NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS (8-2)
at TEXAS LONGHORNS (6-4)
Tip-off: Wednesday, 9:00 p.m. EDT
Line: North Carolina -5, Total: 139.5
No. 23 North Carolina will look to pound on Texas for a second straight year when the teams meet in Austin on Wednesday night.
A year ago, the Tar Heels blew out Texas in their own building, 82-63, snapping a four-game losing streak against the Longhorns (dating back to 1995-96). Of course, this season, the teams look much different. UNC returned two starters from last season, and Texas has only two back with the suspension of PG Myck Kabongo. Carolina has already been upended by Butler and blown out at Indiana, while Texas has struggled against top-shelf opponents all year.
Can Carolina add to the Longhorns' misery? For the answer, connect to College Basketball Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. The StatFox experts have been on fire in the past five days, as Tuesday's 6-2 ATS mark brings them to a collective 27-9 ATS (75%) from Friday through Tuesday. StatFox Dave is 11-1 ATS and StatFox Scott is 7-1 ATS over this stretch. The experts now have a collective 54% ATS mark (141-120-6) in college basketball Best Bets for the season, led by StatFox Gary, who is 57.1% ATS (28-21) for the season, while Dave is at 57.0% ATS (53-40-2) on the year. StatFox Brian's 5-2 ATS run put him at 51% ATS (31-30-2) for the season, while StatFox Scott is an even 50% ATS (29-29-2).
With few returnees from last year's star-studded roster, Carolina has had some new faces step up nicely. Sophomore PF James Michael McAdoo (15.4 PPG, 8.3 RPG) has led the way offensively, while junior SF Reggie Bullock (12.2 PPG, 47% 3-pt FG) is having by far his best season at Chapel Hill. SG P.J. Hairston (11.7 PPG) has emerged as one of the nation’s best sixth men. Carolina has played only two true road games this year, an easy win over Long Beach State and a blowout loss to Indiana. The Heels struggled shooting in both those games, combining to go just 38.9% FG and 32.4% threes in those two games.
Texas has been struggling badly without Kabongo, as overmatched freshman PG Javan Felix (8.7 PPG, 5.8 APG) is still trying to find his way. Felix is averaging 3.8 TOPG and shooting 32% FG (2-for-21 from three), though he did have 20 points and seven assists in Saturday’s win over Texas State. As a team, the Longhorns are shooting just 40.8% FG and 29.6% 3-pt FG. Sophomore SG Sheldon McClellan (15.3 PPG) has been a bright spot with his ability to get to the line and convert (5.9 FTA per game, 88% FT). SG Julien Lewis (11.2 PPG, 39% 3-pt FG) has been their lone deep threat.