The North Carolina Tar Heels hit the road Monday night to take on the No. 5 Florida State Seminoles for what could be the most pivotal game of their season. The Tar Heels welcomed back star freshman point guard Cole Anthony over the weekend only to fall to Boston College at home. Anthony was able to contribute 26 points.
To add insult to injury, North Carolina will be without shooting guard Brandon Robinson on Monday evening. Robinson re-injured his balky right ankle late in the Boston College game on a closeout. The offensive player jumped into Robinson, attempting to (and succeeding) to draw a foul.
Florida State, meanwhile, continues to quietly be one of the best teams in the nation. The Seminoles got back into the win column on Saturday with a 74-63 win over floundering Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.
The Seminoles were able to collect a valuable road win despite the absence of M.J. Walker, who was out due to a right ankle injury after stepping on the foot of Braxton Key in the previous game. It is currently unknown if he will play against North Carolina.
While the Seminoles boast one of the better home-court advantages in the ACC, they have not faired well against the Tar Heels in recent seasons. Coach Leonard Hamilton is just 2-4 in his last six games against the Tar Heels in Tallahassee and 3-10 since 2010-11.
Florida State is a 9.5-point favorite at home, with the over/under set at 143.
Tar Heels Need The Win
This is not your dad’s North Carolina team. Heck, this isn’t even your slightly older cousin’s North Carolina team. The Tar Heels are 10-11 overall and just 7-14 against the spread on the season.
They are 3-3 ATS in true road games but only 2-4 straight up. The addition of Anthony is obviously a net positive, but the North Carolina offense was not overly impressive prior to his injury.
The North Carolina adjusted efficiency ranking this season is 118, easily its worst in the Kenpom era. The Tar Heels have hit the under in 12 of their 20 games overall this season but have gone over in six of their last nine.
Bad Offense, Meet Good Defense
The Hamilton coaching staple has always been two things: big, long athletes, and defense. This season is no different. The Seminoles currently rank 23rd in adjusted defensive efficiency and rank fifth in the nation in opponent’s turnover percentage. They lead the nation in block percentage while ranking sixth in steal percentage.
The Seminoles are a perfect 10-0 at home this season but just 10-11 against the spread overall and 4-6 ATS at home. Their scores have gone over the total in 13 of 21 games this season and in 70 percent of their home games.
Is This Too Obvious?
One thing we should have learned this season in the ACC is that literally anything can and will happen. That said, Florida State has been one of the most consistent teams in that conference.
A hobbled Walker is a major concern as he has been a huge offensive threat for Florida State this season. There is also the saying that “hungry dogs run faster,” and North Carolina is going to come into this game very, very hungry.
Florida State is going to win this game, there is little doubt in my mind, but Anthony came back for a reason, and it wasn’t to play in the NIT. This guy wants to dance, and the Tar Heels need this game. North Carolina covers, and play the over.
Check Out Other Related Posts on 4Flush
100% up to $3,000 Bonus
Bovada is our most recommended ONLINE CASINO and POKER ROOM for US players with excellent deposit options. Get your 100% signup bonus today.