Wagner vs. North Carolina Prediction, Odds and Key Players for NCAA Tournament First Round

Breaking down the odds, trends, key players, and best bet prediction for NCAA Tournament Round of 64 action between Wagner and UNC.

Mar 5, 2024; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Harrison Ingram (55)
Mar 5, 2024; Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels forward Harrison Ingram (55) / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

The UNC Tar Heels have their first round opponent. The Wagner Seahawks took down the Howard Bison on Tuesday night and have earned the right to face the Tar Heels in a 1 vs. 16 game on Thursday.

Wagner finished sixth in the NEC this season with a 7-9 conference record, but went on a run in the conference tournament, beating the top three seeds while dealing with a plethora of injuries. Their improbable run continued by taking down Howard.

Now, the Seahawks will try to be the third ever 16 seed to win in the Round of 64. Let's dive into the odds for the game and then I'll let you know how to bet it.

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Wagner vs. UNC odds, spread, and total for Round of 64

Wagner vs. UNC betting trends

  • Wagner is 4-1 ATS in its last five games
  • The UNDER is 6-1 in Wagner's last seven games
  • Wagner is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games as the underdog
  • The OVER is 5-0 the last five times UNC has played teams from NEC

Wagner vs. UNC how to watch

  • Date: Thursday, March 21
  • Game Time: 2:45 PM EST
  • Venue: Spectrum Center
  • How to Watch (TV): CBS
  • Wagner Record: 17-15
  • UNC Record: 27-7

Wagner vs. UNC key players to watch


Melvin Council Jr.: Wagner won its First Four game largely due to the play of Melvin Council Jr. who put up 21 points along with five rebounds, seven assists, and two steals. If the Seahawks want to hang in this game at all, they need Council to play his best game of the season.


RJ Davis: UNC's leading scorer, RJ Davis, has a chance to be the best player in the tournament if he can lead the Tar Heels to a deep run. That could start with a strong performance against Wagner. He's coming off a 30-point performance against NC State.

Wagner vs. UNC prediction and pick

Wagner is a fun story as a team that has overcome several injuries to get to this spot. The problem for the Seahawks is that UNC isn't Merrimack or Howard. The Tar Heels are a No. 1 seed for good reason and have overwhelmed much stronger opponents all season long.

Even when Wagner was healthy, the Seahawks ranks 349th in the country in effective field goal percentage and were one of the worst shooting teams in college basketball. They survived on their defense but that's not going to work against the Tar Heels, who are too skilled and talented for Wagner to keep in check.

It's a massive spread, but I'll lay the points with the Tar Heels in the opening round.

Pick: UNC -24.5

Odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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