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Alabama vs. North Carolina: Picks, Predictions, Odds and Player Props

68 teams started in the tournament and only 16 are left, with the next round of games beginning on Thursday and featuring the Alabama Crimson Tide against the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Alabama began the tourney by defeating Charleston, who was a #13 seed. Following that win, the Crimson Tide faced Grand Canyon, a #12 seed. The Lopes kept the game very close, but Alabama was the stronger team in the final few minutes which earned the Crimson Tide the victory.

North Carolina has had a rather easy first few games in the tournament. The Tar Heels’ first two wins against Wagner and Michigan State were by a combined 44 points. Armando Bacot has looked dominant in the paint so far, and North Carolina’s guards have been phenomenal. UNC has been tabbed as four-point favorites on Thursday night, so let’s preview this matchup and see which team will advance to the next round.

Alabama vs. North Carolina betting picks and predictions

North Carolina -4

UNC has arguably been the most dominant team in the tournament so far. Both of North Carolina’s wins have been by double digits and barely had to break a sweat about losing.

That confidence will be crucial against Alabama, who has a severely below average defense. In their last few games, the Tar Heels have scored 85, 90, 76, 72, and 92 points. Their well-rounded offense is extremely difficult to defend since Bacot gets doubled in the paint frequently, but he can kick it out to RJ Davis or Cormac Ryan on the perimeter. The bottom line is North Carolina can beat you from the perimeter or the paint.

Alabama’s defense has been the main topic of their season. The Crimson Tide can score 90 points on any given night, but they also can allow that many too. In their last few games, Alabama has scored 72, 109, 88, 92, and 97 points which is near the top of the league.

However, Alabama has also allowed 61, 96, 102, 88, and 105 points in that same five game span. Alabama’s defense will be the difference in this game, so back the Heels to get the job done.

Over 173.5

This is the highest total of any game in this round. The next highest is Purdue and Gonzaga, which has a total of 154 points. It’s a drastic increase from the other games, but it also makes a lot of sense.

North Carolina has an extremely efficient offense and a decent defense, but the Heels’ strength is definitely their offense. As for Bama, it lives and dies by the offense. Defense appears to be an afterthought for the Crimson Tide, and that is why their games have been so high scoring this season. A combination of an elite offense and a horrendous defense is great for the over.

Also, UNC should be able to take full advantage of Alabama’s poor paint defense. Grant Nelson does not have the physicality that is needed to stop Bacot, so Nelson will likely get a lot of early fouls and give Bacot an even bigger advantage in the paint.

On the perimeter, the Crimson Tide will be shooting a lot of threes. Mark Sears has been fantastic in the tournament so far and scored 26 points in the win over Grand Canyon, so he will be a major factor from deep. Between two fantastic offenses, expect a high-scoring game.

Read more Men’s College Basketball Tournament coverage on site.

Alabama vs. North Carolina odds

Alabama

+154 ML

North Carolina

-185 ML

Spread

UNC -4

Total

O/U 173.5

Alabama vs. North Carolina player props

Player Points

Aaron Estrada (ALA)

O/U 15.5

Rylan Griffen (ALA)

O/U 9.5

Mark Sears (ALA)

O/U 21.5

Armando Bacot (UNC)

O/U 16.5

RJ Davis (UNC)

O/U 22.5

Harrison Ingram (UNC)

O/U 11.5

Cormac Ryan (UNC)

O/U 13.5

Read Alabama vs. North Carolina: How to watch, TV Channel, streaming, start time, injury report and stats on site.

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This article was written by a partner sports writer via Spotlight Sports Group. All odds displayed on this page were correct at the time of writing and are subject to withdrawal or change at any time.

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