North Carolina vs. Providence prediction and preview. Who’s Got Next analyzes the NCAA Tournament’s second round matchup between the Tar Heels and Friars.
How they got here
North Carolina beat No. 16 Florida Gulf Coast 83-67; Providence beat No. 8 USC 70-69.
Why North Carolina will win
The Tar Heels’ balance is fantastic, and this isn’t a lineup with many weaknesses. Forward Brice Johnson is a man inside, and his ability to score, rebound and protect the rim makes him nearly unstoppable. Guards Marcus Paige and Joel Berry II can try to do too much on the court at times, but when they are steady, they can pick a defense apart. UNC has to control the glass and will have to stay disciplined on defense to avoid foul trouble.
Why Providence will win
Providence had to rally late to beat USC, and it did it by turning up the defense at the right time. The Friars’ defense will be critical vs. the Tar Heels’ bigs, and it will be up to forwards Ben Bentil and Rodney Bullock to control the paint and keep UNC off the glass. Guard Kris Dunn is a star, and his ability to stretch the defense and open the lane for his teammates to go to the rim will be critical.
North Carolina vs. Providence Prediction
This should be a great matchup, but UNC’s length and defense will be too much for the Friars to handle. Johnson is a man inside, and Providence won’t have an answer for him. Dunn will get his, but the Friars will fall.
North Carolina vs. Providence Final Score Prediction: North Carolina 70, Providence 64