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Clemson has never beaten UNC in Chapel Hill

Jan 20, 2009 5:08 PM
On The Mark by Mark Mayer |

When you go 1-5 to start college hoops, it’s best to find something else to talk about.

And, I’ve found just the topic.

When I was a collegian at South Carolina in the mid 1970’s (ouch), one of the first things we were taught at the dorm was to hate Clemson. And foremost in that rhetoric came the sheer joy of seeing the Tigers lose each and every year to North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

This blemish began in 1926 when Calvin Coolidge was president. I’ve heard Calvin had a pretty good jump shot. Anyway, the monkey is now firmly on the back of Oliver Purnell, who despite coaching the Tigers to a 16-1 start this season, faces a one-shot deal this week to end the torture at 53 in a row.

We’ll get to that anticipated battle in a minute. The real season to me begins with conference play and my bad start was due to trusting road teams. Home court is such a huge advantage as was demonstrated in easy covers by Georgetown, LSU, Kansas, Gonzaga and UCLA.

Tuesday, Jan. 20

Virginia at Maryland (ACC): We figure Maryland to be around a 9-point favorite. Virginia won at Georgia Tech, lost by 8 against Minnesota and by 3 at Virginia Tech. They should be able to hang with the overrated Terps, who have sustained 20-point plus losses to both Georgetown and Gonzaga. VIRGINIA.

Tennessee at Vanderbilt (SEC): We look for Vandy to be a slight favorite of 1 or 2. Vandy is 7-2 in its last nine with each win by double-digits. The Commodores come off a 7-point loss at Mississippi State. Tennessee hasn’t been the same since being blown out by Kentucky. South Carolina scored 51 on the Vols in the second half. VANDY.

Wednesday, Jan. 21

Clemson at N. Carolina (ACC): The Tar Heels have been a double-digit favorite in every game except Wake Forest, where they gave 7 on the road. Clemson started 16-0 before falling at home by 10 to unbeaten Wake Forest. We see this line around 15. Note: Clemson has NEVER beaten UNC in Chapel Hill. That’s 53 in a row going back to the 1926. So there’s plenty of bottled up incentives here. CLEMSON.

Florida at S.C. (SEC): The Gators should be a favorite from 1 to 3 points with both teams off to strong starts. The Gamecocks played bad first halves at LSU and Tennessee and were done. However, the Gamecocks did rally at Tennessee last Saturday and have been tough to beat at home. SOUTH CAROLINA.

Thursday, Jan. 22

Purdue at Minn (Big 10): Just can’t get over the great job Tubby Smith is doing at Minnesota, which proved the skeptics wrong by rallying to win at Wisconsin. We see the closing line somewhere between 2 to 4 for Minnesota. Purdue has played better at home than on the road in Big 10 play. Not the case with these Golden Gophers. MINNESOTA.

Oregon at Stanford (Pac 10): Oregon is 5-12 ATS and 1-5 in its last 5. The Ducks were double-digit underdogs to UCLA, Arizona and Arizona State. Stanford is 10-3 against the number and probably a 12 to 13 point favorite here. The Ducks have "quacked’ under the Pac 10 road pressure and don’t see anything different here. STANFORD.

Saturday, Jan. 24

DePaul at Marquette (Big East): DePaul is up against it here against the Golden Eagles, who come off blowout victories of 34 points against Cincinnati and 22 vs West Virginia. The Blue Demons are on the bottom of the Big East food chain so they’ll be getting around 15 points we figure. And, they will need all of them. MARQUETTE.

San Diego St at BYU (MWC): The Aztecs beat Utah in league play and should be a live underdog at somewhere between 11 and 15 points. BYU is off to a 14-2 start and has that strong home court, but could be looking ahead to Utah next week. SAN DIEGO ST.

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