The North Carolina Tar Heels meet the Iona Gaels at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus on Friday evening in NCAA 2019 1st round action.
The Tar Heels are the No.1 seed in the Midwest region, although it does look the most open of the four regions. North Carolina is in its 50th NCAA Tournament and the Tar Heels are a No. 1 regional seed for a record 17th time.
The Tar Heels also have recent success in the NCAA, having been champions two years ago (their sixth title overall) when they defeated the Gonzaga Bulldogs 71-65 in the final at the University of Phoenix Stadium.
North Carolina has lost just twice in their last 17 games. They’ve also faced some top teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference, including three meetings in little more than a three-week period against the Duke Blue Devils (the NCAA Tournament’s overall No. 1 seed this year), with the Tar Heels having won two of those games, but falling to a one-point in the ACC tournament semifinal last Friday.
In freshman guard Coby White, the Tar Heels have a player who averaged 16 points and four assists per game during the season. In late February in a game against Syracuse, White scored 34 points and he later went on to pass Michael Jordan on North Carolina’s all-time freshman scoring list.
Iona are the 16th seed in the Midwest region, but they are in the NCAA Tournament for the fourth straight year.
Few expert predictions will be backing the Gaels going into this game, but there’s no value in making the Tar Heels the tips on the Money Line, as they are priced at prohibitively short betting odds. The Winning Margin betting market looks a more attractive option, with 10Bet offering +350 on the Tar Heels winning by 21-25 points.
Pick: Winning Margin – North Carolina Tar Heels by 21-25 points @ +350 (10Bet)