Texas A&M Aggies (21-12) at North Carolina Tar Heels (26-10)
College Basketball: Sunday, March 18, 2018 at 5:00 pm (Spectrum Center)
The Line: North Carolina Tar Heels -6 -- Over/Under: 151 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
The Texas A&M Aggies and North Carolina Tar Heels will square off at the Spectrum Center this Sunday night in 2nd round action of the NCAA Tournament.
The 7-seed Texas A&M Aggies (21-12) used a strong offensive 2nd half behind their frontcourt and advanced to the 2nd round of the NCAA Tournament after defeating the 10-seed Providence Friars, 73-69, this past Friday afternoon. Texas A&M didn’t score their first basket of the game until the 13:27 mark in the 1st half, however, the Aggies did lead by a 28-27 margin at halftime and pulled away after a 9-0 run gave the Aggies a 62-52 lead with 2:48 left in regulation. Texas A&M shot 50.0% from the field while holding the Providence to just 43.5% shooting from the field and 30.0% (6-20) from beyond the arc in the win. Leading the way for the Aggies was Tyler Davis who had a double-double with 14 points, 15 rebounds, and 2 blocks. On the season, Texas A&M is averaging 74.9 ppg on 45.8% shooting from the field. The Aggies are averaging 6.6 three-pointers per game on 32.9% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Texas A&M has been led by Tyler Davis (14.5 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.3 bpg), Admon Gilder (12.4 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 2.6 apg, 1.3 spg), DJ Hogg (11.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 2.5 apg), and Robert Williams (10.4 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 1.4 apg, 2.6 bpg). Defensively, Texas A&M is holding their opponents to an average of 69.8 ppg on 40.4% shooting from the field. The Aggies have a rebound margin of 6.3 and a turnover margin of -2.5.
The 2-seed North Carolina Tar Heels improved to 26-10 on the season after defeating the Lipscomb Bisons, 76-57, this past Friday afternoon. Lipscomb was able to hang around early against the Tar Heels however, a 12-1 run by the Tar Heels gave North Carolina a 43-34 halftime lead and the Tar Heels had no trouble pulling away after taking a 69-51 lead midway through the 2nd half. North Carolina shot 51.7% from the field while holding Lipscomb to 35.9% shooting from the field and 25.0% (7-28) from beyond the arc in the victory. Leading the way for the Tar Heels was Theo Pinson who had 15 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, 1 block, and a steal. On the season, North Carolina is averaging 82.0 ppg on 46.1% shooting from the field. The Tar Heels are averaging 8.3 three-pointers per game on 36.6% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, North Carolina has been led by Luke Maye (17.0 ppg, 10.1 rpg, 2.4 apg, 1.0 spg, 1.1 bpg), Joel Berry II (17.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.3 apg, 1.1 spg), Cameron Johnson (12.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg, 2.3 apg), and Theo Pinson (10.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 4.9 apg, 1.1 spg). Defensively, North Carolina is allowing their opponents to average 72.9 ppg on 42.1% shooting from the field. The Tar Heels have a rebound margin of 10.2 and a turnover margin of -0.6.
The Aggies are 6-15 ATS in their last 21 games following a ATS win and just 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record. The Tar Heels are 20-6-2 ATS in their last 28 games vs. SEC opponents however, just 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a ATS loss.
Texas A&M had an up and down season however, have won 4 of their last 5 games and has been led by their defense that ranks T-105th in scoring defense, 16th in defensive FG%, and 5th in blocks per game. North Carolina showed how dangerous a team they can be with their wins against Miami and Duke in the ACC Tournament and has been led by their offense this season that ranks 26th in scoring offense, 99th in FG%, 4th in assists per game, and 2nd in rebound margin. Texas A&M has a great duo in Tyler Davis and Robert Williams, however, the North Carolina is one of the few teams in the country that can challenge the Aggies on the boards and as I just think the Tar Heels offense will be able to find answers against the Aggies defense, I’m taking North Carolina to cover this spread.