NCAA Tournament Elite Eight Betting Preview
No. 1 North Carolina Tarheels (31-4) vs. No. 2 Oklahoma Sooners (30-5)
Sunday, 5:05PM Eastern
Betus.com betting line – North Carolina -6.5, O/U 164
Two of the most prominent teams from the regular season will take center court on Sunday afternoon in a big Elite Eight match-up. The North Carolina Tarheels are among all four remaining number one seeded teams who have yet to be beaten in the NCAA Tournament. However, they will take on the Oklahoma Sooners who have been playing extremely well this Sunday in a fight to determine who moves on to the Final Four. Both teams enter the game coming off impressive performances in the sweet sixteen. North Carolina took down Gonzaga by 21 points while Oklahoma took down Syracuse 84-71. The Tarheels have long been considered the most talented team in America, but they will take on what most consider the best player in America that is Blake Griffin and the Sooners. Will Griffin make another marvelous performance to take down the Tarheels or will North Carolina’s star studded lineup be too much to handle?
The game within the game will highlight two of the best players to step on a college basketball court in quite some time. Former Player of the Year winner Tyler Hansbrough is the ACC’s all-time leading scorer from the conference that produced the names Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan, Chris Paul, and more. Hansbrough will be in a classic battle with Oklahoma forward Blake Griffin who will likely win this year’s Player of the Year award. Hansbrough has been the leading weapon on offense this year for the Tarheels who are among the best scoring offense in the country averaging 93 points per game. Hansbrough has posted a healthy 21.3 scoring average this season while pulling down 8 rebounds per game as well. However, Hansbrough is just the tip of the iceberg considering North Carolina has countless weapons on offense. The guard play has really giving all competitors too much they can handle. Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington have been superb all season posting 16 points per game averages. These 3 standouts combined for 62 points in their victory over Gonzaga and they will probably place a big influence for their outcome against Oklahoma.
Oklahoma struggled to end the regular season after dominating most of the year. However, those struggles have been nothing but a forgotten memory for the Sooner nation. Oklahoma has come out playing very well in the tournament and has yet to be seriously challenged. The Sooners success has fallen in the shadow of the play of superstar Blake Griffin. Griffin has averaged 30 points and 15 rebounds per game throughout tournament play which is simply incredible. The rebounds and the scoring have played huge dividends for the Sooners success and it will be interesting to see if North Carolina has anything to slow down the extremely talented sophomore. However, Oklahoma will need more help from the rest of the team now more than ever to keep up with the Tarheels scoring offense. Willie Warren has been one of the most impressive freshmen guards in the nation averaging 15 points per game this season. Also, junior Tony Crocker blasted 28 points which was well over his season average against Syracuse on Friday night. These two guards along with forward Taylor Griffin will need a strong collective effort to take down the extremely talented Tarheels in march to the Final Four this Sunday.
Oklahoma is 18-4 SU in their last 22 games and is 13-8 in the over/under category in the last 22 games as well. North Carolina is 17-2 SU in the last 19 games and is 5-9 ATS in the last 13 games. The Tarheels have also reached the over total in 12 of their last 18 games.
Pick- North Carolina wins convincingly