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Why Pittsburgh Remains a Sleeper in ACC Tourney

Pittsburgh has won 21 of its last 32 conference tournament games and remains a legitimate threat to win the ACC Tournament on Sunday.  In contrast, North Carolina is an alarming 1-10-2 ATS in this event versus #5 seeds or higher so it would not surprise us to see Roy Williams’ squad lose before a friendly crowd this afternoon.

Fundamental Analysis: Pittsburgh

Offense:

Pittsburgh is averaging 72.6 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 66.7 points per game, thereby making the Panthers 5.9 points per game better than average offensively this season.  Let’s also note that the Panthers were 10-3 on the road this season where they averaged 72.8 points per game, while also garnering 73.4 points over the last five games.

Meanwhile, North Carolina takes the floor with a mediocre defense that is 2.6 points per game better than average (68.7 points per game to teams that would combine to average 71.3 points per game), which gives the Panthers a 3.3 points per game advantage on the offensive end of the floor.  Even better news for Pittsburgh backers is the fact that the Tar Heels are yielding 71.2 points per game on the road and 73.2 points over their last five games (46.5% FG).

Defense:

Pittsburgh’s strength continues to be its defense that is allowing just 62.5 points per game to teams that would combine to average 69.1 points per game.  The game will ultimately won or lost for Pittsburgh on the defensive end of the floor because the Tar Heels possess an explosive offense that is 8.7 points per game better than average (76.4 points per game against teams that would combine to allow 67.7 points per game).  More concerning for heads coach Jamie Dixon is the fact that North Carolina is averaging 78.8 points on 50.0% shooting from the field and 43.7% from beyond the arc over the last five games.

Overall, Pittsburgh is 6.6 points per game better than average offensively, whereas the Tar Heels are 8.7 points per game better than average offensively.  Accordingly, North Carolina possesses a nominal 2.1 points per game advantage on the offensive end of the floor.  North Carolina investors will also point to the fact that the Tar Heels are a profitable 15-6 ATS following a loss and 31-18 ATS versus teams with a winning record, whereas the Panthers are 28-42 ATS versus .501 or greater opposition.

Pro Edge Sports gives a small lean to Pittsburgh at +2 or more in this game.

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