Miami Meets North Carolina as ACC Race Comes Down to Wire

Willie Bee

Tuesday, February 27, 2018 12:10 PM UTC

Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018 12:10 PM UTC

Oh, what a tangled web the ACC standings are as the seasons comes to an end, and we have a free college basketball pick for tonight’s key clash between Miami and North Carolina.

Miami (20-8 SU, 10-13 ATS) vs North Carolina (22-7, 16-11 ATS)

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Free NCAAB Pick: Miami +10½
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

You can bet Jim Larrañaga and Roy Williams – and their teams – watched Monday’s collision between Duke and Virginia Tech. Of course, even without Miami or North Carolina being directly affected by the outcome in the close race going on behind Virginia in the ACC, both coaches would’ve probably watched it just because they’re basketball junkies.

You can also bet that Buzz Williams and Mike Krzyzewski will tune in tonight (9 PM ET) when the Hurricanes and Tar Heels get together in Chapel Hill, thanks to Va Tech and Duke matching up next with Miami and UNC, respectively. And, if you want to bet the ‘Canes and Heels, Bookmaker has North Carolina -10½ with 152½ for the scoreboard target.

Scoring Up For UNC During 6-Game Win Streak

With a raucous Virginia Tech crowd on hand, the Hokies rallied from a 15-point deficit in the first half to nip the Blue Devils, 64-63. The victory marked the second consecutive season Duke went to Blacksburg ranked No. 5 and left with a loss, and the outcome left the ACC standings in a mess with seven teams bunched within 2½ games for second place behind Virginia. Miami is part of that group trying to finish in the top 4 and earn one of the coveted byes into the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament.

Duke’s loss leaves North Carolina just a half-game behind the Blue Devils for second place, with the two old foes squaring off this Saturday in Durham. The Tar Heels enter tonight’s fracas with a 6-game win streak, beating the college basketball odds in the first five before just missing the cover last Saturday in a 78-74 victory at Syracuse. Totals have run 4-2 O/U during the streak with North Carolina averaging 88 points per game, about five higher than its season clip.

Last 10 Meetings Split Down Middle

While the only scheduled meeting between these two comes late on the fixture, it’s certainly not uncommon for Miami and North Carolina to meet just once with five years passing since they paired off twice in the regular season. The Tar Heels own a 3:1 advantage in the rivalry winning 21 of 28, but it’s a level 5-5 the last 10. North Carolina picked up a 78-53 triumph in last year’s ACC Tournament after Miami posted a 77-62 decision in Coral Gables during the regular season. The Tar Heels have won and covered 3-of-4 while the ‘under’ has cashed in 4-of-5.

Miami doesn’t have the offense to stay with North Carolina in an offensive slugfest, so the Hurricanes will have to play stellar defense to pull off the outright upset. I’m not sure they’ll do that, but do believe the ‘Canes can finish inside the spread for my free NCAA basketball pick.

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Coach L gettin’ that work in 💯

— Canes Hoops (@CanesHoops) February 26, 2018

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