For the 33rd time in program history and the first time under first-year head coach Scott Forbes, North Carolina is heading to the NCAA Tournament.
Winners of six of their last nine games, the Tar Heels were announced Monday as the No. 3 seed in the Lubbock Regional. They’ll face No. 2 seed UCLA at 7 p.m. Friday, following a 12 p.m. matchup between No. 8 national seed Texas Tech and No. 4 regional seed Army.
UNC (27-25) entered Selection Monday ranked No. 47 nationally in the RPI and No. 7 in strength of schedule, according to WarrenNolan.com. Their nonconference strength of schedule was rated the highest among all Power 5 teams, and their 33 games against Quadrant 1 opponents were second only to Arkansas (34).
Picked to place fifth in the Coastal Division in the ACC preseason coaches poll, the Tar Heels finished third in the division and earned the No. 6 seed in the conference tournament. On the outside looking in for the NCAA Tournament heading into the final two weeks of the regular season, UNC swept Louisville and won key games against Georgia Tech and N.C. State to secure its spot in the field of 64.
The Tar Heels are 109-71 all-time in the NCAA Tournament and have reached the College World Series 11 times, most recently in 2018. This will be the third time in their last 13 NCAA Tournament appearances that they’ve opened regional play on the road. They most recently did so in 2014, when they sandwiched a pair of losses to Long Beach State around an upset of No. 2 national seed Florida in the Gainesville Regional.
The winner of the Lubbock Regional will advance to play the winner of the Stanford Regional (Stanford, UC Irvine, Nevada, North Dakota State) in the Super Regional round next weekend.
2021 NCAA Lubbock Regional Schedule
Friday, June 4
Game 1: #1 Texas Tech (42-17) vs. #4 Army (32-29), noon (ESPNU)
Game 2: #2 UCLA (35-18) vs. #3 UNC (27-25), 7 p.m.
Saturday, June 5
Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, TBD
Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, TBD
Sunday, June 6
Game 5: Winner Game 3 vs. Loser Game 4, TBD
Game 6: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5, TBD
Monday, June 7
Game 7, if necessary, TBD