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Will the North Carolina Tar Heels Spoil Clemson’s Championship Party? 1

Posted on December 03, 2015 by Jim Hurley
The only loss for Marquise Williams and the UNC Tar Heels this season was the season opener to South Carolina. Another Palmetto State team will look to recreate history in the ACC Championship Game.

The only loss for Marquise Williams and the UNC Tar Heels this season was the season opener to South Carolina. Another Palmetto State team will look to recreate history in the ACC Championship Game.

If you’re hoping for some drama in the unveiling of the four-team College Football Playoff this coming Sunday, then your best hope is for North Carolina to upset top-ranked Clemson as (+5) underdog in the ACC Championship Game. If you’re a handicapper, it’s just as important to be aware of how strongly the Tar Heels are coming, both on the football field and at the betting window.

North Carolina lost its season-opener to South Carolina 17-13. It’s a mark of how long ago that was, that the Tar Heels were actually a (+1.5) dog to the Gamecocks, who have gone on to a disastrous season. North Carolina hasn’t lost since.

The turnaround wasn’t apparent immediately. While UNC won their next six games, it was a soft part of the schedule. The most impressive wins were against disappointing Georgia Tech, Illinois and Virginia—all of whom finished with losing records.

Then came a Thursday Night visit to Pittsburgh on October 29 to start the meat of the schedule, the games that would determine the winner of the ACC’s Coastal Division. North Carolina stepped it up in a big way—not only did they win their final five games, but they covered the number four times. The finishing surge made UNC 8-4 ATS (against the spread).

This five-game stretch started with the prime-time win at Pitt, and included home victories over Duke and Miami. North Carolina then survived Virginia Tech in overtime—the one non-cover in this schedule sequence, and closed out the season with a win over N.C. State.

All of these games were against bowl-bound teams and all except Virginia Tech finished with at least seven wins—and even at Virginia Tech, North Carolina had to deal with an exceptionally pumped-up Hokie team for head coach Frank Beamer’s final home game. Read the rest of this entry →

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      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

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