North Carolina Tar Heels Odds to Win the 2015 NCAA Tournament with Picks and Predictions
by George Monroy - 3/16/2015
North Carolina ended up with a No. 4 seed in the West Region after a tough defeat against Notre Dame during the ACC championship, yet they may have been rewarded for the loss by being kicked out of Kentucky's bracket and into a situation where a Sweet 16 appearance and beyond is within reach for the team. The Tar Heels were overwhelmed during the second half of their ACC title game matchup against the Fighting Irish and gave up a 26-3 run which essentially put the game away.
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North Carolina received a solid 24-point performance from junior standout Marcus Paige and still believes its squad has enough offensive firepower to make its third Elite Eight appearance over the last five seasons. The Tar Heels are coming off two disappointing tournament finishes in 2013 and 2014 but have a string of deep runs and two national titles over the last 10 seasons. Let's take a closer look at North Carolina's national title odds with predictions and analysis.
2015 North Carolina National Title Storylines
North Carolina is set to open the tournament against No. 13 Harvard, who ended the year with a 22-7 record, and has a clear path to a Sweet 16 berth before things becoming truly difficult. If the Tar Heels, who are a large favorite, can get past the Crimson then they will most likely face the No. 5 seed in Arkansas and then would face off against an excellent Wisconsin squad (if there are no upsets, of course) that is led by one of the best players in the nation in Frank Kaminsky.
North Carolina continues to be a one of the scariest offensive squads in the nation with four double-digit scorers and a go-to player in Paige that can produce his own shots late in games. The squad has been deadly efficient in shooting the ball this season and should have enough firepower to challenge Wisconsin in a potential Sweet 16 matchup. North Carolina's major concern will be getting ready for a deep tournament run after losing an ACC title game it could have won.
2015 North Carolina National Title Odds and ATS Trends
North Carolina is currently receiving +2500 national title odds at Sportsbook.ag and opened as a 10.5-point favorite against Harvard. The total also opened at 134 points, while the oddsmakers installed North Carolina is a -725 moneyline favorite to Harvard as a +525 underdog. The Tar Heels ended the year with a 19-15 overall ATS record, but they struggled at home and only managed to produce a 5-9-1 record inside their home arena. The squad also produced a 19-13-1 totals mark but went "under" in five of its last eight matchups.
2015 North Carolina National Title Odds and Predictions
North Carolina always seems to be in the national title mix and reinvents itself on the big stage every couple of seasons. The Tar Heels, however, will have a tough road out of the West bracket if they happen to reach the Sweet 16, where a potential matchup against Wisconsin looms to go along with possible games against Arizona in the Elite Eight and Kentucky in the Final Four. North Carolina is talented, can score the ball and, most importantly, rebounds well, but predicting a national title game appearance for the school seems like wishful thinking at best.
The squad's ACC title game loss produced a few red flags, namely North Carolina's tendency to stand around and let Paige to most of the work. A well-balanced offensive attack will be essential to making a deep run, and sometimes the Tar Heels are hit and miss. Expect a Sweet 16 apperance out of this group and probably not much more.
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Read more articles by George Monroy
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