East Region 2nd Round Betting: North Carolina vs. Long Island

#2 North Carolina Tar Heels vs. #15 Long Island Blackbirds, Time Warner Cable Arena,  Charlotte, NC
Friday, March 18, 2011, 7:15 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
Opening Line: North Carolina -20
Current Line: North Carolina -17.5
Opening Total: 156
Current Total: 158
Money Line: North Carolina -3000 / Long Island +1500

North Carolina Long Island NCAA Tournament Preview
The Tar Heels will be looking to slam Long Island on Friday in Charlotte.

The second-seeded North Carolina Tar Heels (26-7) had an outside shot at a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament if they could have beaten Duke for the second time in four games.  Instead, the Tar Heels (-17.5) lost to the Blue Devils and were placed in arguably the toughest part of the bracket, so they will begin their quest for the Final Four on Friday with an East Region second-round game against the 15th-seeded Long Island Blackbirds (27-5) at Charlotte’s Time Warner Arena.

The top-seeded Tar Heels saw their season-high nine-game winning streak end with a 75-58 loss to #2 Duke in the ACC tournament championship game on Saturday.  They went 4-4-1 against the spread during the winning streak and had finished the regular season one game ahead of the Blue Devils in the conference standings with a 14-2 record.  However, the team was forced to rally back in consecutive days before even making it to the title game.

North Carolina did not lead against #9 Miami in the quarterfinals of the ACC tourney until Tyler Zeller scored the game-winning basket at the buzzer.  The Tar Heels trailed 31-22 at halftime and got a game-high 18 points from ACC Freshman of the Year Harrison Barnes, who would also star in the semifinals.  Barnes set a freshman scoring record with 40 points in a 92-87 overtime victory the following day against #4 Clemson, leading his team back from another halftime deficit.

The Tigers led Carolina 38-28 at halftime but went on a couple long scoring droughts that were eventually too hard to overcome.  They did not score a basket against the Tar Heels in the last 4:39 or regulation and in the first 2:55 of the extra session.  Barnes himself scored as many points in overtime as Clemson (14).

Long Island enters the NCAA tournament on a 13-game winning streak, capped by an 85-82 overtime win against Robert Morris in the Northeast Conference tournament championship game.  The top-seeded Blackbirds won their last two games in the conference tourney by a combined five points, failing to cover the spread in each one.

Nobody in Brooklyn was really concerned how Long Island got back to the Big Dance for the first time in 14 years, as long as the team got there.  The Blackbirds went 16-2 in NEC games during the regular season and got a game-high 31 points from Jamal Olasewere to dethrone the Colonials in the title game.  The OVER went 2-1 in their conference tournament games, which were the only ones on the board this season.

Now that you have read this NCAA tournament college basketball betting preview featuring North Carolina & Long Island, check out the NCAA basketball odds on this and all the games to compare the best lines at multiple sportsbooks.

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