Iona vs North Carolina March Madness Lines / Live Stream / TV Channel, Date / Time & Preview

Iona vs North Carolina March Madness Lines / Live Stream / TV Channel, Date / Time & Preview

Despite getting knocked out of the ACC Tournament semis by eventual champion Duke, North Carolina became the third ACC school to get a No. 1 seed in the 2019 NCAA Tournament. The Heels should have little trouble advantage as big March Madness odds favorites on Friday vs. No. 16 Iona.

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Iona vs North Carolina 2019 March Madness Odds & Game Info

Why Bet on Iona?

Iona was the regular-season champion of the MAAC and then beat Monmouth 81-60 to win the conference tournament for a fourth straight season. Iona led by double digits for portions of the first half but entered the locker room with a slimmer 36-30 lead. Then the second half began and the Gaels went into full-throttle mode. Iona outscored Monmouth in the second half 45-30 and a monstrous 20-2 run gave a cushion that’d last till the final buzzer. Iona didn’t make a field goal from 9:16 till 2:40 but nailed free throws down the stretch. The Hawks made just three buckets during the timespan. The Maroon & Gold had 23 points of 15 Monmouth turnovers. Iona had 11 steals.

Junior Asante Gist finished the game with a team-high 22 points. He matched his scoring total in the MAAC semifinal against Siena. Senior Rickey McGill finished his career as the only student-athlete in MAAC history to win four MAAC rings. The MAAC Championship’s Most Valuable Player finished his Maroon & Gold career with a perfect 12-0 record in the conference tournament.  McGill, the MAAC’s leader in minutes played, ranks No. 5 in the nation in percentage of minutes played. The Gaels’ point guard has played 93.7% of Iona’s total minutes this season.

Iona was picked to finish third in the MAAC and overcame the late departure of preseason All-MAAC Second Team selection Roland Griffin and an injury to junior transfer and 2017 All-Northeast Conference Second Team honoree Isaiah Still.

Nearly four of every 10 shots for Iona are 3-pointers. And that can make things tricky for a Tim Cluess-led team that shoots about 35 percent from beyond the arc. But E.J. Crawford (17.9 PPG, 39 percent from the 3-point line) and his teammates can be fun to watch.

Iona boasts one of the most balanced lineups in the country. Four players average double figures, led by their lone senior and MAAC tourney MVP McGill. Add in the fact that the Gaels have six legitimate 3-point threats in their lineup and they can be a massive headache for opposing coaches. Iona’s fast-paced style of play lends itself to lapses both in the half court and transition. The Gaels rank 274th (out of 353) in D-I in defensive efficiency and struggle to limit the 3-ball.

Team Statistics

  • Average Score For: 76.84
  • Field Goals: 45.33%
  • Three Points: 35.07%
  • Free Throws: 74.12%
  • Rebounds: 34.41
  • Average Score Against: 75.62
  • Field Goals: 44.45%
  • Three Points: 36.77%
  • Free Throws: 68.27%
  • Rebounds: 36.50

Why Bet on North Carolina?

Is North Carolina a safe betting pick in the First Round of the 2019 March Madness tournament?

UNC’s 74-73 loss to Duke in the ACC Tournament semis was just the second time in 22 games the Tar Heels lost when allowing less than 80 points this season. The Blue Devils scored 50 points in the paint, which equaled the most by an opponent this season (NC State scored 50 of its 96 points in Chapel Hill in the paint in a UNC win).

Carolina’s eight turnovers match UNC’s fewest in a loss this season (also in the home loss to Virginia).  Duke overcame a 13-point deficit, which ties UNC’s largest lead in a loss this season. Texas also trailed by 13 (17-4) and came back to win. Carolina shot 39.7 percent from the floor. UNC is 1-4 this season when shooting under 40 percent.

Cameron Johnson led UNC with 23 points. It was his 31st game in double figures and his 10th 20-point game this season. He has led UNC in scoring 13 times, most on the team. Luke Maye had 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. It was his 14th double-double this year and the 32nd of his career.

The Tar Heels have earned 17 No. 1 seeds in their NCAA Tournament history, most of any school in the nation. Roy Williams has led his teams to 13 No. 1 seeds, second-most in NCAA history among head coaches. Six of those were at Kansas. The previous seven number-one seeded Carolina teams under Williams have advanced to three national championships, two Final Fours and two regional finals.

If Maye scores 14 more points this season, the Tar Heels will have three 500-point scorers on this year’s team (Johnson and Coby White have already passed that figure). Seven previous UNC teams have had three 500-point scorers in the same season. Three of those won the national title, one finished as the national runner-up, two advanced to the Final Four, and one was eliminated in the regional final.

The Heels are at their best when they’re out and running in transition. Six different players average at least eight points per game, allowing Williams’ guys to withstand the occasional rough night from one of their top scorers. Three of Carolina’s five losses this year came when the Heels were held under 70 points.

Iona and North Carolina have played four times entering Friday’s contest. The Gaels are 1-3 against the Tar Heels all-time. Iona defeated North Carolina on Dec. 27, 2002 at Madison Square Garden as part of the Foot Locker/MSG Holiday Festival, 65-56. The Tar Heels were ranked No. 22 at the time. The winner of Iona versus North Carolina will advance to the second round of the tournament to play either No. 8 Utah State or No. 9 Washington.

Team Statistics

  • Average Score For: 86.06
  • Field Goals: 46.33%
  • Three Points: 36.40%
  • Free Throws: 74.16%
  • Rebounds: 43.55
  • Average Score Against: 72.94
  • Field Goals: 41.36%
  • Three Points: 32.92%
  • Free Throws: 68.34%
  • Rebounds: 33.85

Iona vs North Carolina March Madness Betting Trends

  • Iona is 16-38 ATS in their last 54 non-conference games.
  • Iona is 7-17 ATS in their last 24 games following a straight up win of more than 20 points.
  • Gaels are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 neutral site games.
  • Gaels are 0-6 ATS in their last 6 NCAA Tournament games.
  • North Carolina is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games following a ATS win.
  • Tar Heels are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.

Expert March Madness Betting Prediction

UNC 98, Iona 69

2019 March Madness Expert Betting News