North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Virginia Tech Hokies – NCAAM March 11

ACC Tournament Quarterfinal

(3) No. 22 Virginia Tech (15-5, 9-4) vs. (6) North Carolina (17-9, 10-6)

  • Time: 6 PST – 8 CST – 9 EST
  • Place: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC
  • TV: ESPN

Opening Tip:

North Carolina is on a roll as the Tar Heels have won five out of seven after opening the ACC Tournament with a resounding 101-59 demolition of Notre Dame. The Tar Heels went 1-1 last season in the ACC Tournament before the covid cancellation one year ago today on Quarterfinal Thursday. UNC matched up with Virginia Tech in it’s first game a year ago as the 14-seed and dispatched the 11-seeded Hokies, 78-56.om covid since the

Virginia Tech were paused due to covid protocols from Feb. 6 – Feb. 23 and now they haven’t played since Feb. 27, so with only two games since Feb. 6, the jury is out on what type of Hokies team we will see as the pauses have generally eradicated connectivity and chemistry to a certain point.

The Hokies are 9-7 in their first game in each ACC Tournament and Tech is 10-16 overall in ACC Tournament play.

Roy Williams is 27-14 in the ACC Tournament as the Heels have three titles in that time and eight finals appearances in those 17 seasons.

North Carolina:

  • Carolina is 5-2 ATS in it’s last 7 games
  • The OVER has been the call in 5 of the last 7 outings as well
  • The Tar Heels are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 vs. the Hokies

Virginia Tech:

  • Tech has grabbed the UNDER in 7 of it’s last 9 games
  • The total has also gone UNDER in 11 of the last 14 meeting between the Hokies and Tar Heels
  • VT is 7-3 SU in it’s last 10 games

Last Time Out:

North Carolina used three double-doubles from Armando Bacot, Day’Ron Sharpe and Walker Kessler as they jumped to a quick 26-14 lead and never looked back in blasting Notre Dame, 101-59. The Tar Heels led by as many as 50 points late in the game and they took advantage of an emotionally drained Irish team that had to fight from 12 points down to beat Wake Forest on a buzzer-beater Tuesday evening.

Virginia Tech recorded the biggest ACC win in school history on Feb. 27 as the Hokies blew past Wake Forest, 84-46, in Blacksburg. Virginia Tech had 19 assists as the Hokies shot 53.4 percent and made 13 threes.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
North Carolina -3½ (-109) -164 O 141 (-110)
Virginia Tech +3½ (-111) +144 U 141 (-110)

Advantage, North Carolina:

North Carolina Tar Heels LogoNorth Carolina has a “big” advantage in the paint even with steady Garrison Brooks sidelined once again with an ankle injury. Armando Bacot and Day’Ron Sharpe are maybe the best one-two punch inside in the nation. Bacot (12.1 ppg, 7.8 rpg) shoots 62.6 percent from the field and his game has continued to expand since the beginning of the season and has averaged 18 points and 10.5 boards in his last two games. Sharpe (9.8 ppg, 7.9 rpg) is a steady scorer inside as well and has been playing with plenty of confidence. Walker Kessler has become an issue as well as he has scored in double figures in six of his last nine games. No doubt the Heels’ offense has gotten much better here late in the season, but they still make only 31.3 percent of their threes (284th/NCAA).

Key Tar Heels Stat:

Notre Dame didn’t have the athletes to put pressure on the Tar Heels’ ball handlers, but the Tar Heels are looking to clean the turnovers up as they average 15 per game. Defensively, Virginia Tech doesn’t force many error either as they post only 11.9 forced turnovers per game. The interesting stat is Tech allows 48.8 percent over opponents points inside the arc and the paint (252nd/NCAA).

X-Factor:

North Carolina almost always leads the nation in rebounding as they lead this year on the offensive glass with 15.4 offensive boards per game. They also lead the nation in offensive rebound percentage by running down 40.6 percent of their shots.

Advantage, Virginia Tech:

Virginia Tech Hokies LogoVirginia Tech’s Keve Aluma will have to play big in the paint and use his length to his advantage with the physicality that North Carolina brings. Aluma (15.9 ppg, 8.0 rpg) makes 50 percent of his shots and be a matchup issue is the game is called tighter. Sharp-shooting Jalen Cone is out indefinitely, Naheim Alleyne must knock down threes which should loosen Carolina’s defense and that will favor Aluma in the paint.

Key Hokies Stat:

Justyn Mutts (8.9 ppg, 6.4 rpg) joins Aluma inside and will bring the physicality with his 6-7, 230-pound frame. He is 16-of-27 in his last three games as he has averaged 13.3 points and 6.3 rebounds in those outings. His presence along side Aluma is a must in going against Carolina’s front line.

X-Factor:

Hunter Cattoor (8.5 ppg, 46.4%) has started to show an all around offensive game which Virginia Tech will need this evening. He can go inside-out as he has made 44.9 percent of his triples from long distance and 81.6 percent of his free throws.

Winner: North Carolina (-3½) 77, Virginia Tech 70

The Bets
North Carolina -3½
-109
North Carolina
-164
Over 141
-110
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.