North Carolina once again enters the NCAA Tournament with title hopes, and they’ll face their first test on Friday, when they square off in a game against Iona.
The Gaels will be no pushover, though, as they have actually won 10 consecutive games. They absolutely destroyed Monmouth in the MAAC championship game, 81-60.
But let’s be realistic, as UNC is quite a different beast than Monmouth. Duke gets a lot of hype from fans and analysts alike, but North Carolina actually was named co-champion of the ACC in the regular season, although they’re coming off a brutal 74-73 loss to the Blue Devils in the conference tournament, in a game they had plenty of chances to win late.
Iona is led by E.J. Crawford, who averages 17.9 points per game. As we know, UNC has a number of stars, with Luke May scoring 14.7 points and hauling in 10.5 rebounds. On the perimeter, Cameron Johnson shoots 46.5 percent from three-point range, and he stretches opposing defenses well.
How to watch Iona vs. North Carolina NCAA Tournament game
What: No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 16 Iona
When: Friday, March 22
Time: 9:20 p.m. ET
Where: Nationwide Arena (Columbus, Ohio)
Betting odds: North Carolina -23
TV channel: TNT