St. Peter’s Peacocks vs North Carolina Tar Heels Pick – NCAA Tournament March 27, 2022

We are now just 1 day away from finalizing the 2022 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four! Yesterday we went 2-0 on our Elite Eight picks, and after locking in our action on Kansas already today, we are going to try to run that undefeated record to 4-0 with a play on this game between North Carolina and St. Peter’s! But before we get too far into today’s action though, I want to take a quick look back at how we got the money yesterday.

In the late game last night, I was all over the Duke Blue Devils, as it is starting to look more and more like Duke is going to give us the fairy tale finish to Coach K’s career that we have talked about all season long. While I did acknowledge that Arkansas was a solid team this year, they also got bailed out by the refs against Gonzaga, and I didn’t think that was going to be the case against Duke, as Coach K has made a living working the refs and getting calls to go his way in his 42-year Hall of Fame career.

The Razorbacks did their best to hang with the Blue Devils, but they fell behind early, and never could close the gap. Duke led by 12 at halftime, and they kept the lead at double digits for basically the rest of the game. In a tournament that has been filled with upsets and thrilling finishes, this was a bit of a boring and anticlimactic game, as the best team dominated throughout.

I mean, we call it March Madness for a reason, but as a general rule, that madness is mostly contained to the opening weekend, as we tend to get fewer and fewer upsets as we get closer to crowning a national champion.

But don’t tell that to the Peacocks of St. Peter’s, as they became the first 15-seed ever to win a game in the Sweet 16, and they are looking to extend their season today, as they battle against the Tar Heels of North Carolina. For this betting pick, we will head to the East Regional, to check in on the Peacocks and the Tar Heels, as they compete for a spot in the Final Four next weekend in New Orleans!

St. Peter’s Peacocks (22-11)

There isn’t a lot that we can say about what St. Peter’s has done in the last couple of weeks, as the Peacocks are in uncharted territory, as the first-ever 15-seed to make it to the Elite Eight, that hasn’t already been said. This run is unequaled in NCAA tournament history, and if the dream stays alive and the Peacocks make the Final Four, I am not sure there is a better underdog story in the history of all sports, that could compete with St. Peter’s magical run through the madness.

As I look back on the full body of work for St. Peter’s, it makes this run even harder to understand, as this just wasn’t a good basketball team for much of the season. The Peacocks started out their season by losing 6 of their first 9 games, including awful losses to teams like Sienna, St. Francis, and Stoney Brook. Late in the season, the Peacocks were sitting at just 12-11, and they were just trying to finish with a winning record on the year, and weren’t at all thinking about playing, let alone winning, in the NCAA tournament.

But after that 12-11 start, the Peacocks haven’t lost a game since, and they ride the nation’s longest winning streak into this game with the Tar Heels. Usually, when we see teams like this go on a run, they catch a lot of breaks along the way. If you look at the other double-digit seeded team playing today, the Hurricanes of Miami, they got to play an 11-seed in the Sweet 16, making their route to the Elite Eight much more reasonable. But that hasn’t been the case for St. Peter’s, as they have run the gauntlet by beating a who’s who of elite teams.

The opening round win over Kentucky is going to be an upset that we hear about for the next 50 years, as the Wildcats were a team that seemingly everybody had going to the Final Four. The shock of that upset wasn’t even close to being gone when the Peacocks then upset a 31-win Murray State team just 2 days later. It was easily the greatest opening weekend performance we have ever seen out of a 15-seeded team.

But St. Peter’s wasn’t done yet, as they took the week to bask in the national spotlight and proved that they weren’t going to be overwhelmed by the moment in the Sweet 16, ending the Purdue Boilermakers season, against a team that had spent time at number 1 in the country during the regular season. None of it made any sense at all, but it has been one heck of a ride, and just about every fan in the country, that doesn’t call North Carolina home, will be cheering on the Peacocks today as they try to send another blue blood home in this game against North Carolina.

North Carolina Tar Heels (27-9)

There are a lot of you out there that are surprised that North Carolina has made it this far as well, as the Heels were down for much of the regular season, and as an 8-seed, they are trying to tie the 1985 Villanova Wildcats as the lowest-seeded team to ever win a national title. If it weren’t for the Miami Hurricanes and St. Peter’s Peacocks, it would be this North Carolina squad being looked at as the Cinderella right now.

North Carolina always had the talent to play with the top teams in the nation, but they took longer than expected to adjust to their new head coach, Hubert Davis, and the season got off to a slow start. It wasn’t like the Tar Heels were necessarily bad, but at the halfway point of the season they were 12-6, and 11 of their 12 wins came against teams ranked outside of the national top-50. When North Carolina lost back-to-back games to Miami and Wake Forrest to drop their ACC record to just 4-3, many were starting to question if Davis was the right guy for the job in Chapel Hill.

But all that doubt vanished down the stretch, as North Carolina started to figure things out, and when they obliterated Duke in the final game of the regular season, at Cameron Indoor, in Coach K’s final regular season game, I knew that this North Carolina team was going to be a threat to go deep in the NCAA tournament, no matter what seed they ended up getting.

The Heels have been fantastic in March, as they beat Duke, who has already punched their Final Four ticket, in the regular season finale, and they knocked out Shaka Smart’s Marquette team in the round of 64, in a game that most people were picking the Golden Eagles to advance. After that, North Carolina beat down Baylor, leading by as many as 25-points in the 2nd half before the refs tried to rob them with some atrocious calls that need to be investigated by the NCAA. And in their last game, they beat UCLA in a battle of a couple of the winningest programs in college hoops history.

All told, in the last month, North Carolina beaten 1 team that is already in the Final Four this year in Duke, and 2 teams that were in last year’s Final Four in Baylor and UCLA. There isn’t much more that a team can do to convince you that they deserve to be in the Final Four than by beating up on teams that have been there recently, and there isn’t a team in the country that I think is playing any better than North Carolina is right now.

St. Peter’s Peacocks vs North Carolina Tar Heels Betting Odds And Team Statistics

The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

Teams Spread Moneyline Total
St. Peter’s Peacocks +8.5 (-110) +310 Over 137.5 (-110)
North Carolina Tar Heels -8.5 (-110) -400 Under 137.5 (-110)
Team Data St. Peter’s Peacocks North Carolina Tar Heels
Overall Record 22-11 27-9
ATS Record 24-9 19-16-1
Away/Home Record NEUTRAL NEUTRAL
ATS Away/Home NEUTRAL NEUTRAL
Points Per Game 67.5 78.3
Points Against Per Game 67.1 62.3
Field Goal % 43.1% 44.3%
Three Point % 35.2% 36.3%

St. Peter’s Peacocks vs North Carolina Tar Heels Prediction:

I am going to get this out of the way right up front. I really, really, want St. Peter’s to win this game. Watching the Peacocks run through this tournament has given me tons of joy and it is a story that we are going to hear about for a long time. But while my heart wants another upset, my brain says this is the end of the line for the Peacocks. The clock just struck midnight and it is time for St. Peter’s to finally bow out of the madness.

If St. Peter’s had gotten a draw against another highly ranked team that might have come into this game underestimating them, they could have potentially shocked the word yet again. But that is not what they got, as they run into a North Carolina team that has been saying nobody believes in us all year as well, and I think that they will come out fast in this game and run the Peacocks off of the floor. St. Peter’s clearly doesn’t have the talent level of the teams that they have beaten, but what they did have was a lot of fight in them, a great head coach, and the fact that those teams took them too lightly.

St. Peter’s Peacocks vs North Carolina Tar Heels Betting Trends:

St. Peter’s Peacocks
  • Saint Peter’s is 10-0 ATS in their last 10 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Saint Peter’s’ last 9 games
  • Saint Peter’s is 10-0 SU in their last 10 games
  • Saint Peter’s is 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games this season
  • Saint Peter’s is 5-0 SU in their last 5 games when playing as the underdog
North Carolina Tar Heels
  • North Carolina is 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 11 of North Carolina’s last 16 games
  • North Carolina is 9-1 SU in their last 10 games
  • North Carolina is 11-2 SU in their last 13 games this season
  • North Carolina is 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games when playing as the favorite

This North Carolina team has a lot to prove, and they are going to be bigger, stronger, faster, ad more athletic at every position on the floor. They aren’t going to be taking the Peacocks lightly, and with a potential Final Four matchup with Duke on the horizon, I see the Tar Heels pulling out all of the stops in this game. In the NCAA tournament, the magic is there until it’s not, and when we do inevitably see these Cinderella runs end, it’s not always pretty.

Just like yesterday’s win by Duke over Arkansas wasn’t a game that was very exciting, as the best team dominated from the opening tip to the final buzzer, this game will be one where everyone watching is praying for the Peacocks to get hot, but it just won’t happen. North Carolina is going to hammer St. Peter’s and while it will make me sad to watch, just remember this sage wisdom. Don’t be sad that it is over, be happy that it happened. Give me the Heels by a million as they send Cinderella home and advance to the Final Four!

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St. Peter’s Peacocks vs North Carolina Tar Heels Pick
North Carolina Tar Heels (-8.5)
Jason Gray / Author

Jason is a true Las Vegas insider as he has called the sports betting capital of the world his home for sixteen years. Jason started out his career in gaming by running the biggest poker tournaments in the world and managing some of the biggest sportsbooks on the strip. Jason has transitioned out of casino operations and has been covering sports betting for the sports geek for just over two years. His main focus is on baseball, college basketball, and the NFL

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