Wisconsin at North Carolina: What bettors need to know
Wisconsin Badgers at North Carolina Tar Heels (-8, N/A)THE STORY:
Fifth-ranked North Carolina looks to rebound from a stunning early-season loss when it hosts No. 7 Wisconsin as part of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge on Wednesday night. The Tar Heels were a nearly unanimous No. 1 before suffering a 90-80 defeat against UNLV in Las Vegas Saturday. The Badgers, meanwhile, are coming off a 73-56 rout of Brigham Young. UNC sophomore forward Harrison Barnes (ankle) is not at full strength but is still expected to play.TV:
9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN.ABOUT WISCONSIN (6-0):
The Badgers lead all Division I teams in most major defensive categories, including points allowed (39.2) and opponent field-goal percentage (30.5), but that defense will be tested by a UNC team averaging 88 points per game. Wisconsin is also outrebounding its opponents by nearly 14 per game. Sophomore SG Ben Brust (12.8 ppg) leads a group of four players scoring in double figures, while junior C Jared Berggren adds 12.3 ppg. Senior PG Taylor averages 11.0 points and 5.8 assists.
ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA (5-1):
The Tar Heels boast one of the country's most explosive starting lineups, but that arsenal could be significantly weakened if Barnes, the team's top scorer at 17.3 ppg, is not at 100 percent. His absence would put more pressure on the other two UNC forwards, junior John Henson (15.8 ppg, 9.8 rpg, 3.0 bpg) and senior Tyler Zeller (13.5 ppg, 7.2 rpg). Sophomore PG Kendall Marshall ranks second nationally with 10.8 assists per game.
* Badgers are 11-1 ATS in their last 12 vs. Atlantic Coast.
* Tar Heels are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 vs. Big Ten.
* Over is 8-2 in Badgers last 10 vs. Atlantic Coast.
* Over is 4-0 in Tar Heels last four non-conference games.TIP-INS:
1. North Carolina won the only previous meeting between the teams, an 88-82 victory in the 2005 NCAA regional finals.
2. Wisconsin sports a 20-11 all-time record against current ACC teams, with only UNC and Wake Forest (3-0) boasting a winning record against the Badgers.
3. Opposing teams are averaging just 5.7 assists against Wisconsin —well below North Carolina's team average of 20.8 and just over half of what Marshall alone averages.