The No. 5 North Carolina Tar Heels (10-2) and the Ohio State Buckeyes (10-3) square off at Smoothie King Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, December 23, 2017.
Ohio State Buckeyes vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Free Preview
In the Buckeyes last matchup, they won big over the Citadel Bulldogs, 94-65. With 17 points, Ohio State’s Keita Bates-Diop put together a good performance. Ohio State dominated every stat category in the game. They had a superb effective field goal percentage of 0.588 (above their season average of 0.554) and a turnover percentage of 13.3 (better than their season average of 17.2). Citadel had marks of 0.415 and 17.7, respectively, for those same stats.
The Tar Heels are hoping for a better outcome after their 79-75 loss to the Wofford Terriers in their last matchup. With 17 points and 14 rebounds, Luke Maye put together a good outing for North Carolina. Wofford had a turnover percentage of 12.2 (better than their season average of 18.3). North Carolina, on the other hand, did a fantastic job of getting to and converting from the charity stripe (28-38; 73.7 percent).
The battle on the backboards could prove decisive, pitting strength against strength. The Tar Heels are among the nations elite on the offensive glass, ranking second in offensive rebounding percentage at 36.6 percent. Meanwhile, Ohio State ranks 25th in the nation at corralling defensive rebounds with a defensive rebounding percentage of 76.0 percent.
Joel Berry II has been outstanding over the last five games for North Carolina, averaging 18.0 points and 3.4 assists per game.
Ohio State Buckeyes vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Odds Prediction
Predictions: SU Winner – North Carolina, ATS Winner – North Carolina, O/U – Under
- The Tar Heels average 19.2 three pointers per game, which ranks 204th in the nation. The Buckeyes rank 219th in three pointers allowed per game (24.9).
- Ohio State ranks 20th in blocks allowed per game (2.2) while North Carolina ranks 151st (4.9).
- The Tar Heels rank sixth in rebounds per game (44.2) while the Buckeyes rank 83rd (37.9).
- North Carolina ranks 17th in assists per game (18.3) while Ohio State ranks 69th (15.6).
- The Tar Heels average margin of victory in their last five games has been 15.6, up from 14.3 for the season.
- During their last five games, the Buckeyes have scored an average of 85.0 points per game (5.5 above their season average) and allowed an average of 62.8 points per game (4.3 below their season average).