UNC Meets Baylor In NCAA 3rd Rd. Sunday
CAROLINA HOSTS BAYLOR IN NCAA THIRD ROUND:
North Carolina (12-5-2) will play host to Baylor (19-1-4) Sunday in the third round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament at Fetzer Field. Game time is 1 p.m. The victor of Sunday's third round will advance to the NCAA quarterfinals against either BYU or Marquette next weekend. Those teams played Saturday night in Provo, Utah for the right to move on to the quarterfinals.
All tickets for Sunday's game are general admission. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and students and $3 for groups of 20 or more. They are currently on sale at the Ticket Center on GoHeels.com and will also be available on game day at the Carmichael Arena Ticket Office. The ticket office will open at 12 p.m., the same time the Fetzer Field gates will open.
THE BASICS OF THE UNC-BAYLOR MATCHUP:
The Tar Heels are the No. 2 seed in the lower left quadrant of the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket. UNC earned an at-large bid to the tournament from the ACC. Baylor is the No. 3 seed in the lower left quadrant of the NCAA bracket. The Bears earned the automatic NCAA berth from the Big 12 Conference.
Carolina enters Sunday's match with a record of 12-5-2. Baylor is 19-1-4. The Tar Heels won their first round game by beating Radford 2-0 and their second round game by defeating Illinois 9-2. Baylor won its first round game at Arizona State 3-1 before beating Georgetown 2-1 in overtime in the second round on Friday.
North Carolina is #14 in the Soccer America rankings and #13 in the NSCAA coaches rankings heading into the match. The Bears are #9 in the Soccer America rankings. The NSCAA has Baylor ranked 11th.
While Carolina has won seven of nine games since losing to Florida State on September 27, the Tar Heels could hardly be considered a hot team when compared to the Big 12 Conference champion Bears. Baylor is unbeaten in its last 20 matches and has won eight matches in a row coming into Sunday's contest. The only Baylor loss this season came at Long Beach State 2-1 on August 26.
WEBCASTING & BROADCASTING INFORMATION FOR SUNDAY'S GAME:
UNC's game against Baylor Sunday in the NCAA Tournament third round will be webcast live on GoHeelsTV. A link will be available at gametime on GoHeels.com.
Sunday's match will also be broadcast live on WCHL Radio in Chapel Hill (97.9 FM/1360 AM) with Paul Connell doing the play by play and Hampton Dellinger handling the color. This is the 10th match WCHL has broadcast this season. Links for the broadcast can be found on both GoHeels.com and on ChapelBoro.com.
ANOTHER NCAA BID:
This marks UNC's 31st successive bid to the NCAA Tournament. Carolina is the only team in the nation to make the tournament field all 31 years of the Tournament's existence. The Tar Heels have advanced to at least the third round in every NCAA Tournament ever played. They kept that streak alive with a win over Illinois on Friday.
UNC has advanced to the Round of 16 or beyond in every NCAA Tournament ever played. Each of the last two years, however, it is the third round game that has tripped UNC up. Carolina's last quarterfinals appearance was in 2009 against Wake Forest.
NINE GOALS VERUS ILLINOIS:
Carolina exploded for nine goals in its second round NCAA Tournament victory over Illinois. The nine goals were the most scored in a game by UNC since it defeated Guilford 9-0 on august 6, 2002. The last time UNC had scored nine goals against an NCAA Division I opponent was September 21, 2001 in a 9-0 win over Georgia. The nine goals scored by Carolina matched its high scoring output in an NCAA Tournament game. The last time UNC had scored nine in an NCAA game was November 21, 1996 in a 9-0 win over Florida in the quarterfinals. The nine goals were one short of the NCAA Tournament record of 10 set by Texas A&M against Texas State in 2004.
UNC's NCAA TOURNAMENT RECORD:
Carolina has an all-time NCAA Tournament record of 112-8-2. The Tar Heels have won 20 of the previous 30 NCAA Tournament championships. Carolina's last title came in 2009 when it defeated Stanford 1-0 in College Station, Texas.
Carolina has lost only eight NCAA Tournament games in history and has made at least the Round of 16 in each of the 31 tournaments. The Tar Heels have been eliminated in the Round of 16 in each of the past two tournaments. They lost to Notre Dame at Fetzer Field 4-1 in the third round in 2010 and tied UCF in last year's third round 1-1. UCF advanced to the quarterfinals on penalty kicks 5-4.
Carolina and Baylor have faced each other once previously in NCAA Tournament play. The Tar Heels beat Baylor 5-0 in the NCAA Tournament second round on November 18, 2011 in Gainesville, Fla.
FINAL REGULAR SEASON RANKINGS FOR THE TAR HEELS:
UNC is now 14th in the Soccer America poll and 13th in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll heading into NCAA Tournament play.
You can follow match action on Twitter at @ncwomenssoccer (official feed) and @uncwomenssoccer (players feed).
Live stats for the match will also be available on GoHeels.com.
THE NCAA RPI:
North Carolina finished 10th in the final RPI report from the NCAA which was issued on November 5, 2012. On paper that would indicate the Tar Heels would be worthy of a #3 seed in the tournament. Instead, Carolina was elevated to a #2 seed by the NCAA Women's Soccer Committee.
It would appear likely that the Tar Heels benefitted greatly from its strength of schedule. UNC's 19-game schedule has featured a Who's Who of the top levels of the RPI. This included two games against #7 Virginia as well as single games against #5 Florida State, #8 Florida, #13 Marquette, #14 Duke, #16 Wake Forest, #19 Portland, #21 Notre Dame, #23 Boston College, #25 Maryland, #30 Virginia Tech, #44 Illinois and #50 Miami. UNC also played #67 San Diego, #69 Connecticut and #85 Radford.
Twelve of UNC's 18 games so far are against teams ranked in the Top 30 of the RPI.
Baylor is ranked #9 in the RPI and will be the fourth highest ranked RPI team to face the Tar Heels this season when the teams meet Sunday.