The 2014 NCAA basketball live stream and television schedule brings two prominent schools to the spotlight in what could be a potential March Madness preview game. On Saturday, the North Carolina Tar Heels visit the Syracuse Orange, currently ranked second in the nation. With UNC already upsetting one top-ranked team this season in the Michigan State Spartans, will they have Syracuse's number on Saturday afternoon? The latest televised and live stream NCAA basketball game arrives for fans courtesy of ESPN's sports networks.
According to a Jan. 11 report from Syracuse.com, today’s game marks the first “official” opponent from the ACC for the conference’s newest entrant. While Syracuse has already defeated ACC schools Virginia Tech and Miami, both were formerly a part of the Big East with the Orange. However, the North Carolina Tarheels have been a mainstay of the ACC, and one of the top teams in the conference for several decades. When one thinks of the ACC, usually Duke and North Carolina are two teams quickly mentioned in college basketball circle.
The Orange (15-0 overall), currently ranked second in the polls, will have this game at the Carrier Dome with their rowdy fan base behind them in New York. They’ll be led by senior forward C.J. Fair, who currently averages 17.2 points a game and 5.6 rebounds per game, as well as 6’2” freshman guard Tyler Ennis who is averaging 11.7 points a game and a team-leading 5.6 assists per game. However, they’ll play a team that has already upset three teams from the Top 25 who are usually talked about as potential Final Four teams: Michigan State, Kentucky and Louisville.
While that is a great feat, the fact UNC has lost five games to unranked opponents is not. Among the teams which have beaten the Tar Heels this season are Belmont, Alabama-Birmingham and most recently Wake Forest and Miami. It may appear on the surface that Carolina is rising up to the occasion when they know they’re playing a team on the national radar. Coach Roy Williams even acknowledged this aspect, telling the media:
"I think they definitely did (get up) for those three teams. If that same kind of attitude is going to show up tomorrow, I'll be very, very pleased. We have to be completely fired-up, completely enthused, completely motivated tomorrow, or else we have no chance. I would think they'd better be enthused."
Syracuse will definitely need to contend with the rebounding skills of North Carolina for today's game. The Tar Heels rank eleventh in the nation in that category with 42.1 boards hauled down a game. Cuse ranks just 187th in the category, which could be a serious disadvantage even if they’re playing on their home court. Jerami Grant and C.J. Fair are combining for over 11 boards per game this season for the Orange, while Brice Johnson and James-Michael McAdoo are grabbing over 13 per game for UNC.
Today’s favorites are the Syracuse Orange, who first opened as 7 1/2-point favorites. They’ve risen as high as 8 1/2-point favorites at some books. The over/under points total is set at 138 points as of this report, depending on the sports book. As of this report, there are no significant injuries noted for either squad.
Saturday's game featuring North Carolina vs. Syracuse is scheduled to tip-off just after 12 p.m. Noon EST. This game will be televised for cable and satellite viewers via ESPN in standard and hi-definition. Fans with access to the WatchESPN service can also watch this game live streaming online, also beginning at Noon. The WatchESPN broadband sports network is available exclusively for specific cable and satellite companies. Check the site here to see which providers allow their customers free access to the live online video feed for today's game.