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North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Providence Friars - 3/21/14 East Region

Providence Friars (23-11) at North Carolina Tar Heels (23-9)

College Basketball: Friday, March 21, 2014 at 7:20 pm (AT&T Center)

The Line: North Carolina Tar Heels -4 -- Over/Under: 143 See the Latest Odds


The Providence Friars and North Carolina Tar Heels will play in the second round of the NCAA tournament on Friday. The Friars won the Big East tournament, while the Tar Heels received an at-large bid.

Providence is one of the hotter teams in the tournament, winning six of its last seven games and it plays well at both ends. The Friars average 73.2 points on 42.5 percent shooting and allow 69.5 points on 44.2 percent shooting. Providence is led by senior guard Bryce Cotton, who averages 21.4 points, 3.5 rebounds, 5.8 assists and plays pretty much every minute of every game. The Friars are also a fabulous free throw shooting team at 78.1 percent. The Providence Friars are 18-15 ATS overall this season.

North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Providence Friars - 3/21/14 East Region

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

North Carolina has had an up and down season but is capable of beating anybody when it’s playing well. The Tar Heels average 76.3 points on 46.3 percent shooting and allow 69.1 points on 41.1 percent shooting. North Carolina is a big team that dominates the paint, grabbing 39.8 rebounds per game. Offensively, the Tar Heels have four players averaging double-digit points and are led by sophomore guard Marcus Paige, who averages 17.4 points and 4.3 assists. North Carolina’s weakness is its free throw shooting at 62.5 percent. He North Carolina Tar Heels are 16-16 ATS overall.  

The Friars are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS win and 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games overall. The Tar Heels are 0-5 ATS in their last 5 games overall and 7-3 ATS in their last 10 vs. Big East.

Depth is a major concern for Providence considering the way North Carolina likes to get physical and get guys in foul trouble. However, I think this game comes down to which team can make its free throws, and we know that certainly isn’t North Carolina.

Providence is a team flying high on confidence, and I like the Friars to win SU.

But I’ll gladly take the points any time they’re offered. 

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