The 13th-seed Harvard Crimson are 10-point underdogs when they take on the 4th-seed North Carolina Tar Heels on Thursday, March 19 at 7:20 PM ET, in the Round of 64 March Madness betting action in Jacksonville, Fla., with the hope of pulling off yet another upset over one of basketball’s perrenial Goliaths.
North Carolina is a lowly 4-8 against the spread in its last 12 NCAA tournament games while Harvard is 3-1 against the spread in its last four games at the Big Dance. Who will win this matchup? Keep reading.
A Closer Look At the Harvard Vs UNC NCAA March Madness Betting Line & My Free Pick
Matchup: (13) Harvard Crimson vs (4) North Carolina Tar Heels
Date: Mar. 19, 2015
Start Time: 7:20 p.m. ET
Location: Jacksonville, Florida
Stadium: Veterans Memorial Arena
TV Info: TNT
Stream: TNT Overtime
Radio: Harvard Vs North Carolina
Point Spread: Tar Heels -10
Harvard Will Cover the Spread If
The Crimson can slow the pace down against the Tar Heels.
Harvard needed lightning to strike twice in order for them to make it to the NCAA Tournament. First, the Crimson needed someone to upset Yale. That happened when Dartmouth beat Yale 59 to 58 on March 7. Then, Harvard had to beat Yale in a single game elimination tournament. Harvard did that on March 14 when they beat their biggest rival 53 to 51.
Did Harvard get lucky? Not really. Harvard took the opportunity that presented itself and made the most of it. A lot of other teams, Connecticut being the prime example, weren’t able to do that. Now, Harvard has to find a way to slow down UNC’s run and gun attack. The Crimson usually allows 57.2 points per game from 39.9% shooting from the field. They allow 32.8% success from behind the three-point line. Harvard will need to play to their averages on defense in order to cover the spread.
Harvard March Madness Starting Lineup
- G Siyani Chambers, 6-0, Jr., 9.9 ppg, 4.4 apg
- G Wesley Saunders, 6-5, Sr., 16.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg
- G Corbin Miller, 6-2, So., 8.5 ppg, 1.6 rpg
- F Steve Moundou-Missi, 6-7, Sr., 9.7 ppg, 7.3 rpg
- F Agunwa Okolie, 6-8, Jr., 4.5 ppg, 3.9 rpg
- Coach: Tommy Amaker (eighth season)
North Carolina Will Cover the Spread If
UNC can get out on the fast break.
Harvard plays the traditional Ivy League way, like Princeton, of holding the ball on offense, looking for the best shot and then taking it. On defense, Harvard likes to play tough. Their whole goal is to force opponents into playing their style of hoops.
North Carolina is at its best when Marcus Paige and J.P. Tokoto push the pace. If Justin Jackson, Kennedy Meeks and Brice Johnson are running the floor as well, there’s a good chance that North Carolina will have Harvard on their heels. Jackson was exceptional versus Virginia when scoring 22 points. He scored only 7 points versus Notre Dame in the ACC Championship game. That broke a streak of 8 straight games in double-figures.
— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) March 18, 2015
Paige and Tokoto will be more than happy to set Jackson up for a big night in this game. He’ll have to run the floor and keep up with those two guys, though, if he wants to score. Paige could have a monster game versus Harvard. Nobody on the Crimson’s squad is close to Paige’s talent level.
North Carolina March Madness Starting Lineup
- G Marcus Paige, 6-1, Jr., 13.5 ppg, 4.4 apg
- G Justin Jackson, 6-8, Fr., 10.1 ppg 3.8 rpg
- F Brice Johnson, 6-9 Jr., 12.6 ppg, 7.9 rpg
- F Kennedy Meeks, 6-9, So., 12.0 ppg, 7.6 rpg
- F J.P. Tokoto, 6-5, Jr., 8.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg
- Coach: Roy Williams (12 seasons)