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4 Reasons Why They Can Win: UNC

North Carolina Tar Heels

Names like Duke, Kentucky and Kansas are synonymous with dominance in college basketball, but there’s another team that shouldn’t be left out of the conversation of hoops powerhouses: the University of North Carolina. UNC, who was rewarded with the No. 1 seed in the East region on Selection Sunday, will not have an easy trip to the Final Four in the NCAA Tournament, but there’s plenty of reasons to like their chances this year.

The Tar Heels face arguably the most difficult schedule out of the one seeds due to the strength in the East, however, they’ve proven in the past that they should never be counted out.

Here are four reasons North Carolina can win the NCAA Tournament:


The Heels enter the tournament fresh off an emotional 61-57 victory over Virginia in the ACC tournament final — no small task considering the sheer talent on the Cavaliers’ roster. The win marked UNC’s first ACC title since 2008, which is surprising it's been that long for a program of UNC's calibre. While it’s the play in March Madness that’s always remembered, it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see the squad keep that momentum going heading into the tournament.

The Roy Williams Effect

UNC head coach Roy Williams has long been perceived as one of the top bench bosses in the country, and his team’s performance when ranked No. 1 is astounding. As a No. 1 seed under Williams, North Carolina is a spectacular 22-3 SU in March Madness with two national championships and another trip to the Final Four.

The Tar Heels have never lost before a regional final during that span. Williams clearly excels at getting the most out of his club come March, and with the Heels rolling right now, this season should be no different.

Joel Berry

Starting point guard Joel Berry is the real deal, and opposing defences should be worried. Berry was named the MVP of the ACC Tournament after averaging 17 points per game and has been one of the most consistent players on the roster all season long.

He’s not the most talked about player on the squad, but the sophomore is coming into his own at exactly the right time and is poised to make some noise with the eyes of the nation watching.

Improved Defense

Much of North Carolina’s tournament success will be dependent on if the defense can step up, and all sings are pointing to it doing just that. UNC’s improvement on defense was evident in the ACC final, as the Tar Heels limited Virginia to one of their worst shooting nights of the season (36.5 percent). We know the offense will be there, but if the defense can follow suit and show up in huge games again, look out.

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