Offensive Powerhouse North Carolina -3 Is Our NCAA Basketball Pick vs. Florida St.

Joe Catalano

Monday, January 4, 2016 4:43 PM UTC

Monday, Jan. 4, 2016 4:43 PM UTC

#7 North Carolina face a tall order when they travel to square up against Florida St. See who we like in this highly contested matchup as or NCAA basketball pick.

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Free NCAA Basketball Pick: North Carolina Tarheels -3
Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes


Tip-off is scheduled for tonight at 7:00 p.m. EST at the Donald L. Tucker Center in Tallahassee, Florida. This game can be seen on ESPN 2. According to 5Dimes Sportsbook NCAA basketball odds board, the Tarheels are a slight 3 point betting favorite and the total for the game is listed at 163.


The Good & The Bad
North Carolina is an offensive powerhouse that are very efficient as a ball club. They average 86.5 points per game while shooting 50.1% from the field. On the flip side, they've allowed 70 points per game in their last 4 games. They also have to face two big-time freshman in the form of Malik Beasley and Dwayne Bacon. The Heels have also picked up both of their losses on the road, therefore this will be no cakewalk.

With all of that said, North Carolina has a nice resume thus far with victories over Maryland and UCLA.


Brice Johnson & Marcus Paige
These are the two players that really make this team into an elite squad. Johnson is averaging 15.3 points and 9.7 rebounds while shooting over 60% from the field. Johnson has really played well except for the win over Clemson. There are no worries for the Tarheels fans as Johnson bounced back with a 15 point, 11 rebound effort against Georgia Tech. North Carolina possesses a lot of talent and experience. This could be a tough matchup for Florida State.

As for Paige, he comes back from an injury and has done what's expected of him as a team leader. The senior point guard is averaging 50% from the field and 42.2% from 3-point land.

He can dish the rock, rebound the basketball, play good defense, and score. Paige is averaging 15.5 points and 4 rebounds while shooting a sizzling 13 for 22 from the field in his last 2 games. I expect both he and Brice Johnson to take over this game when needed. Paige is an 80% free throw shooter, and even though I don't think this game will go down to the wire, it's good for a team to know that their key player can knock down their free throws.


Young Talent
The Seminoles are basically a two man wrecking crew, led by freshman, Dwayne Bacon and Malik Beasley. Ironically enough, both players average 17.2 points per game and statistics are almost identical. They can rebound on a team that's somewhat weak in the rebounding department, both shoot 50% from the field and both can play defense and hit their free throws. They both will be seeing the next level and I expect it to be soon.

The Seminoles are coming off of an 84-75 loss to Clemson and it was the first game that Dwayne Bacon hadn't scored 20 points or more as he had scored 20 more points in his 4 games prior to the loss. Bacon was just 5 for 16 while Malik Beasley held up his end of the bargain with a 23 point effort on 8 for 13 from the field. The Noles need to shake that game off as one of the best teams in the country is coming into their building.

I think experience wins out in the end in tonight's game. Keep that in mind when making your NCAA basketball picks.

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