This Saturday there are a few big games and one of them is the Atlantic Coast Conference game between #14 Virginia Cavaliers (18-7 Overall, 8-5 ACC) at the #10 North Carolina Tar Heels (22-5 Overall, 10-3 ACC). The ACC has six nationally ranked teams, with UNC in first and a half-game over #8 Louisville and #12 Duke and the Cavaliers in sixth and two games in back of the Tar Heels. In our Virginia plays North Carolina ACC basketball free pick, the Heels are favored by anywhere from 5.5 to 7 points and the over/under is at 135.5. Tipoff is at 8:15 p.m. ET.
The Virginia Cavaliers are 2-3 over the team’s past five games. They come to the court tonight having lost two straight. Virginia Tech beat them on Feb. 12 in OT 80-78, and on Feb. 15, it was #12 Duke that took then down 65-55. Their most recent win was against #8 Louisville on Feb, 6 with the final being 71-55.
UNC comes to this game having won three of its last five. Losses include
Miami on Jan. 28, with the final score being 77-62, and Duke on Feb.9. That final was 86.78. They won their most recent game, which was on Feb 15 against NC State. The score was 97-73.
Much of the Cavaliers’ success is based on their defense, which is allowing 55.5 PPG. The Virginia offense is averaging 68.8 PPG. Guard London Perrantes (12.6 PPG, 3.1 RPG, 3.8 APG) leads the team in scoring while connecting on 43% of his shots. Guards Marial Shyok (9.6 PPG, 46 FG%, 31 3PT%) and Devon Hall (8.5 PPG, 4.3 RPG, 43 FG%) are second and third in scoring with both connecting on about 44% of their attempts. Also, guard Kyle Guy (7.6 PPG, 47 FG%, 49 3PT%) is a solid contributor with a solid three-point shot that’s good 49% of the time. The top forward on the team is Isaiah Wilkins (7.5 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 57 FG%). Wilkins has a 57% accurate three-point shot.
North Carolina Tar Heels
Although the Tar Heels have a defense that’s allowing 72.1 PPG, they compensate for that by putting an average of 87.7 PPG on the scoreboard. UNC has four players who are averaging double-digit points per game. Top scorer forward Justin Jackson (18.5 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 46 FG%) is hitting on 40% of his threes. Also in the paint are Isaiah Hicks and Kennedy Meeks. Both are averaging exactly 12.6 PPG, while Hicks is pulling down 5.4 RPG and Meeks 9.2. Hicks is a 61% shooter and Meeks is at 53%. On the perimeter, Joel Berry II (15.0 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 4.0 APG) is connecting on 46% of his field goals and 42% of his shots from downtown. Look for guards Kenny Williams and Nate Britt to platoon in and out and for forwards Tony Bradley, Theo Pinson, and Luke Maye to offer important minutes.
Virginia Plays North Carolina ACC Basketball Free Pick
This is the first meeting between these two teams this season. Despite the solid Virginia defense, we think that UNC will cover. The Tar Heels are a lot deeper and they are out-rebounding the Cavaliers 44.0 to 33.2. Our Virginia plays North Carolina ACC basketball free pick is UNC at -5.5.