We could be in for a blowout on Sunday (Mar. 24) when the #9 Washington Huskies (24-7) face the #1 North Carolina Tar Heels (26-5) at Nationwide Arena in the 2019 NCAA Tournament. Washington fans might want to temper expectations as the Huskies started as huge 12-point underdogs. Their upset bid will get underway at 2:40 pm ET.
The winner will book a spot in the Sweet 16 in the Midwest Region, facing the winner of #5 Auburn vs #4 Kansas.
The underdog Huskies enter the game averaging 70 points per game, which ranks 241st in America. They shoot just 43-percent from the field and 35-percent from three (131st).
They have been much better defensively, though, currently 26th in America at 64 points against per game. They were even better than usual — on both sides of the ball — in the first round, handing #8 Utah State a crushing 78-61 loss.
Jaylen Nowell has been their leader on offense most of the year, averaging a team-best 16 points per game, and dropped an efficient 19 against the Aggies. Meanwhile, Noah Dickerson one-upped his teammate with a 20-point effort.
Dickerson leads the Huskies in rebounding, pulling down 7 boards a night, but as a team, the Huskies are one of the worst rebounding teams in the country, only registering 29 boards per game (329th). They routinely give up too many second chances.
They lost the rebounding battle to Utah State, 35-29, but it didn’t matter because they hit on 10/17 three pointers.
The Huskies will be facing a North Carolina team that is deft at the offensive end, ranked 17th in offensive rating and top-10 in offensive efficiency. That’s led to the Tar Heels averaging 87 points per contest, 3rd in the nation. They shoot a proficient 44-percent from the floor, 37-percent from beyond the arc (76th), and 74-percent from the stripe (77th).
The Tar Heels aren’t quite as good defensively, but they aren’t terrible either, sitting 55th in defensive rating while allowing 73 PPG.
Cameron Johnson leads the team offensively, scoring 17 points per contest, while Luke Maye leads the Tar Heels on the boards, pulling in 10 RPG.
Maye’s efforts on the glass have helped North Carolina dominate that part of the game. As a team, they are 1st in rebounding, with 40 RPG. They are likely to absolutely dominate the glass against Washington, which plays the 2-3 zone Mike Hopkins brought over from Syracuse.
The Tar Heels came out on top in their last game, beating Iona 88-73 after getting a scare from the Gaels, who led 38-33 at the half. Johnson led the team in scoring, as usual, with 21 points in the win.
Freshman point guard Coby White was good but not great, with just 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 4 assists. But Roy Williams’ other stud freshman, Nassir Little, had one of his best games of the season, dropping 19 points in just 17 minutes of action.
Against the spread, North Carolina has been a great bet this year, going 21-11-2 ATS. But approach with caution because Washington is a solid 18-16-1 ATS, as well.
Get the most recent odds, line movement, and our proprietary projection system’s score prediction for Washington vs North Carolina above. As always, good luck betting.