TV Schedule: Saturday, Jan. 30, 3:00 p.m. ET, ESPN3
Arena: PNC Arena, Raleigh, NC
Line: Miami (-5)
Since losing to the Clemson Tigers and the Virginia Cavaliers on the road, the Miami Hurricanes have won three straight games, including a recent win over the Duke Blue Devils that took them to the No. 15 spot in college basketball. Just two games out of the lead in the ACC, winning against the weaker ACC teams has become absolutely necessary if Miami wants to upset some of the favored ACC teams by winning the ACC regular season title.
Next up for the Hurricanes is a road trip to face off with the North Carolina State Wolfpack, who have just one win in ACC play and have lost seven of their last eight games.
NC State looked to be a decent team in non-conference play, but has looked terrible since their opening ACC loss to the Virginia Tech Hokies. Anthony “Cat” Barber is a fantastic player, but the team’s defense as a whole just cannot stop the talented offenses of the Wolfpack’s ACC opponents.
Miami is the much better team in this one and should win easily, despite the line of just minus-5. The Hurricanes have proven themselves as legitimate contenders in the ACC, and it’s actually quite shocking that the line is so low. North Carolina State can score the basketball on any given night, but their defense should be shredded by the Hurricanes’ offense, who are averaging 79.3 points per game.
Expect Barber to get 25 or more points, but the rest of NC State to struggle as Miami wins big on the road.
Prediction: Miami 88, North Carolina State 75