North Carolina is firmly on the NCAA Tournament bubble and a quality win can go a long way.
The Tar Heels have a golden opportunity on Thursday night to potentially secure a NCAA Tournament berth with a win against Virginia, who they split their season series with. However, the status of Amrando Bacot, who was injured in the first meeting between the two teams is in doubt after he suffered an ankle injury in the team’s second round win against Boston College on Wednesday.
Here’s the odds and the latest news on Bacot ahead of this impactful quarterfinals matchup:
North Carolina vs. Virginia odds, spread and total
North Carolina vs. Virginia prediction and pick
We don’t have clear news on Bacot’s status for the Tar Heels but it does seem promising ahead of the quarterfinal against the Cavaliers.
If Bacot is in, this is a great matchup for the Tar Heels to score a massive victory. The big man got hurt in the first few minutes of the first matchup and North Carolina struggled to keep up, but we saw his impact in the second meeting, an eight point win at home.
The Cavaliers have been on a slide offensively for a while now, shooting 28% from beyond the arc over the last month and a non factor on the offensive glass, bottom 100 in that metric in that time frame.
While UNC’s offense leaves a ton to be desired from the perimeter against the UVA packline defense, they should get a ton of open looks given that the Cavaliers appeared dead set on doubling Bacot in the first meeting. If they send two against the big man again, expect Caleb Love to get cooking down hill and open up the floor.
Further, The Tar Heels are top 25 in adjusted defensive efficiency over the last month, holding foes to one chance (top 30 in defensive rebounding percentage) and shutting off the interior (65th in two-point field goal percentage allowed). With Bacot in, this is a different team.
I’m taking the Tar Heels to continue their NCAA Tournament push.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.