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Saturday’s Tip Sheet
By Brian Edwards

**North Carolina at Syracuse**

— North Carolina (14-2 straight up, 7-8-1 against the spread) is out to a 3-0 start in ACC play and will be looking to remain unbeaten Saturday night at the Carrier Dome. Roy Williams’s team smashed FSU 106-90 on Monday as a 3.5-point road favorite.

— Brice Johnson went off in Tallahassee, dropping 39 points and 23 rebounds on the Seminoles while making 14-of-16 shots from the field. The senior power forward also had three steals and three blocked shots. Marcus Paige also enjoyed a stellar performance, producing 30 points, five rebounds and five assists without committing a turnover.

— Johnson paces UNC in scoring (16.8 points per game), rebounding (10.6 RPG) and blocked shots (1.1 BPG). He is making 64.5 percent of his shots from the field and has excellent touch at the free-throw line (80.6%) for a big man. Johnson also has 16 steals.

— UNC has lost both SU and ATS in two of its three true road assignments. The Tar Heels lost at No. Iowa (71-67) without Paige and fell 84-82 at Texas.

— North Carolina loves to push the pace, ranking No. 5 in the nation in scoring (87.8 points per game). The Tar Heels are 13th in the nation in field-goal percentage, knocking down shots from the floor at a 50.0 percent clip.

— Since missing the first six games, Paige has been dynamite, averaging 16.3 PPG while burying 49.5 percent of his shots from the field, 44.4 percent from 3-point land and 80.6 percent at the charity stripe. He also has a stellar 37/6 assists-to-turnovers ratio.

— Justin Jackson, a sophomore swingman, is scoring at a 12.8 PPG clip. He has a 52/22 assists-to-turnovers ratio to along with 13 steals, 10 blocked shots and a 4.1 RPG average. Joel Berry II has dished out a team-best 69 assists compared to 33 turnovers. The sophomore point guard is also scoring in double figures (12.5 PPG) and has a team-high 22 steals.

— Junior forward Kennedy Meeks (12.3 PPG, 7.4 RPG) is expected to miss his eighth consecutive game Saturday night due to a knee injury. Williams hopes to have Meeks back in the next week or two.

— Syracuse (10-6 SU, 6-9 ATS) has lost three in a row to open ACC action and it has failed to cover the spread in four straight games. The Orange lost at Pitt (72-61) and at Miami (64-51) before dropping a 74-73 decision to Clemson in overtime Tuesday night. The Tigers went into the Carrier Dome and won outright as 4.5-point underdogs. In the losing effort, Michael Gbinije scored a team-high 22 points. Malachi Richardson added 21 points and nine rebounds, while Tyler Roberson and Trevor Cooney also scored in double figures with 14 and 12 points, respectively.

— Jim Boeheim’s squad has won seven of its nine home games, going 4-4 versus the number. Syracuse lost at home to Wisconsin 66-58 in overtime before its recent defeats against the Clemson. The Orange is in its first home underdog situation here vs. UNC.

— Syracuse has been an underdog four times this year, producing a 2-2 record both SU and ATS with outright wins against UConn and Texas A&M on a neutral court.

— UNC is ranked seventh in the RPI thanks to seven wins over Top-100 opponents. The Tar Heels’ best wins have come at home vs. Maryland and vs. Davidson. They also own a road win at FSU, in addition to neutral-court triumphs over Kansas St., Temple and UCLA.

— Syracuse is No. 71 in the RPI Rankings. The ‘Cuse is 1-2 against the Top 50 and 3-4 versus the Top 100. The Orange’s worst defeats were against Clemson (RPI: 148) and at St. John’s (#182). Their best win was at home vs. St. Bonaventure (#66).

— Gbinije leads the ‘Cuse in scoring (18.0 PPG), assists (4.6 APG) and steals (2.3 SPG). Cooney and Richardson are both scoring at a 13.0 PPG clip. Tyler Lydon, a 6-8 freshman, is averaging 9.4 points, 7.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocked shots per game.

— The ‘over’ is 8-7 overall for the ‘Cuse, but the ‘under’ has cashed in four of its last six contests.

— The ‘over’ has hit in eight straight and is 12-4-1 overall for UNC, 2-1 in its three road outings.

— As of late Friday afternoon, one offshore shop had UNC installed as a seven-point favorite.

— Tip-off is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

**Kansas at Texas Tech**

— Kansas (13-1 SU, 9-3 ATS) is 2-0 in Big 12 play and atop the league standings along with West Virginia. However, Bill Self’s team could be in letdown mode for this road trip to Lubbock. KU is off Monday’s emotional triple-overtime win over Oklahoma by a 109-106 count. The Jayhawks, who were seven-point home ‘chalk’ to OU, saw their 5-0 ATS spree halted.

— Perry Ellis led the way against the Sooners with 27 points and 13 rebounds. Devonte Graham added 20 points, seven boards and three assists, while Wayne Selden Jr. finished with 21 points and five boards. Frank Mason contributed 15 points, seven rebounds, six assists and three steals.

— As of late Friday afternoon, one offshore book had KU listed as a seven-point favorite.

— KU has won 12 in a row while posting an 8-2 spread record. The Jayhawks are 3-2 ATS in five games as single-digit favorites.

— KU is No. 3 in the RPI with a 7-1 record against the Top 100. The Jayhawks’ best wins are vs. Oregon State and vs. OU. They also have scalps over UCLA and Vanderbilt on a neutral court, in addition to a 70-57 victory at San Diego St.

— KU’s lone loss of the season came in the form of a 79-73 setback vs Michigan State on Nov. 17 at United Center in Chicago. The Jayhawks allowed an 11-point lead with 9:42 remaining get away.

— Ellis leads KU in scoring (16.1 PPG) and rebounding (6.6 RPG). Selden is scoring at a 15.9 PPG clip and is draining 54.2 percent of his shots from downtown. Selden also has a 44/21 assists-to-turnovers ratio. Mason averages 13.2 points, 4.2 rebounds and owns a 78/22 assists-to-turnovers ratio. Mason is tied for the team-high in steals with 26.

— Texas Tech (11-2 SU, 8-2 ATS) is perfect at home this year with a 9-0 SU record and a 6-0 ATS mark. Tubby Smith’s squad has covered the number in eight consecutive games.

— Texas Tech saw its 10-game winning streak snapped in Wednesday’s 76-69 loss at Iowa St., but it took the cash as an 11-point underdog. Justin Gray had a team-best 14 points and nine rebounds. Toddrick Gotcher tallied 12 points, seven rebounds and eight assists without a turnover.

— Texas Tech is 2-1 ATS with one outright win (vs. Minnesota on a neutral floor) in three games as an underdog. The Red Raiders’ only other loss prior to going to Ames was a 73-63 setback against Utah on Nov. 19 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

— Devaugntah Williams is averaging a team-high 14.8 PPG Gotcher is averaging 11.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and is burying 3-balls at a 42.2 percent clip. Zach Smith is also scoring in double figures (10.2 PPG) and paces the Red Raiders in rebounding (6.5 RPG) and field-goal percentage (58.1%).

— Totals have been an overall wash (5-5) for the Red Raiders, but they’ve watched the ‘over’ go 4-2 in their home outings.

— The ‘over’ is 8-3 overall for KU, 1-0 in its lone true road contest.

— ESPNU will have the broadcast at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.