North Carolina Tar Heels
(13-5, 6-9 ATS)
(12-7, 8-6 ATS)
This hasn’t exactly been the season that either the North Carolina Tar Heels or the Miami Hurricanes have hoped for, but both can take a big step in the right direction in a nationally televised clash on Wednesday night by beating the NCAA basketball odds against the other in a showdown in South Beach.
North Carolina has to be one of the most perplexing teams in the nation right now. It’s got 13 wins right now, but there really aren’t any tremendously quality victories in the bunch. The Heels have put up a few real stinkers as well, most notably that 78-58 loss to the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets two weekends ago. There have just been so many disappointments on this team this year as well. Tyler Zeller was figured to be a man that could average 20 points per game this year, but he is only at 14.1 points and 7.4 boards per night, while Harrison Barnes has been a disappointment as a freshman, averaging just 11.8 points and 5.3 rebounds per game. Larry Drew II was supposed to really come around this year as well, but he is only at 4.8 points per game and has just 64 assists for the entire season. Yet somehow, Head Coach Roy Williams still has this team in the discussion this year for the NCAA Tournament, and getting eight more wins should get the job done for certain.
Miami is really in some trouble now, as it is just 1-4 SU and 2-3 ATS in the ACC this year and really doesn’t have an end to these woes coming in sight. It looks like it will be another year in the NIT in South Beach unless things really, really improve in a hurry. Offensively, the Canes have not exceeded 72 points in a game since beating the snot out of the Pepperdine Waves on December 30th, which is very bad news for a club that is averaging 73.8 points per game for the season. Malcolm Grant has done his job of late, scoring 23 and 20 respectively in his last two games, but Durand Scott really has been unheard from. He is averaging 13.7 points per game this year, but he only has 18 total points in losses to both the NC State Wolfpack and the Florida State Seminoles, and he turned the ball over eight times in total in those two outings. Reggie Johnson is nearly averaging a double-double per night, as the big man in the post is putting up 12.3 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. He had 20 and 14 respectively with five blocks against the Wolfpack in defeat on Sunday.
If the Hurricanes are the slight favorites or underdogs in this game, they’re going to be the pick to make. Johnson can really throw his weight around in the post in this one, and unlike against an NC State team that just let him do what he wants, or an FSU team that really did have the bodies to guard him, North Carolina is sort of in the middle and will find itself between a rock and a hard place. The Canes come away with a big college basketball betting ‘W’ on Hump Day.
NCAA Basketball Free Pick: Miami Hurricanes