Louisville's Defense To Keep Things Interesting vs. North Carolina

North Carolina Tar Heels team in bench

Charles Stark

Wednesday, February 22, 2017 2:29 PM GMT

Arguably the best matchup of the night takes place in Chapel Hill when Louisville visits North Carolina. Oddsmakers have made the Tar Heels, who have played very well at home, a decent favorite. Can the defensive minded Louisville Cardinals stay within the number?

Louisville Cardinals

Louisville Cardinals come in on a decent three-game winning streak and I like how they matchup with North Carolina. Although I am hard-pressed to think they can pull off the upset I definitely believe they can keep this game interesting and stay within the number. Louisville is one of the best defensive teams in the country currently allowing just 64.1 points per game which ranks them 23rd in NCAA hoops. They also rank ninth in opponent effective field-goal percentage, and opponent three-point shooting percentage, along with ranking 13th allowing opponents to shoot just 39.3% from the field. 

Offensively they are far cry from North Carolina but they are decent enough to score some points as they shoot over 45% from the field and almost 37% from distance. North Carolina just got done dismantling Virginia but don’t look for them to have that same type of performance against a Louisville team that can actually score.

 

North Carolina Tar Heels

With their big 65-41 win versus Virginia, North Carolina is the team to beat in the ACC. However, I believe this line is a little bit inflated simply because of that big win. The Tar Heels have great offensive statistics across the board shooting over 47% overall and over 37% from distance respectively. 

On the defensive side, they have been less than stellar allowing opponents to shoot over 34% from the floor and they rank for the most part outside of the top 50 teams in most defensive categories. That is not to say they don’t play any defense because for the tempo they try to push their percentages are quite good. I have a lot of respect for Roy Williams and this North Carolina team, and I do believe they are a national title contender, however, this is just too many points to give a very good Louisville team that believes they can come in and win this game straight up.

 

Louisville Cardinals vs North Carolina Tar Heels 

Oddsmakers have made North Carolina a -5.5 favorite in this spot but for my NCAA basketball pick, I will take Louisville plus the points. Rick Pitino will have his group ready to go in a hostile environment so look for the Cardinals to keep this game interesting, grab the points.

 Free NCAAB Pick: North Carolina -5.5Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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