"Top to bottom, I think this is the deepest and most competitive bracket I've ever seen," UNC coach Karen Shelton said. "As always we're excited to be a part of the field, and we're thrilled to be hosting."
The Tar Heels (16-5) are making the program's 30th appearance in the NCAA Tournament field. Carolina has won six previous titles, in 1989, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2007 and 2009. Since winning its most recent title in 2009, the Tar Heels have finished as the NCAA runner-up three times in a row, by a 3-2 score each year.
All seven Atlantic Coast Conference teams received NCAA Tournament bids. Both UNC and Duke, the No. 4 seed, are hosting this weekend, as are No. 1 Maryland and No. 2 Syracuse.
"That's phenomenal and says so much about the strength of our conference," Shelton said. "To have all four of the host sites at ACC schools is amazing."