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North Carolina vs. Lipscomb - 3/16/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Lipscomb Bison (23-9) at North Carolina Tar Heels (25-10)

College Basketball: Friday, March 16, 2018 at 2:30 pm (Spectrum Center)

The Line: North Carolina Tar Heels -17 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: CBS

The Lipscomb Bisons and North Carolina Tar Heels will square off at the Spectrum Center this Friday afternoon in the 1st round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Lipscomb Bisons (23-9; 10-4 A-Sun) earned the 15th seed in the West Region after winning the A-Sun Tournament by defeating the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles, 108-96, on March 4th. Lipscomb was outstanding in the 1st half, taking a 60-31 halftime lead, and was able to hold off a late Florida Gulf Coast charge to win the A-Sun Championship and earn the automatic bid. Lipscomb shot 65.3% from the field and 46.2% (12-26) from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for the Bison was Garrison Mathews who had 33 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists, and a block. On the season, Lipscomb is averaging 82.6 ppg on 45.6% shooting from the field. The Bison are averaging 8.1 three-pointers per game on 33.1% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Lipscomb has been led by Garrison Mathews (22.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 1.7 apg), Rob Marberry (16.0 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.9 apg), Kenny Cooper (9.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 4.0 apg, 2.1 spg), and Matt Rose (8.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.0 apg). Defensively, Lipscomb is allowing their opponents to average 77.5 ppg on 44.6% shooting from the field. The Bisons have a rebound margin of 3.8 and a turnover margin of 0.4.

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North Carolina vs. Lipscomb - 3/16/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The North Carolina Tar Heels (25-10; 11-7 ACC) reached the finals of the ACC Championship however, couldn’t overtake the top-team in the country in the Virginia Cavaliers, and ended up earning a 2-seed in the NCAA Tournament. North Carolina had impressive wins over Miami and Duke in the ACC Tournament however, lost to Virginia by a 71-63 margin in the finals this past Saturday. North Carolina trailed by a 34-30 margin at halftime and couldn’t fight back after a 6-0 Cavaliers run gave Virginia a 58-49 lead with just 3:37 left in regulation. North Carolina shot 40.8% from the field and 40.0% (10-25) from beyond the arc in the loss. Leading the way for the Tar Heels was Luke Maye who had 20 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 assists. On the season, North Carolina is averaging 82.0 ppg on 46.0% shooting from the field. The Tar Heels are averaging 8.3 three-pointers per game on 36.4% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, North Carolina has been led by Luke Maye (17.2 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.0 spg, 1.1 bpg), Joel Berry II (17.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.1 spg), Cameron Johnson (12.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 2.3 apg), and Kenny Williams (11.4 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 2.5 apg, 1.1 spg). Defensively, North Carolina is allowing their opponents to average 73.1 ppg on 42.2% shooting from the field. The Tar Heels have a rebound margin of 10.0 and a turnover margin of -0.4.

The Bison are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games following a straight up win and 9-4-1 ATS in thier last 14 non-conference games. The Tar Heels are 4-1 ATS in thier last 5 non-conference games and 7-3-1 ATS in thier last 11 NCAA Tournament games. 

Lipscomb has won 8 straight games and has been led by their offense this season which ranks 21st in scoring offense and 51st in assists per game. North Carolina has won 9 of their last 12 games and has been solid on both sides of the ball this season as the Tar Heels currently rank 26th in scoring offense, 2nd in rebound margin, and 75th in defensive FG%. Lipscomb has a great player in Garrison Mathews however, the Bison lack depth to compete with the Tar Heels and as I think the Tar Heels will be able to put up 85-90 points in this one against Lipscomb’s 294th ranked scoring defense, I’m taking North Carolina to cover this large spread.

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