North Carolina vs. Wisconsin - 11/23/16 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction
Wisconsin Badgers (4-1) at North Carolina Tar Heels (6-0)
College Basketball: Wednesday, November 23, 2016 at 9:30 pm (Lahaina Civic Center)
The Line: North Carolina Tar Heels -4 -- Over/Under: 144 See the Latest Odds
TV: ESPN 2
The 16th ranked Wisconsin Badgers and 4th ranked North Carolina Tar Heels will face off at the Lahaina Civic Center in the Maui Jim Maui Invitational Championship this Wednesday night.
The 16th ranked Wisconsin Badgers improved to 4-1 on the season after defeating the Georgetown Hoyas, 73-57, last night. Wisconsin entered halftime with a 32-29 halftime lead and used a strong defensive 2nd half to help pull away from the Hoyas and secure the victory. Wisconsin shot 43.1% from the field and outrebounded Georgetown by a 50-21 margin. Leading the way for the Badgers was Ethan Happ who had a double-double with 19 points, 15 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals. On the season, Wisconsin is averaging 72 ppg on 46.0% shooting from the field and 30.5% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, Wisconsin has been led by Bronson Koenig (17.6 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.8 apg), Ethan Happ (11.6 ppg, 9.4 rpg, 2.0 apg, 1.8 spg), Nigel Hayes (11.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 3.0 apg), and Zak Showalter (6.2 ppg, 3.0 rpg, 2.0 apg). Defensively, Wisconsin is holding their opponents to an average of 59.2 ppg.
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The 4th ranked North Carolina Tar Heels stayed perfect on the season, improving to 6-0 on the year, after defeating the Oklahoma State Cowboys, 107-75, last night. North Carolina held a 51-38 lead at halftime and used a 19-4 run to start off the 2nd half to pull away and secure the victory. The Tar Heels were outstanding on the offensive end as they shot 57.8% from the field and 47.1% (8-17) from beyond the arc. Leading the way for North Carolina was Justin Jackson who had 22 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists. On the season, North Carolina is averaging 97 ppg on 52.3% shooting from the field and 40.7% shooting from beyond the arc. Offensively, North Carolina has been led by Joel Berry II (16.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 4.5 apg, 2.0 spg), Justin Jackson (16.0 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 3.3 apg), Isaiah Hicks (14.7 ppg, 5.5 rpg), and Kennedy Meeks (13.5 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 1.2 spg). Defensively, North Carolina is allowing their opponents to average 67.2 ppg.
The Badgers are 16-5 ATS in their last 21 games vs. ACC opponents and 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games following a straight up win. The Tar Heels are 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 games overall and 3-1-1 ATS in their last 5 games vs. Big Ten opponents.
This is going to be one of the better matchups early in the College Basketball season as both North Carolina and Wisconsin both have a ton of talent and depth. The key in this game will be if the Badgers defense can slow down the Tar Heels offensive that has been shooting lights out to begin the season however, as Joel Berry II and Justin Jackson just seem to be unstoppable at the moment, I think UNC will get find a way to win and bring home the Maui Jim Maui Invitation Championship. The line has yet to be released for this one but as long as the Tar Heels are favored by about 5 or less, I’m leaning towards North Carolina.
Update (12:14 PM): The line ended up being right around what I thought at -4 and still like North Carolina to cover this number. Take North Carolina to cover.