Sportsbook.com currently has the line on tonight’s game as UNC -13. And Kendall Marshall said that it feels like UNC is the underdog!?! That’s gotta be classic UNC math skills at work!
What are your predictions for tonight’s game? Chime in here with your thoughts.
I am going to predict the following — State loses by 12 points.
Generally, Harrison Barnes or Reggie Bullock have an almost career night. Jon Henson & Tyler Zeller will mysteriously draw many more fouls against our big men than we are able to draw against them despite play that looks very similar.
On the court, I think people have underestimated how many points we’ve been getting from offensive rebounds this year and relatively how few points we’ve allowed from our defensive boards. Unfortunately for us, Carolina is THE BEST rebounding team in the country and that takes a big chunk out of our strengths. Of course, it is very easy to be aggressive on the boards and on defense when you are NEVER in any kind of foul trouble.
Don’t understand what I mean? Well, the following statistics were generated by a poster named ‘BackThePack7483’ on Pack Pride’s message boards:
Neither Jon Henson nor Tyler Zeller has EVER fouled out of a college basketball game.
Henson has only had 4 fouls twice in three years of playing, while Zeller has been whistled for 4 fouls in a game numerous times but has been able to play through it with no issue and has never been disqualified by receiving a 5th foul.
In fact, the only players on UNC’s roster to ever foul out of a game where: (1) Kendall Marshall who fouled out at the end of the Tar heels blowout loss at Florida State a week and a half ago, and (2) Dexter Strickland, who fouled out a single time last season.
By contrast, the following are the disqualifications of NC State players in their careers:
Scott Wood: 4 times
Calvin Leslie: 2 times
Richard Howell: 3 times
CJ Williams: 3 times
Zo Brown: 2 times
DeShawn Painter: 2 times
From the files of ‘great minds think alike’…as I was typing this entry the N&O’s Caulton Tudor was saying something similar in a more muted manner in this entry on ACCNow.com
The key stat in tonightâ€™s N.C. State at UNC basketball game could be no more complicated than the foul count.
In four of the Wolfpackâ€™s five losses thus far, at least one or two starters got into heavy foul trouble early. The exception was an 88-72 loss to Syracuse.
In the other four losses, hereâ€™s the breakdown on the foul front:
â€¢In an 86-79 loss to Vanderbilt, C.J. Williams fouled out and Richard Howell had four.
â€¢In an 86-75 loss to Indiana, Scott Wood fouled out and C.J. Leslie had four.
â€¢In a 76-72 loss to Stanford, Wood and Lorenzo Brown fouled out. Howell and sixth-man DeShawn Painter each had four.
â€¢In an 82-71 loss to Georgia Tech, Leslie fouled while Howell and Wood each had four.
State coach Mark Gottfried uses a seven-man rotation that hinges on a delicate playing time balance. When one player isnâ€™t producing, the entire operation tends to malfunction. Fouls and injuries obviously do inordinate harm to a limited rotation.
â€œWe had a long stretch where we werenâ€™t getting into foul trouble,â€ Gottfried said earlier this week. â€œRich has had some silly fouls, but heâ€™s had some unlucky fouls, too. We just canâ€™t afford a lot of foul trouble.â€
With their depth, the Tar Heels feast on fouls.
That situation could change with the loss of Dexter Strickland (knee injury), but through 19 games, UNC has been charged with a modest 264 personals while drawing 416. The payoff is predictably huge _ UNC has gone to the foul line 498 times while its opponents have gone 220 times.
The Wolfpack has been hit for 339 fouls while drawing 355 – a virtual even swap. At the line, the Pack has outscored opponents 416-377 but thatâ€™s primarily the result of Wood going 48-48 and Williams 31-36.
State is shooting 75 percent and thatâ€™s with Leslie at 61 percent (47-77).
One reason for the seemingly inflated betting line _ UNC favored by 13 points _ is that bookmakers look very carefully at foul patterns. Entering tonightâ€™s game, UNC has had only one player to foul out of a game _ playmaker Kendall Marshall against Florida State.
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