2014 NCAA Tournament Picks and Predictions: Providence Friars vs. North Carolina Tar Heels
The 2014 NCAA Tournament tips-off on Thursday with several upsets highlighting the first day of action. On day 2 of the second round of college basketball action there will be more upsets as top seeds continue to fall. One of those top seeds that will be in jeopardy is the North Carolina Tar Heels. The Tar Heels go up against the Providence Friars and if they are not careful they will be one-and-done in the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
The latest college basketball NCAA Tournament odds for this early start has labeled the Tar Heels as (-4) point favorites. As can be expected with a team as popular as the Tar Heels, the betting public is betting on them to easily defeat the Friars and move on to the second round as over 68 percent of the early betting action is on North Carolina. That could be a big mistake.
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Providence Friars vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Preview
The Tar Heels are a very popular team, but they may not be as good as the Friars. The Heels had an impressive 12-game win streak in February and March, then turned around and lost to Duke and Pitt in its final two
games before the tournament. This could suggest that they peaked too early and are on the decline for this opening game.
The Friars are on a winning streak as they won the conference championship to get the automatic berth to the tournament. This year’s Friars stars include a pair of seniors — guard Bryce Cotton (21.4 ppg, 5.8 apg) and forward Kadeem Batts (12.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg) — who both earned All-Big East honors. This gives the team the senior leadership they need to play well in big games. If this game is close down the stretch, the edge will be with the Friars. Providence is the best free-throw shooting team at 78.1 percent. Round-of-64 opponent North Carolina is the worst at 62.5 percent.
The Friars are 0-2 when Bryce Cotton scores more than 30 points so they’re probably most effective when they can spread the scoring around. Three others average double figures in scoring, led by 6-6 forward LaDontae Henton, who scored at least 20 points and reached double figures in points and rebounds in three of the final five games. With that kind of help on the floor the Friars are a dangerous underdog.
Providence Friars vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Trends
The latest college basketball betting trends for the NCAA tournament reveal that the edge in wagering angles favors the Friars. The Friars are 8-2 against the spread (ATS) in their last 10 games when playing against a team with a winning percentage above .600, 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a win against the spread and 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games overall.
The Tar Heels are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games following a loss against the spread and 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall.
The Tar Heels come slumping into the tournament and they are going to be one and done in the Big Dance as the Friars take down the Tar Heels.
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