This will be the fourth consecutive matchup for the Tar Heels and Bears in the tournament and third-straight first round match between the two teams, who will play at the University of Wisconsin's Field House.
Wisconsin, the overall No. 12 seed, will play Milwaukee on Friday, with the winners of each match meeting in the second round on Saturday.
NCAA FIRST AND SECOND ROUNDS
Follow the Match
All-session ticket packages are available in advance with single-session tickets going on sale on Friday, Dec. 6 at 8:30 a.m. (CT). Reserved all-session tickets are $14, adult general admission seats are $12 and youth/college student/senior general admission tickets are $8. Tickets can be purchased here.
FIRST ROUND MATCHUP
• The Tar Heels finished third in the ACC, ending the regular season with a 27-4, 16-4 ACC record. This is UNC's 15th tournament appearance and fourth-straight showing.
• Cal is 17-12 entering NCAA play, finishing in a tie for fifth in the Pac-12 with a 10-10 mark. This is a school-record 12th-straight trip to the postseason and 16th overall for the Bears.
• Wisconsin (23-9, 12-8 Big Ten) tied for fourth in the conference and earned the overall No. 12 seed in the NCAA Tournament. This is the 16th postseason appearance for the Badgers, who have hosted the opening rounds 13 times, most recently in 2007.
• Milwaukee finished the season at 18-10 overall and 12-2 in conference play, winning the Horizon League. This is the Panther's 10th NCAA trip and first since 2009.
• Carolina ranks 21st in the NCAA in kills and 27th in assists. UNC's blocking average ranks 45th and team attack is 48th.
• UNC holds the top spot in the ACC for opponent hitting (.158). The Tar Heels rank second in the ACC in assists (13.27/set) and kills (14.29/set), and are third in aces (1.41/set) and blocks (2.60/set).
• Jovana Bjelica leads UNC with 338 kills, 27 aces, 180 digs and 65 blocks. Paige Neuenfeldt has a .378 hitting percentage with 223 kills and 119 blocks, and Leigh Andrew has 232 kills with 326 digs.
• The Bears are 14th in the NCAA with 13.52 assists/set and 19th with 14.31 kills/set. Cal also ranks 41st with 16.45 digs/set and 51st with a .245 hitting percentage.
• Adrienne Gehan leads Cal with 390 kills, 23 aces, 287 digs and 63 blocks. Lara Vukasovic has a .342 attack with 117 blocks, and Christina Higgins has 366 kills with 77 blocks.
• Cal is 2-5 against top-25 teams this year.