The fourth-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels will look to extend their winning ways and bounce the NCAA Basketball odds favorite Wisconsin Badgers out of the 2015 NCAA Tournament when the pair of national title contenders square off in a Sweet 16 showdown on Thursday night. Now, whether the Heels can overcome Frank ‘The Tank’ Kaminsky and the rest of his Badgers teammates remains to be seen, but thanks to this expert betting breakdown, you’re about to find out.
UNC head coach Roy Williams knows it’ll take a team effort to contain Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky. pic.twitter.com/ermXQEBM3w
— ESPN College BBall (@ESPNCBB) March 24, 2015
How To Bet The Tar Heels vs Badgers March Madness Odds, TV & Game Info
When: Thursday, March 26, 2015, 9:45 PM ET
Where: Staples Center, Los Angeles, California
Odds: Wisconsin -6
No. 4 North Carolina (26-11 SU, 20-16-1 ATS, 20-14-1 O/U)
North Carolina used its up-tempo offense to speed past Arkansas 87-78 in their Round of 32 matchup last weekend while covering the spread as a 4-point favorite to snap a modest two-game ATS skid and improve to 4-2 ATS over their last half-dozen games.
Point guard Marcus Paige continued his torrid pace, putting up a tam-high 22 points and pulling down a surprising six rebounds to lead the Tar Heels to victory. Three other players also scored in double figures for North Carolina while big man Brice Johnson pulled down a team-high 13 rebounds. It was Paige however, that was the difference-maker as he scored 20 of his 22 points after the break. The Tar heels average a healthy 77.9 points per game (15th) and allow a pedestrian 68.6 points per game defensively (238th).
No. 1 Wisconsin (33-3 SU, 18-17-1 ATS, 16-20 O/U)
Wisconsin man-handled Oregon in its 72-65 win in their third round clash but failed to cover their March Madness odds as a 12-point favorite. Frank ‘The Tank’ Kaminsky scored 16 points and pulled down a team-high seven rebounds while frontcourt mate Sam Dekker scored a team-high 17 points and grabbed five boards. Two other players scored in double figures for a Badgers team that has been on a red-hot roll by winning each of their last eight games and nine of their last 10 overall.
Wisconsin averages a respectable 72.3 points per game (57th) and doubles as one of the best defensive teams in the country as well, limiting their opponents to just 56.8 points per game (10th).
My UNC vs Wisconsin Game Analysis
I’ll get right to the point with my analysis on this matchup by saying that I really like the Wisconsin Badgers to win this game and advance to the Elite Eight. First and foremost, the Badgers will have the best player on the floor in the versatile Kaminsky. The sweet-shooting, but hard-nosed big man leads the Badgers in every meaningful statistical category, including scoring (18.4 ppg), rebounding (8.1 rpg), assists, 2.7) and field goal shooting percentage (55.6 %).
That’s not the only reason I like the Badgers. No, Wisconsin also has two other talented frontcourt players that I expect to dominate against the Tar Heels in forwards Sam Dekker and Nigel Hayes. The 6-9 Dekker is similar to Kaminsky in the fact that he’s a tall frontcourt player that can score both inside and outside. At 6-7, Hayes is a classic small forward that can take it to the rack or shoot it from long distance.
In the end, I just don’t see North Carolina’s athletic, but largely inexperienced frontcourt being able to keep up with Wisconsin’s aforementioned trio. North Carolina may be 7-2 ATS in their last nine neutral site games, but the Tar Heels are also just 5-11-1 ATS in their last 17 games against a team with a winning SU record and 1-4 ATS in their last five NCAA Tournament games overall.
Conversely, Wisconsin has gone 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games against teams from the ACC while also recording a bankroll-boosting 12-5-1 ATS mark in their last 18 neutral site games and equally impressive 7-3-1 ATS mark in their last 11 NCAA Tournament games overall. Wisconsin wins and narrowly cover the March Madness betting line.
My Pick and Betting Prediction
Over/Under Total bettors should know that the Over is 4-1 in North Carolina’s last five games following an SU win and 5-2 in the Tar Heels’ last seven NCAA Tournament games overall. I predict a Wisconsin 77 North Carolina 70 Badgers win.