No. 16 North Carolina at Louisville Cardinals
North Carolina is back on the winning track, at 9-5 in the ACC, just a 1/2 game behind Duke and Clemson for second place. Louisville is 8-5 in the league and has won two straight despite not having leading scorer Deng Adel (15.5ppg) due to injury. These teams met just once last season with the Tar Heels winning 74-63 at home.
Heels have won four straight
North Carolina survived a rare three-game losing streak in late January to win four straight games. That includes an 83-66 home win over Notre Dame on Monday from Chapel Hill. Joel Berry II led UNC with 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting. Theo Pinson added 16 points, 10 rebounds and five assists on 6-of-10 shooting. The Tar Heels shot 53.3 percent from the field and 6-of-16 from beyond the arc (37.5%). They outrebounded the Irish by 13 and held them to just 37.9 percent shooting from the field. Notre Dame’s best player Matt Farrell (16.1ppg) had a miserable shooting game with just nine points on 3-of-18 shooting (1-12 3pt).
Junior forward Luke Maye leads the Heels with 18.3 points per game and 10.4 rebounds. Berry averages 17.5 points and leads the team with 65 treys. North Carolina averages 83.3 points per game on 46.7 percent shooting (36.9% 3pt). They allow 73.3 points per game on 42.2 percent shooting (38.4% 3pt).
Cards crush Panthers without Adel
Playing Pittsburgh this season is almost like having a bye. They are that bad due to injuries and youth. So Louisville took care of business on Sunday, winning 94-60 on the road. The Cards didn’t need Adel because they shot 63 percent from the floor and 10-of-19 from beyond the arc. They held the Panthers to just 34.5 percent from the floor and outrebounded them by seven. Anas Mahmoud, V.J. King, and Malik Williams scored 14 points apiece.
Adel is questionable with an ankle injury but they could use the 6-7, 200-pound junior,m who is shooting 45.8 percent from the floor and 34.6 percent from long range. Senior guard Quentin Snider is the team’s second-leading scorer at 12.1 points per game, but has made just five field goals in his last 21 attempts. Junior center Ray Spalding adds 11.4 points and 8.8 rebounds. The Cards are averaging 78.2 points per game on 46.3 percent shooting (36.3% 3pt). They allow 69 points per game on 39.7 percent shooting (31.9% 3pt).
North Carolina is:
- 4-0 ATS last 4 overall.
- 5-1 ATS last 6 after a SU win.
- Underdog is 0-4 ATS last 4 in series.
UNC is a slight favorite at the time that this was published. They might be a dog if Adel plays. But either way, the Heels are the better team and they are playing a well as they’ve played all year with quality wins over Duke and NC State on the road.
Pick: North Carolina
North Carolina wants a very fast pace. Louisville wants a fast pace but they’ll slow it down some with their pressure. The last four games played between these teams have gone under. North Carolina is 8-2 Under their last 10 road games. Louisville is 9-4-1 Under their last 14 after scoring more than 90 points in their previous game.