ACC Basketball Preview: Miami Hurricanes vs. North Carolina Tar Heels

Miami Hurricanes at No. 3 North Carolina Tar Heels
Tuesday, 1/10/12, 9:00 PM EST, TV:  ESPN3
Opening Point Spread:  North Carolina -15
Current Betting Line:  North Carolina -16
Opening Total:  153
Current Total:  154
Odds Courtesy of Bookmaker

The North Carolina Tar Heels will look to push their ACC record to 2-0 Tuesday night

Miami will battle it out with North Carolina inside the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill Tuesday night, as it looks to gain revenge by losing both games in the series by a combined five points last year.  The Hurricanes are coming off a hard-fought 52-51 defeat to the Virginia Cavaliers as 7.5-point road underdogs.  “That’s something that we can build upon,” stated Hurricanes head coach Jim Larranaga.  The program is 2-16 all-time against tonight’s opponent, while going 29-48 versus ranked opponents overall.  Miami is 1-3 ATS versus good offensive teams that score 77 or more points this season.

The Hurricanes have been very happy with the play of senior guard Malcolm Grant, who has scored in double-digits in 8-of-12 games.  In the past five games, Miami has averaged 51.7 percent shooting from the floor, scoring 80.6 points per game.  The team has great depth on the roster at Larranaga’s disposal, as nine players have earned at least one start this season.

North Carolina will close out its nine-game homestand and look to improve its record to 2-0 in Atlantic Coast Conference play.  The Tar Heels opened conference action with a resounding 83-60 win over the Boston College Eagles as 30-point home favorites, but head coach Roy Williams wasn’t very impressed with his squad’s effort.  “The issue is concentration,” stated Williams after the game.  “In league play, you’ve got to be able to play the whole game for 40 minutes.  The school will be aiming for its Smith Center-record 28th win in a row.  North Carolina is 4-4 ATS as a home favorite of 12.5 or more points.

The Tar Heels have won eight consecutive games in this series and have tallied an 8-1 mark when playing host in Chapel Hill.  Williams has registered an impressive 12-2 mark versus Miami in his career.  Harrison Barnes has been the star of the show recently, scoring 20 or more points in three of the last four games, averaging 22.2 points per contest over that span.  He has also managed to hit 61.8 percent of his shots in those four games.  Tyler Zeller has been manning the boards in bringing down 10.7 rebounds per game over the past six contests.

Bettors will likely back the Tar Heels due to their 6-1 ATS mark on Tuesdays, while the Hurricanes are 5-10 ATS in January the last two-plus campaigns.

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