NCAA Betting Preview
North Carolina State Wolfpack (14-9) at No. 3 North Carolina Tarheels (23-2)
Wednesday, 8:00PM Eastern
Bookmaker.com betting line- North Carolina -20
The No. 3 ranked North Carolina Tarheels will host inner-state rival North Carolina State in Wednesday night hoops action. These two schools have a long history with over 200 plus meetings in their historic rivalry even though the last few years have been dominated by North Carolina. North Carolina State has really had some struggles this season, but they scored a big upset against Wake Forest and they will attempt to do the same against another North Carolina school in the Tarheels. North Carolina on the other hand started off the year very strong before hitting a few bumps in the road. However, since the Tarheels have regained their championship caliber style and appear to be one of the best teams in the country. The Tarheels have had some close encounters with these type of mediocre ACC opponents this year like their close 69-65 win over Miami on Sunday and they will attempt to avoid an embarrassing upsets on their home floor.
North Carolina State has been pretty strong on the offensive side of the ball this season, but they have been pretty bad at containing offenses in their losses this season. The Wolfpack gave up 93 points to North Carolina back in the end of January in their 17 point loss and they will have to play a bit better this time around. The Wolfpack allowed the Tarheels to shoot an outstanding 56% in the previous contest and was out rebounded by 10 boards in the game as well. The Wolfpack must keep the Tarheels off the glass and control 2nd chance opportunities first and foremost while getting some help from their key players as well. Brandon Costner, Ben McCaulen, and Courtney Fells are all averaging double figures and will need to be a big impact for North Carolina State on Wednesday night. McCauley and Costner combine to average 14 boards per contest, but they could really help their team if they can grab a few more in Chapel Hill. Costner leads the team with 15 points per game this season leading the Wolfpack. North Carolina State will look to avenge their 17 point loss back in January in what would be a big upset this Wednesday night.
North Carolina sports the nation’s 2nd best scoring offense averaging 92 points per game. This rivalry meeting was previously a back and forth affair. However since Coach Roy Williams took over at North Carolina, the Tarheels are a strong 16-1 against the Wolfpack. North Carolina will look to keep things along that path when they host NC State on their home court. The Tarheels are led by 2008 Player of the Year Tyler Hansbrough who also is the all-time scoring leader at North Carolina. Hansbrough is posting 21 points per game for the season and will likely be the biggest threat to the Wolfpack. However, there are many more guys wearing the baby blue that could have big nights as North Carolina sports 6 players averaging 10 points or more. Wayne Ellington is averaging 15 points per game on the season and appears to be emerging into a difference maker in the ACC. Keep an eye on North Carolina as they go for their 10 straight win and continue to stay a top the ACC standings when they try and take care of business against the Wolfpack.
What to watch for…
The 2nd half will tell the tale. North Carolina really wears teams down with their depth, size, and speed. North Carolina State must play hard all 40 minutes and not let the Tarheels rack up too much momentum.
Pick – North Carolina will be favored more in this game, but I think the Wolfpack stay within the points. NCSU +20