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NCAA Tournament Betting — Will the Clock Strike 12 for St. Peter’s vs. North Carolina?

March Madness Sweet Sixteen 2022

St. Peter’s has Shocked the NCAA Tournament World So Far!!

By Charles Jay

How far can the Saint Peter’s Peacocks actually go in the NCAA Tournament? Well, based on what they’ve done so far, would you doubt them for anything?  After hanging defeats on Kentucky, Murray State and Purdue, they will tackle another big obstacle as they take on the North Carolina Tar Heels for the right to go to the Final Four.

This game takes place at 5:05 PM ET at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. And BetAnySports patrons can watch on CBS.

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NCAA Tournament Betting — Here are the numbers…..

The Tar Heels are favored by quite a few points here:

North Carolina Tar Heels -8.5 (-115)
St. Peter’s Peacocks +8.5 (-105)

Over 137.5 Points -110
Under 137.5 Points -110

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NCAA Tournament Betting — How St. Peter’s got here

The magic carpet ride has been something out of a storybook. But the Peacocks haven’t been a fluke. They’ve faced decided disadvantages against the likes of Kentucky, Murray State and Purdue, but they have figured out a way to get past all those hurdles. They’ve simply had the right strategy, and that is a tribute to head coach Shaheen Holloway, who may have used this as a springboard to move into the vacant head coaching job at his alma mater, Seton Hall.

Defense has been a hallmark of this run. They have held these opponents to a combined 40% field goal shooting, and just 28.3% from three-point range. They are getting up in the faces of long-distance shooters, and haven’t been dominated enough on the boards for that to make a difference.

A key figure here is 6-7 swingman KD Ndefo, who was named the Metro Atlantic Conference Defensive Player of the Year. He can guard a lot of people, so we wonder who Holloway will have him concentrating on. Perhaps it’s 6-4 backcourt man Caleb Love, who scored 30 points in the win over UCLA that got the Heels to this point.

NCAA Tournament Betting — How North Carolina got here

North Carolina, which had spoiled Coach K’s Duke home finale at the end of the regular season, have beaten Marquette, Baylor and UCLA in the Big Dance. And they have shown that different people can handle the “go-to” role. Brady Manek exploded for 28 and 26 points – his two highest scoring totals of the season – in the first two games. Love, as mentioned, had 30 against UCLA. And RJ Davis went off for 30 against Baylor. So this will tax the defensive efforts of St.Peter’s.

This Tar Heel team has come a long way from the squad that lost by 28 points to Miami and 22 to Wake Forest early in the ACC season.

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NCAA Tournament Betting — So who wins, and who covers?

A potential problem for St. Peter’s is that they just don’t shoot the ball that well. On the season they are just 46.1% inside the three-point arc, and so they will not likely get the easy baskets. That’s magnified by the fact that North Carolina is second in the nation in defensive rebound percentage.

But maybe a bigger factor regards the foul line. St.Peter’s has played game where it absolutely has to get free throws in order to be at their best. That has accounted for almost 22% of their points, which is the 20th highest percentage in the country. Well, North Carolina just so happens to be one of those teams that does not send opponents to the line all that much – in fact, their foes have scored just 13.7% of their points at the charity stripe.

On the other side of the coin, St.Peter’s commits a lot of fouls. THEIR opponents have scored 25.5% of their points at the line. And they have surrendered 73 free throws in the three tournament games. UNC is 76.9% at the line, so this is just not a good fundamental matchup for them from that standpoint.

And that is why we’re laying the points.

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Dirty has been an employee or owner of some of the top online sports gambling forums since 1998. He worked at EOG.com from it's inception until 2008 when he left and opened GamblingIQ and then in 2012 opened Handicappers Hidaway. He has written hundreds af articles over the years and always has his "Dirty Dozen" College Football poll up starting the first week of October.
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