Wisconsin Badgers Will Play North Carolina in NCAA First Round

The Wisconsin Badgers (17-12) were given the No. 9 seed in the South Region. Their first round opponent? The No. 8 seeded North Carolina Tar Heels (18-10).

We know the game will be on Friday, March 19. Tipoff time and location have yet to be announced.

The winner of the game will likely play No. 1 seed Baylor, who opens up against No. 16 seed Hartford.

North Carolina has three players averaging in double figures in scoring: sophomore center Armando Bacot (12.2), freshman guard Caleb Love (10.5) and senior forward Garrison Brooks (10.2).

North Carolina finished No. 32 in the NET rankings, six spots lower than Wisconsin. North Carolina is No. 28 in the KenPom and No. 20 in the Sagarin ratings. Wisconsin is No. 10 and No. 13 in those metrics.

I’m feeling good about UW right now. They played really well through December, then had about a 10-game rough patch, but have been playing much better the last two weeks.

However, one worrisome stat for the Badgers: North Carolina ranks No. 1 nationally in offensive rebounding percentage (41.3).

Wisconsin trails the all-time series to North Carolina, 1-3.

The two programs have met twice previously in the NCAA Tournament. In the 2005 Elite Eight, UNC won 88-82. In the 2015 Sweet 16, UW won 79-75.

The most recent meeting came in the 2016 Maui Invitational Championship game, where UNC won 71-56.

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