Big Ten/ACC Challenge 2011: Wisconsin Badgers vs. North Carolina Tar Heels

No. 7 Wisconsin Badgers at No. 5 North Carolina Tar Heels
Wednesday, 11/30/11, 9:30 PM EST, TV:  ESPN
Opening Point Spread:  North Carolina -7.5
Current Betting Line:  North Carolina -8
Opening Total:  135
Current Total:  135
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The Wisconsin Badgers are 11-1 ATS versus ACC opponents

Wisconsin has won its first six games of the season and will bring in the nation’s top-ranked defense, allowing just 39.2 points per game, with opponents shooting just 30.5 percent from the floor.  The Badgers are coming off a 73-56 win over the BYU Cougars as 7.5-point neutral-site favorites, while going over the total for the first time in three opportunities with a posted number.  Head coach Bo Ryan is in his 11th year and is off to his best start while in Madison.  Wisconsin is 11-1 ATS versus ACC opponents, while the ‘over’ is 8-2 in that situation.

The Badgers are led by Big Ten Player of the Year candidate Jordan Taylor, who is making plays on the perimeter rather than shooting the basketball, entering with 35 assists and only seven turnovers.  Wisconsin has three players that average double-digits in scoring, with Taylor averaging 11.0 points and a team-high 5.8 assists per game.  It’s important to note that this will be the program’s first true road game of the year, while the team is 20-11 all-time versus the ACC, including three straight wins in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

North Carolina is coming off its first loss of the season, dropping a 90-80 contest to the UNLV Rebels as eight-point neutral-site favorites.  The Tar Heels have gone over the total in four consecutive games and are averaging 88 points this season.  Over the last three games, the team is shooting 53.5 percent from the third-point line, but just 56.8 percent from the charity stripe.  Junior forward John Henson has been playing great basketball in averaging 15.8 points and 9.8 rebounds per game.  He has recorded a double-double in 18 of his last 22 contests dating back to last year.  North Carolina is 8-2 ATS versus Big Ten foes.

The Tar Heels have tallied a 6-6 mark in this particular event, winning six of their last eight contests since Roy Williams took over the bench.  Wednesday’s game will be just the second meeting all-time between Carolina and Wisconsin, with the Tar Heels walking away with an 88-82 win in the 2005 NCAA Tournament East Regional championship game.  North Carolina is riding an 18-game Smith Center winning streak that stretches across three seasons.

Bettors will likely back the Badgers due to their 5-1 ATS mark in non-conference action, while the Tar Heels are 1-6-1 ATS in their last eight games versus winning opposition.

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