February 12, 2013
By Kevin Rogers
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The ACC boasts two of the top three teams in the country this week with Duke (#2) and Miami (#3) rising towards the top of the rankings. Both the Blue Devils and Hurricanes battle rivals on Wednesday night, looking to avoid a slip-up. We'll start with a team that will be joining the ACC next season, playing one of their main rivals likely for the final time.
Syracuse at Connecticut - 7:00 PM EST
The Orange is playing in its final season as a member of the Big East conference, as Jim Boeheim's club looks to improve to 9-2 in league play with a victory at UConn. The Huskies have won four of their last five games, but much of that damage has come against the bottom-feeders of the Big East. UConn downed Seton Hall on Sunday afternoon, 78-67 as four-point road favorites, as the Huskies have beaten DePaul, Rutgers, and USF at home - all teams owning conference records of 3-8 or worse.
Syracuse is coming off consecutive home blowouts of Notre Dame and St. John's, but the Orange has dropped back-to-back road contests at Villanova and Pittsburgh. The Orange is allowing 58.7 points per game this season, while giving up at least 65 points in each of their last four away games (3-1 to the 'over'). Six of the last seven meetings between Syracuse and UConn have been taken by the Orange, including a two-point triumph in Storrs last February.
UConn has drilled the 'over' in five of the last six games, which includes an overtime victory over USF that needed the extra five minutes to eclipse the 'over.' The Huskies have compiled a 4-3 ATS record as an underdog this season, as UConn blew a six-point halftime lead in a 73-58 home defeat to Louisville last month.
Miami at Florida State - 7:00 PM EST
The Hurricanes are the only power conference team to be undefeated in league play (10-0), as Miami takes its number three ranking to Tallahassee on Wednesday night. The Seminoles grabbed all the headlines last season by beating UNC and Duke en route to the ACC tournament championship. Florida State has fallen on hard times this season, compiling a 5-5 record inside the conference, while losing five of their last eight games.
One of those defeats came in Coral Gables on January 27, a 71-47 drubbing by the 'Canes as 9 ½-point favorites. Jim Larranaga's squad avoided a letdown that night after thrashing Duke four nights before, as UM has covered eight of 10 ACC contests. Miami owns a 1-2 ATS record in three spots as a road favorite inside the ACC, including non-covers in victories at Boston College and Virginia Tech.
Florida State has had a flair for the dramatic over the last month, as senior guard Michael Snaer has drilled three game-winners in victories over Clemson, Maryland, and Georgia Tech. However, the Seminoles fell flat in Saturday's 71-46 setback at Wake Forest as short road favorites, dropping Leonard Hamilton's team to 1-7 ATS the last eight games. The lone cover came at Georgia Tech as two-point 'dogs, as FSU owns a 2-8 ATS record at home this season.
North Carolina at Duke - 9:00 PM EST
The Tar Heels are still in a prime position to make the NCAA Tournament as an at-large squad, but UNC was embarrassed in its last trip to the court in Saturday's 87-61 rout at the hands of Miami. North Carolina receives the ultimate consolation prize tonight by facing rival Duke at Cameron Indoor Stadium, as the Blue Devils are riding a five-game winning streak.
Things didn't come easy for Mike Krzyzewski's club the last time out, staving off Boston College as 11-point road favorites in a 62-61 thriller on Sunday night. Duke is rolling at home with four straight covers in conference play, including a 98-85 victory over N.C. State last Thursday night as 12-point 'chalk.' The Blue Devils split a pair of meetings with the Tar Heels last season, which included a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Austin Rivers in Chapel Hill last February.
North Carolina was blitzed early as seven-point 'dogs in Saturday's defeat to Miami, snapping a three-game winning streak. Roy Williams' team has drilled the 'over' in five of the last six contests, while allowing at least 87 points twice on the road in this stretch. The Tar Heels have compiled a 1-3 SU/ATS record on the road inside ACC play with the lone victory coming at Florida State as three-point 'dogs last month.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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