The North Carolina Tar Heels are playing in a Final Four 2010 this week, just not the one you might expect. The Tar Heels are in the Final Four of the NIT and they face Rhode Island in the late game on Tuesday at Madison Square Garden. It will be televised on ESPN 2.
Rhode Island is a 1-point favorite with a total of 149 at SBG Global.
While North Carolina has the bigger name, Rhode Island might have the better team this year. The Rams won 26 games this season and nearly made the NCAA Tournament while North Carolina struggled through one of their worst seasons in recent memory. The Tar Heels have come together though in the NIT and this has the potential to be an excellent game on Tuesday.
North Carolina and Rhode Island last met in 1993 in the NCAA Bettting Tournament and the Tar Heels won by 45 points, their largest margin of victory ever in the NCAA Tournament. Head coach Roy Williams has different memories of Rhode Island though as his Kansas Jayhawks were upset in the 1998 NCAA Tourney by the Rams who had Cuttino Mobley and Tyson Wheeler who combined for 47 points. “I think both of them scored 400 points apiece,” Williams said. “…They had a great win, and we had a terrible loss.”
Rhode Island freshman Akeem Richmond is an important player off the bench for the Rams and he was recruited briefly by North Carolina. “I remember watching him in high school – a young man who could really score,” North Carolina coach Roy Williams said. The Tar Heels decided not to go after Richmond though. “Of course, I feel like I have something to prove, but I’m not going to go out there doing too much; I’m just going to try to treat it like a normal game …” Richmond said.
The Tar Heels are 45-19 ATS in their last 64 non-conference games. The Tar Heels are 7-3 ATS in their last 10 neutral site games. The Tar Heels are 3-10 ATS in their last 13 college basketball betting games as an underdog. The Rams are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games.
The Over is 4-1 in the Tar Heels last 5 non-conference games. The Under is 19-7 in the Tar Heels last 26 overall. The Under is 7-0 in the Rams last 7 neutral site games.