.2 points and 7.2 rebounds, along with senior Waltiea Rolle (11.5 points, 6.2 rebounds).
Turnovers are the key for this team, both for and against- if North Carolina gets matched up against a team that takes care of the ball, or one that likes to take advantage of turnovers, they might not have the chance to use their superior talent and size.