College Basketball on Saturday and we will see the North Carolina Tar Heels travel south to take on the Miami Hurricanes. The game is scheduled for a 2:00 pm (Eastern) start time and will be televised on ESPN. Currently the odds for the game have Miami favored by 7.5 points while the total sits at 137.5. Check out Sportsbook Spy to see who the Public is taking on all of today's games.
Analysis: Despite an impressive-looking record, the Tar Heels are still seeking a signature win as their biggest victory to date came over a UNLV team that has since fallen out of the Top 25. They also have double-digit losses to Butler, No. 1 Indiana and Texas as well as a loss at then-No. 18 N.C. State and an earlier 68-59 home defeat to the Hurricanes. North Carolina has won three straight since that loss to the Wolfpack and put together one of its most complete efforts Tuesday in an 87-62 rout of Wake Forest. Reggie Bullock had 23 points and James Michael McAdoo scored 20 as the Tar Heels shot 51.6 percent and scored 26 points off Demon Deacons turnovers. The good news for Roy Williams and company is talented sophomore wing P.J. Hairston returned to action against Wake Forest. He had missed a game due to a concussion suffered when he caught an inadvertent elbow from teammate Dexter Strickland late in the first half of an 82-70 win at Boston College on Jan. 29. Hairston was carted off the floor on a stretcher and did not dress for Carolina's Feb. 2 win over Virginia Tech but returned and had 11 points and two assists in 12 minutes in Tuesday's win over the Demon Deacons. Sophomore forward James Michael McAdoo leads the Tar Heels in scoring (15.3) and rebounding (8.4) and has scored 20-plus points in consecutive games for the first time in his career. Junior swingman Reggie Bullock is second on the team in scoring (14.0) and is connecting on 44.2 percent of his 3-point attempts. Hairston (12.4) also is averaging in double figures.
No. 11 Miami puts its unbeaten home record and perfect ACC mark on the line against North Carolina, a team the Hurricanes defeated on Jan. 10 in Chapel Hill, 68-59. That game featured 11 lead changes and seven ties before the Hurricanes used a late 8-0 spurt to pull away. Miami is 10-0 at the BankUnited Center this year and owns a seven-game home ACC winning streak dating to last season, including a 90-63 blowout of then-No. 1 Duke on Jan. 23. The Hurricanes have won 10 straight games since losing to Indiana State, 57-55, in overtime on Christmas Day in the Diamond Head Class in Honolulu. Miami's 9-0 league mark is the best start for an ACC team since Duke was 10-0 to begin the 2007-08 campaign. The long and athletic Canes are holding opponents to less than 60 points per game (57.3) in ACC play and only one opponent this season -- North Carolina State (53.8) -- has shot better than 50.0 percent from the floor. Senior guard Durand Scott (13.8) leads Miami in scoring, including 25 in the blowout win over Duke, while 6-11 senior forward Kenny Kadji (13.4) and sophomore point guard Shane Larkin (12.8) also are averaging in double figures. Larkin, son of MLB Hall of Famer Barry Larkin, is one of 12 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, which goes to the nation's top point guard.
Free Pick: I like the Heels to keep this one close. Sure Miami has a 10-0 home mark and they won by 27 over Duke on this floor, but the Heels are starting to figure things out and they have revenge on their minds for an earlier home loss to the Canes. The Heels are in high gear on offense right now as they have averaged 80.6 ppg in their last 5 games. I feel it will be that offense that will keep it close here. Miami has averaged 77 ppg in their last 5 games, but they are really not an explosive team and won't come up with enough points to win all that easily. The Heels have been at or near the top of the ACC for many years and are just not ready to pass the torch. They will find a way to keep it close, or maybe even pull the upset.
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