North Carolina will begin the NCAA tournament as a fourth seed in the West Region, against No. 13-seeded Harvard on Thursday in Jacksonville, Fla.
Perhaps most important, though, the Tar Heels will begin it hoping to carry over the momentum they built during the ACC tournament.
In the haze of a defeat in a game that changed in an instant – one moment UNC looking like it would win the ACC tournament, the next trying to respond to a run from which the Tar Heels never recovered – it was difficult for some players to quantify their growth during the past week.
“Right now we can’t really see it,” freshman forward Justin Jackson said Saturday night after the 90-82 loss to Notre Dame in the ACC final at the Greensboro Coliseum. “Because the loss really blurs everything that you accomplished before.
“Honestly, everything that we did before doesn’t really matter since we lost.”
He quickly corrected himself and realized it does matter. UNC did grow, it did play well in Greensboro and it did create some momentum for what the Tar Heels – and every other team – have been building toward: the NCAA tournament.
Undoubtedly, the Tar Heels earned a No. 4 seed in part ...