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North Carolina

Selection chair: Roy-Kansas connection played no role in UNC seed

Posted March 19, 2013

NCAA Tournament Selection Committee Chairman Mike Bobinski joined UNC athletic director Bubba Cunningham and Jones Angell on their College Athletics Today radio show on Monday to discuss UNC’s No. 8 seed and its potential third-round pairing with No. 1 seed Kansas.

Cunningham opened the show by saying he believed that UNC had played itself into a No. 6 seed with its late-season run and admitted that the 8-seed came as a surprise.

North Carolina won eight of its final 10 games and finished 17th in the RPI and eighth in the strength of schedule rankings.

Bobinski, the current Xavier athletic director set to assume the same role at Georgia Tech on Apr. 1, confirmed that UNC’s improvement down the stretch was seen as a positive and noted that the selection committee had some conversation about elevating UNC’s seed had it won the ACC Tournament championship.

So what factor outweighed the positives on UNC’s tournament resume?

“As you look at the season’s worth of work, there weren’t a preponderance of really, really high quality wins,” Bobinski said. “And I think that, more than anything, is what sort of was the deciding factor in how we ultimately seeded [UNC].”

UNC was slotted 29th on the selection committee’s seed list, cementing the Tar Heels as the top 8-seed.

North Carolina was 2-8 against RPI top-50 opponents. Seven of the eight teams slotted on the 6-7 seed lines had four or more RPI top-50 wins. The lone remaining team from that group was No. 6 seed Memphis, which was 3-3 against top-50 opponents. The Tigers, however, were 9-1 on the road with three wins against top-100 teams.

UNC posted a 6-6 road record this season with its best win coming at Maryland (No. 71 RPI).

“It’s an absolute statistically proven fact that winning at home is just much more prevalent and much easier,” Bobinski said. “And if you’re willing and able to not always play games in the friendly confines of your own environment, to really take it on the road and then ultimately be successful on the road, it really to me gives a very strong indication of who you are as a team and the quality that you might bring to this tournament.”

Bobinski indicated that of all other factors are equal, then he looks at road play as a separator.

The selection committee chairman also discussed UNC’s opening weekend destination – Kansas City.

When asked if any considerations were given to the Roy Williams-Kansas angle, Bobinski replied: “Zero.”

“We never predict matchups,” he continued. “We don’t try and make matchups. We don’t look down the road. That’s for everybody else to do when the bracket’s done. With the speed that this thing comes at us, we don’t have the ability to sit there, nor do the principles and procedures allow us to cook the bracket and concoct matchups that might be interesting or have some personal angle to it. We just don’t do that.”

Bobinski explained the coincidence by detailing the selection process. Miami, the top No. 2 seed, ended up in the East Region due to its proximity to Washington, D.C., host of the regional. Duke, the second No. 2 seed, went to the next closest region in Indianapolis (Midwest).

Citing selection procedures, Bobinski indicated that the first three teams selected from a conference must be placed in different regions. Therefore the committee decided to put UNC in the South Region – in the same bracket with No. 1 seed Kansas – instead of shipping the Tar Heels out west to Los Angeles.

The next step involved early round sites and, according to Bobinski, the only site remaining at that point in time was Kansas City.

“It was really luck of the draw that you ended up in the bracket with Kansas,” Bobinski told Cunningham and Angell. “It wasn’t by design.”

Williams was critical of the selection committee only inviting four ACC teams in a statement on Sunday evening. Bobinski, however, stressed that the committee doesn’t segment the population by conference.

“We don’t ever look at a conference and say, ‘Boy, that conference isn’t very good this year,’” Bobinski said. “We pick apart every team, regardless of where they’re from, we pick apart their schedule piece-by-piece and look at the quality of the teams they played in and out of their conference schedule and look at them each as independents.”

The Tar Heels open NCAA Tournament play against No. 9 seed Villanova on Friday at 7:20pm ET.

18 Comments

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  • Kenan-FlaglerAlumni Mar 20, 8:35 a.m.

    Selection committee and WRAL trolling UNC so hard right now

  • Gunnstigator Mar 19, 10:20 p.m.

    The whole story? Roy told them he wasnt going to leave. He stayed another year because he had a... View More

    — Posted by Toddler10-21

    Toddler, I've read books where Roy was interviewed about his decision to leave KU for UNC. Roy agonized about that decision - he literally threw up, he was so torn. I think he would have been very happy to stay in Kansas, but he couldn't say no to Dean. Roy is far from perfect, but I think he felt indebted to Dean and Carolina, and that's why he left Kansas.

  • Gunnstigator Mar 19, 10:16 p.m.

    While I don't think it was a good decision for Roy to wear that Kansas sticker, I don't think for a minute that Roy meant to disrespect or be insensitive to his own team. KU will always hold a special place in his heart.

    I'm not sure about what the committee said about pairing UNC and KU - they faced them in '08, '12, and this year. That's a lot of "coincidences".

  • Tar Heels Victory-Show No Mercer Mar 19, 6:44 p.m.

    I did not have a problem with Roy's sticker then and I would not have a problem with it now. KU game him his first collegiate head coaching job. You always remember your first love, even if you move on and marry someone else. Roy will always love KU!

    GO HEELS!!!

  • PerfectWisdom Mar 19, 3:55 p.m.

    The problem with the picture is this: IT WASN't 2009! UNC WON the NCAA in 2009!

  • Toddler10-21 Mar 19, 3:31 p.m.

    The whole story? Roy told them he wasnt going to leave. He stayed another year because he had a great team.

  • baldchip Mar 19, 3:22 p.m.

    Wow-what a lie that appears to be!!! Matchups make good drama-and the NCAA loves to give TV guys drama!! Sure they do-help ratings-helps MONEY!!!

    UNC's 30 rating to me is generous. They had some ugly losses-as did State. Neither got a good draw-facing a high seed in round 2-not good!! UNC will have to play extremely well to defeat Kansas. Conversely, if Calvin shows up and Howell stays foul free, State can beat Indiana.

    ALl that being said------GOOOOO PACK!!

  • cole1949 Mar 19, 2:56 p.m.

    What a liar and croc of sh##

  • claytontarheel Mar 19, 2:55 p.m.

    I am an avid Tar Heel fan and love the photo! Carolina had been eliminated by then, and what's... View More

    — Posted by unctheel

    Yes, Carolina had been eliminated by then.....all of two days earlier by that team. Classic.

    — Posted by Leave it to Beaver Reruns

    I would rather have been much more upset had he cheered for Calshady and Memphis, and I'm comfortable that he won't throw the game when we play them this year.

    I also don't think for a second that the Kansas-Williams relationship didn't play into the bracket.

  • Leave it to Beaver Reruns Mar 19, 2:42 p.m.

    I am an avid Tar Heel fan and love the photo! Carolina had been eliminated by then, and what's... View More

    — Posted by unctheel

    Yes, Carolina had been eliminated by then.....all of two days earlier by that team. Classic.

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