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Tar Heels hope Winston-Salem brings more good luck

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WINSTON-SALEM (AP) -- It's more of a commute for North Carolina in the first round of the NCAA tournament than a road trip.

The Atlantic Coast Conference champions open the NCAA tournament in Winston-Salem tomorrow against Eastern Kentucky, the Ohio Valley Conference winner.

It was in 1993 that the Tar Heels opened their run to Dean Smith's second national championship with victories over East Carolina and Rhode Island in Winston-Salem.

In 1997, the Tar Heels began that season's trip to the Final Four in the same place.

Eastern Kentucky faces long odds as the worst seed in the East Region. A Number One seed has yet to lose to a Number 16 seed since the tournament expanded to 64 teams. Ohio Valley Conference schools have lost 17 straight first-round contests.

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