North Carolina is the No. 2 seed in the West Region in this year’s NCAA Tournament, which was unveiled Sunday evening. This will mark the seventh time the Tar Heels have been in the West Region since the seeding process changed in the late 1970s to incorporate more regional balance.
In six previous times in this region, UNC’s overall record in the tournament is 11-6 with one regional championship. It’s also the region where Carolina suffered it’s only first-round loss in the tournament since the seeding process began.
So here is UNC’s NCAA Tournament history in the West Region:
1978 – 0-1 – The Tar Heels received a bye in the first round but fell to San Francisco in the second round, 68-64, in Phil Ford’s last game as a Tar Heels. That UNC team finished the season 23-8 and won the ACC regular season title.
1981 – 4-1 – As the No. 2 seed in the West, Carolina received a bye in the first round, defeated Pittsburgh in the second round in El Paso, TX, beat Utah on its home floor in the Sweet 16 before taking out Kansas State to reach the Final Four. There, the Heels defeated Virginia in Philadelphia in a game in which Al Wood scored 39 points, including 17 straight UNC points at one stretch. Carolina fell to Indiana 61-50 in the national championship game several hours after President Reagan was shot.
1986 – 2-1 – As the No. 3 seed in the West, UNC opened NCAA Tournament play with a win over Utah in Ogden, UT, before clobbering UAB to advance to the Sweet 16. There, Carolina lost by 15 points to Louisville in Houston, TX.
1988 – 3-1 –The No. 2 seed in the West, the Heels defeated North Texas before routing Loyola Marymount, 123-97, in games played in Salt Lake City, UT. On to Seattle for the regionals, UNC beat Michigan before falling by 18 points to Arizona in the Elite 8.
1999 – 0-1 – The only time Carolina has ever lost in the first round since the seeding process began happened when the No. 3 seeded Heels fell 76-74 to Weber State in Seattle.
2015 – 2-1 – Three years ago, and the first time UNC was in the West Region with the pod system in effect, No. 4 seed Carolina opened NCAA play in Jacksonville, FL, where the Tar Heels edged Harvard and beat Arkansas by 9 points before heading out to Los Angeles where they fell to Wisconsin 79-72. UNC’s NCAA Tournament record since that game is 11-1.