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Saint Peter’s Peacocks vs North Carolina Tar Heels Betting Preview

The winner of the East region will not be one of the top seeds. In an absolutely shocking region thus far, the battle for one of the Final Four spots will be between the No. 15 Saint Peter’s Peacocks (16-11) and the No. 8 North Carolina Tar Heels (23-8). This game will be played at the Wachovia Center, with tipoff scheduled for 5:09 pm ET.

Saint Peter’s has been the definition of a Cinderella Story this year. From a relatively unknown school with an enrollment barely over 2,000 to tournament darlings, they have the rooting interest of just about anyone who didn’t attend one of the other seven remaining schools.

Their amazing run’s latest success was a 67-64 win over No. 3 Purdue in the Sweet 16. In the win, Daryl Banks III had a team-high 14 points while Clarence Rupert and Doug Edert combined for 21 points.

Despite not finishing in the top-25 during the regular season, the Tar Heels have run through No. 9 Marquette, No. 1 Baylor, and No. 4 UCLA to get to this point. In the Sweet 16, they took down the Bruins 73-66.

Caleb Love was absolutely sensational in the Sweet 16, going for 30 points. Armando Bacot added a double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds.

North Carolina comes in as 8-point favorites in this one. The over/under for total points is 137.

More Odds

In terms of winning the National Championship, North Carolina is +660. Saint Peter’s is +5500 to win it all.

By The Numbers

The Tar Heels have had the better of the two offenses this season. They rank 17th in the nation averaging 78.5 points per game. The Peacocks rank 265th, averaging 66.9 points.

Defensively, it is all Saint Peter’s. They rank 20th overall in scoring defense, allowing just 62.7 points per game to opponents. North Carolina ranks 235th allowing 71.9 points.

Saint Peter’s Looks To Continue To Make History

Saint Peter’s isn’t just the tournament darlings; they have already made history. With their win over Purdue, they became the only No. 15 seed in NCAA tournament history to have made the Elite Eight. They will look to extend that to the first one to make it to the Final Four on Sunday.

While they have found success with their defense, Saint Peter’s offense is led by junior guard Daryl Banks III. This season, he is averaging a team-high 11.4 points to go along with 2.6 rebounds, 1.5 assists, and 1.1 steals per game.

The next two highest scorers for the Peacocks are KC Ndefo (10.7 points, 6.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, 1.2 steals, 2.8 blocks) and Doug Edert (9.7 points, 2.5 rebounds).

North Carolina Eyes A Return To Final Four

On Sunday, North Carolina will look to make their return to the Final Four for the first time since 2017. It was in that season that they also won their last NCAA championship with a win over Gonzaga.

Trying to bring another championship back to Chapel Hill, head coach Hubert Davis is also looking for a championship in his first season as head coach.

Davis’ offense has four stars who are willing to lead the way in scoring on any given night. Currently, the leading scorer is junior forward Armando Bacot. He is averaging a double-double with 16.4 points and 12.5 rebounds.

Other main threats include Caleb Love (15.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists), Brady Manek (15.1 points, 5.8 rebounds), and R.J. Davis (13.5 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists).

Take The Peacocks And The Points

It is hard to know when the fairytale, that is Saint Peter’s tournament, will come to an end, but one thing is for sure, they have earned the respect of college basketball.

Their elite defense has already quieted Kentucky, Murray State, and Purdue. That is two of the top ten scoring teams in the nation and three of the top 35. With that being said, it is hard to think they couldn’t do the same to North Carolina.

That doesn’t mean that they will pull off a win against a Tar Heels team that is also rolling, but the eight points seem like a lot with how the Peacocks have played.

For that reason, take Saint Peter’s and the points. They may not make it to the Final Four but expect them to make this matchup interesting and one that might come down to the wire.

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