North Carolina (29-7) vs. Butler (25-8) Prediction & Game Preview
NCAA Tournament: North Carolina vs. Butler fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Friday, March 24
Game Time: 7:09 pm ET
Venue: FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN
What’s The Deal With North Carolina?
It hasn’t been totally smooth sailing so far for the Tar Heels, but they managed to push ahead late to survive a nightmare of a battle against Arkansas. There were too many turnovers – 17 – and the offense only hit 38% from the field, but the defense forced 18 turnovers and the 45-32 rebounding margin turned out to be the difference.
That’s hardly a shock. UNC leads the nation in rebounding margin, and it’s seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio. They might have had to fight to get by the Hogs, but unlike arch-rival and ACC Tournament champ, Duke, the Tar Heels had the fight and the toughness to battle through the adversity and move on.
What’s The Deal With Butler?
Butler rolled through the first two rounds, coming up with an impressive win over a dangerous Middle Tennessee team by hitting everything. The Bulldogs nailed a ridiculous 8-of-15 threes and was 51% from the field. Meanwhile, the Blue Raiders were held to 4-of-19 from behind the arc.
Butler is normally good from three, and it’s been great at coming up with takeaways and hitting everything from the field – the performance against Middle Tennessee wasn’t a shocker. There might not be too much of an interior presence, but the firepower is there to keep up with anyone.
What’s Going To Happen
Butler will be more than just pesky. It’ll match the Tar Heels shot for shot, and it’ll stay alive by bombing away from the outside. North Carolina will be much stronger inside, and it’ll control the ball well enough without giving up easy baskets. There are plenty of similarities between Butler and Arkansas – UNC has seen this before.
Fearless Prediction & Line
North Carolina 80, Butler 72
Line: North Carolina -7, 0/u: 153
ATS Confidence: 2.5
5: Leave Vegas richer in body, mind & spirit
1: Leave the sportsbook, get tickets for Menopause The Musical or Puppetry of the Penis