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North Carolina vs. Alabama Odds, Picks, and Predictions

Written by: Bryan Zarpentine
Published March 28, 2024
10 min read
  • Alabama is 0-6 this season against teams in this year’s Sweet 16 field.

  •  North Carolina has won 10 of its last 11 games and gone 10-2 in Sweet 16 games since 2000.

  • Alabama has one win in nine previous trips to the Sweet 16.

Thursday’s Sweet 16 lineup includes the West Region semifinals between the no. 1 seed North Carolina Tar Heels and the no. 4 seed Alabama Crimson Tide. The Tar Heels have enjoyed a relatively smooth tournament thus far, although that could change against the Crimson Tide, one of the highest-scoring teams in the country. Of course, UNC has the pedigree, seeking an eighth Final Four appearance since 2000 while Alabama is two wins away from what would be its first Final Four in program history.

March Madness 2024 North Carolina vs Alabama

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North Carolina vs. Alabama Predictions and Odds

North Carolina Preview

After suffering a disappointing loss in the ACC Championship Game, North Carolina has quickly gotten back on track during the NCAA Tournament. The Tar Heels cruised past Wagner in their opening game and then coasted to a 16-point win over Michigan State in the Round of 32. They look like a team that is on a mission to get to the Final Four for the second time in three years.

Keep in mind that the core of North Carolina’s team was on that Final Four team in 2022. R.J. Davis was a key part of that team and is the leader of this year’s Tar Heels. He’s averaging 21.3 points per game on the season and has at least 20 points in four straight games. The same can be said of Armando Bacot, who has four double-doubles in his last five games.

But the UNC supporting cast has also had a great tournament. Harrison Ingram has established himself as a third reliable scorer while Cormac Ryan has scored double figures in both tournament games. That depth and balance has helped the Tar Heels win 10 of their last 11 games, going 7-4 against the spread during that stretch. 

Alabama Preview

There is no question that Alabama has had some ups and downs this season. Heading into the NCAA Tournament, the Crimson Tide lost for of its last six games and was trending in the wrong direction. They also endured a stretch in which they went 1-6 against the spread, creating doubt over whether Alabama could succeed in the NCAA Tournament.

However, many of those questions have been answered. Despite some rough moments against both Charleston and Grand Canyon last weekend, Alabama won both games by comfortable margins, covering the spread in both games. Alabama’s much-maligned defense even put together one of its best games of the season against Grand Canyon, helping to make up for a lackluster offensive effort.

On the other hand, the Crimson Tide beat a pair of double-digit seeds last weekend. Alabama now faces the top-seeded Tar Heel, a team with elite offensive talent. Considering their well-documented defensive struggles, the Crimson Tide may need to be perfect offensively in this game, especially since they are winless this season against teams that are in the Sweet 16.

North Carolina vs. Alabama Pick

DraftKings lists North Carolina as an early 4.5-point favorite over Alabama. That line indicates a close game in which the Crimson Tide has a chance to pull off the upset. However, Alabama’s record against quality opponents this season is unconvincing. The Crimson Tide also benefited from facing two double-digit seeds last weekend and has had defensive struggles all season. 

While Alabama averages over 90 points per game, they could potentially give up 100 or more points against a team like North Carolina. Ultimately, the Crimson Tide lacks the balance to win a game like this, making them vulnerable against North Carolina. That’s why the best bet is to lay the points and bet on the Tar Heels to cover.

How to Watch North Carolina vs. Alabama

  • When: 9:39 PM EST on Thursday, March 28

  • Where: Crypto.com Arena, Los Angeles, California

  • TV: CBS

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AUTHOR

Bryan Zarpentine

168 Articles

Bryan Zarpentine is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 2010. During that time, he has contributed to countless sites while covering baseball, soccer, the NFL, college football, and college basketball.

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