UNC Tar Heels Vs Wisconsin Badgers Point Spread & ATS Pick

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UNC Tar Heels Vs Wisconsin Badgers Point Spread & ATS Pick

The top-seeded Wisconsin Badgers take on an offensive force in the 4th-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels, Thursday in the Sweet 16. Kennedy Meeks is out for the Tar Heels and Traevon Jackson makes his return for Wisconsin.

The Badgers defeated the Oregon Ducks on Sunday night and while the Tar Heels took care of the Arkansas Hogs.

UNC has played well over its last nine games, putting together a 7-2 SU and 6-3 ATS run that includes strong road wins over Louisville and Virginia.

The Badgers won but failed to cover in each of their first two games of the NCAA Tournament, beating Coastal Carolina 86-72 as a 20-point favorite and Oregon 72-65 as a 12.5-point favorite. Winning without covering become all too common for the Badgers this year as the team is 18-1 SU and 8-10-1 ATS over its last 19 games.

Analyzing The North Carolina Tar Heels Vs Wisconsin Badgers Point Spread & ATS Pick

Matchup: (4) North Carolina Tar Heels vs (1) Wisconsin Badgers
Date: Mar. 26, 2015 
Start Time: 7:47 p.m. ET 
Location: Los Angeles, California
Stadium: Staples Center
TV Info: TBS
Stream: March Madness Live
Radio: North Carolina Vs Wisconsin
Point Spread: Badgers -5.5
Game Total: 141

North Carolina Will Cover 5.5-point the Spread If

They can control the boards.

We’re getting down to the nitty gritty in the NCAA Tournament. Every team that makes it to the Sweet 16 is a good team. That’s the bottom line. When it comes to North Carolina versus Wisconsin, the two teams are evenly matched, which means that the team that covers the spread is likely the one that does what they do best better than what their opponent does best.

North Carolina’s strength is rebounding. The Tar Heels out rebound their opponents on average 40.9 to 29.1. In their first game in the NCAA Tournament, a 67 to 65 win over Harvard, North Carolina out rebounded the Crimson 34 to 24. But NC fell apart on the boards in their second game versus Arkansas. The Heels grabbed one more board than the Razorbacks, 39 to 38. North Carolina still won the game, 87 to 78. North Carolina got lucky versus Arkansas. If NC doesn’t win the battle of the boards versus Wisconsin, they won’t cover the spread against the Badgers. Wisconsin is too good of a team.

North Carolina’s Sweet Sixteen Projected 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)

Wisconsin Will Cover the 5.5-point Spread If

The Badgers’ defense can step it up.

Wisconsin’s offense has been very good during the tournament. But the defense has lagged. During the regular season, the Badgers were fantastic defensively. Wisconsin held Ohio State to 48 points in a 72 to 48 win, Michigan to 60 points in a 71 to 60 victory, and Purdue to 51 points, 12 points in the second half, of a 71 to 51 win in the Big Ten Tournament.

Only Michigan State had success versus Wisconsin’s defense in the Big Ten Tournament when scoring 69 points. The Spartans needed overtime to do it. Coastal Carolina, the 16 seed in the West Region, shot 48.3% from the field and 58.3% from the three-point line. Oregon shot 44.1% from the field and 42.1% from three. Wisconsin won both games but they didn’t cover in either. Unless the Badgers step it up on defense, they won’t cover the spread versus North Carolina on Thursday.

Wisconsin Badgers’ Sweet Sixteen Projected Starting Lineup:

  • G Bronson Koenig, 6-2, So., 7.8 ppg, 2.2 apg
  • G Josh Gasser, 6-3, Sr., 7.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg
  • F Sam Dekker, 6-9, Jr.., 13.1 ppg, 5.5 rpg
  • F Nigel Hayes, 6-7, So., 12.0 ppg, 6.4 rpg
  • C Frank Kaminsky, 7-0, Sr., 18.4 ppg, 8.1 rpg
  • Coach: Bo Ryan (14th season)

March Madness ATS Pick – North Carolina Tar Heels 78, Wisconsin Badgers 76