#15 North Carolina Tar Heels at Miami Hurricanes
BankUnited Center – Coral Gables, Florida
Saturday, February 28, 2015, 2:00 pm Eastern, TV: CBS
Opening Line: North Carolina -1
Current Line: North Carolina -1
Opening Total: 142 1/2
Current Total: 141
Opening Money Line: UNC -115 / Miami -105
Current Money Line: UNC -115 / Miami -105
The North Carolina Tar Heels have lost 5 of their last 7 games to fall to 19-9 overall and 9-6 in the ACC. The Tar Heels are tied for fifth with Syracuse, but North Carolina needs to get back on track as the end of the regular season is next week. UNC travels to the 18-10 Miami Hurricanes Saturday. Miami is 8-7 in the conference and tied for sixth with Pittsburgh and North Carolina State. While North Carolina is projected by most to be safely in the field for the NCAA Tournament, Miami is a bubble team.
North Carolina leads the series 18-6 against Miami including 7-2 in Coral Gables. The Hurricanes have won 4 straight games against the Tar Heels including 63-57 last season in Chapel Hill. This is the only scheduled meeting between the teams this season.
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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, Notre Dame, Virginia, and NC State 58-46 Tuesday, plus road losses at Kentucky, Louisville, Pittsburgh and Duke. 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, Louisville, Virginia Tech, Florida State, Syracuse, and Georgia Tech, along with road wins over Clemson, North Carolina State, Wake Forest and Boston College. North Carolina is 14-13-1 ATS and the total is 16-9-1 this season. The Tar Heels were 9.5 point favorites against NC State and the total was 152.5.
Miami is coached by Jim Larranaga. The Hurricanes have home losses to Green Bay, Eastern Kentucky, Virginia, Georgia Tech and Louisville, a neutral site loss to Providence in Brooklyn, along with road losses to Notre Dame, Florida State, Wake Forest and Louisville. Miami has won 3 of the last 4 games. The Hurricanes have home wins over South Alabama, Illinois, College of Charleston, Boston College, NC State, Clemson, Virginia Tech and Florida State 81-77 Wednesday, neutral site wins over Drexel, Akron and Charlotte in a tournament in Charleston, SC, plus road wins over Florida, Charlotte, Duke, Syracuse and Boston College. Miami is 12-13-1 ATS and the total is 10-11-2 this season. The Hurricanes were 8.5 point favorites against Florida State and the total was 129.5.
North Carolina is outscoring teams 78-69 this season. The Tar Heels are #18 nationally in scoring. North Carolina is shooting 47.1% from the field including 32.8% from 3 point range. UNC is #38 nationally in field goal percentage. The Tar Heels make 68.9% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 39.4% from the field and 30% from 3 point range. UNC is in the top 35 nationally in both categories. The Tar Heels average 42.2 rebounds per game and allow 29.6. UNC is #2 nationally in rebounding. The Tar Heels average 17.8 assists, 12.5 turnovers, 6.8 steals and 4.5 blocks per game. Opponents average 12.6 assists, 12.4 turnovers, 6.7 steals and 4.4 blocks per game.
UNC guard Marcus Paige averages 13.3 points, 3 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Forward Kennedy Meeks averages 12.8 points, 7.8 rebounds, 1 assist and 1.4 blocks per game. Forward Brice Johnson averages 12.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game. Justin Jackson averages 9.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game. J.P. Tokoto averages 8.7 points, 5.3 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 1.4 steals per game. Four other Tar Heels average at least 12 minutes per game. Guards Theo Pinson and Luke Davis, along with forwards Sasha Seymore and Desmond Hubert are either out indefinitely or for the season.
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Miami is outscoring teams 69-63 this season. The Hurricanes are shooting 43.7% from the field and 35.6% from 3 point range. Miami makes 73% of their free throws. Opponents are shooting 42.2% from the field and 33.5% from 3 point range. The Hurricanes average 34.2 rebounds per game and opponents average 30.5 per game. Miami averages 13.7 assists, 10.4 turnovers, 5.8 steals and 3.3 blocks per game. Opponents average 11.8 assists, 11.5 turnovers, 5.3 steals and 3.3 blocks per game.
Guard Sheldon McClellan averages 15 points, 4.8 rebounds, 2 assists and and 1 steal per game. Angel Rodriguez averages 12.8 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 2 steals per game. Manu Lecomte averages 7.8 points, 1.3 rebounds, and 1.8 assists. Tonye Jekiri averages 8.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 1.6 blocks per game. Deandre Burnett averages 7.3 points, and 2.2 rebounds. Five other players average at least 11 minutes a game in the rotation.
North Carolina is 3-1-1 ATS after failing to cover, 5-2 after a double digit home loss, 58-27-1 after a straight up loss, 4-9-1 overall, 5-14-1 against ACC teams, and 1-8-1 against teams with winning records. The under is 8-3 in this series recently.
Miami is 20-8 ATS in Saturday games, 5-2 after a straight up win, and 2-5-1 at home. The over is 5-2 in the last 7 games in Miami in this series. The Hurricanes have covered the last 4 games in this series.
It isn’t hard to see why North Carolina is struggling recently. The Tar Heels are giving up an average of 78 points a games in their last 5 losses. Miami is playing a lot better right now and need this win to bolster their tournament resume. I think the hurricanes get the tough win at home.