North Carolina vs. Arkansas - NCAA Tournament - 3/21/15 Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Arkansas Razorbacks (27-8) at North Carolina Tar Heels (25-11)
College Basketball: Saturday, March 21, 2015 at 8:40 pm (Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena)
The Line: North Carolina Tar Heels -4.5 -- Over/Under: 162 See the Latest Odds
TV: TNT HD
The (5) Arkansas Razorbacks will take on the (4) North Carolina Tar Heels this Saturday night at Veterans Memorial Arena in the 3rd round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Arkansas Razorbacks (27-8, 13-5 SEC) survived a low-scoring affair to beat the Southern League champions, the Wofford Terriers, by a score of 56-53 this past Thursday night. The Razorbacks were able to hold the Terriers to just 31.6% shooting from the field and 29.2% (7-24) shooting from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for Arkansas was Bobby Portis who had 15 points, 13 rebounds, and 2 assists. The Razorbacks finished 19th in the RPI Standings and played the 41st ranked SOS. On the season, the Arkansas was led by Bobby Portis (17.5 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 1.4 bpg) and Michael Qualls (15.6 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 1.6 apg). Arkansas averages 78.0 ppg (ranked 15th) on 44.7% shooting (ranked 99th). The Razorbacks average 16.1 apg (ranked 11th) and shoot 72.4% from the free-throw line (ranked 63rd). Arkansas is allowing their opponents to average 70.1 ppg (ranked 269th) on 43.1% shooting (ranked 177th). The Razorbacks pull down 35.76 total rpg (ranked 102nd) and have a turnover margin of 4.2 (ranked 7th).
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The North Carolina Tar Heels (25-11, 11-7 ACC) escaped their match-up against the Harvard Crimson with a 67-65 victory after letting a 16-point 2nd half lead slip away. North Carolina was able to shoot 55.1% from the field however, lost the turnover battle by a 17-7 margin which allowed Harvard to stay in this game. Leading the way for the Tar Heels was Marcus Paige who had 12 points, 6 rebounds, and an assist in the victory. North Carolina finished 11th in the RPI Standings and played the 2nd ranked SOS. On the season, the Tar Heels were led by Marcus Paige (13.9 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 4.7 apg, 1.6 spg) and Brice Johnson (13.1 ppg, 7.7 rpg, 1.1 bpg). North Carolina averages 77.9 ppg (ranked 16th) on 47.5% shooting (ranked 26th). The Tar Heels average 17.7 apg (ranked 2nd) however, commit 12.7 turnovers per game (ranked 190th). Defensively, North Carolina is allowing their opponents to average 68.4 ppg (ranked 235th) on 39.8% shooting (ranked 43rd). The Tar Heels pull down 41.03 total rpg (ranked 2nd) and have a rebound margin of 8.2 (ranked 7th).
The Razorbacks are 7-15 ATS in their last 22 neutral site games and just 1-6 ATS in their last 7 vs. the ACC. The Tar Heels are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a ATS loss and 6-2 ATS in their last 8 neutral site games.
Both North Carolina and Arkansas were slowed down by their opponents in their opening games of the NCAA Tournament, however, I do expect both offensives to be able to get more in a rhythm in this match-up. Arkansas has been at its best this year when they’ve played with teams that try to keep up with them scoring wise and I think they have enough size down low to be able to bang the bigs of North Carolina. I think that this is going to be a close game and feel Arkansas has a good shot in this one if there are able create enough turnovers from a North Carolina team that has trouble protecting the ball. I’m taking Arkansas and the points in this one.