North Carolina to Continue Dominance Over ACC Rival Clemson

Doug Upstone

Tuesday, January 30, 2018 3:02 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018 3:02 PM UTC

Clemson might not be able to win at Chapel Hill, but tonight they are home with a chance to beat North Carolina. Tonight's ACC game has a lot at stake for both teams.

Tuesday College Basketball: North Carolina vs. ClemsonFree NCAAB Pick: North CarolinaBest Line Offered: YouWager

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The No. 19 Tar Heels have lost two in a row. If it was not evident before, it is now: This is really an average Roy Williams squad and nowhere close to last season's championship bunch.

Clemson, ranked 20th, is adjusting to life without forward Donte Grantham and it has not been going well. The Tigers scored 36 total points at Virginia and beat a pedestrian Georgia Tech club by just two. They are 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight outings.

The college basketball odds opened with Clemson as 1.5-point home favorites, but they have tumbled to a pick, with the total at 146 for this 7 p.m. ET encounter on ESPN.

North Carolina Lacking Previous Intensity

If you watched the Tar Heels (16-6, 9-9-3 ATS) in their two defeats last week, you could not help but notice they were not the aggressor. For a team that is supposed to be known for pushing the pace to keep the pressure on the opponent, that did not happen. Virginia Tech matched North Carolina's shot output and N.C. State ended up with four more.

Upon closer inspection, they are not getting as many easy baskets in ACC play. In four of their 10 conference games, including the past two, the Heels have forced fewer than 10 turnovers. In league play they are -9 in turnover margin, remarkable considering they have a veteran backcourt of Joel Berry II and Kenny Williams. Without their usual stellar front court besides leading scorer and rebounder Luke Maye (18.6 PPG and 10.5 boards), North Carolina's margin of error is thin.

Clemson After Season Split

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It is well documented that Clemson (17-4, 10-7-1 ATS) cannot win at North Carolina. They are not exactly great at home against the Heels either, with a 5-10 (6-9 ATS) mark, but at least they have won now and again. To win tonight, the Tigers have to win the battle on the glass and commit fewer miscues. By doing so, Clemson would negate a chief strength of the Tar Heels, and if they can generate turnovers they must attack immediately and turn those into points.

If Coach Brad Brownell's club can accomplish those two feats, they just have to remain the aggressor and test their opponent's will to win, which has come into question.

Super Tuesday ACC Outcome

Sporting a 5-2 record in individual game selections, for college basketball picks I will take North Carolina. The situation favors the home team, but UNC has not lost three ACC games in a row in four years and is 13-2 ATS off an upset loss as a favorite of 12 points or more. Roy's boys do the dirty work, for a change.

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