FSU-UNC clash commences shortly
On a Saturday teeming with luscious matchups in the ACC, none looms larger than the North Carolina-Florida State throwdown at 2 p.m. ET. But will the host team ultimately fall without its second-leading rebounder?
The Tony Bradley-less Tar Heels (15-3) are about to welcome the Seminoles to Chapel Hill for the first time in nearly two years. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives Roy Williams’ bunch odds of -350 to emerge victorious. FSU, on the other hand, enters the Smith Center as a +290 underdog.
Winners of a school-record 12 in a row, Leonard Hamilton’s troops currently own a share of first place in the revered hoops conference. While three players average in double figures in scoring, Dwayne Bacon undoubtedly serves as the offensive catalyst in Tallahassee. The sophomore guard averages 17.8 points per contest. Bacon’s upped his production in league competition too, pouring in 29 and 23 vs. Virginia and Wake Forest, respectively.
UNC counters with junior Justin Jackson, who has eclipsed the 20-point mark on seven occasions over the past two months. Nonetheless, the absence of Bradley (concussion) leaves a considerable void in the paint for the home squad. Florida State’s frontcourt features a pair of 7-footers (Michael Ojo and Christ Koumadje), not to mention the formidable forward tandem of Jonathan Isaac and Jarquez Smith.
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The Tobacco Road setting automatically makes us leery of going against the Tar Heels here. Of course, the Seminoles (16-1) have more than held their own in three straight meetings with ranked foes. We’re looking forward to a ferocious battle whose defensive intensity promises to soar in the second half.
SATURDAY NCAA FREE PICK: FLORIDA STATE/NORTH CAROLINA UNDER 164.5 POINTS