UNC-Radford Preview: Is This the Year of the 16-Over-1 Upset?

Justin FiehrerCorrespondent IMarch 18, 2009

Surprisingly enough, this game may be the best chance for a 16-seed to beat a one-seed. Although North Carolina may have the most talent in the NCAA, as they return a whole team that went to the Final Four a year ago, the Tar Heels are still vulnerable.

So will the Tar Heels be the first No. 1 team to fall?


(1) North Carolina Tar Heels vs. (16) Radford Highlanders

The Highlanders are the only 16-seed who actually won both their conference's regular season and tournament titles, so we know they can play. They don't have much of a bench, but they do have four players that score in double figures.

They beat Virginia Military Institute, one of the most electric offenses in America, twice. So at least they'll know what hit them when the Tar Heels score. Kenny Thomas can hit threes when he's on. Let's just say he's got to be on.

Their inside presence should be able to contain Hansbrough enough to prevent him from taking over the game. The good news down low is that Radford rebounds at a clip of just over 41 rebounds per game.


The fact of the matter is North Carolina is probably the most talented team in the nation. The chances of them getting upset, even if they play poorly are pretty much nil.

But this season is the season of slim possibilities, and the Highlanders will be praying for a miracle. Besides, Tar Heels point guard and ACC Player of the Year Ty Lawson will most likely miss this first-round game because of a toe injury.


Any logical human being would not predict a 16-seed to beat a one-seed. It's the most basic rule of March Madness to take the top seeds to at least the second round.

But I'm not logical, and I've got a certain "madness" when it comes to prediction.

The odds of nailing this are stacked overwhelmingly against me, and I'm going to get heat for this, but ladies and gentleman, you heard it from me.

I mean, there's no point in predicting a close win for the one-seed, so you gotta have some imagination.


Final Score

Radford 88,  UNC 87