Their ACC title hopes are slim, but the Tar Heels can stay alive with a win in the February 28th Syracuse at North Carolina betting matchup. UNC goes into their home finale needing two wins, a loss by Duke on Tuesday, and Notre Dame to drop one of their final two contests. North Carolina can’t get caught looking ahead here either, as their finale on Saturday is at Duke in Mike Krzyzewski’s final game at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
15-14 Syracuse needs a win Monday, a victory at home against Miami, and to advance a couple rounds in the ACC Tournament just to get considered for the NCAA Tournament. The Orange have just a 4.2% chance at making the field of 64 as it stands, but are also +7.5 point underdogs in Chapel Hill.
Orange Fading Out
Sure Syracuse was an underdog the last two games, but falling 79-69 (+5) at Notre Dame and 97-72 (+7.5) at home against Duke aren’t exactly stellar showings. Those consecutive losses have dropped the Orange to 9-9 in the ACC as they head into their first and only regular season meeting with North Carolina this season. The two teams split last season with the home team winning each contest – but the margin in both games was a total of 8 points.
Syracuse obviously has some defensive concerns after allowing 97 points to Duke on Saturday. The Blue Devils were up 48-18 with 5 minutes until the half, and ended up shooting 15-32 (47%) from beyond the arc. Unfortunately that defensive outing wasn’t a once-off for the Orange, who have the 2nd worst scoring defense in the ACC giving up 74.3 ppg.
On the bright side the Orange did have a good offensive showing on Saturday, scoring 72 points while shooting 49% from the field. Buddy Boeheim had 23 points to boost his average to 19.1 which is 2nd in the ACC behind Wake Forest’s Alondes Williams (19.4).
Similar Showing for North Carolina
The Tar Heels play a similar style to the Duke team that just throttled Syracuse. The Blue Devils’ 7′, 242 pound center Mark Williams had 28 points on 11-14 shooting and had 12 rebounds – 8 on the offensive end. North Carolina’s 6’10, 240 pound Armando Bacot had a double-double by halftime en route to 28 points and 18 rebounds in Saturday’s 84-74 win at NC State. Syracuse has the 3rd worst rebounding margin in the ACC, Bacot leads the conference with 12.5 rpg.
Duke hit nearly 50% of their three pointers against Syracuse which is a red hot night, but North Carolina can also light it up from beyond the arc at a 37% clip which is 4th in the ACC. Caleb Love, Brady Manek, and RJ Davis are North Carolina starters who all hit 38% or better from three point range with over 120 attempts each.
Free February 28th Syracuse at North Carolina Betting Pick
Syracuse getting +7.5 points in a conference matchup with UNC would normally be a good play, considering these two teams played each other pretty close last year. The Orange have some serious concerns on defense though, and North Carolina is 3rd in the ACC in scoring (77.7 ppg).
North Carolina will undoubtedly be looking ahead to facing Krzyzewski and Duke on Saturday, but the Tar Heels will also be amped up for their final home game of the year and with an outside chance of the ACC title still in the grasp.
North Carolina 86 – Syracuse 72
Free Pick: North Carolina -7.5