The Big Ten/ACC Challenge concludes Wednesday night as the Ohio State Buckeyes and North Carolina Tar Heels square off in what should be an explosive matchup. Ohio State heads into the contest ranked sixth in the nation, with North Carolina right on its tail, ranked seventh. The Buckeyes are undefeated, while the Tar Heels have suffered only one loss on the season to the rising stars of Michigan.
The Tar Heels have been pretty abysmal against the line this season, coming in only 2-5 ATS. The Buckeyes have been quite the opposite, beating the spread in six of their seven matchups. These two teams have only beat the over on the season a combined three times, North Carolina only once, and Ohio State twice. The Tar Heels are favored by 3.5 points, with the over/under set at 140 in this matchup.
A Strong Start
The Buckeyes are back to playing Ohio State basketball again after a few mediocre seasons. Coach Chris Holtmann has his guys off to a fantastic start. Forward Kaleb Wesson leads the team in points, rebounds, and blocks this season, and he isn’t far behind in assists. The big man can do it all. He’s shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc to boot.
Duane Washington Jr. and Andre Wesson lead the team in three-point attempts and three-point shooting percentage on the season. Washington is shooting nearly 52 percent from deep, while Wesson is shooting 42 percent. The Buckeyes have five players that shoot at least 41 percent from deep, and they’re ranked 49th in the nation in three-point shooting percentage.
Big Wins And A Tough Loss
It was quite the battle that North Carolina gave Michigan, but the Tar Heels just couldn’t get it done. The win for Michigan was part of an effort that jumped it up to fourth in the national rankings. For North Carolina, as every year, it just wants its shine. Take some of the spotlight back from that other team in North Carolina. They want what is theirs: The ACC.
Cole Anthony leads the team in scoring, assists, and steals, plus he’s right there with the best of his teammates in rebounding. The Tar Heels are a great offensive rebounding team, ranking 23rd in the nation. Armando Bacot averages 3.4 offensive boards a game, while Justin Pierce brings in three. Bacot also averages nearly two blocks per game.
This is a battle of the bigs in the middle of this challenge. Typically when two powerhouses square off, it comes down to intensity. And in this matchup, I believe the Buckeyes come out fired up. Their three-point attack will be enough to propel them past the Tar Heels. Ohio State beats the spread in this game that could turn into a high-scoring shootout.