North Carolina State Wolfpack vs. North Carolina Tar Heels Preview and Pick – Point Spread

North Carolina State Wolfpack (14-11 11-10-1 ATS) vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (13-11 7-15 ATS) Dean E. Smith Center, Chapel Hill, NC 4 PM EST Saturday February 13, 2010 on ESPN
by Jason Green at

Point Spread: NC State +7/UNC -7
Over/Under: 145.5

On Saturday afternoon in an ACC match up of a couple of struggling teams the North Carolina Tar Heels host the North Carolina State Wolfpack. The wheels have really fallen off for defending champion North Carolina, as they have lost 4 straight and 8 of their last 10. The Tar Heels were ranked #6 in the pre-season, but unless they start winning, and start winning now, they will be NIT bound, as if they do not an invite to the Big Dance will be a long shot.

This season North Carolina is 11-5 at home and NC State is 3-5 on the road.

To add insult to injury North Carolina lost their last game to arch rival Duke and it was in Chapel Hill no less. In that game the Blue Devils only shot just under 32% from the field and they still beat the Tar Heels by 10 points.

Things have not gone much better for NC State, as they have lost 3 in a row and 7 of their last 10. They are in the same boat as the Tar Heels, as the last place team in the ACC must win now to have any chance to make the NCAA tournament.

This season both teams have really struggled in conference play, as the Wolfpack are only 2-8 and the Tar Heels are not much better at 2-7.

UNC has not had problems scoring in this season, but their defense, which is giving up an average of 73.5 ppg, has really hurt them. The Tar Heels have many players that score, but nobody has really stepped up for the young team as a leader on the court.

NC State has a decent defense, but their offense has struggled, as they only have 2 players averaging in double figures in forwards Tracy Smith (17.4 ppg) and Dennis Horner (12.1 ppg).

The Wolfpack do have a legit frontcourt with Smith and Horner, but their guards have to hit the outside J to open up the lane for them to operate. In their last loss NC State missed all of their 3-point attempts (0-11) and if that happens again the Wolfpack will be toast.

These 2 teams played on January 26th at NC State and the Tar Heels won the game beating the Wolfpack 77-63.

In their last game North Carolina lost to Duke 64-54 on Wednesday night. The high scorer for the Tar Heels in the game was Will Graves going for a whopping 13 points on 5/9 shooting. For the game the Tar Heels were ice cold only shooting 34.5% from the floor. North Carolina struggled from downtown only shooting 26.3% from 3-point land. On D the Tar Heels held Duke to only 31.9% shooting, but they still lost.

NC State also played on Wednesday night and they were crushed losing to Virginia Tech 72-52. The high scorer for the Wolfpack was Dennis Horner going for 13 points on only 6/15 shooting. For the game the Wolfpack could not hit water if they fell out of a boat with a FG% of 28.6%. NC State left their defense back in North Carolina allowing Virginia Tech to shoot 52.9% from the floor.

According to the Sagarin NCAA hoops ratings North Carolina ranks 66th (81.27) and NC State ranks 85th (78.92).

NC State is 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games, 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following a loss, and 11-3 ATS in their last 14 road games.

NC State has an Over record of 5-1 in their last 6 road games and has an Over record of 10-2 in their last 12 games against teams with a winning record.

North Carolina is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games, 0-4 ATS in their last 4 home games, and 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following an ATS loss.

North Carolina has an Under record of 5-0 in their last 5 home games and has an Over record of 8-1 in their last 9 games.

Jason’s Pick: I expect both NC State and UNC to have scoring issues at times and for this game to easily go UNDER 145.5.