MARYLAND TERRAPINS (16-12)
at NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS (25-4)
Tip-off: Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. EDT
Line: North Carolina -18, Total: 150
On senior night for No. 6 North Carolina, the Maryland Terrapins will head south to the Dean Dome to take on Roy Williamsí highly-touted squad for the second time this season.
When the two teams previously squared off, UNC won 83-74, but failed to cover the 11Ĺ-point spread. That was despite shooting a hot 44% from three-point land, while the Terps shot just 23.5%. That makes Maryland 6-1 ATS (4-3 SU) in the past seven meetings with UNC. But the Heels have won five straight, going 4-1 ATS, entering this game. Can Carolina blow out the Terps on Wednesday night? For the answer, check out the College Basketball Weekday 6-Pack for picks covering all the big games in college basketball each weekday. The 6-Pack was a stellar 9-3 ATS (75%) last week.
The Maryland offense this season begins and ends with Terrell Stoglin (21.2 PPG). He knocks down 2.7 threes per game and is averaging 3.3 threes per game over his past four contests. His ability to break through UNCís lengthy guards will go a long way in determining the outcome of this game. At 6-foot-1, Stoglin cedes at least three inches to every starter in the UNC backcourt, but managed to drop 20 points in their matchup earlier in the season. Still, to beat the Tar Heels it comes down to being able to battle them in the paint, and Maryland takes on that task by committee. Alex Len (5.4 RPG) is their tallest threat, but James Padgett (9.0 PPG, 5.7 RPG) and Ashton Pankey (5.1 RPG) are also critical rebounders. This FoxSheets trend also likes the Terps to keep it relatively close on Wednesday.
Play On - Road underdogs of 10 or more points (MARYLAND) - off a road loss against a conference rival, in February games. (167-108 over the last 5 seasons.) (60.7%, +48.2 units. Rating = 2*).
The Heels bring the nationís third-highest scoring offense (81.0 PPG) to Wednesday nightís matchup and the countryís best rebounding squad (45.9 RPG). This effort is led by perhaps the best and largest frontcourt in the country with Harrison Barnes (17.7 PPG, 5.2 RPG), Tyler Zeller (15.7 PPG, 9.3 RPG) and John Henson (14.0 PPG, 10.4 RPG). The swingman of the group, Barnes can stroke from deep (40.6% 3-pt FG) and use his 6-foot-8 frame to work smaller defenders inside. At 7-feet tall, Zeller is a leading candidate for ACC Player of the Year honors and is coming off a strong 20-point performance on 7-of-11 shooting to carry North Carolina over Virginia, 54-51. Henson is the best defender of the group with 3.1 BPG. The UNC backcourt has size as well, led by 6-foot-4 point guard Kendall Marshall who with 9.7 APG is one of the most dynamic ball handlers in the country. Shooting guard Reggie Bullock is 6-foot-7 and can stretch defenses out with 1.8 threes per game (39%). This FoxSheets trend expects the Heels to win in a laugher:
Play On - Any team (NORTH CAROLINA) - a top caliber team (>=+11 PPG differential) against an average team (+/- 3.5 PPG differential), after a win by 6 points or less. (129-84 over the last 5 seasons.) (60.6%, +36.6 units. Rating = 2*).