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March Madness Betting – Blackbirds vs. Tar Heels Free Round 1 Pick

2011 NCAA Tournament Predictions – Long Island Blackbirds vs North Carolina Tar Heels Preview

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#15 Long Island vs. #2 North Carolina
NCAA TOURNAMENT BRACKET – EAST REGION
Date/Time: Friday, March 18, 7:20 p.m. ET
Venue: Time Warner Cable Arena, Charlotte, NC
Broadcast: CBS
Long Island Blackbirds vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Betting Lines from Sportsbook.com
Money Line: OFF
Spread: North Carolina -17.5
Over/Under: 158

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Long Island Blackbirds (27-5)

In 104 first-round games since 1985, the No. 2 seed is 100-4 against the No. 15 seed. In other words, Long Island ain’t beating North Carolina on Friday. The bigger question is whether or not the Blackbirds can beat the 17.5-point spread.

First off, it’s worth noting that these guys can really score. Long Island’s 82.6 points per game is the fourth-highest mark in the nation this season. Yet the Blackbirds do it without a go-to guy; no one on their team averages more than 12.9 points per game.

Long Island rides a 13-game winning streak into the NCAA Tournament. This team is brimming with confidence and the thrill of being selected. Also, the Blackbirds lead the country in free throws per field goal. They get to the line very well. They also defend long-range shooter excellently. Those are all major pluses and enough to make us think hard about the spread.

North Carolina Tar Heels (26-7)

The 17-point loss to Duke was deflating but North Carolina generated some excitement in the ACC tourney last week, most notably in its 92-87 overtime win over Clemson. Online Sports Betting at Sportsbook

It was Harrison Barnes’ coming-out party; the freshman forward exploded for 40 points. In doing so, he sent a message to the March Madness field: that UNC has a guy who can take over games.

Also making North Carolina dangerous: talented supporting cast members like John Hensen, Tyler Zeller and Kendall Marshall. The Tar Heels are one of the tournament’s deepest teams and have a decent shot to make a deep run this year.

Trends:

Under is 8-3 in NOCAR last 11 overall.

The Pick:

Clearly, UNC takes this game. It’s deeper, it’s far more experienced and it’s not afraid to get into a shootout with high-flying Long Island. Watch for Kendall Marshall to really help UNC up the tempo with his passing. However, I don’t like the 17.5-point spread. I just think this game will have too much back-and-forth scoring. North Carolina could completely outclass Long Island and still only win by 15.

Long Island vs. North Carolina Prediction: North Carolina 86, Long Island 77

Money Line: OFF
Spread: Long Island +17.5
Over/Under: OVER 158

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Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.


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