ACC College Basketball Picks: Virginia Tech Hokies at #15 North Carolina Tar Heels

Virginia Tech Hokies at #15 North Carolina Tar Heels
Dean Smith Center – Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Sunday, January 18, 2014, 6:30 pm Eastern, TV: ESPNU
Opening Line: North Carolina -22 1/2
Current Line: North Carolina -22 1/2
Opening Total: 147
Current Total: 148

North Carolina is a 22 point favorite against Virginia tech Sunday.

North Carolina is a 22 point favorite against Virginia tech Sunday.

The 13-4 North Carolina Tar Heels are 3-1 in the ACC. The Tar Heels host the 8-8 Virginia Tech Hokies Sunday. Virginia Tech is 0-3 in ACC play. North Carolina is in fourth place in the ACC behind undefeated Virginia, Notre Dame, and Syracuse. The Hokies are in 12th place ahead of only Boston College and Georgia Tech.

North Carolina leads the series 64-13 against Virginia Tech including 11-3 since the Hokies joined the ACC. The Tar Heels are 27-6 in the series in Chapel Hill. North Carolina has won 27 of the last 30 games in the series dating back to 1966. Virginia Tech hasn’t beaten North Carolina since 2010. The Tar Heels won the only meeting last season 60-56 in Blacksburg. This is the only scheduled meeting between the teams this season.

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Virginia Tech is coached by Buzz Williams. The Hokies have home losses to Appalachian State, Radford, and Syracuse, a neutral site loss to Northern Iowa in a tournament in Cancun, Mexico, plus road losses to Penn State, West Virginia, Florida State and Louisville 78-63 last Tuesday. Virginia Tech has lost 4 straight games. The Hokies don’t really have a quality win except for maybe Miami-(OH) in Cancun. Virginia Tech is 5-5 ATS and the total is 5-2 this season. The Hokies were 22 point underdogs against Louisville and the total was 134.5.

North Carolina is coached by Roy Williams. The Tar Heels have a neutral site loss to Butler in a tournament in the Bahamas, home losses to Iowa and Notre Dame, plus a road loss at Kentucky. North Carolina has won 2 straight games and 7 of the last 8 games. The Tar Heels have key wins over Davidson in Charlotte, UCLA and Florida in the Bahamas, Ohio State in Chicago,  home wins over East Carolina, UAB, William & Mary, and Louisville, along with road wins over Clemson and North Carolina State Wednesday 81-79. North Carolina is 10-7 ATS and the total is 8-6-1 this season.

Virginia Tech is outscoring teams 69-67 this season. The Hokies are shooting 47% from the field including 40.5% from 3 point range. Virginia Tech is #47 in field goal percentage and #13 nationally in 3 point shooting. The Hokies make 61.3% of their free throws. Virginia Tech is #343 out of 351 teams in free throw percentage. Opponents are shooting 41% from the field including 33.2% from 3 point range. The Hokies average 32.1 rebounds per game and allow 34.1 per game. Virginia Tech averages 12.1 assists, 12.8 turnovers, 4.4 steals and 3.9 blocks per game. Opponents average 12.6 assists, 13.9 turnovers, 5.7 steals and 4.1 blocks per game.

Virginia Tech guard Justin Bibbs averages 13.6 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.9 assists. Guard Adam Smith averages 13.1 points and 2.9 rebounds per game. Forward Joey Van Zegeren has been suspended indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team. He averaged 9.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game. Ahmed Hill averages 8.4 points, 4 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game. Devin Wilson averages 7.5 points, 3.1 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1 steal per game. Virginia Tech has a very deep rotation with 10 players averaging at least 11 minutes a game.

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North Carolina is outscoring teams 80-66 this season. The Tar Heels are #18 nationally in scoring. North Carolina is shooting 45.7% from the field including 32% from 3 point range. The Tar Heels make 70.5% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 36.6% from the field and 26.7% from 3 point range. UNC is in the top 10 nationally in both categories. The Tar Heels average 44.1 rebounds per game and allow 30.3. UNC is #2 nationally in rebounding. The Tar Heels average 17.9 assists, 12.7 turnovers, 7.3 steals and 4.8 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.1 assists, 13.4 turnovers, 6.5 steals and 4.6 blocks per game.

UNC guard Marcus Paige averages 13.9 points, 2.4 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Forward Kennedy Meeks averages 12.9 points, 8.7 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 1.5 blocks per game. Forward Brice Johnson averages 11.2 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1 block per game. Justin Jackson averages 9.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. J.P. Tokoto averages 9.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, 4.2 assists and 1.2 steals per game. Four other Tar Heels average at least 11 minutes per game. Guards Stilman White, Joel Berry II, and Luke Davis, along with forward Sasha Seymore are either out indefinitely or for the season.

Virginia Tech is 4-1 ATS in Sunday games and 5-11 against teams with winning home records. The Hokies are 4-1 ATS against the Tar Heels overall and in Chapel Hill. The under is 5-1 both overall and in Chapel Hill in the series.

North Carolina is 23-8 ATS against teams with losing road records, 5-12 after failing to cover, 11-27 in Sunday games, and 1-8 against ACC teams.

Unless North Carolina takes this game for granted, the Tar Heels should win this game handily. Virginia Tech was a 22 point underdog against Louisville and lost by 15. The Hokies might stay within the huge number against North Carolina, but have little shot of winning.

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Posted by on Jan 18 2015. Filed under College Basketball, Headlines. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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