North Carolina - Eastern Kentucky Preview
North Carolina (1) Vs. Eastern Kentucky (16)
Thursday, 3/15 @ 9:40
Betting Line From Bookmaker: North Carolina -26
The UNC Tar Heels (26- 8, 11- 5 ACC) are the number one seed in the East, finished first in the ACC and are ranked fourth in the nation. After losing two straight to Maryland and Georgia Tech in late February- early March, the Tar Heels ran off four straight, including three consecutive ACC Tournament games. The Eastern Kentucky Colonels (21- 11, 13- 7 OVC) won their conference tournament beating Austin Peay 63- 62 and after finishing three games behind first-place Austin Peay in the regular season.
Here’s the UNC starting five—sophomore forward Tyler
Hansbrough (18.1 PPG, 7.9 RPG), freshman forward Brandan Wright
(15.0 PPG, 6.1 RPG), freshman guard Wayne Ellington (12.1 PPG,
2.8 RPG), freshman guard Ty Lawson (10.2 PPG, 2.8 RPG), and
senior forward Reyshawn Terry (9.4 PPG, 5.6 RPG). Then there’s
the bench. Plus Roy Williams is one of the best coaches in the
game. To say NC is loaded is an understatement.
Eastern Kentucky’s top shooters—sophomore guard Mike Rose (15.2 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 1.8 APG) and freshman guard Adam Leonard (12.4 PPG, 2.6 RPG, 2.7 APG)-- must be on for them to have any chance against the Tar Heels. The Colonels can take advantage of sloppy play. Forward Julian Mascoll (11.1 PPG, 3.9 RPG, 4.9 APG), a senior, makes things happen inside. All three guys are good three-point men.
Eastern Kentucky lacks the experience to pull off their first March Madness victory. UNC has four future NBA top-round picks and will be extremely tough to hold back in any round, especially the first one.