Expect a High Scoring Affair in ACC Finale: Pick North Carolina vs. Notre Dame to Go 'Over'

Ross Benjamin

Saturday, March 14, 2015 3:21 PM GMT

The ACC Tournament Final tonight in Greensboro is between North Carolina & Notre Dame. What can we expect in this game from two teams coming off upset wins in last night’s semifinals?

 

Surprise Matchup in ACC Tournament Title Game
North Carolina and Notre Dame will meet tonight in the ACC Tournament Final at 8:30 PM ET. According to the  NCAA Basketball odds at BetOnline, North Carolina is a 3.0 point favorite, and the posted total is 149.0. Notre Dame defeated North Carolina 71-70 at home in early January. That was the only meeting of the regular season between these teams, and that contest went under the total of 146.0.

 

Conference Tourney Review for both Teams
Most college basketball observers fully expected to see #2 Duke versus #3 Virginia in the ACC Championship Game. The two teams that have reached the title game had a major say as to why the much anticipated matchup never came to fruition.

The North Carolina Tar Heels have reached tonight’s conference tournament final by winning three games in as many days. That successful run included last night’s 71-67 upset win as a 4.5 point underdog over Virginia. North Carolina opened the tournament with an 81-63 victory over Boston College on Wednesday, and covered as a 12.0 point favorite. Then on Thursday they defeated Louisville 70-60 in the quarterfinals, and once again covered as a 2.5 point favorite. North Carolina has shot a superb 48.2% from the field, held opponents to just 38.6%, and has seen two of those three conference tournament games go under the total.

The Notre Dame “Fighting Irish” turned an impressive performance in last night’s 74-64 upset win as a 7.0 point underdog versus Duke. The Irish took control of the game right from the start, led 41-26 at the half, and were able to hold off a Duke rally in the second stanza. Notre Dame has now reached the conference tournament final in just their second season as a member of the ACC. They also defeated Miami 70-63 on Thursday in the quarterfinals, and covered that contest as a 4.5 point favorite. Similar to last night, they started fast versus Miami, opened up an 18-point lead at the half, and then withstood a furious second half rally by the Hurricanes. During their first two games in Greensboro, Notre Dame has shot 49.5% from the floor, converted on 36.7% of their three-point attempts, and went an outstanding 41-for-52 (78.9%) from the free throw line.

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Final Analysis
These two teams will be playing with house money tonight since neither was expected to be here. Both clubs were NCAA Tournament locks before the conference tournament even began, so there will be no additional pressure in that regard. I’m predicting that both will be pretty loose tonight, and expect to see a highly entertaining contest. Notre Dame is a terrific perimeter shooting team, and North Carolina is averaging 77.8 points per game this season. The total in the game is this high for a reason, and I like the teams to surpass that number as one of my college basketball picks on Saturday.

Free ACC Tournament Final NCAAB Pick: Play on North Carolina/Notre Dame to go Over the total of 149.0 at BetOnline.