This is a 1* free play on Over 145.5.
The Tar Heels have fallen on hard times, with one of the worst records in the ACC this season. They had lost five straight before beating Miami 94-71 at home over the weekend. It was a nice win for a struggling team, but it was also the fifth time in six games that they gave up at least 70 points. History tells us that we could see a high score when these North Carolina rivals meet. Four of the last five head to head meetings have gone over the total, and all of those games had a total higher than 160. We should see both teams score over 70 points here on Monday night.
My free play is on Iowa at 8:30 Et.
The Iowa Hawkeyes opened 2020 by losing Jan 4 to Penn St in Philly and then lost at Nebraska ('Huskers are currently just 7-13). That dropped the Hawkeyes out of the AP poll but FOUR straight wins, THREE vs ranked opponents, has Iowa back in the top-25 (No. 19 and likely to move up in the new poll released Monday afternoon). The 14-5 Hawkeyes are 5-3 in the Big Ten, 1 1/2 games back of co-leaders Illinois and Mich St (7-2), as well as a half-game back of 6-3 Maryland and Rutgers. Visiting Iowa City on Monday will be 12-8 Wisconsin, which has dropped two of its last three games to become one of NINE Big Ten teams to have at least four conference losses.
Wisconsin has been to the "Big Dance" in 20 of the last 21 seasons and while the Badgers lost the 6-10 Happ (17.3 & 10.1) and a solid guard in Iverson (6.9 & 4.5) from last season's 23-win NCAA team, the Badgers have a solid returning core. The 6-11 Reuvers (13.8 & 5.2) may not be Happ but he's a quality man. Joining him front is the 6-8 Ford (7.7 & 3.6) and 6-10 Ohio St transfer Micah Potter, who became eligible in December and has averaged 9.5 & 5.4 in 10 (Badgers are 7-3 since he joined the team). Wisconsin has a deep backcourt in King (10.0), Trice (9.1-4.1-3.4), Davison (8.9 & 4.6) and Pritzel (7.4 & 3.3). Trice and Potter each scored 11 points vs Purdue but is was nowhere near enough as the Badgers lost their fourth straight in Mackey Arena under head coach Greg Gard, 70-41. Reuvers added 10 points and Brevin Pritzl had eight, but no player finished with more than four rebounds as Wisconsin lost the battle of the boards 42-16,
Head coach Fran McCaffrey came to Iowa back in the 2010-11 season (off three straight NCAA trips with Siena). His 2013 team was the NIT runner-up and he then led the Hawkeyes to three straight NCAAs. Iowa missed the "Big Dance" the next two years but last year's 23-win team was back in. The Hawkeyes opened 1-3 in Big Ten play but have won FOUR in a row. The 6-11 Luka Garza (23.2 & 10.3) scored a team-high 28 points to go along with 13 rebounds and four blocked shots to record his 11th double-double of the season as the Hawkeyes shot 52.7 percent from the floor in an 85-80 win against Rutgers. The 6-10 Ryan Kriener (8.0 & 4.2) joins Garza up front and Iowa will have NO problem matching Wisconsin's depth on the perimeter. Sophomore guard Joe Wieskamp (15.0 & 6.0) and freshman PG Fredrick (10.9 & 3.1 APG) lead the way but Toussaint (6.9) and Connor McCaffrey (6.5-4.6-3.6) are quality performers (note: McCaffery is ranked third nationally in assist-to-turnover ratio at 3.83).
Wisconsin has won EIGHT of the last 10 meetings with Iowa but the Badgers are playing back-to-back road games for the FIRST time this season. Take a close look at Iowa, as the Hawkeyes are 7-1-2 ATS their last 10 games. Lay the points.