Lipscomb vs North Carolina Preview and Prediction
Lipscomb vs North Carolina Preview
We are getting a first for this year’s NCAA Tournament, the Lipscomb Bisons. For the first time in the programs history, the Bisons have made the field of 68.
Now they have to deal with the reigning champs, certainly no easy task. The teams meet Friday afternoon at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, N.C.
The Tar Heels are seeded No. 2 for the ninth time, reaching the final four out of that spot in 1981 and 1995. Since 1985, North Carolina is 29-1 in first-round games, falling only to Weber State in 1999.
Bisons coming in hot
Lipscomb (23-9) is on an eight-game winning streak and winners of 13 of their last 14 games.
“We are living history,” Lipscomb coach Casey Alexander said, referring to the NCAA Tournament bid achieved by winning the Atlantic Sun Tournament.
Get to know Garrison Mathews
Garrison Mathews is Lipscomb’s best player and leading scorer. The 6’5 junior guard is averaging 22.1 points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists per game. The final three games of the Atlantic Sun conference tournament, Mathews averaged 29 points and was the catalyst of the Bisons offensive attack. He is shooting 48 percent from the floor and 39 percent from three-point range. On the season, Mathews has 21 20-point games and has eclipsed 30-points three times and 40-points once.
Basically, if Lipscomb wants any sniff of an upset Mathews will need to go off offensively.
Home sweet bracket home
The Tar Heels are familiar with the NCAA scene in Charlotte, holding a 33-1 record in NCAA games in their home state. That includes an 11-0 mark in the Queen City. This tournament could catapult the Tar Heels into the all-time lead in NCAA Tournament victories. They have 123, one shy of Kentucky.
LINE: -19.5 North Carolina
We won’t get crazy here, the Tar Heels are going to win this game–the question is will the 19.5 line come into play.
Lipscomb likes to push the pace and they have a legitimate scoring threat from anywhere on the floor in Garrison Mathews. But that won’t be enough to stop a healthy Luke Maye and last year’s Most Outstanding Player Joel Berry.
North Carolina 101 Lipscomb 80