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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Sunday, February 1, 2015 at 7:00 PM

ESPN was hoping that their tipoff game on Big Monday this week would be matching the winners of this past Saturday’s TV blockbusters North Carolina/Louisville and Duke/Virginia. For most of the games…that looked to be the case. Instead, ESPN got the LOSERS! Monday Night’s ACC battle between no longer undefeated Virginia and shellshocked North Carolina is a virtual “consolation” round matching teams who blew second half advantages.

And, somebody’s going to lose two games in a row!

Come March, that probably won’t matter much…as both teams are already locks for the Big Dance. Virginia is 19-1, a record that keeps them on the short list for #1 seeds. Losing to Duke isn’t exactly a huge blemish on a resume. North Carolina is 17-5, and a home/road split with Louisville is what was expected anyway.

In the ACC race, Virginia is a half-game up on North Carolina with a 7-1 record nosing out a 7-2 record. The Tar Heels are certainly hoping to scoot past the Cavaliers with a home win Monday. That would make it 8-2 vs. 7-2 for the time being. Seeding in the ACC tournament is certainly going to be interesting, with Duke, Louisville, and Notre Dame all lobbying with UVA and NC for top four spots in the brackets.

Now that football is in the rearview mirror, you’ll surely be focused on marquee matchups in the baskets between now and March Madness. Let’s see what JIM HURLEY’S key indicators stats have to say about Virginia/North Carolina.


Adjusted Offensive Efficiency

Virginia: 117.1 per 100 possessions (#8 in the nation)

N.  Carolina: 114.7 per 100 possessions (#16 in the nation)

A quick reminder that you get can efficiency stats for all college betting teams at Ken Pomeroy’s website. He adjusts scoring for pace and caliber of opponent. Both of these teams are currently in the top 20 offensively. Though, BOTH offenses disappeared in crunch time this past Saturday. There are now real questions about the legitimacy of Virginia as a threat to Kentucky. North Carolina has the talent to go deep…but may not have the composure. Slight edge to the visitor in this particular stat.


Adjusted Defensive Efficiency

Virginia: 85.7 per 100 possessions (#3 in the nation)

N.  Carolina: 92.7 per 100 possessions (#32 in the nation)

Bigger edge to the visitor here. Though, it has to be said that their inside defense really hasn’t sparkled over the last two games. If Pomeroy’s methodology is overrating ACC teams, then everyone’s strength of schedule is going to be misleadingly good in his numbers. Virginia slows people down and generally guards well. They didn’t look like the #3 defense in the nation in the final five minutes Saturday.


Pace Ranking

Virginia: #350

N.  Carolina: #17

We have extreme differences here…with one of the fastest teams in the country hosting one of the slowest. Whenever this happens, the team best suited to take their opponent out of their comfort zone will be best suited to win. Normally, that’s the home team. But, in a tough fatigue spot that involves a demoralized host…will Carolina fall into the trap of playing slow in a “playoff” environment. Answer this question, and the pointspread winner picks itself.


Against the Spread

Virginia: 12-6

N.  Carolina: 11-10-1

Virginia has been cashing tickets two-thirds of the time this season. But, it was 12-5 ATS before the Duke game. Very interesting test here because the tournaments will bring consecutive tough matchups in score schedule bursts. We’ll learn a lot about Virginia Monday Night…and possibly about North Carolina’s true readiness for upper level competition.

JIM HURLEY will very likely have a play in this game because of the light schedule. You’ll be able to purchase the final word for college and NBA action during the day Monday right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions or prefer talking directly to a representative, call the office at 1-888-777-4155 for complete details on “rest of the season” packages in either college or pro action. .

It’s going to be a full week of great college action across the national landscape. We’ll take a look at several of the major conferences over the next several days…

Tuesday: College Basketball…Indiana at Wisconsin in the Big 10

Wednesday: College Basketball…special major conference report

Thursday: College Basketball…UCLA at Stanford in the Pac 12

Friday: College Early Look…Georgetown at Villanova in the Big East

Saturday: College Basketball…Kentucky at Florida in the SEC

It’s time for you to focus exclusively on basketball. The road to March Madness is paved with gold because there are BIG, JUICY WINNERS from JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK every night…and your winnings multiply day by day through February and into the tournaments. Let BIG MONDAY ignite a BIG FEBRUARY that leads to BIG MONEY through the BIG DANCE!


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Jim Hurley on twitter @vsm_hurley

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