For the first time in four years, the North Carolina women's basketball team will be going dancing.
On Monday, the Tar Heels were announced as the Greensboro Region's No. 9 seed in the 2019 NCAA Tournament and will face off against No. 8 seed California in Waco, Texas on Saturday. The at-large tournament bid is UNC's first since the 2014-15 season, meaning this will be the first taste of March Madness for the entirety of head coach Sylvia Hatchell's roster.
The bid comes after an 18-14 campaign and an 8-8 mark in conference, highlighted by wins over then-undefeated Notre Dame (now a No. 1 seed) and N.C. State (a No. 3 seed).
In the ACC Tournament, the Tar Heels won their opening matchup against Georgia Tech, 80-73, then dropped the next game to Notre Dame, 95-77. In that game, redshirt senior Paris Kea recorded a team-high 27 points, but North Carolina was unable to stymie the Fighting Irish, allowing Notre Dame to shoot 58 percent from the field and 46.7 percent from 3-point range.
After a tumultuous few years that included the Tar Heels losing their entire No. 1 2013 recruiting class due to an alleged athletic-academic scandal hanging over the program, UNC is finally back on a winning track. North Carolina followed up a 14-18 season with back-to-back 15-16 campaigns, a disappointing chapter in Hatchell's Hall of Fame career.