Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:45 AM

Wisconsin vs. UNC Predictions, Odds, Preview


Mar. 19, 2021

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Wisconsin vs. UNC Predictions

The Wisconsin Badgers and North Carolina Tar Heels square off at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Indiana at 7:10 p.m. ET on CBS for an 8-9 matchup in the South Region. The winner will move on to face the winner of Hartford and top-seed Baylor.

The Badgers really hit the skids down the stretch, going just 1-4 SU across the past five games. They split their two games in the Big Ten tournament, barely squeezing by Penn State, 75-74, before getting ousted by Iowa while pushing against a five-point number. Wisconsin lost the final three games of the regular season, and they wrapped up the regular season 4-8 SU/5-7 ATS in the final 12 of the regular season.

The Tar Heels came up just short in the ACC Tournament, getting bumped by conference runner-up Florida State, 69-66. They ended up going 2-0-1 ATS in the three games in the league tourney, and they finished the regular season on a 8-4 SU/7-5 ATS run.

While the Tar Heels didn't fare well in games against tournament teams in the non-conference schedule, falling to Texas on a neutral site, losing at Iowa and falling at Georgia Tech in their final game of 2020, they really seemed to hit their stride once the calendar read 2021. They swept rival Duke in their annual two-game Battle of the Blues, and they scored a late-season win over Florida State and a 45-point win over a decent Louisville side.

  • Score Prediction: UNC 71 Wisconsin 64
  • Best Bets - Side: UNC -2
  • Best Bets - Total: UNDER 139.5

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Wisconsin vs. UNC Betting Odds

Line Movements

  • Spread: UNC -2
  • Total: 139.5
  • Money-Line: UNC -135 Wisconsin +115

Odds to Win NCAA Tournament

Odds to Win South Regional

Odds Subject to Change

First Round Predictions

Friday's Early Action - Mar. 19
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Handicapping Wisconsin vs. UNC

Wisconsin did a good job in the non-conference schedule, including an impressive 77-63 win over Loyola Chicago on Dec. 15. And like UNC, the Badgers also spanked Louisville during the regular season, taking the Cardinals behind the woodshed in an 85-48 win at Kohl Center on Dec. 19. There was nothing special about the Badgers in conference play, and they basically won the games they should win, and lost the ones they were expected to lose.

UNC enters 3-0-1 ATS across the past four games, and it's their longest streak without a non-cover this season. The Tar Heels were the team to fade early on, enduring an ugly 2-9-1 ATS run from Dec. 1-Jan. 20. They also scored 101 points in a victory against Notre Dame in the opening game of the ACC tourney, a season best in offense. The previous high was 91, scored in both wins over Duke.

Both teams were a bit inconsistent, but at different times of the campaign. UNC started out slowly, but turned it up as the season ended. The Badgers were a solid club, even ranked at one point, but they folded like a tent down the stretch and ended on a low note. Therefore UNC is the team to back in this coin-flip matchup.

  • Region: South
  • Matchup: 8 vs. 9
  • Venue: Mackey Arena
  • Location: West Lafayette, Indiana
  • Date: Mar. 19, 2021
  • TV-Time: CBS - 7:10 p.m. (ET)

Handicapping Resources: March Madness Central | NCAA Consensus Picks

Betting Stats & Analysis - Wisconsin Badgers

Straight Up - SU, Against the Spread - ATS, Over-Under (O/U)

The Badgers went 5-6 SU in their 11 true road games, while going 1-1 SU on a neutral court in the league tourney. In other words, they weren't very good when they weren't on their home court.

Wisconsin is also just 1-3-1 ATS across the past five as an underdog, while going a dismal 1-5-1 ATS in their previous seven against teams with a winning overall record. And while they are 14-6-2 ATS in the past 22 NCAA Tournament games, that doesn't hold a lot of water for this current assortment. The recent history is way more important, and the Badgers are just 0-3-1 ATS in the past four neutral-site affairs.

As far as the total is concerned, Wisconsin has hit the OVER in four of the past five, the UNDER is 38-15-2 in the past 55 as an underdog. In the NCAA Tournament, for what it's worth, the UNDER is 4-1 in the past five for the Badgers as an underdog. The UNDER is also 11-1 in their past 12 as an underdog at a neutral site, too.

Seed: 9
Conference: Big Ten
Bid: At-large

  • SU: 17-12
  • ATS: 13-15-1
  • O/U: 14-15
  • Current Form (Last 5): 1-4 SU, 1-3-1 ATS, 4-1 O/U
  • Notable Wins: Louisville, Michigan State, Maryland, Rutgers
  • PS/G: 69.6 (222nd)
  • PA/G: 64.3 (38th)
  • Off Rtg: 105 (115th)
  • Def Rtg: 97 (95th)

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Betting Stats & Analysis - UNC Tar Heels

As mentioned, North Carolina has been a little more dependable lately, going 3-0-1 ATS across their past four outings. In addition, the Tar Heels have responded well, at least for bettors, when following a loss. They have covered four in a row after a SU setback.

The Heels are 3-0-1 ATS across the past four neutral-site games, while going 4-0-1 ATS in the past five neutral-site games as a favorite. The Heels are also an impressive 5-1-1 ATS in the previous seven against teams with an overall winning mark.

As far as the NCAA Tournament is concerned, UNC is just 1-4 ATS in the past five as a favorite in the Big Dance, but a lot of those games have been when heavily favored as a high seed.

The OVER is 6-1 in the previous seven this season for UNC as a favorite, while going 4-1 in the past five after a straight-up loss. However, the UNDER is 8-2 in the past 10 neutral-site games, while hitting the UNDER in five of the past six NCAA Tournament battles.

Seed: 8
Conference: ACC
Bid: At-large

  • SU: 18-10
  • ATS: 13-13-2
  • O/U: 13-15
  • Current Form (Last 5): 3-2 SU, 3-1-1 ATS, 3-2 O/U
  • Notable Wins: Stanford, Duke (x2), Louisville, FSU, Virginia Tech
  • PS/G: 75.7 (72nd)
  • PA/G: 69.4 (152nd)
  • Off Rtg: 105.3 (110th)
  • Def Rtg: 96.5 (82nd)

First Round Predictions

Friday's Late Action - Mar. 19
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Key Players to Watch

The Badgers had just two players, D'Mitrik Trice and Micah Potter, averaging double digits in points this season. Potter had 12.9 PPG in the regular season, while grabbing a team-high 5.9 RPG. Trice paced the team with 13.7 PPG, while adding 3.9 APG to lead the club. Both are exceptional free-throw shooters, hitting over 80 percent. In fact, five players are at 77.1 percent or better from the line, and the team is 33rd in the nation at 76.0 percent from the charity stripe.

The Tar Heels saw Armando Bacot lead the way with 11.7 PPG this season, and he was just edged out by Day Ron Sharpe, who led with 7.8 RPG. Unlike the Badgers, the Tar Heels are horrific from the free-throw line at 67.1 percent, good for 285th from the stripe. They're also 296th from behind the three-point line at 30.9 percent. But they will want the ball in the hands of Kerwin Walton late, as he hit at an impressive 94.1 percent clip from the charity stripe.

  • WIS - D'Mitrik Trice (13.7 PPG, 4 APG)
  • WIS - Micah Potter (12.8 PPG, 5.9 RPG)
  • UNC - Armando Bacot (12.2 PPG, 8 RPG)
  • UNC - Caleb Love (10.5 PPG)

March Madness Records & Trends

Wisconsin Badgers

  • All-Time Record: 38-23
  • Last Appearance: 2019
  • Deepest Run: Final Runner-up (2015)

-- Wisconsin has reached the Sweet 16 in four of its last five NCAA Tournament appearances.
-- Wisconsin has won 13 of its last 18 NCAA Tournament games.
-- Wisconsin has lost three of its last five NCAA Tournament games.
-- Wisconsin has failed to cover the spread in four of its last five games.
-- Wisconsin has gone OVER the point total in four of its last five games.

UNC Tar Heels

  • All-Time Record: 126-47
  • Last Appearance: 2019
  • Deepest Run: Champion (2017)

-- UNC has won 34 of its last 43 NCAA Tournament games.
-- UNC has reached the Sweet 16 in four of its last five NCAA Tournament appearances.
-- UNC has reached the National Championship in two of its last four NCAA Tournament appearances.
-- UNC has been eliminated by a SEC school in two straight NCAA Tournament appearances.
-- UNC has covered the spread in four of its last six games.
-- UNC has gone OVER the point total in three of its last four games.

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