Can North Carolina Break the Final Four Hurdle?

Can North Carolina Break the Final Four Hurdle?
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

This year marks the 30th anniversary of North Carolina winning the women’s NCAA Basketball Tournament, with the Tar Heels claiming their first – and only – title on a 3-point shot from Charlotte Smith at the buzzer.

That title also marks the only one won by a team from the state since the NCAA started a women’s tournament in 1982. In recent years, the state has been well represented in the brackets. However, no team from North Carolina has made the women’s Final Four since the Tar Heels reached the national semifinals in 2007.

With Selection Sunday less than a month away, our team at dove into past tournaments to uncover how women’s teams from North Carolina-based schools have fared in March Madness odds.

Historical Data for NC Teams in Final Four

Year Team & Seed Results
1994UNC 3Winner
1998 NC State 4Lost in Final Four
1999 Duke 3Lost in Championship
2002 Duke 1Lost in Final Four
2003 Duke 1Lost in Final Four
2006 UNC 1/Duke 1Lost in Final Four/Lost in Championship
2007 UNC 1Lost in Final Four

MORE: College Basketball Betting Trends

Past Decade of Tournament Performance for NC Women

Year Team & Seed Results
2014NC State 5/UNC 4/Duke 2Lost in 1st round/Lost in 4th round/Lost in 2nd round
2015 Duke 4/UNC 4Lost in 3rd round/Lost in 3rd round
2016NC A&T 16/UNC Ashville 14Lost in 1st round/Lost in 1st round
2017Elon 11/Duke 2/NC State 6/UNC Ashville 16Lost in 1st round/Lost in 2nd round/Lost in 2nd round/Lost in 1st round
2018 Duke 5/NC State 4/Elon 13/NC A&TLost in 3rd round/Lost in 3rd round/Lost in 1st round/Lost in 1st round
2019 UNC 9/NC State 3Lost in 1st round/Lost in 3rd round
2020 Canceled due to CovidN/A
2021 Wake Forest 9/NC State 1/UNC 10Lost in 1st round/Lost in 3rd round/Lost in 1st round
2022 UNC 5/NC State 1/Charlotte 14Lost in 3rd round /Lost in 4th round/Lost in 1st round
2023 East Carolina Univ. 13/Duke 3/UNC 6/NC State 7Lost in 1st round/Lost in 2nd round/Lost in 2nd round/Lost in 1st round

North Carolina Well Represented

As you can see, some teams from North Carolina have earned high seeds in recent years. That’s especially true for N.C. State, which has earned two No. 1 seeds since 2021. However, the best the Wolfpack has fared was a finish in the Elite Eight in 2022, when N.C. State lost to UConn.

The Wolfpack’s performance bucks historical trends. According to the NCAA, there have been 164 No. 1 seeds in women’s tournament history, and 92 of those have reached the Final Four, and 85% of all women’s Final Fours (35 of 41) have had at least two top seeds make the semifinals.

North Carolina, N.C. State and Duke all rank among the top teams to reach the tournament. The Tar Heels’ 30 appearances are tied for sixth all-time, while the Wolfpack are tied for ninth all-time with Notre Dame and LSU at 28. The Blue Devils are in a six-way tie for 17th, having reached the tourney 25 times.

Last season, four in-state teams made the big dance—Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State and East Carolina; none advanced past the second round.

This year, ESPN Bracketologist Charlie Crème predicts four teams will make it, with High Point expected to join the Blue Devils, Tar Heels, and Wolfpack. N.C. State currently is projected to earn the best seed among North Carolina schools, with a No. 2 seed.

At FanDuel and soon-to-be FanDuel North Carolina, the Wolfpack have the best odds of any North Carolina team to win this year’s title. With +3000 odds, meaning a $100 winning bet would return $3,100, they have the ninth shortest odds of any team on the futures board. Both UNC and Duke have odds of +50000.

DraftKings offers N.C. State at +2800, Duke odds at +20000, and the Tar Heels odds at +30000. Expect DraftKings North Carolina to feature these odds as well.

Online sports betting will be in North Carolina before you know it. Operators will be able to launch their apps starting on March 11, six days before Selection Sunday. Visit to get the latest news on gaming, as well as the best North Carolina sportsbook promo codes available.



Steve Bittenbender
Steve Bittenbender
Sports Betting Expert & Insider

As a writer and analyst for, Steve not only covers gaming news and developments in North Carolina but also provides insights into what they mean for bettors, licensed operators and the state. <br> <br> Steve’s been featured in Axios, Queen City News, 97.9 The Hill, WNCT, CBS 17, WWAY, Spectrum News and several other news outlets across the Tar Heel State. He’s interviewed influential leaders in sports, {{anchor("gaming"," - News - Filtered",44394,"","","","gtm-content-internal-links")|raw}} and politics. Over the past year, he’s covered the legalization of statewide {{anchor("North Carolina sports betting"," - Homepage","","","","","gtm-content-internal-links")|raw}} as well as the discussion about approving commercial casinos. <br> <br> Back in August, Steve first reported that {{anchor("a March launch"," - News - Filtered",39792,"","","","gtm-content-internal-links")|raw}} was most likely for North Carolina sports betting. <br> <br> Steve has broken news about {{anchor("what North Carolina sports betting apps will be available"," - News - Filtered",48516,"","","","gtm-content-internal-links")|raw}}, and {{anchor("the state's launch"," - News - Filtered",45236,"","","","gtm-content-internal-links")|raw}}. He has also covered {{anchor("how North Carolina college athletics programs stand to benefit from it"," - News - Filtered",38021,"","","","gtm-content-internal-links")|raw}} and {{anchor("changes made to the sports betting law in the state budget"," - News - Filtered",40726,"","","","gtm-content-internal-links")|raw}}. <br> <br> A veteran journalist with 25 years of experience covering sports, politics and business, Steve has reported on the gambling industry intently over the past five years, an era that has seen sports betting proliferate across the country in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s historic ruling overturning PASPA. <br> <br> You can also find Steve providing news updates and insights on his X account @BittGDCG.

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