We have the ACC championship game on Saturday night as the top-seeded Virginia Cavaliers take on the #6 seed North Carolina Tar Heels in a college basketball matchup from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The North Carolina Tar Heels punched their ticket to the title game thanks to a 74-69 win over rival Duke on Friday in the semis. Luke Maye led UNC with 17 points on 8 of 18 shooting with a team-high 10 rebounds. Joel Berry II came 2nd with 13 points on 3 triples with 6 assists and 3 steals while Cameron Johnson, Kenny Williams and Garrison Brooks each logged 10 points to round out the scoring in double digits for the Tar Heels in the win, with Williams added 6 rebounds and 6 assists. Theo Pinson also chipped in 8 points with 3 steals and a team-high 7 assists in the winning effort for North Carolina. Berry II leads UNC in scoring with 17.1 points per game while Pinson leads the Tar Heels in assists with 4.8 assists per game and Made leads North Carolina in rebounding by averaging a double-double per game with 17.1 points to go along with his team-leading 10.2 rebounds per game this season. As a team, North Carolina is scoring 82.5 points per game on 46.1% shooting from the field, 36.3% from behind the arc and 74% from the foul line this season.
The Virginia Cavaliers will be looking to win their first ACC tournament title since 2014, and make their case for the #1 overall seed in the upcoming tournament after taking down Clemson by a final score of 64-58 in their semifinal matchup on Friday. Kyle Guy led UVA with 15 points on 6 of 12 shooting with 3 threes while Devon Hall and Mamadi Diakite each added 10 points to round out the trio of double digit scorers for the Cavaliers in the win, with Hall contributing 3 steals to the cause. Jack Salt added a team-high 8 rebounds while Ty Jerome added a team-high 10 assists with 3 steals of his own in the winning effort. Guy leads Virginia in scoring with 14.1 points per game while Jerome leads the Cavaliers in assists with 3.9 assists per game and Isaiah Wilkins leads the Cavaliers on the glass with 6.3 rebounds per game this season. As a team, Virginia is scoring 67.4 points per game on 46.3% shooting from the field, 38.6% from behind the arc and 75.1% from the foul line this season. The Cavaliers still own one of the tightest defenses in the country as well, giving up the fewest points per game at 53.1 per contest on the 3rd-lowest field goal percentage against at 37.4% and the 6th-lowest 3-point percentage at 30% this season.
North Carolina is 8-3 ATS in their last 11 games overall and 4-0 ATS in their last 4 neutral site games while the under is 4-0 in their last 4 games against a team wth a winning record. Virginia is 19-8-1 ATS in their last 28 games overall and 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games following a win while the under is 37-16-1 in their last 54 conference matchups. The favorite is 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings between these two teams.
Virginia’s defense has been as good as advertised, but to be honest, I never really read into UNC as a #6 seed as I knew the Tar Heels were better than their position and I personally wasn’t overly worried about North Carolina. This is one of the best situations we could’ve asked for in the ACC title game and given that UNC has had a lot of success in this quick turnaround situations, I’ll take a shot with UNC and the points in a game that could come down to the final seconds.