North Carolina, Duke Are Deep Threats in 2024 NCAA Tournament

The Tar Heel State is teeming with enthusiasm for the 2024 NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

For the first time, NC fans can legally bet online on storied programs North Carolina and Duke in the Big Dance. Both teams have high hopes to advance to the Final Four on April 6 in Phoenix and cut down the nets as national champions two nights later. Read more about North Carolina legal online sports betting.

The Tar Heels (27-7) earned a No. 1 seed in the West Region and will face No. 16 Wagner (17-15) in the first round on Thursday in Charlotte.

The Blue Devils (24-8) are seeded fourth in the South Region and take on No. 13 Vermont (28-6) on Friday in Brooklyn.

Let’s take a look at who could drive UNC and Duke to a title and the tournament history of these blue blood programs.

North Carolina Players to Watch

The one-two punch of R.J. Davis and Armando Bacot has powered the Tar Heels to the brink of a special season. The two seniors are the only returning starters. Davis leads the team in scoring at 21.4 points per game and adds 3.5 assists per contest. Bacot contributes 14.1 points a game and dominates on the glass, averaging 10.2 rebounds. He is a plus defender who averages 1.5 blocks.
Detailed UNC roster breakdown

Duke Players to Watch

For the Blue Devils to advance far into the tournament, sophomore center Kyle Filipowski will have to come up big. Filipowski averages 17.1 points and 8.2 rebounds. His value as a rim protector is huge (averaging 1.6 blocks). The play of senior guard Jeremy Roach could also be key. Roach averages 14 points, 3.1 assists and 1.1 steals. He can change a game by forcing turnovers.
Detailed Duke roster breakdown

North Carolina in the NCAA Tournament

The Tar Heels have won six national championships, most recently in 2017. They have advanced to the Final Four a record 21 times. Five times they lost in the title game, the last time as the 2022 runnerup to Kansas. They beat Duke in the national semifinal game that year.

With 29 Elite Eight appearances and 35 Sweet 16s, deep runs are expected in Chapel Hill. There’s no reason to think this season won’t culminate with another.

UNC is +1400 to win the national championship at DraftKings. They are +300 to make the Final Four. We like both of these as value futures bets.

Duke in the NCAA Tournament

The Blue Devils have five national titles, the last in 2015, with six runnerup finishes and 17 trips to the Final Four.

Twenty-three Elite Eights and 32 Sweet 16s show Duke’s historic NCAA Tournament staying power.

The Blue Devils are +3000 to claim the crown and +550 to advance to the national semifinals at BetMGM. The Final Four futures bet is a value selection.

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Gerry Ahern is Managing Editor, Evergreen for Lineups. A veteran iGaming executive, editor and sports journalist, Ahern has covered some of the biggest sporting events on the planet, including the Olympics, Super Bowls, NCAA Men's Final Fours and College Football Playoffs.

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