The third-ranked Tar Heels look for their sixth straight win on Tuesday night as they host the Terrapins, who ended their hopes for an undefeated 2007-08.
Oddsmakers from Online Sportsbook Sportsbook.com have made the North Carolina -21.5. point spread favorites for Wednesday’s game against the Maryland. Current College Basketball Public Betting Information shows that 58% of more than 207 bets for this game have been placed on the North Carolina -21.5.
North Carolina (19-2, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) won its first 18 games a season ago before falling 82-80 to Maryland on Jan. 19, 2008. It was the Tar Heels' second straight loss in this series overall, and the eighth win in 22 visits to the Smith Center for the Terrapins. Only Duke (10) has won there more times as a visitor.
Another Maryland (14-7, 3-4) win in this matchup would certainly be a surprise. North Carolina earned its fifth straight win Saturday, 93-76 victory over North Carolina State. After seeing his run of consecutive games scoring in double figures end at 55 in Wednesday's 80-77 win over Florida State, Tyler Hansbrough had 31 points against the Wolfpack.
"It's nothing new for (Tyler) or for us," North Carolina senior Danny Green said. "He came out focused and hit some big shots and made some key moves. I don't know why they weren't doubling the way they should've been. He was national player of the year last year."
North Carolina shot 56.5 percent from the field and scored 90 points or more for the 11th time this season. The Tar Heels rank second in Division I with 92.4 points per game.
Hansbrough posted a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds when then-No. 1 North Carolina fell to Maryland last season.
Hansbrough made 6 of 7 attempts from the foul line on Saturday and needs to hit three free throws versus the Terrapins to move past Oscar Robertson (869) for third on the NCAA's career list.
ACC free throw leader Greivis Vasquez (89.3 percent) missed 2 of 4 attempts in Maryland's 73-68 win over Miami on Saturday, but nearly recorded his first career triple-double with 11 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. The junior guard is averaging 11.0 points, 8.5 assists and 4.5 rebounds in two career games against the Tar Heels.
"We can win games," Vasquez told his school's official Web site. "We can do some damage down in North Carolina, but we have to play for 40 minutes."
Regardless of the outcome in Chapel Hill, it appears Maryland coach Gary Williams will keep his job. Athletic director Debbie Yow squashed any speculation Monday that Williams' future with the team is in jeopardy.
"He has my full support, as he does from the department and from the university," Yow said. "He and I communicate regularly, and a couple of things he's communicated to me are pretty important. One of these is he's very optimistic about the future, and he's very focused about recruiting."
Maryland is 0-3 on the road this season, with all of those losses coming in conference play.
Posted: 2/3/09 1:30AM ET