NCAA Tournament: North Carolina vs. Iona fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Friday, March 22
Game Time: 9:20 ET
Venue: Nationwide Arena, Columbus, OH
All You Really Need To Know About North Carolina (27-8)
(27-6), NCAA NET Rank: 7. Midwest 1-seed
Yeah, there was an ACC Tournament loss to Duke, and yeah, there were losses to Kentucky, Michigan and Virginia along the way, but this has the look of a national championship team. The speed is blinding and the play from Coby White, Cameron Johnson, and Luke Maye is enough to crank up the offense to put up points in bunches.
The defense is a bit lacking, and there are way too many turnovers, but the Tar Heels move the ball around so, so well, no one in the tournament is better on the defensive boards, and there’s no reason to even show up if you’re not ready and able to put up at least 80 points.
All You Really Need To Know About Iona (17-15)
(MAAC), NCAA NET Rank: 202. Midwest, 16-seed
The Gaels were able to take down the regular season and the conference championships to overcome a miserable start to the season. They started out 2-9 playing absolutely no defense whatsoever, and they were just 7-15 in mid-February, and then it all kicked in. They rolled with ten straight wins including two dominant MAAC Tournament wins to get into the NCAAs.
They’re terrific from three, great on the line, but they live on their outside shooting. However, they can’t guard a lick from beyond the arc, and the scoring pop isn’t consistent. But they can get hot.
What’s Going To Happen
The Gaels aren’t that great on the boards … uh oh.
They’ll start shooting threes and keep firing away just enough to potentially go on a few runs to keep it interesting, but the Tar Heels will score at will inside and out. The second chance points will turn this into a stress-free UNC win into the second round.
Fearless Prediction & Line
North Carolina 90, Iona 68
Line: North Carolina -24, o/u: 166
ATS Confidence: 1.5
5: Watching games by Vegas pool working on fruity drink No. 3
1: Watching game online while doing TPS reports in your cubicle