CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - North Carolina is used to having the top team in the nation when tournament time rolls around.
Just not in baseball.
The Tar Heels hold the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament for the first time, and they hope to take their first steps toward a national title this weekend during their four-team regional.
Outfielder Chaz Frank said Thursday that the players know "we have a target on our backs" but that being No. 1 in the Baseball America Top 25 for most of the season prepared them for every opponent's best shot.
The Tar Heels (52-8) take on fourth-seeded Canisius (42-15) on Friday evening after second-seeded Florida Atlantic (39-20) faces third-seeded Towson (29-28) in the opener of the double-elimination regional.
With snub in the past, NC State ready for regional
RALEIGH, N.C. - North Carolina State is getting over its snub for a top-eight national seed in the NCAA baseball tournament.
The Wolfpack (44-14) thought they had done enough during the season to earn one of those premier seeds.
They're settling for the No. 1 seed in their four-team regional that begins Friday.
Ace Carlos Rodon said Thursday that N.C. State was disappointed only for a little while and that being snubbed "makes me want to play harder."
The Wolfpack faces fourth-seeded Binghamton (30-23) after second-seeded Mississippi (37-22) takes on third-seeded William & Mary (37-22) on Friday in Game 1 of the double-elimination tournament.
The Raleigh regional winner plays the winner of the regional hosted by Oregon, which has the No. 8 national seed that N.C. State coveted.
AP/ WFMY News 2 Sports