Pittsburgh was on the verge of picking up its third victory in program history over the nation’s top-ranked team, but it suffered a 58-56 buzzer-beating loss to the Syracuse Orange as two-point home favorites Wednesday.
The Panthers have now played four consecutive games decided by five or fewer points—failing to cover the number in each of those affairs.
North Carolina is playing its best basketball of the 2013-14 campaign—posting a 5-0 SUATS record over its last five contests.
The Tar Heels have had some extra time to prepare for the Panthers, as their primetime matchup against the Duke Blue Devils on Wednesday was postponed due to weather.
NCAA basketball handicappers will find that the program is 5-0 ATS in its last five games versus teams with a winning record.
The Panthers will need a huge performance from senior forward LaMar Patterson if they plan on getting out of Chapel Hill with a victory, as he enters averaging a team-leading 17.0 points a contest.
Patterson is a three-time ACC Player of the Week—entering his last game averaging 17.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists in conference play.
Taking on the best
The Tar Heels have won three of four games against ranked opponents this season, which is a bit surprising due to their 62.4 percent shooting percentage from the charity stripe.
North Carolina would set a program record for futility in that statistical category if its season ended today.
I’m going to recommend that readers take a look at the Tar Heels as one of their NCAA basketball picks, as the Panthers may suffer a letdown after letting the Orange escape their building with a victory earlier this week.
Pittsburgh has also failed to cover the number in its last four efforts versus opponents with a winning record.
Recommendation: North Carolina Tar Heels