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Texas vs. North Carolina - 12/12/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

North Carolina Tar Heels (7-1) at Texas Longhorns (5-3)

College Basketball: Saturday, December 12, 2015 at 5:15 pm (Frank Erwin Center)

The Line: Texas Longhorns +4.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: ESPN

The 3rd ranked North Carolina Tar Heels will travel to the Frank Erwin Center to take on the Texas Longhorns this Saturday night in College Basketball action.

The 3rd ranked North Carolina Tar Heels won their 4th straight game and improved to 7-1 (0-0 ACC) on the season after defeating the Davidson Wildcats, 98-65, this past Sunday. North Carolina jumped all over Davidson in this one as they took a 47-24 halftime lead and never led by less than 20 points in the 2nd half. North Carolina shot 50.7% from the field and outrebounded Davidson by a 52-31 margin. The Tar Heels held the Wildcats to just 34.3% shooting from the field and 25.8% (8-31) shooting from beyond the arc. Leading the way for North Carolina was Brice Johnson who had 13 points, 9 rebounds, and 2 assists. On the season, the Tar Heels have been led by Marcus Paige (16.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 4.5 apg), Justin Jackson (14.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 3.5 apg, 1.3 spg), and Kennedy Meeks (13.4 ppg, 7.6 rpg, 1.1 bpg). Offensively, North Carolina is averaging 84.4 ppg on 49.2% shooting from the field and 35.9% shooting from beyond the arc. The Tar Heels average 6.4 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.63. Defensively, North Carolina is holding their opponents to an average of 68.3 ppg on 40.3% shooting. The Tar Heels have a rebound margin of 12.5 and a turnover margin of 1.8.

Texas vs. North Carolina - 12/12/15 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Longhorns won their 3rd straight game and improved to 5-3 (0-0 Big-12) on the season after easily defeating the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners, 116-50, this past Tuesday. Texas-San Antonio put up little fight in this one as they were outscored by a 56-17 margin in the first half and allowed Texas to score 60 points in the 2nd half. Texas shot 64.7% from the field and 50.0% (15-30) from beyond the arc in the victory. The Longhorns held the Roadrunners to just 32.7% shooting from the field and forced Texas-San Antonio to commit 24 turnovers. Leading the way for Texas was Cameron Ridley who had 19 points, 9 rebounds, and 4 blocks in just 19 minutes of playing time. On the season, the Longhorns have been led by Isaiah Taylor (13.3 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 4.8 apg), Cameron Ridley (12.4 ppg, 9.5 rpg, 2.9 bpg), and Eric Davis Jr. (9.8 ppg, 1.6 rpg). Offensively, Texas is a averaging 77.5 ppg on 44.6% shooting from the field and 36.5% shooting from three-point range. The Longhorns average 8.1 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 0.99. Defensively, Texas is allowing their opponents to average 67.1 ppg on 37.3% shooting. The Longhorns have a rebound margin of 0.1 and a turnover margin of 3.0.

The Tar Heels are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning home record however, 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games vs. Big 12 opponents. The Longhorns are 2-6-1 ATS in their last 9 games overall and just 2-9 ATS in their last 11 non-conference games.

North Carolina suffered a tough loss on the road at Northern Iowa but has looked outstanding since getting their star scorer back in Marcus Paige and got a huge win recently against the Maryland Terrapins. Texas seems that they are starting to improve under Shaka Smart’s aggressive defensive style and has one of the better point-guards in the country in Isaiah Taylor leading the offensive. North Carolina has such a great front-court but Texas is one of the few teams that can matchup athletically with the Longhorns and I think Texas will be able to force enough turnovers to keep this one close. I’m taking Texas and the points in this one. 

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Texas Longhorns +4.5

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