Can NC-Wilmington be Added to Upset List? Probably Not...

North Carolina-Wilmington player

Ross Benjamin

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 2:59 PM UTC

Tuesday, Mar. 14, 2017 2:59 PM UTC

The #12 seeds have attained surprising success when playing #5 seeds over the past 2 decades at NCAA Tournament time. Can the East Region #12 seed NC-Wilmington upset Virginia on Thursday? Our college basketball betting expert has a strong opinion in that regard.

  North Carolina-Wilmington vs Virginia

East Region, First Round
Thursday, March 16 - 12:40 pm E.T 


Game# 715-716

The #5 seed Virginia Cavaliers will take on #12 NC-Wilmington in a NCAA Tournament East Region game at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. Virginia opened as a 9.0-point favorite in this contest, and those college basketball odds have dropped to 7.5 and 8.0. The posted total on this contest is currently listed at 135.0. These schools last played one another in basketball on 1/8/2010, and Virginia barely escaped with a narrow 2-point win as a sizable 16.5-point home favorite.


Seahawks Drastic Offensive and Defensive Numbers

UNC-Wilmington has been one of the more potent offensive teams in the country this season. They enter March Madness averaging a lofty 85.2 points per game, and that’s good for 10th nationally in that category. Additionally, Wilmington possesses a season shooting percentage of 48.2%, and that’s good for 21st best in the country.

On a negative note, Wilmington has permitted their opponents to shoot an alarmingly high 47.7%, and that ranks a dismal #337 out of 351 college basketball Division 1 teams.


Stingy Cavaliers

Since Tony Bennett has taken over as head coach of Virginia, they’ve been one of the best defensive teams in the country on an annual basis. As a matter of fact, the Cavaliers are #13 nationally this season in field goal percentage defense.

Virginia has won 4 of their last 5 games, and during that stretch, the Cavaliers allowed a paltry 54.3 points per contest. They can be particularly frustrating to play against for non-conference teams who haven’t faced them on a regular basis. Not only is Virginia stout defensively, they’re also methodical and efficient with its offensive possessions. Case in point, Virginia opponents have been limited to 48 field goal attempts per game, thus further reducing their opportunities to score.


Final Analysis and Pick

It’s easy to get enticed by the sizable underdog in this game. Obviously, we’ve seen the opening line drop from 9.0 to 7.5 already. Furthermore, a consensus of the best sportsbooks indicates that 67% of early individual bets made have gone on the underdog.

Virginia played in the far superior conference. The ACC has 9 teams playing in these 2017 NCAA March Madness brackets. Contrarily, the lone Colonial Athletic Association participant is Wilmington. Additionally, Virginia played a much more difficult non-conference schedule compared to Wilmington and had considerable success in doing so.

 Free NCAAB Pick: Virginia -7.5Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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