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North Carolina vs. Miami - 2/20/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Miami Hurricanes (21-4) at North Carolina Tar Heels (21-5)

College Basketball: Saturday, February 20, 2016 at 1:00 pm (Dean Smith Center)

The Line: North Carolina Tar Heels -6.5 -- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: CBS

The 11th ranked Miami (FL) Hurricanes will travel to the Dean E. Smith Center to take on the 5th ranked North Carolina Tar Heels this Saturday afternoon in College Basketball action.

The 11th ranked Miami Hurricanes won their 5th straight game and improved to 21-4 (10-3 ACC) on the season after defeating the Virginia Tech Hokies, 65-49, this past Wednesday. Both Miami and Virginia Tech struggled offensively in the first half, however, the Hurricanes used a big 2nd half in which they outscored Virginia Tech by a 44-27 margin to get the win. Miami shot 50.0% from the field and 35.7% (5-14) from beyond the arc. The Hurricanes held the Hokies to 29.6% shooting from the field and 30.0% (6-20) from three-point range. Leading the way for Miami was Angel Rodriguez who had 14 points, 2 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals. On the season, the Hurricanes have been led by Sheldon McClellan (16.1 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.8 apg, 1.1 spg), Angel Rodriguez (11.5 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 4.4 apg, 1.6 spg), and Ja’Quan Newton (11.4 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.5 apg). Offensively, Miami is averaging 77.0 ppg on 47.6% shooting from the field and 35.8% shooting from beyond the arc. The Hurricanes average 6.9 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.23. Defensively, Miami is holding their opponents to an average of 65.4 ppg on 41.7% shooting. The Hurricanes have a rebound margin of 3.1 and a turnover margin of 1.6.

North Carolina vs. Miami - 2/20/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The 5th ranked North Carolina Tar Heels dropped to 21-5 (10-3 ACC) on the season after losing to the 20th ranked Duke Blue Devils, 74-73, this past Wednesday. North Carolina was up 68-60 late in this one and had the clear advantage as Duke was down to a rotation of just 6 players, however, couldn’t hold onto the lead and allowed their rivals to get the unlikely win. North Carolina shot 42.9% from the field but struggled from beyond the arc as they shot just 7.7% (1-13) from three-point range. The Tar Heels allowed the Blue Devils to shoot 41.5% from the field and outrebounded Duke by a 44-29 margin. Leading the way for North Carolina was Brice Johnson who had a double-double with 29 points, 19 rebounds, and 2 assists. On the season, the Tar Heels have been led by Brice Johnson (16.9 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 1.3 apg, 1.2 spg, 1.2 bpg), Marcus Paige (12.7 ppg, 2.3 rpg, 3.7 apg, 1.3 bpg), and Justin Jackson (12.1 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.1 apg). Offensively, North Carolina is averaging 83.4 ppg on 48.1% shooting from the field and 30.9% shooting from beyond the arc. The Tar Heels average 5.2 three-pointers per game and have an assist/turnover ratio of 1.69. Defensively, North Carolina is allowing their opponents to average 70.3 ppg on 41.5% shooting. The Tar Heels have a rebound margin of 7.6 and a turnover margin of 2.8.

The Hurricanes are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 games overall and 19-7-1 ATS in their last 27 games following a straight up win. The Tar Heels are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 home games and 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games overall.

Miami continues to show that they are one of the better ACC teams this season as they’ve used an efficient offense and outstanding defense to rack up the wins. North Carolina lost a heartbreaker against their rival on Wednesday and although I’m still not sure why they didn’t get Brice Johnson more involved at the end of the game, the Tar Heels still have one of the most talented offenses in the country. Miami will need to hope their 38th ranked defense can slow down the Tar Heels offense but as North Carolina is averaging 86.1 ppg at home this season and for the fact I think they’ll come out to make a statement after Wednesday’s loss, I’m taking the Tar Heels to cover this spread at home. Take North Carolina to cover. 

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North Carolina Tar Heels -6.5

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