NCAA Basketball Betting: Providence vs. North Carolina

NCAA Basketball Betting:  Providence vs. North Carolina

Providence managed to get past a USC team that hadn’t played out of the Pacific Time Zone until Thursday night. Their ‘reward’ is a matchup with #1 ranked North Carolina. And although at first glance the price looks a little high we’re still going to go with the more impressive pedigree of the North Carolina Tar Heels. One problem in how the ‘public’ evaluates many of these first and second round matchups is common in all sports–once they’ve accepted something as a reality it takes a lot to change that. Mike Tyson will always be the most dangerous man on the planet to these people. ‘Original Six’ NHL teams will always have some sort of magical advantage over more recent entrants to the league. And the Big East will forever be the nastiest conference in basketball. Maybe these ‘squares’ don’t actually think that Patrick Ewing and his t shirt under the jersey are still playing for Georgetown but they do still think the level of competition is the same.

Spoiler alert–it isn’t. Only one Big East team has reached the ‘Sweet Sixteen’ since the 2010 realignment. There’s definitely some good basketball programs in the conference but for whatever reason they don’t have the same competitive level that they did prior to the realignment. It’s doubtful that the realignment itself had anything to do with this (correlation versus causality) but it is when the original formula changed and things just aren’t as good now.

North Carolina’s ‘formula’ has been the same for years and they continue to be one of the best teams in the country every year. Plus the NCAA loves them and throws them every possible bone in the early rounds. Top seed? Check. Easy tactical matchups in early rounds? Check. But they’re playing on a neutral court, right? Well, the Tar Heels aren’t playing at home. They *are* playing about 40 minutes away in Raleigh, North Carolina at the PNC Arena aka the home of the Carolina Hurricanes of the NHL. Unless the NCAA finds a way to justify letting the Heels play with an extra man on the court it’s hard for NC to have a better setup for a victory and yet another Sweet Sixteen appearance.