After a devastating 1 point loss to Kentucky on Saturday, the North Carolina Tarheels (6-2) return to Chapel Hill and look to take their frustration out on the Evansville Aces (3-3). Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 pm ET at the Dean E. Smith Center in, Chapel Hill North Carolina.

NCAA basketball odds have North Carolina as a 25.5 point favorite and the total is listed at 152.

Can Evansville make this game interesting or will the Heels rip apart an inferior opponent after a tough beat? Lets take a more in-depth look at this matchup and decide on which NCAA Basketball picks have the best chance of cashing for us tonight.



Total Shock

UNC TarheelsIf you asked me or anyone else where the UNC Tarheels would be after 8 games, nobody would've guessed that they would have 2 losses on their record. North Carolina was been upset by the UNLV Rebels and were defeated by the number 1 team in the land, the Kentucky Wildcats, 73-72 in their most recent game.

The Kentucky loss hurts much more because these are two teams that were the two favorites to win the NCAA Championship. Kentcuky is filled with a bunch of freshman and inexperienced players while North Carolina is made up of mostly juniors and seniors. Experience should give the Heels the edge but thus far, youth has won out. The pressure is now on the backs of the Tarheels.

How do the Tarheels heal their bruised ego? They get a major underdog in Evansville coming into their house and they should blow the Aces out of the building.

Hairston has heart

Hairston injured his wrist in attempt to brace himself in a fall against Wisconsin and North Carolina and Hairston both stated that he wouldn't play against Kentucky. The rookie sharpshooter played limited minutes (14 minutes) but proved that he has intestinal fortitude by shooting 3 of 4 from the field and 3 of 4 from 3 point range for 11 points. If Hairston was able to play longer, North Carolina most likely would've defeated Kentcuky. I don't expect Hairston to put in many minutes in this game as Coach Roy Williams will use his star rookie guard sparingly against an inferior team in Evansville.

Look for sophomore guard Kendall Marshall to run the show and create opportunities for the Tarheels' bigmen, getting them involved early and possibly running away with this game in the opening half. Marshall averages 10 assists per game and he'll come into this game with a "pass first" mentality.

Crashing the boards

Rebounding will play a big role in this game and it's something that double-double man John Henson excels at. The Aces are a poor rebounding team, and North Carolina should have an easy time of gaining control of the boards and getting second chances. On the season, John Henson averages 10.5 rebounds per game while his team is ranked 16th in the nation.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Evansville Aces are totally outclassed in this category, ranking 314th in the nation in rebounding. Evansville will have to gain position and make some type of attempt in grabbing possession or this will be a major blowout.

Don't underestimate us!

Yes, it's true that Evansville doesn't play the level of competition to that of North Carolina and they're just .500 on the season but they've been victorious against the likes of Butler and TCU, both in overtime ,and we all know where Butler has been the last two seasons. The Aces also average 73 points per game and haven't allowed a team over 77 points this season. It will be tough to face a team like UNC, but maybe the Aces caught the Tarheels at a vulnerable time, as they are coming off of a loss.

Evansville AcesAce in the hole

The Evansville Aces have many viable options in guard/forward senior Kenneth Harris (13 points, 6 rebounds, 54.5 % field goal shooting) and guard Ned Cox (10.5 points, 2.8 assists, and 1.3 steals) but the main ace up their sleeve is guard/forward junior Colt Ryan.

Quantity over quality

Colt Ryan isn't the most accurate shooter, at just 41.3%, but there are a lot of other facets to his game that he bring's to the table and is the leader on this team. Ryan can score, rebound, pass, shoot an occasional three pointer and get to the free throw line. In his last game in an overtime victory over TCU, Ryan poured in 31 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 steals on 14 of 16 from the free throw line. On the season, Ryan averages 19.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 2.3 steals per game. Look for Colt Ryan to play well against North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Outcome of the game

North Carolina will be looking to demolish the Evansville Aces after the heartbreaking loss suffered at the hands of Kentucky. North Carolina is clearly the better team here and playing at home, but I don't think that they're fully running on all cylinders yet. Take Evansville and the points.

Pick- Evansville +25.5