NCAA Chapel Hill Regional Preview
No. 2 Florida Atlantic
Location: Boca Raton, Fla.
Record: 39-20, 19-11 Sun Belt
Florida Atlantic claimed its first Sun Belt title by sweeping through the eight-team conference tournament with a perfect 4-0 record. The Owls completed their tournament run with a 16-8 win over host Louisiana-Lafayette in the championship game on Sunday and come to Chapel Hill on an 11-game winning streak. FAU last appeared in the NCAA regionals in 2010, when the Owls went 2-2 in the Gainesville (Fla.) Regional with wins over Bethune-Cookman and Oregon State.
FAU and Carolina have never met in the postseason. The Tar Heels swept the Owls in a season-opening series in Boca Raton in 2008, the only prior meetings between the two programs.
No. 3 Towson
Location: Towson, Md.
Record: 29-28, 14-13 Colonial Athletic Association
Towson is one of the most amazing stories of this year's tournament. In March, the team was told that the program would be disbanded at the end of the season. But through a series of political maneuvers that went all the way to Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, the program was eventually spared. The fourth-seeded Tigers, who entered the CAA tournament with a 25-28 record, swept four games including a 5-2 win over William & Mary in the title game to advance to the NCAA regionals for the first time since 1991.
Towson has been a fairly common non-conference opponent for Carolina over the years. The series began in 1969 and the Tar Heels have an all-time record of 25-2 against the Tigers, with all 27 games coming in the regular season. The two programs last met in 2007 when UNC took a pair of mid-week games.
No. 4 Canisius
Location: Buffalo, N.Y.
Record: 42-15, 15-9 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference
Canisius won a wild MAAC tournament in Trenton, N.J., with a 12-11 victory over Siena on Sunday. The third-seeded Golden Griffins went 3-0 in Trenton and are making their first NCAA regional appearance. Their 42 wins in 2013 are the most in school history and the most ever by a MAAC program.
When Canisius and Carolina meet on Friday, it will mark the first time the two programs have faced off in baseball since 1958. That 10-5 Tar Heel victory under head coach Walter Rabb is the only prior meeting between the two schools.