NCAA basketball on Friday night and we will see the Providence Friars take on the North Carolina Tar Heels in the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament, which is being played at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. The game has a start time of 7:20 pm (Eastern) and will be televised on TNT. Vegas odds have the Tar Heels listed as 4 point favorites, while the total sits at 143.5.
Stat Pack: The North Carolina Tar Heels had an up and down year, but they did close strong, winning 12 of their last 14 games, to put their record at 23-9 on the year. The Heels come in averaging 76.3 ppg (50 th) on 46.3% shooting, but they are poor from long range (219 th) and the FT line (344 th). The Heels are led by Marcus Paige, who averages 17.4 ppg on the year. James Michael MCadoo is second at 14.2 ppg, while leading the team in rebounding at 6.7 rpg. Brice Johnson (10.4 ppg) and Leslie McDonald (10.3 ppg) round out the double digit scorers on the team. The Heels have played some solid defense this year ranking 67th in defensive FG% (41.1%) and 38th in 3 point defense (31.3%), while allowing just 69.1 ppg.
The Providence Friars got here by beating the Creighton Bluejays to win the Big East tournament. The Friars went 23-11 on the year overall, including 5-2 on neutral courts. Providence averages a solid 73.2 ppg on 42.5% shooting, which is 267th in the nation. They do hit their free throws, ranking 2nd in the nation at 78.1%. The offense is led by Bryce Cotton, who averages 21.4 ppg, while also dishing out 197 assists on the year. LaDontae Henton (13.9 ppg), Kadeem Batts (12.4 ppg) and Tyler Harris (11.5 ppg) also average in double figures for the Friars. Defensively, the Friars are average as they come in allowing 69.5 ppg, which is 162nd in the nation, while teams shoot 44.2% vs them, which is 202nd in the nation. This is a decent rebounding team, ranking 82nd at 36.8 rpg.
Pick: Let's go with the Over in this one. Providence has been scoring a ton of points lately, as they have averaged 78 ppg in their last 9 games, while defensively they have not been so hot, allowing 75 ppg over their last 10 games and they have allowed 73.2 ppg in games away from home this year. The Heels have averaged 76.3 ppg on the year and have put up 82.3 ppg on neutral courts. Defensively they come in struggling, allowing 74.8 ppg and they have given up 78.7 ppg on neutral courts this year. This should be an uptempo game with much more offense than defense.
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