Bracket Projection: UNC

Will small ball continue to carry the Tar Heels in the tournament?

Updated: March 21, 2013, 12:07 PM ET
By Bill Doherty | ESPN Insider
James Michael McAdooAP Photo/Gerry BroomeJames Michael McAdoo has been North Carolina's most effective post presence this season.

The North Carolina Tar Heels saw four of their big stars get chosen in the first round of the 2012 NBA draft. And for a while, it looked like the Heels, as much a part of the annual March Madness as pom-poms and office pools, might be in danger of missing the tournament. But Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams boldly trashed a conventional starting five, brought small ball to Chapel Hill and the revamped starting lineup of four guards and one big man turned things around. North Carolina enters March Madness with much of its swagger. Can the Tar Heels make a run?

ESPN Insider has your answers, as Joe Lunardi has enlisted a team of Bracketologists to compile advanced metrics, key scouting intel and best- and worst-case tournament scenarios for all 68 teams, in order to help you make smart picks in your bracket. Plus, as Lunardi fills out his bracket, he'll give you his prediction on how each team will fare.

PROFILES FOR ALL 68 TEAMS | BRACKET PREDICTOR


Lunardi's Logic

North Carolina might not lock you down defensively, but they can light you up in the open floor. I see a real speed and skill advantage for the Tar Heels against Villanova, giving CBS its preferred third-round match up against Kansas. Problem is the Jayhawks do defend, and the Tar Heels are going to see their up-and-down season end appropriately: one up, one down.

TOURNEY PROFILE

Best wins: Mississippi State, UNLV, NC State, Virginia

Worst losses: at Texas, Miami by 26 points