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UNC vs. Marquette prediction and pick for the first round of the NCAA Tournament. March MAdness is here, and Matt McCuen is kicking it off with his pick for this opening-round showdown between the Tar Heels and Golden Eagles

UNC vs. Marquette Prediction: Which Team Will Advance to the Round of 32?

I believe that the first two days of March Madness are some of the best days of the year. There are so many games going on all day long that sometimes you may even lose track of what you bet. That is a great feeling though, especially when you are winning, and if you ride this pick, you will have a winner. I am looking at an affair between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Marquette Golden Eagles.

March Madness: Bet $5, Win $150 - Even if your wager loses

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UNC vs. Marquette Prediction

These two teams both had very solid seasons to land themselves in an eight vs. nine game. These games are typically very closely contested, and for the people who make these brackets, the most evenly matched games in the bracket.

The Golden Eagles are led by forward Justin Lewis, who has been lights out for the Marquette this season. He is one of the best scorers in the Big East and also an elite rebounder. He will have to step up and play a big game here in round one to pull off the win.

Marquette is also led by head coach Shaka Smart, who will be making another March Madness appearance. This is the third different program Smart has taken to the big dance, proving he is one of the best coaches in college basketball.

North Carolina is also on a first-year head coach in Hubert Davis. Davis takes the Heels back to the Big Dance after missing out on the tournament a season ago. The duo of Armando Bacot and Brady Manek has been the engine for this team. Bacot is one of the best big men in the nation, and Manek is a matchup nightmare due to his ability to stretch the floor and shoot the three-ball. RJ Davis and Caleb Love have also had much improved seasons for the Heels running the guard position. This should be an outstanding game between two hungry programs. 

The play I am turning to in this game is going to be to back the Tar Heels at the -3 number.

I think we are getting a steak here on the Heels due to the fact that Marquette has no one on their roster who can stop Armando Bacot. Marquette has solid guard play, but they have limited resources when it comes to big men. Manek and Bacot will have favorable matchups all night long and should be able to take advantage. Marquette is an extremely streaky team, and if they go cold for any period, they could be in big trouble due to the pace that North Carolina will play with. I just believe all around this is an extremely favorable matchup for the Tar Heels, so taking -3 here is a no-brainer for me. Let’s start off the tournament with a winner!

UNC vs. Marquette Pick

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Matt McCuen is a native of Delco, PA. He has been working in the sports gambling industry and creating content for the last few years. He is an expert in numerous different sports, including the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and collegiate sports. You can follow Matt on Twitter at @DeadPresPicks.

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