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North Carolina vs. Wagner Prediction, Best Bets, and Odds

Written by: Tanner Kern
Published March 21, 2024
12 min read
  • UNC received a #1 seed despite not winning the ACC

  • Wager beat Howard in the First Four

  • North Carolina will look to bounce back after a loss in the ACC Championship to NC State

When Wagner was placed in the First Four, they had the worst record in the NCAA Tournament. The Seahawks still have the worst record in March Madness, but they’re one step closer to their ultimate goal. 

Wager may not be alive long in the tournament, but they earned a game against Duke in the First Round after defeating Howard in the First Four. The Seahawks came out on fire in this matchup but almost allowed the lead to slip away. 

North Carolina is the better team in this game and a heavy favorite. It would take a fantastic performance from the Seahawks and a terrible game from the Tar Heels for this contest to go awry. 

Here, we will break down Wager vs. North Carolina and give our best bets for the matchup. 

March Madness 2024 Betting Predictions North Carolina vs. Wagner

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North Carolina vs. Wagner Prediction and Odds

North Carolina Tar Heels

North Carolina lost to North Carolina State in the ACC Championship. It was a night the Tar Heels will want to forget, but it also should serve as great motivation on Thursday. 

North Carolina slipped up, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worthy of a one-seed. We believe they will show this against Wagner with a statement win. 

The Tar Heels are ninth in the country in efficiency, according to KenPom. They’re 24th in adjusted offensive efficiency and sixth in adjusted defensive efficiency. 

Armando Bacot leads North Carolina. Bacot averages a 14-10 double-double and shoots 54.7% from the field. The team’s leading scorer is RJ Davis, who averages 21.4% from the field. 

Davis is also an excellent free throw shooter, which will help North Carolina as they progress throughout the tournament. 

Wagner Seahawks

Wagner was a 3.5-point underdog in their First Four game against Howard. The Seahawks might not have the best record, but they play in a talented mid-major conference.

There have been multiple Cinderella teams to come out of the NEC, including St. Peter’s in 2022. We don’t believe the Seahawks will be the next team to manufacture a magical tournament run, but they accomplished a massive milestone on Tuesday. 

Wagner beat Howard 71-68. Although they were outscored 41-33 in the second half and struggled to finish, they still pulled out the win. 

Melvin Council is the Seahawks' star. He was fantastic in the First Four, with 21 points, five rebounds, and seven assists. Like many other Wagner players, he was on the court for the full 40 minutes. 

Look for Wagner’s lack of a bench and fatigue to play a role against North Carolina. The Seahawks score 63.5 points per game, which is a significant issue. Their lack of offense isn’t a recipe for success against the Blue Devils. 

Council and Tahron Allen must have had one of their best games of the season. Allen was in foul trouble against Howard, so he only accumulated 21 minutes. He must be on the court for close to 40 to give Wagner the best chance to win.

North Carolina vs. Wagner Carolina Pick

Wagner had a nice win on Tuesday, but they don’t stand a chance against North Carolina. The Tar Heels can score at will and have beaten mediocre opponents into the ground. 

For Wagner to put up a fight, they need to match 10 times their performance from the First Four. Look for the Tar Heels to be angry and show they were worthy of a top seed in the tournament.

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How to Watch North Carolina vs. Wagner

  • When: Friday, March 22 @ 7:35 PM ET

  • Where: Spectrum Center, Charlotte, NC

  • TV: CBS

  • Streaming: March Madness App

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AUTHOR

Tanner Kern

353 Articles

Tanner Kern has been working in the betting industry since 2020. He currently is a social media content creator at DraftKings and contributes to multiple sites in addition to WSN, including Forbes and VSiN. He is also the cohost of the podcast Ride the Line at WSN.

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