The No. 10 North Carolina Tar Heels (21-7, 10-5 ACC) head to Carrier Dome to meet the Syracuse Orange (18-9, 7-7 ACC). The Tar Heels will attempt to continue their five-game winning streak. The Over/Under (O/U) for the game has been set at 143 points with North Carolina opening as a 3.5-point favorite. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday, February 21, 2018, and it can be seen on ESPN.
North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Syracuse Orange Free Preview
The Tar Heels beat the Louisville Cardinals in their last matchup, 93-76. With 19 points and 13 rebounds, Luke Maye put together a good game for North Carolina. North Carolina dominated nearly every stat category in the game. They had a fantastic offensive rebounding percentage of 44.7 (above their season average of 38.7) and a turnover percentage of 12.3 (better than their season average of 14.4). For those same stats, Louisville was 28.9 and 14.3, respectively.
The last time the Orange played, they beat the Miami (FL) Hurricanes, 62-55. Oshae Brissett led the way for Syracuse, putting up 16 points and 12 rebounds. The Orange, who came into the game averaging an effective field goal percentage of 0.477, had a mark of 0.529 and had a better offensive rebounding percentage (34.6 vs. 30.0).
The battle on the backboards could prove decisive, pitting strength against strength. The Orange rank 19th in offensive rebounding percentage (35.4 percent), while North Carolina ranks 36th in defensive rebounding percentage (75.4 percent). Moreover, the 24th-ranked offense of the Tar Heels (offensive efficiency of 115.7) will face off against the 26th-ranked defense of the Orange (defensive efficiency of 96.7).
These two teams are complete opposites in terms of the O/U total. North Carolina games have finished over 55.6 percent of the time, while 56.0 percent of games featuring Syracuse have gone under. The Tar Heels come into this game with a sizable advantage in both straight up (SU) and against the spread (ATS) records. They are 21-7 SU and 14-10-3 ATS, while the Orange are 18-9 SU and 11-14 ATS.
Joel Berry II and Cameron Johnson have played well over the last five games for North Carolina. Berry II has averaged 19.4 points, 3.4 assists and 1.4 steals per game, while Johnson has put up 18.0 points per game.
This is the first time these teams will go head-to-head this year. The Tar Heels won the sole contest played against each other last season, 85-68. The Tar Heels played a perfect game. They had a ridiculous offensive rebounding percentage of 50.0 and a turnover percentage of 10.8. For those same stats, the Orange were 18.8 and 17.3, respectively.
North Carolina Tar Heels at Syracuse Orange Prediction
Pick: SU Winner – North Carolina, ATS Winner – Syracuse, O/U – Under
- The Tar Heels rank 139th in three pointers attempted per game (22.3) while the Orange rank 282nd (17.4).
- Both of these teams are great at rebounding the ball. North Carolina leads the nation with 43.3 rebounds per game while Syracuse is 58th with 38.0 rebounds per game.
- North Carolina is 6-7-1 ATS on the road with 8 unders and 6 overs.
- At home, Syracuse is 6-9 ATS with 10 unders and 5 overs.
- North Carolina ranks seventh in assists per game (17.9) while Syracuse ranks 253rd (11.3).
- The Orange average 5.6 blocks per game, which ranks 10th in the NCAA. The Tar Heels rank 189th in blocks allowed per game (4.6).
- Syracuse ranks 31st in steals per game (7.7) while North Carolina ranks 182nd (5.4).
- Syracuse is 3-2 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders in their last five games.
- Over their last five games, North Carolina is 5-0 ATS with 3 overs and 2 unders.
- The Orange’s average margin of victory in their last five games has been 0.2, down from 5.2 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Tar Heels have scored an average of 90.0 points per game (6.4 above their season average) and allowed an average of 74.8 points per game (1.4 above their season average).