Featured Video from Scott Reichel
Where: John Paul Jones Arena
When: Sunday, December 8, 2019, 4:00 pm ET
We have an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup to discuss for Sunday afternoon when the seventh-ranked North Carolina Tarheels meet the fifth-ranked Virginia Cavaliers. Both sides are 1-0 in ACC play this season; North Carolina enters this matchup with a 6-2 record and is coming off a rough home loss to Ohio State. Virginia is 7-1 this season and enters this matchup suffered a 69-40 road loss to Purdue in their last contest.
Carolina Suffers Losses to Michigan and Ohio StateNorth Carolina has lost two of its last three games, and those losses were to the Michigan Wolverines and Ohio State Buckeyes. In between those losses was a 78-74 victory over the eleventh ranked Oregon Ducks proving that the Tar Heels can defeat the elite competition. The Tar Heels score an average of 71.6 points while allowing 67.1 points per game. North Carolina is shooting 40 percent from the field, 30 percent from beyond the arc and 64.7 percent from the free-throw line.
Freshman guard Cole Anthony leads North Carolina with 20 points per game with 6.6 rebounds, a team-high 3.9 assists, and is knocking down 37.5 percent of his three-point attempts this season.
Junior forward Garrison Brooks scores 12.3 points per game with 8.1 caroms alongside nearly two assists this season.
Freshman forward Armando Bacot averages 10.5 points with a team-high 8.9 rebounds and leads the team with 1.8 blocked shots this season. However, he suffered an injury in the Ohio State game and is expected to miss the Virginia game.
Cavaliers Loss to PurdueVirginia has one of, if not the best defense in NCAA D1 hoops, but they ended up allowing 69 points to Purdue while suffering its first loss of the season. The Cavaliers have good wins over Syracuse and Arizona State this season. Virginia scores an average of 57 points while allowing 43.9 points per game this season and is shooting 40 percent from the field, 23.9 percent from downtown, and 69 percent from the charity stripe this season.
Senior forward Mamadi Diakite leads the Cavaliers in scoring, averaging 13.4 points with seven rebounds and is drilling 45 percent of his triple attempts this season.
Junior forward Jay Huff averages 10.4 points with seven caroms and is knocking down 31.3 percent of his triple tries this season.
Senior guard Braxton Key scores 10.3 points with a team-high 8.3 rebounds and is draining 23.5 percent of his three-point attempts this season. However, he's also injured and out for this game.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This is going to be a close game, and I’m going with the home team Cavaliers in this one. Their defense is terrific, and losing to Purdue on the road might have helped Virginia. The Cavaliers are a better free-throw shooting team, and in a close game like this one should be, that will make all the difference in the world. North Carolina does have a slightly more experienced bench, the Virginia defense is what this game is going to be all about, and I will side with Virginia in this one.
Full-Game Total Pick
My math has this one at 131 points, and that will be too high for this one. Both teams focus on the defensive end of the court, and Virginia holds the edge there. Virginia is one of the slowest playing teams, while North Carolina is above average in the tempo department. Neither side has an explosive offense or a real star offensive player that can take over a game like this one. The Tar Heels have a much better offensive rebounding team, and they might get a couple of buckets, but the defenses will rule the day here. I will play UNDER at 131 points or more in this game.