UNC Heads to Blacksburg

Blacksburg, VA - North Carolina's upcoming game against its arch-rival will inevitably have some bearing on the ACC title race. The Tar Heels can take away some of the drama with a victory before that matchup, however.

Bet College Basketball

The second-ranked Tar Heels look to earn a share of their third straight conference title with a victory over Virgina Tech on Wednesday night.

Oddsmakers from Online Sportsbook Sportsbook.com have made the North Carolina –9.5 point spread favorites for Wednesday’s game against the Virginia Tech. Current College Basketball Public Betting Information shows that 68% of more than 205 bets for this game have been placed on the North Carolina –9.5.

North Carolina (25-3, 11-3) has a half-game lead over No. 7 Duke in the ACC following the Blue Devils' 84-81 win over No. 24 Florida State on Tuesday.

Even with a loss to the Hokies (17-11, 7-7), the Tar Heels can still earn a piece of the title with a victory in Sunday's regular-season finale against the Blue Devils in Chapel Hill. North Carolina would win the title outright with wins in its final two games, but back-to-back losses would make Duke champion.

"We're taking it one game at a time, and we're not looking ahead," Tar Heels senior Danny Green said. "I feel like if we do the little things, everything else will take care of itself."

Green had 23 points in Saturday's 104-74 win over Georgia Tech, an important victory following a disappointing 88-85 overtime loss to Maryland on Feb. 21, when North Carolina squandered a nine-point lead in the final two minutes of regulation.

"This whole team was kind of miserable for a week,'' senior forward Tyler Hansbrough said. "We were more of a team (Saturday).''

Hansbrough had 28 points and 10 rebounds Saturday and made eight free throws, giving him 907 for his career to break Dickie Hemric's NCAA record of 905 free throws made.

Hansbrough, who is 91 points shy of JJ Redick's ACC career scoring record (2,769), made one of his most memorable shots in North Carolina's 68-66 victory over Virginia Tech in last season's conference tournament semifinals - the last meeting between these two teams.

Hansbrough, who is averaging 22.0 points and 10.0 rebounds in five career games versus the Hokies, rebounded a Ty Lawson miss and hit a baseline jump shot with 0.8 seconds remaining to win the game - North Carolina's second straight victory in the series.

While North Carolina is seeking one of the No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament, Virginia Tech is looking for at least one more victory to boost its tournament credentials.

The Hokies have lost four of their last five games amidst a difficult schedule.

After defeating then-No. 12 Clemson 80-77 last Wednesday, Virginia Tech lost 72-65 to Duke on Saturday. The Hokies close the regular season Sunday at Florida State, making this the first time in school history they'll play four straight games against ranked opponents.

Senior A.D. Vassallo had team highs of 26 points and 10 rebounds Saturday and also accounted for all the Virginia Tech points during a 15-4 run that drew the Hokies even with six minutes left.

"We fought back and got back in the game," Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg told the school's official athletic Web site. "We were in position to win the game. Unfortunately we didn't make the plays you need to make."

While Vassallo had a stellar performance against Duke, sophomore guard Malcolm Delaney managed only seven points and shot 2-for-12 from the floor after scoring a total of 51 in his previous two games.

Delaney averaged 17.5 points in two games against North Carolina last season, while Vassallo averaged 12.5 points but shot only 28.1 percent in those contests.

Bet College Basketball
Did you like this article? Subscribe to our Basketball news feed for the fastest updates delivered right to you - Click here to Subscribe

Posted: 3/4/09 3:00AM ET


NCAAB Top Stories

Thumbnail Upset-minded UCLA visits Kentucky Kentucky and UCLA don’t receive the chance to come together very often. That merely adds to the excitement preceding this afternoon’s clash of the titans at Rupp...
Thumbnail Longhorns mired in extended slump After starting the season ranked No. 21 in the country, Texas has lost three in a row. Will Shaka Smart’s troops be able to reverse course against Alabama?
Thumbnail Edwardsville vs. Indiana Pick Will No. 13 Indiana have a letdown showing when it plays host to SIU-Edwardsville tonight at 7PM ET?
Thumbnail Cincinnati vs. Iowa St. Pick Will No. 19 Iowa State stay perfect at home when it plays host to Cincinnati tonight at 9PM ET?
Thumbnail Saint Mary's vs. Stanford Prediction Will Stanford pull off the upset or at least cover the spread when it hosts Saint Mary’s at 11:00PM ET tonight?
More inNCAAB Articles  

NCAAB Headlines

More inNCAAB News  

NCAAB Team Pages