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GONZAGA VS NORTH CAROLINA

Sportsbook.com Line  North Carolina -8.5 O/U 162

2009 March Madness

 

Gonzaga has become a staple of the NCAA Tournament. They have made the NCAA Tournament 11 times in a row, and have won the WAC regular season title every year since 2001. Last year ended in disappointment, as they fell to that years Cinderella surprise, Davidson, in the first round. If they are able to defeat North Carolina in their Sweet Sixteen match up, they will equal their all time best finish in the NCAA Tournament. That will be a tall order, but Gonzaga has the tools to get the job done. 

The North Carolina Tar Heels desperately wants another NCAA Tournament championship. Anything short of that will be considered a failure. Coach Roy Williams proved this when he let ACC Player of the Year Ty Lawson rest through the ACC Tournament and the first game of the NCAA Tournament.  The Tar Heels have won the ACC regular season title for three years running. They have appeared in an unbelievable 33 consecutive NCAA Tournament’s and were the champions in 2005. Gonzaga may prove to be just another notch their belt of victories. 

The Gonzaga Bulldogs are lucky to still be in this tournament. They barely defeated the twelfth seeded Western Kentucky Hilltoppers by a score of 85-83. Western Kentucky made just 5 of 14 free throws. North Carolina is tenth in the nation for FT% at 76.8, and you had better believe they will hit those shots when they count. Gonzaga also had trouble with the Akron Zips in the first round. Although they ended up winning by 12 points, they were trailing by 3 at half time. They are going to have to play much more consistently to even have a chance at knocking off North Carolina. 

Ty Lawson proved the rest did nothing but help him in UNC’s win over LSU. The guard exploded to add 23 points to the Tar Heels total in what would become a 84-70 victory. Some would argue that LSU is better than the ‘Zags, so the fact that North Carolina handled them easily bodes very well. The Tar Heels have so many weapons. They can turn to Hansbrough, Lawson, Ellington, or Green if they need a quick spur of points. This is truly a dangerous team. 

North Carolina is a team that lost just four times this season. One of those losses came in the ACC Tournament by a mere 3 points when the team was Lawson-less. Pundits believed they could go undefeated entering this season. Their best wins include a sweep of the Duke Blue Devils, Clemson Tigers, and Virginia Tech Hokies. They also own a 35 point win over the Michigan State Spartans. When this team is on, they CANNOT be beat, and will make a serious run for the national title. 

Gonzaga dominated the WAC, going 14-0 while beating second place finisher St. Mary’s twice. They own non conference wins over Maryland, Oklahoma State, and Tennessee. They played UCONN close, but ultimately yielded in overtime. That game is important, because if that ‘Zags team shows up they may just stand a chance. 

The line currently stands at North Carolina -8.5. I expect the Tar Heels to make a statement and deliver a crushing defeat to Gonzaga. The O/U is awfully high at 162.5, so I’d take the under. Check back to Bettorsworld.com for the latest NCAA Tournament information!

 

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