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Pitt Basketball

Five Things to Know Before Pitt at North Carolina, Spread, Betting Line

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Pitt basketball has found a new sign of life nearing the end of the ACC regular season.

The Panthers are riding a two-game winning streak for only the second time during the 2021-22 campaign after defeating Florida State and N.C. State last week. The Blue and Gold face a major obstacle in a tough North Carolina team Wednesday night. 

Here are five things to know ahead of Pitt’s (10-16, 5-10 ACC) road game in Chapel Hill against the North Carolina Tar Heels (18-7, 10-4).

 

Two-Game Streak Flipping Script

The Florida State win was impressive for the Panthers. Entering as a whooping 10.5-point underdogs, Pitt held the Seminoles to shooting 29% from the field and behind the arc. Despite shooting an atrocious 12-for-24 from the free-throw line, Pitt made up for it and did not let their struggles handicap them. 

Increased minutes for Ithiel Horton, now in the starting lineup, has made a major impact on the Panthers’ storyline. Horton recorded 25 points against Florida State and 17 against N.C. State. The Wolfpack are currently 4-12 in the ACC and was a game Pitt should have handily won at home, but the outcome was down to the wire.

Onyebuchi Ezeakudo has come off the bench in Horton’s place. Increased production for John Hugley is another key factor, recording a 21 point, 10 rebound double-double. When Hugley can defeat double teams and be effective down low, he becomes one of the hardest players to defend in the entire conference. 

Hugley is averaging 14.2 points in 26 games, starting all but one of them. Jamarius Burton is not far behind averaging 13.1 points. 

 

No Need For Identity Theft

The Panthers know who they are. In order to win against greater talent and competition, but realistically anyone they face, the team must bank on its defensive abilities. This has been a recipe for success in the part two victories along with strong rebounding. 

Pitt is limited offensively and continues to show flaws on the offensive end but occasionally can find ways to stay in the game. To win two straight, especially as heavy underdogs on the road facing Florida State, head coach Jeff Capel has helped steer the ship back in the right direction. 

It could have easily sunk, but a quick reset has moved Pitt from the worst team in the ACC to 11th place with five games remaining. This will be the toughest stretch of the year, inconveniently to close the regular season, but a chance to pull off another stunning upset and spark faith and confidence. The Panthers play Georgia Tech, Miami, Duke, and Notre Dame to usher in the ACC Tournament. 

 

Backing the Heels

North Carolina has consistently been one of the best teams the ACC has to offer on a yearly basis. Not much has changed this season despite being ranked outside of the top 25, struggling against ranked opponents but currently hitting their stride to end the regular season.  UNC has won six of their last seven and has recorded 10 or more ACC wins for the 45th time in 68 seasons. 

An 87-67 home loss to rival Duke is one of the sour points to the year three games ago, but North Carolina rebounded to collect a two-point victory over Clemson and 20-point win against Florida State. The Tar Heels are going to be a dangerous team Wednesday night and come playoff time.

In his first year as head coach, Hubert Davis has his team tied for fourth in the conference with Miami and right behind Notre Dame for second place. The Heels are 13-1 inside the Dean Dome and are 10th in the country in three-point percentage (38.6%). Typically a strong rebounding team, UNC is tied for the 13th best team in the nation at a clip of 37.3 per game.

The Tar Heels pass the ball well, can shoot free throws, and take efficient shots. Their defense lags behind but is occasionally made up for by a dynamic offensive attack lead by Armando Bacot. The forward paces UNC with 16.6 points and 12.2 rebounds per game while offensive threats Caleb Love (14.9), RJ Davis (13.9), and Brady Manek (13.8) propel the Heels as a constant threat.

 

Spread, Over/Under

North Carolina is favored by 14 points in Wednesday’s latest odds.

Pitt is 14-12 against the spread and was on the favorable end the past two wins.

The over/under for the game is set at 141.5 points and Pitt is +650 on the money line. 

North Carolina is 11-13-1 ATS during this season and has only covered once in five chances when favored by 14 or more. The Tar Heels are -1000 on the money line. 

 

Broadcast, Radio Info

The North Carolina and Pitt matchup will air on the ACC Network Wednesday night at 8 p.m. 

The action can also be heard live on 93.7 The Fan. 

Pitt is back in Oakland to face Georgia Tech Saturday at 7 p.m. inside the Petersen Events Center.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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Send it in !
Send it in !
9 months ago

Only thing in doubt, is whether Carolina covers the spread or not. They probably will as they have 9 Top 100 players on their roster compared to 1 for Pitt.

Jimbo Grimm
Jimbo Grimm
9 months ago
Reply to  Send it in !

Do you ever get tired of being wrong?

Send it in !
Send it in !
9 months ago
Reply to  Jimbo Grimm

No……because I’m hardly ever wrong…jimbo ! At least I had the balls to make a prediction BEFORE the game and not come on here afterwards like you and crow about your sports intelligence. putz

Jimbo Grimm
Jimbo Grimm
9 months ago
Reply to  Send it in !

But you’re on record as saying that this is the worst Pitt team in history – WRONG. Also you predicted that Pitt would not win a conference game – WRONG. And finally you said Pitt would lose to UNC – WRONG. Nice job Sturg. Here’s a prediction for you, Send It In! will post something racist by the end of the week. History is on my side.

Send it in !
Send it in !
9 months ago
Reply to  Jimbo Grimm

Wow you are really demented. I didn’t predict any of those things. As clearly this team is better than Stallings last team and several of Bob Timmon’s teams. If you even have a clue who that was. Here’s a prediction for you….this is my last response to you !

Jimbo Grimm
Jimbo Grimm
9 months ago
Reply to  Send it in !

Sure it is. Actually you predicted everything that I listed above. Also Krackerjack Kid, Giovanni, Sturg, Rob Radich, Justin Dietrich & a few others all agreed with your moronic predictions. Clearly they don’t know what they’re talking about either

Dukes

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