Busting Brackets

North Carolina Basketball: Possible 1st Round Matchups this coming Thursday

The Tar Heels will face either Howard or Wagner in their first matchup of the NCAA Tournament this coming Thursday at the Spectrum Center.
Cormac Ryan is about to enter his final NCAA Tournament of his collegiate career.
Cormac Ryan is about to enter his final NCAA Tournament of his collegiate career. / Greg Fiume/GettyImages
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For the first time since the 2018–2019 season, the Tar Heels have earned a No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. That featured a team of Coby White, Kenny Williams, Cam Johnson, Luke Maye, and Garrison Brooks. Unfortunately, despite how talented that team ended up being under former Coach Roy Williams, they ended up losing to Auburn in the Sweet 16.

Under the tutelage of ACC Coach of the Year Coach Davis in his third season, North Carolina has reached the big dance for the second time. An interesting storyline continues to unfold for the recently hired head coach. To make the national championship game in his first year, then miss the field of 68 completely a season later, and now earning one of the top spots in the tourney, is quite a feat.

Finishing the 2023-2024 campaign at the top of the ACC with a 17-3 conference record, including a sweep over their rivals, Duke. On top of being crowned the outright regular champions, a first-time experience for seniors RJ Davis and Armando Bacot. 

This coming Thursday, March 21st, at 2:45 p.m. in Charlotte, North Carolina, at the Spectrum Center on CBS, the Heels will face off against Howard (18-16, 9-5) from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference or Wagner (16-15, 7-9) coming out of the Northeast Conference. It will be a huge home-court advantage for UNC, as they will be surrounded by a sea of Carolina blue and will be less than three hours from the Dean Smith Center.

Here, let's take a look at each team and what's in store for the Tar Heels as they prepare for the Round of 64.