- The eighth-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels are 8-point favorites over the #15 Saint Peter’s Peacocks in an NCAA Tournament East Region Elite Eight game on Sunday, March 29
- Saint Peter’s is the first #15 seed to reach the Elite Eight
- Below, see the UNC vs Saint Peter’s odds and picks
The UNC Tar Heels (27-9, 19-16-1 ATS) enjoy a rich tapestry of success in the NCAA Tournament. On the other hand, the Saint Peter’s Peacocks (22-11, 24-9 ATS) are making March Madness history.
Both for their school and for every 15 seed that’s ever played in the tournament.
Prior to Friday, when the Peacocks bounced the Purdue Boilermakers in the Sweet Sixteen, no #15 seed had ever reached the Elite Eight.
Speaking of eight, the #8 Tar Heels upset the #4 UCLA Bruins in their Elite Eight game on Friday.
Saint Peter’s vs North Carolina Odds
|Saint Peter’s||+285||+8 (-110)||O 137 (-110)|
|North Carolina||-360||-8 (-110)||U 137 (-110)|
Odds as of March 26th at Caesars Sportsbook.
Sunday’s game is set for a 6:05pm ET tipoff at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. CBS will be carrying the broadcast.
Oddsmakers aren’t ready to ride Cinderella’s coat tails. They’re making the Tar Heels the eight-point favorites over the Peacocks. Saint Peter’s is 10-0 against the spread over the past 10 games.
Saints Preserve Us
Let’s recap. Prior to this year, the Peacocks were 0-3 in NCAA Tournament play. It had been 11 years since Saints Peter’s participated in March Madness.
For starters, they knocked off #2 Kentucky 85-79. Next, there was a 70-60 verdict over #7 Murray State. Friday, #3 Purdue fell 67-64. The Peacocks were given an implied probability of victory of 13.33% against Purdue. Their chance of getting past Kentucky was just 7.69%.
Saint Peter’s was +200 to beat the Wildcats and 17.5-point underdogs. The Peacocks were 8-point underdogs and at a moneyline of +300 against the Racers. They were +650 and 13-point underdogs when taking the court to face the Boilermakers.
By making as little as $10 on the Peacocks in the moneyline through each round, you’d be showing a $215 profit. It’s still not too late to get in on the action and make a big score on Saint Peter’s. The Peacock are at +5000 in their odds to win the NCAA Tournament.
Love Conquers All
A streaky sophomore guard known for going on runs or running out of stream, North Carolina’s Caleb Love exhibited both sides of his Jekyll-Hyde on-court persona in the 73-66 win over UCLA. Love finished the game with 30 points.
He scored 27 of those points in the second half and 20 in the final 12:53. Love’s 3-pointer with1:06 to play gave UNC the lead for good at 67-64.
North Carolina’s -380 odds to reach the Final Four are the best of any other eight remaining schools.
Here’s something to factor this into your March Madness betting strategy. Saint Peter’s is the first school since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985 to win multiple games as a double-digit underdog in the same year.
What? I have been cheering for Saint Peter’s for years. They are my local New Jersey basketball team. Go Peacocks!! pic.twitter.com/lHrGPgW9NL
— Eli Manning (@EliManning) March 24, 2022
For the Peacocks, it’s about the collective and an indomitable spirit. No player scored more than the 14 points from junior guard Daryl Banks III but three netted at least 10. Saint Peter’s was 17-for-18 from the free-throw line in the second half.
Defensively, the Peacocks forced 15 Boilermakers turnovers, holding Purdue without a field goal for a five-minute stretch in the second half.
North Carolina vs Saint Peter’s Prediction
The last time the Tar Heels got this far in an NCAA Tournament was 2016-17, when they won the whole thing. They’ve taken out 50% of last year’s Final Four (Baylor, UCLA) in the last two games.
UNC junior forward Armando Bacot has 28 double-doubles this season, tied for the NCAA lead. In back-to-back games sophomore guard RJ Davis and Love each scored 30 points. That’s never happened before in the Tar Heel’s storied March Madness history.
HAPPY NATIONAL PEACOCK DAY 🦚
SAINT PETER'S SENT THREE TEAMS RUNNING 🤣 pic.twitter.com/9hQrj8Jg9d
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 26, 2022
Through three rounds, Saint Peter’s has beaten the NCAA’s #1 offense (Purdue), the NCAA’s winningest team (Murray State) and arguably the best player in the tournament (Kentucky’s Oscar Tshiebwe, who’s favored in the Wooden Award odds). Does anyone actually think an eight-seed, even one with a pedigree such as UNC, is going to scare the Peacocks?
The T-shirts worn by the Saint Peter’s players read “more is possible.” Go with that flow.
Pick: Saint Peter’s +8 (-110)
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