Two of the most storied programs in college basketball history will collide in a Sweet Sixteen matchup, as the UCLA Bruins and North Carolina Tar Heels will meet in historical Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on Friday night.
These two programs are two of the “blue blood” programs in college basketball. They were once led by two of the most iconic coaches in the history of the sport, as Dean Smith was a stalwart at North Carolina, while John Wooden is arguably the greatest college basketball coach of all time, leading UCLA to numerous National Championships. Check out March Madness Odds, analysis, and a free prediction for North Carolina Tar Heels versus UCLA Bruins.
March Madness Sweet 16 Round Betting Analysis: #8 North Carolina vs #4 UCLA Preview
North Carolina Tar Heels Analysis
North Carolina got hot just at the right time of the year. While they had struggled throughout much of the ACC season, they caught fire towards the tail end of the season.
They capped their regular season off with a huge win over Duke in Coach K’s last game ever at Cameron Indoor Stadium. They entered the tournament with a #8 seed. After pummeling Marquette in the first round, they met up with the top-seeded Baylor Bears.
After a player ejection and blowing a 25-point lead, North Carolina went to overtime with Baylor and outlasted the Bears, moving on to the Sweet 16. Brady Manek and Armando Bacot lead the high-powered North Carolina offense.
They can score points in bunches, and they’re also very good on the offensive glass. They can hit shots from the inside or the outside, so it’s hard to try and take something away from this group.
While they’re not the greatest defensive team, they can ramp it up on that end when needed. They’ll have a tough time, as UCLA has numerous players that can hurt the Heels on the offensive end of the floor.
UCLA Bruins Analysis
The #4 seeded UCLA Bruins come into this one after beating Akron in the first round and then defeating St. Mary’s in the second round to advance to the Sweet 16 matchup with the North Carolina Tar Heels.
Mick Cronin’s squad plays with a toughness on both ends of the floor. On offense, they’re led by Tyger Campbell, Johnny Juzang, and Jamie Jaquez. The offense is set up to get as many shots for Juzang and Jaquez as possible.
Many think that Cronin will try and slow the game down and play at a grinding pace on offense. UCLA has the talent to run with North Carolina, but Cronin’s defensive style of play will more than likely lead the Bruins to slow things down.
In this high-profile matchup, the UCLA Bruins are favored by 2.5-points. UCLA is a -138 on the moneyline, while North Carolina is a +115. In looking at the betting numbers, both the Bruins and the Tar Heel are 18-15-1 against the spread this season.
Like the oddsmakers, we think that this one will be a close one. We like the Bruins to pull this one off. They’ll slow things down and make things difficult for the North Carolina offense.
Even though the Tar Heels are one of the hottest teams coming into this one, UCLA will win this one by four points.