In the final game of the Elite 8, we have blue blood North Carolina facing off against the first ever 15 seed (or any 13 seed and above) to make it to the Elite 8 in Saint Peter’s. This game is being played on Sunday, March 27th at 5:05PM ET in Philadelphia, PA at the Wells Fargo Center.
Even with Saint Peter’s improbable run, they are still pretty heavy underdogs to this UNC team. UNC is currently favored by 8 points, with the over/under at 137.5.
I think we have to start with Saint Peter’s, right?! I mean, what a story. The first ever 15 seed to make it to the Elite 8. The other two 15 seeds to make it to the Sweet 16 both lost in that round, so Saint Peter’s made history.
Looking at the moneyline odds above, the only play would be to take St Peter’s moneyline at +295 on BetRivers Sportsbook. The UNC odds are just too steep to be worth taking.
The Peacocks of Saint Peter’s being in the Elite 8 is no fluke. They have 3 legitimately impressive wins under their belt, and there is no argument to be made that it was all luck that got them here.
What is so impressive about their run is how they have won the 3 games. The Kentucky game was a shootout, with both teams scoring in the 70s even before overtime, and then they held two good offenses in Murray State and Purdue to less than 65 points. That Purdue performance was especially impressive.
Purdue has the number 1 offense in the entire NCAA according to KenPom. They feature potential top 3 pick in Jaden Ivy, plus two behemoth big men in Zach Edey and Trevion Williams. No problem for Saint Peter’s, though! They held Ivy and Edey to a combined 20 points.
This team is well-coached, plays solid team defense, and are littered with tough shot-makers. That’s a combination that can win in March. Doug Edert is the most popular name of the group, but Clarence Rupert and Daryl Banks deserve a shoutout as well.
All 3 players scored in the double digits, representing a balanced offensive attack. They also seem to come up with big shots when needed, at least through 3 games so far.
I could go on all day about Saint Peter’s, but UNC deserves their shouts as well. They also find themselves in the Elite 8 after an impressive run so far. They beat the snot out of Marquette in the first round, survived the reigning national champs in Baylor despite blowing a 25 point lead, and outlasted final 4 participant UCLA in the Sweet 16.
If you want to talk about a balanced scoring attack, look no further than UNC. Brady Manek went off against Baylor to the tune of 26 points before he got ejected. Once he was kicked out, it was R.J. Davis’ turn- he stepped up in Maneks absence and scored 30 points himself.
One player who was quiet in that Baylor game, though, was Caleb Love, who finished with 5 points. It was his turn to step up against UCLA. He finished the game with 30 points, making clutch 3 after clutch 3.
UNC was down by 3 in the final minute of the game, and then Love hit back to back 3-pointers and UNC was able to hold on from there.
I haven’t even mentioned UNC’s leading scorer on the season either! That would be big man Armando Bacot, who has played well so far this tournament.
All in all, the only thing I am sure of is that this is going to be an awesome game. I’m also pretty confident that this game will not be a blowout. UNC being favored by 8 points is just too rich for my blood. So, I love the Peacocks to cover here.
I locked in Saint Peter’s +8 on PointsBet Sportsbook. The OddsJam Perfect Line prices this at -108, so there is some Positive Expected Value there. I do think UNC wins straight up, but I wouldn’t be surprised if St Peters continued their run, so I love getting the 8 point cushion.
North Carolina vs Saint Peter’s Pick:
My favorite March Madness betting pick for this game is Saint Peter’s to cover 8 points. I locked this in on PointsBet Sportsbook at -105 odds.
North Carolina vs Saint Peter’s Pick:
My prediction for this game is the North Carolina wins 71-70.