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Written by Ryan on February 14, 2014

North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Pittsburgh Panthers Pick-Odds-Prediction 2/15/14: Ryan's Free College Basketball Pick Against the Spread
Photo by: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

North Carolina hosts Pittsburgh on Saturday.

The Pittsburgh Panthers travel to North Carolina to play the Tar Heels on Saturday afternoon.

Pittsburgh dropped to 20-5, 8-4 ACC after a heartbreaking loss at home against Syracuse 58-56 on Wednesday night. The Panthers are led by Lamar Patterson, who in my opinion is one of the best players in the ACC, if not the country this season. Patterson averages a team-high 17 points and 4.4 assists per game this season. Talib Zanna is averaging a second-best 12.7 points per game while averaging a team-high 7.9 rebounds per game. The Panthers averages a solid 72.6 points per game while shooting 46.4% from the field as a team this season. Pittsburgh is one of the better rebounding teams in the ACC, averaging 36.5 boards per game. Pittsburgh has lost three out of their last five games overall. The losses came all at home against Duke, UVA, and Syracuse. The Panthers will head out on the road where they are 4-1 on the season.

The North Carolina Tar Heels improved to 16-7, 6-4 ACC after beating Notre Dame 73-62 on the road last weekend. The Tar Heels were supposed to play Duke at home on Wednesday night, but the game was postponed due to the snow storm. On the season, the Tar Heels are led by Marcus Paige, who is averaging a team-high 17 points and 4.6 assists per game this season. James Michael McAdoo is averaging a second-best 15 points and a team-high 6.8 rebounds per game. Brice Johnson has stepped up and is averaging 10.1 points and 6.2 rebounds per game. North Carolina is shooting 45.6% from the field while averaging a solid 75.8 points per game as a team this season. North Carolina ranks 9th in the country in rebounding, pulling down 41.1 boards per game as a team. The Tar Heels, led by Paige are also one of the best distributing teams, averaging 15.7 assists per game this season. North Carolina has won five straight games after losing four out of five to start conference play. The Tar Heels will be at home for this game; North Carolina is 4-1 at home in conference play this season.

This should be one of the better games on the weekend. It will be interesting to see how Pittsburgh bounces back after a crushing defeat at home against Syracuse on Wednesday. The Panthers have the ability to match the Tar Heels size in the front court. Meanwhile, Patterson and Paige will go head-to-head in the backcourt. I think Patterson will come to play and the Panthers will have a solid chance of winning in the end.


Ryan's Pick: Pittsburgh +3.5

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