The quarterfinal round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament yielded some good games and a result which could leave one of the nation’s finest programs on the proverbial tournament bubble.

That team is the North Carolina Tar Heels. This is a team which won a national title just two years ago, and have assembled a roster full of recruits and transfers which should be the envy of the rest of Division I. Bur several major injuries to key players have enervated the fortunes of this side.

Yesterday, UNC lost by a goal to Virginia, which is a team very much in the ascendancy. As a result, North Carolina stands at 10-6 on the season, which ordinarily would be a very good season. However, when you look at the body of work for North Carolina from an NCAA Tournament Committee viewpoint, the resume may not be able to put them in the field.

First off, when you look at key wins, two of their wins over ranked teams came in February, in wins over Florida and Virginia. The Tar Heels did not beat another Top 15 team the rest of the season. The Tar Heels were 0-6 against teams ranked in the single digits.

What that has done is put UNC at No. 18 in the Ratings Percentage Index, that formula which takes into account a team’s won-loss record, their opponents’ won-loss records, and their opponents’ opponents.

When you look at the top 20, there are five ACC teams, and five Big Ten teams. It’s likely that these two conferences are going to go four deep. The question is, with 14 at-large bids, will the fifth teams from each of these two superconferences — UNC at 18 and Penn State at 23 — make it into the bracket?

Now, I realize that the women’s lacrosse committee has historically not gone with RPI ratings the way that the field hockey committee has at times. But with five Ivy League teams in the top 25 of RPI, could this change the way the committee chooses their at-large sides?

It’s going to be a very interesting Selection Sunday.


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