North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Oakland Grizzlies Pick-Odds-Prediction 11/8/13
Oakland Grizzlies (16-17) at North Carolina Tar Heels (25-11)
College Basketball: Friday, November 8, 2013 at 9:00 pm (Dean Smith Center)
The Line: North Carolina Tar Heels -17 -- Over/Under: 172 See the Latest Odds
The Oakland Golden Grizzlies travel to the Dean Smith Center to play the North Carolina Tar Heels on Friday night.
The Oakland Golden Grizzlies finished 16-17 overall, 10-6 in the Summit League, last year and will now play in the Horizon league. Oakland and coach Greg Kampe has put together one of the fastest offenses in the country, but whether they can stop anyone from scoring does not appear to be of particular concern. Senior G Travis Bader will lead Oakland, after shooting 39% from the three-point line last year while attempting 360 from deep. Senior Duke Mondy and Ryan Bass, who are both great passers, will run beside Bader. Junior F Corey Petros gives Oakland a much needed post presence when teams slow them down. Defensively, the Golden Grizzles believes that you can’t score if you don’t have the ball, so Oakland gets it back quickly by gambling for steals, which leads to quick shots. Oakland should do well early on in the Horizon League, as teams try to adjust to the unorthodox style. However, the Golden Grizzlies will not compete for the league championship unless they play defense consistently.
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The North Carolina Tar Heels finished 25-11 overall, 12-6 in the ACC, last year and will be looking to compete with Duke and Virginia for the ACC title in 2014. North Carolina started to play some good defense last year, something that has not been a characteristic of Tar Heel basketball in the past. Coach Roy Williams hopes to continue that trend into this year as P.J. Hairston, James Michael McAdoo, and Marcus Paige will lead the way for North Carolina. The Tar Heels lost Dexter Strickland to graduation and Reggie Bullock to the NBA, while Hairston is currently suspended and it’s unclear when he will return. Paige’s development last season as a pass-first point guard was encouraging for Tar Heel fans. McAdoo will be counted on to carry the bulk of the load while Hairston is out and he will have to improve his free throw shooting from last season. Leslie McDonald will be looked at as the best perimeter shooter on the floor for the Tar Heels, while freshman Nate Britt, out of Oak Hill Academy, should become a great player coming off the bench.
These two teams have not played since 2005 where the Tar Heels won a shootout 96-68. It will be interesting to see North Carolina without Hairston to begin the year, but I think they have the talent to overcome the loss. Oakland will be aggressive and will try to push the pace against North Carolina. The Tar Heels will have no problem picking up the pace and they will find it easy to score on Oakland. I’m going to take the Tar Heels to win by 20 in a high scoring game.