CBB: North Carolina @ Iowa 12/8/20
Offensively, North Carolina is going to exploit Iowa’s defensive weaknesses. Iowa allowed more offensive rebounds to opponents last year than 250 other teams in the country. This year they’re off to an abysmal start and that’s against awful competition. Iowa wants to get out and run on offense, so they sacrifice defensive rebounding to do so. Translation: Iowa won’t be able to keep UNC off the offensive glass, which is an absolute staple of Roy Williams’ offense. Another staple of Williams’ UNC offense is getting out and running themselves, scoring easy buckets in transition. Guess who has one of the worst transition defenses in the Power 6? Iowa does.
We know Iowa’s defense is their weakness, so what about Iowa’s electric offense? It starts down low with preseason NPOY Luka Garza. But I think UNC might be able to slow him down just a bit. Brooks, Bacot, Sharpe & Kessler are all 6’10” 240lbs or bigger. None of them are as good as Garza, but that’s not the point. The point is UNC has the bodies to throw at Garza with little worry of foul trouble, and a deep rotation of fresh legs in the front court. Garrison Brooks apparently has a sprained ankle and was held out of a practice and then held to half court only practice the following day. He did travel with the team, so I think he will play, maybe limited minutes. If Brooks misses, it certainly hurts the Heels. However, it could be just the opportunity that five star, McDonald’s All American Day’Ron Sharpe needs for a breakout game.
On the perimeter, Iowa certainly has the potential to get red hot and run away with it in any game. If they do, it’s unlikely any team will cover the spread against them. Iowa is shooting 39% from long range so far this season, and they shot 35% last season without Bohannon for the bulk of it. However, Iowa has quite a step up in competition after playing three cupcakes to start the season - MEAC & SWAC teams (perennial worst conferences in college basketball) and a Western Illinois team ranked 345 out of 357 by KenPom. North Carolina held their first four opponents collectively below 30% from three. Even with Texas shooting 41% from long range, UNC ultimately lost by two, but was tied until the very last second.
North Carolina +4 (-110) to win 2 units
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