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Texas Southern Tigers vs. North Carolina Tar Heels: NCAA Tournament First Round Preview and Prediction

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North Carolina Football Schedule 2019
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A No. 16 seed has never beaten a No. 1 in NCAA Tournament history and it's probably not going to happen here either. Texas Southern out of the SWAC began its season on a 16-game road trip and was blown out by the likes of Arizona, Cincinnati and Louisville. But the Tigers righted their ship at the right time, reeling off nine straight wins to claim the conference tournament title and make it to the Big Dance.

North Carolina won the ACC regular season title and has spent most of the season in the top 10 of the polls. The Tar Heels lost to Duke in the ACC Tournament semifinals, but are looking to start a new winning streak starting Friday in Greenville, South Carolina.

South Region: No. 16 Texas Southern Tigers (23-11) vs. No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels (27-7)

When: 4 p.m. ET (Friday)

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Where: Bon Secours Wellness Center (Greenville, S.C.)

TV: TNT

Line: North Carolina -27

Keys for Texas Southern

The Tigers need someone to go off big time in the game and it's most likely going to be Zach Lofton. The loss of Derrick Griffin is a huge loss although Demontrae Jefferson is doing well as the team's second leading scorer. Mike Davis has done big things for Texas Southern in the past so they will at least have a good head coach at the helm.

Keys for North Carolina

Make sure the bus shows up to the arena on time and that everyone is on it. There really isn't much to worry about in this matchup. The Tar Heels need to use this game to get used to their surroundings and to work on some things that may not have worked as well during the regular season.

Final Analysis

There is no upset here. The only worry will be whether or not the Tar Heels cover the spread.

Prediction: North Carolina 96, Texas Southern 64

— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Josephs prefers non-Power 5 college football and may be the only one wagering on the Sun Belt. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.