North Carolina forward Day’Ron Sharpe, center, drives between Notre Dame guard Nikola Djogo (13) and forward Matt Zona during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Chapel Hill, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)
- North Carolina is a 3.5-point road favorite over Miami on Tuesday night in an ACC game at the Watsco Center in Coral Gables, Fla.
- UNC freshman forward Day’Ron Sharpe scored a season-high 25 points Saturday in a 66-65 win over Notre Dame
- A look at the odds and spreads for this game along with a prediction can be found below
Two teams off to slow starts in ACC play will meet when North Carolina visits Miami at 8 p.m. ET Monday at the Watsco Center in Coral Gables, Fla.
UNC is 1-2 in conference play while Miami is 0-3. Favored in this game, the Tar Heels are 6-4 overall and 4-5-1 against the spread. The Hurricanes are 4-4 both straight up and ATS.
UNC vs Miami Odds
|North Carolina||-162||-3.5 (-104)||Over 140.5 (-115)|
|Miami||+136||+3.5 (-118)||Under 140.5 (-105)|
Odds taken Jan. 4 from FanDuel
Black Saves UNC
UNC notched its first ACC win Saturday when it slipped past Notre Dame 66-65 at home as a 10-point favorite.
Junior wing Leaky Black scored the winning basket with 9.1 seconds left on a running bank shot.
Leaky gives the Heels the lead for good ‼️🐏#ACCMBB | @UNC_Basketball @RechonBlack pic.twitter.com/dDY0SftxoI
— ACC Digital Network (@theACCDN) January 2, 2021
Freshman forward Day’Ron Sharpe had the best game of his nascent career. He poured in a season-high 25 points and had nine rebounds. Sharpe’s previous scoring best was 13 points.
UNC needed Sharpe’s effort as forwards Armando Bacot and Garrison Brooks, the Tar Heels’ two leading scorers, combined for just nine points. Bacot is averaging 11.4 points and 8.2 rebounds a game and Brooks’ averages are 10.6 and 7.8.
The other UNC player with a double-figure scoring average is freshman guard Caleb Love at 10.2 per game.
Another freshman guard, Kerwin Walton, set a career high with four 3-point field goals as he finished with 12 points. Walton is shooting 50% (12 of 24) from beyond the arc this season.
Perfect timing with the announcer’s endorsement of Kerwin Walton’s shooting. Good skip out of the post by Garrison Brooks & good movement without the ball by Walton. He is 10 of his last 15 from deep. @HeelIllustrated pic.twitter.com/6snKb5S5oa
— David Sisk (@CoachDavidSisk) January 4, 2021
UNC has had a combined 20 starts from freshmen this season.
Despite Walton hitting for the outside, UNC shot just 35%. However, the Tar Heels dominated the boards with a 48-27 advantage, including a 21-3 edge on the offensive glass that led to a 21-3 bulge in second chance points.
2021 Naismith College Basketball Player of the Year Odds Tracker
Miami Falters at End
Miami also played a 66-65 game on Saturday, but was on the wrong end, losing to Clemson at home as a 4.5-point underdog.
The Hurricanes held a 65-61 lead with 1:36 remaining, but Clemson then scored the game’s final five points.
Miami senior guard Kameron McGusty also had the ball stolen by Nick Honor with four seconds to go when the Hurricanes still in position to win.
Aamir Simms (@EarlShmitty_) hit the clutch shot to put Clemson up 1 and eventually win the game over Miami (FL) pic.twitter.com/tguCTILI4u
— NCAA Buzzer Beaters & Game Winners (@NCAABuzzerBters) January 2, 2021
Miami has lost four of five games since a 3-0 start.
Sophomore guard Isaiah Wong led the team with 13 points. He is the Hurricanes’ top scorer with a 17.9 average and is also pulling down 5.9 rebounds a game.
Freshman guard Earl Timberlake added 11 points, flashing the form that some scouts believe will land him in the NBA next season as a one-and-done. He was playing in just his third game after spraining his ankle twice in preseason practice.
🎥 ‘20 Earl Timberlake Raw Highlights #HoopMajor@easyyyooo @DeMathaHoops pic.twitter.com/fKJ7Q3IKIj
— Hoop Major (@hoopmajorhm) February 5, 2019
Guard Chris Lykes will miss his seventh straight game because of an ankle injury. He is having a fine senior season, averaging 15.5 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals.
McGusty is scoring 10.2 points a game. He returned against Clemson after sitting out the three previous games with an injured hamstring.
Tar Heels Own Series
North Carolina leads the all-time series 25-8 and has won four games in a row over Miami, including 94-71 last season as a 6.5-point favorite at home.
Bacot had a double-double for the Tar Heels with 19 points and 12 rebounds while Brooks added 14 points. Miami got a team-high 19 points from Wong.
Look for North Carolina to flex its rebounding muscle and inside strength again this time around to make it five straight over the Hurricanes.
Pick: North Carolina -3.5 (-104)
John Perrotto has been covering and writing about sports for various outlets for over 40 years. His work has appeared in the likes of USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com, Forbes.com, The Associated Press, Baseball Digest, and more. John is based out of Beaver Falls, PA.