2016 Elite 8 Betting Odds & Aengus Free Picks: Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs North Carolina Tar Heels
Sunday, March 27, 2016
by Aengus Moorehead

2016 Elite 8 Betting Odds & Aengus Free Picks: Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs North Carolina Tar Heels

Notre Dame Looks to Surprise North Carolina in Elite Eight Battle

Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. North Carolina Tar Heels

Fighting Irish: 24-11 SU,16-16-1 ATS
Tar Heels: 31-6 SU,17-18-2 ATS
When: 8:49 PM ET, Sunday, March 27, 2016
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Story:
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will attempt to reach their first Final Four since 1978 when they set to prepare for an East Region showdown against the No. 1 seed North Carolina Tar Heels set to occur Sunday at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

The Irish tournament run to this Elite Eight contest has not been an easy one by all means. After unseating Duke in the ACC quarterfinal, they were dismantled by the Tar Heels by four touchdowns and a field goal in their semifinal match. They rebounded nicely in the first round against Michigan in a back and forth affair in which they finally prevailed by 7 points.

Then, it was the power school against the unflinching underdog, in the likes of Stephen F. Austin, in a contest where the lead never reached more than seven. The two went shot-for-shot with the Lumberjacks seemingly accomplishing the improbable until Rex Pflueger tapped in a rebound with 1.5 seconds left to give Notre Dame a one-point victory.

In the Sweet Sixteen against Wisconsin, the Irish trailed nearly the entire contest before three impromptu steals in the final minutes paved the way for an unlikely win over the Badgers. Notre Dame will have its hands full, to say the least, against a Tar Heels’ squad in utter destruction mode.

After claiming the No. 1 seed in the ACC with a victory over Duke, NCU went on a rampage in the conference tournament with wins over Pittsburgh, Notre Dame and Virginia by a combined 17.3 points to claim the title. They continued their demolition course with three double-digits victories to set up this matchup against the Irish.

North Carolina is stacked in talent, that’s and that is an understatement. On Friday night, all five of the team’s starters scored at least 14 points, with standout guard Marcus Paige paving the way. Paige scored 21 points against Indiana, including six three-pointers which tied the school’s NCAA Tournament single-game record. That hot shooting night from Paige is a good omen for the Tar Heels, who are in the sub-300 range in the nation in three-pointers made and attempted per game.

What remains UNC’s key factor to victory is its defense, and it was certainly present on Friday as the team held the Hoosiers to below 50-percent shooting from the field – the 28th-consecutive game that the ‘Heels have held an opponent under that exact mark. With the low-scoring Irish due up next, the boys from Chapel Hill could very well coast to the Final Four.

Notre Dame’s top three stars certainly didn’t disappoint against Wisconsin as Demetrius Jackson (16 points, six assists), V.J. Beachem (19 points, three 3-pointers) and Zach Auguste (13 points, 12 boards) all had fantastic nights. Beyond those three studs, however, the Irish had little to no help from the rest of the roster.

Indeed, a close win over the pesky Badgers is still a win, but the team cannot afford playing all their games at the Big Dance down the wire. In fact, Notre Dame is the only team amongst the Elite Eight field without a double-digit win in the tournament this current campaign.

Okay, so they defeated UNC back in February 6, 80-76, as one of only six teams to have beaten the Tar Heels this entire season. However, their loss to the ‘Heels a month later at the conference championship tournament was simply vicious to say the least. That 31-point blowout on March 11 was the worst loss in Notre Dame’s Mike Brey era, and you can bet the Irish are still smarting from that beat-down in the back of their minds.

BetOnline has the North Carolina listed as 10-point favorites and the game's total open at 155.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Early Odds & Betting Lines

Gm# Team
711 Notre Dame

712 North Carolina

Live NCAA Tournament Odds & Scores - Click here

North Carolina won its last outing, a 101-86 result against Hoosiers on March 25. They covered in that game as a -5-point favorite.

Last time out for Notre Dame, they were a 61-56 winner as they battled Badgers at home. They covered in the match as a -1.5-point favorite.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Betting Trends

Notre Dame:
Current Streak: won 3 straight games.
Notre Dame is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
Notre Dame is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Notre Dame's last 11 games

North Carolina:
Current Streak: won 8 straight games.
North Carolina is 6-1 ATS in its last 7 games
North Carolina is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 14 of North Carolina's last 20 games

The result:
Nobody likes double-digit spreads especially late in this tournament when anything can happen and the blowout loss the Heels perpetrated on the Irish lately sure has the odds-makers overreacting a tad. It is also a statement of how well-oiled, the Tar Heels’ machine really is. However, asking the Tar Heels to win in double-digits may be too much to ask here and the Irish did beat NCU once this year, remember. Tar Heels will move on to the Final Four but Notre Dame keeps them honest. Take points and Notre Dame +10 and the Over 155.

Aengus Moorehead Parlay Predictions: Notre Dame +10 & 155 Over at Mybookie


demetrius jackson - marcus paige - mike brey - north carolina tar heels - notre dame fighting irish - rex pflueger - v.j. beachem - zach auguste

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