Saturday’s ACC Tips
By Brian Edwards
**Duke at Louisville**
— This is a vintage letdown spot for Duke after pulling out an improbable comeback win over North Carolina on Wednesday night in Chapel Hill. The Blue Devils captured a 74-73 win as 8.5-point underdogs thanks to a pair of clutch free throws for Grayson Allen in the final seconds. UNC elected not to a call a timeout on its final possession and Joel Berry’s shot in the lane was rejected by Duke freshman Derryck Thornton. Allen finished with 23 points and seven rebounds, while freshman star Brandon Ingram contributed 20 points, 10 boards, four assists, two blocked shots and one steal. Duke was already down starting forward Amile Jefferson, then it lost starter Matt Jones to a sprained ankle in the first half. Nevertheless, despite trailing nearly the entire game, the Blue Devils managed to pick one of their best regular-season wins in the history of this storied rivalry.
— Louisville (20-6 straight up, 11-11 against the spread) has won 16 of its 17 home games, producing a 9-4 spread record. Rick Pitino’s squad avoided a three-game losing streak by beating Syracuse 72-58 Tuesday as a nine-point home favorite. The Cardinals trailed by nine in the first half, but they rallied late in the stanza and took a one-point lead to halftime. U of L broke things open early in the second half and cruised to the finish line. Lee led the way with 15 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals, while Chinanu Onuaku had 13 points and 15 boards.
— As of late Friday afternoon, one offshore book had U of L favored by five points.
— Duke (20-6 SU, 12-12 ATS) owns a 5-2 record both SU and ATS in seven road assignments.
— Duke has been an underdog three times, going 1-2 both SU and ATS.
— Duke is No. 9 in the RPI Rankings, compiling a 4-5 record against the Top 50 and a 12-6 ledger versus the Top 100.
— Allen is averaging team-bests in scoring (20.7 points per game), assists (3.6 APG) and field-goal percentage (48.4%). Ingram is averaging 17.3 points and 6.9 rebounds per game.
— U of L is No. 25 in the RPI, going 3-5 against the Top 50 and 7-6 versus the Top 100. The Cardinals’ top wins have come at home against Pitt, UNC and the ‘Cuse.
— Lee is averaging team-highs in scoring (16.5 PPG) and steals (1.6 SPG).
— When these schools squared off at Cameron Indoor Stadium on Feb. 8, Duke collected a 72-65 win as a 3.5-point home ‘chalk.’ The 137 combined points stayed ‘under’ the 147-point tally. Ingram led the winners with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Allen scored a game-high 19 points by draining 4-of-6 from 3-point range. In the losing effort, Donovan Mitchell had a team-best 17 points for U of L. Damion Lee was limited to 10 points and had an awful shooting performance, going 3-of-15 from the field and 0-of-5 from downtown.
— Jones (11.2 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 2.4 APG) is ‘out’ Saturday at U of L.
— The ‘under’ has cashed in three in a row and five of the last six for Duke. The Blue Devils have seen the ‘under’ go 13-12 overall, 4-3 in their road outings.
— The ‘under’ is 12-9-1 overall for U of L, 8-4-1 in its home games.
— Tip-off is slated for noon Eastern on ESPN.
**Miami at North Carolina**
— As of late Friday afternoon, one offshore shop had North Carolina (21-5 SU, 10-15 ATS) installed as a 6.5-point home ‘chalk.’ CBS will have the telecast at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.
— In Wednesday’s loss to Duke at home, Brice Johnson scored 29 points and pulled down 19 rebounds. However, Justin Jackson was the only other UNC player in double figures with 13 points and eight boards. Marcus Paige had a miserable night with the same amount of turnovers (three) as assists (three). The senior guard was held to seven points on 2-of-10 shooting from the field. Paige missed all six of his attempts from 3-point range.
— Johnson is averaging team-highs in scoring (16.9 PPG), rebounding (10.4 RPG), field-goal percentage (62.3%) and blocked shots (1.2 BPG).
— Miami (21-4 SU, 15-8 ATS) has won five of its eight road games, but it has struggled to a 3-5 ATS ledger in those contests.
— Miami has won eight of its last nine games. Since losing 85-69 at North Carolina St. on Jan. 30, the Hurricanes have won five in a row while going 4-1 versus the number. They are off a 65-49 win over Va. Tech on Wednesday as 15-point home favorites. Angel Rodriguez was the catalyst with 14 points, four assists and three steals.
— Miami has been an underdog only twice this year, going 1-1 both SU and ATS. The ‘Canes lost at Virginia but won at FSU as ‘dogs.
— Sheldon McClellan leads UM in scoring with a 16.1 PPG average. Rodriguez (11.5 PPG) averages team-highs in assists (4.4 APG) and steals (1.6 SPG).
— The ‘over’ is 14-12 overall for UNC, 8-6 in its home games. However, the Tar Heels have seen the ‘under’ prevail in five consecutive games and eight of their last nine.
— The ‘under’ is 13-11 overall for UM, 4-4 in its road assignments. The Hurricanes have seen the ‘under’ hit in four straight and seven of their last nine.
— The ‘under’ is 9-3 in the last 12 meetings in this rivalry.
— Miami had won four in a row over UNC both SU and ATS until last season’s lone meeting in Coral Gables, where the Tar Heels captured a 73-64 victory as one-point road favorites. Johnson had a double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds for the winners. Paige added 17 points for UNC. Rodriguez left the game with an injury just three minutes into the first half and did not return. McClellan was limited to 11 points.
— Miami is No. 7 in the RPI, posting an incredible 7-1 record against the Top 50 and an 11-3 ledger versus the Top 100.
— UNC is No. 13 in the RPI, going 3-4 versus the Top 50 and 11-4 against the Top 100.