Marquette Golden Eagles at North Carolina Tar Heels – NCAAM February 24

7 p.m. ET – Marquette at North Carolina (-9½) O/U: 144

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Marquette +9½ (-105) +350 O 145½ (-110)
North Carolina -9½ (-115) -450 U 145½ (-110)

The 10-12 Golden Eagles travel to Chapel Hill to take on the 14-7 Tar Heels Wednesday night for a rare midseason non-conference battle. Marquette bounced back from three straight losses last Wednesday with a 73-57 road win at Butler. North Carolina has won three out of four games, most recently dismantling Louisville 99-54 on Saturday.

Marquette Golden Eagles LogoMarquette has struggled to find a leader this season after the departure of star guard Markus Howard to the NBA and the Hauser brothers transferring to Michigan State and Virginia, respectively. The Golden Eagles have four players averaging double figures, and last time out forward Jamal Cain recorded 14 points and 14 rebounds to lead them to the 16-point point victory over Butler.

North Carolina Tar Heels LogoThe Tar Heels also are led by committee with four players averaging double figures. The emergence of forward Day’Ron Sharpe, who led the team with 21 points and 11 rebounds in the victory over Louisville, has helped them during their recent surge as the Heels finally are starting to look like a team worthy of the rich legacy of UNC teams that have come before.

A late February matchup rarely features two teams that have little familiarity, and that should favor the underdog. North Carolina should dominate this game on the glass, which will provide a great advantage, but Marquette has found a way to keep games close this season. While the Golden Eagles have 12 losses, nine of them have come by fewer than 10 points.

Please Note:
This line is a bit inflated due to the Tar Heels’ 45-point victory over Louisville on Saturday. Keep in mind, however, that Louisville was coming off a 19-day COVID-induced layoff. The Cardinals showed clear signs of rust throughout the game, likely making the lopsided outcome more of an anomaly than a true indicator of anything concrete. North Carolina has a huge matchup at home against Florida State coming up this Saturday, making this a tempting look-ahead spot for a Tar Heel team that knows they need to add a Quadrant 1 win to their tournament resume. Expect a slow start from North Carolina before they eventually find a way to win in the second half. That, in turn, will lead to yet another single-digit loss for the hard-luck Golden Eagles. Take the 9.5-point Marquette underdogs to keep this game close enough to cover the spread.
The Bets
Marquette (+9½)

*Odds courtesy of MyBookie

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Joe Menzer / Author

Joe is an award-winning writer and editor who has covered the NBA, NFL, NASCAR, golf, various collegiate athletics and other sports for newspapers, Turner Sports, Fox Sports and ESPN. He has been on the beat for seven Super Bowls, six Daytona 500s and numerous NBA playoff series and All-Star Games. He once was dispatched to Rome, Italy to spend time with an NBA draft choice who opted to play overseas, after which he produced an award-winning series of stories. He also is passionate about fantasy sports and breaking down games in ways that even novice gamblers can use to make their most intelligent wagering decisions.