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Tuesday, December 11, 2012
UNC a 5-seed in latest Bracketology

By Robbi Pickeral

Of course, there are going to be changes. Conference schedules haven't even begun.

But if the NCAA Tournament was starting right now, ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi offers this projection in his first bracket of the regular season: North Carolina would be a No. 5 seed. UCLA would be a No. 12 seed.

So of course they would be matched up in the Round of 64. (In San Jose.)

And of course it would be a must-much, as I wrote in our weekly writer roundtable:
What first-round matchup would you pay to see?

Robbi Pickeral: Forget about the actual basketball between two blue bloods -- who could resist the soap opera storyline of No. 5 North Carolina playing No. 12 UCLA in San Jose? Not only did current Bruins point guard Larry Drew II quit the Tar Heels in the middle of the 2010-11 ACC season (leaving town, without telling his teammates, four games after he was replaced by Kendall Marshall in the starting lineup), but that came roughly eight months after twin forwards David and Travis Wear also opted to leave the program (also allowing their dad to make the call to a shocked UNC coach Roy Williams). They too, are now at UCLA. Drama, anyone?

And at least one other of my colleagues raised his eyebrows about the match-up:
If you had seen today’s bracket a month ago, what would’ve surprised you the most?

Andy Katz: That UCLA and North Carolina would be in a 5-12 game. I’m not sure either team deserves to even be in the field at this juncture anyway. A month ago, I would have assumed these two teams would be much higher seeds and not opposite each other. But at this point, both of these disappointing squads need to produce NCAA-worthy resumes in conference play to earn that at-large berth, let alone be in a 5-12 game.

Indiana, Duke, Michigan and Florida, by the way, are all currently projected as No. 1 seeds.