No. 1 UNC not taking FGCU lightly: ‘We don’t expect a cakewalk’
RALEIGH — No. 1 North Carolina doesn’t need to be reminded that a No. 16 seed has never knocked off the top seed before.
“You certainly don’t want to be the one that ends that streak,” said UNC senior guard Marcus Paige, the Atlantic Coast Conference’s leader in active players in career scoring (1754) and three pointers (279).
No. 16 seeds hold an all-time 0-124 record against No. 1 seeds.
“Florida Gulf Coast is a good team,” Paige said. “We’re not taking it lightly. So we’re taking all the steps in the prelims to take care of them, so hopefully we won’t be that team that breaks that streak.”
FGCU hopes it will be. The Eagles, who are making their second NCAA Tournament appearance in program history, broke a First Four round record Tuesday night with a dominating 96-65 win over No. 16 Fairleigh Dickinson in Dayton.
In 2013, FGCU became the first No. 15 seed to advance to the Sweet Sixteen when they stunned No. 2 Georgetown in the opening round, then again against No. 7 San Diego State, eventually being eliminated by Florida.
“Yeah, they’re pretty impressive,” Paige said. “They’re a bit more athletic and they have more size than a typical 16-seed that you would see. So, I think they present some challenges but it’s the NCAA Tournament. So we don’t expect it to be a cakewalk.”
Carolina head coach Roy Williams, who has 360 wins at Carolina under his belt, says that seeding doesn’t mean much to him or the team.
“For me, I don’t ever concern myself where that other team is seeded or where we’re seeded,” Williams said. “We’re fortunate to have been at a couple Final Fours. We’ve gone as a No. 4 seed, gone as a No. 3 seed and probably a couple others too.”
FGCU will tip against UNC at 7:20 p.m. tonight and will be aired live on TBS.