NCAAB News and Notes Saturday 2/7

NCAAB News and Notes Saturday 2/7

Saturday's Slate
By Brian Edwards

**Syracuse at Villanova**

--Las Vegas Sports Consultants opened Villanova (18-4 straight up, 11-7 against the spread) as a four-point favorite with a total of 145. As of early this morning, most sports books had ‘Nova at 5 1/2 with the total elevated to 148.

--Syracuse (18-5 SU, 9-10 ATS) captured a crucial 74-61 home win over West Virginia earlier this week to snap a three-game losing streak. Jonny Flynn and Eric Devendorf had 22 points and three steals apiece to lead the Orange into the win column. Paul Harris added 14 points, 13 rebounds and four assists.

--Since losing 89-83 at UConn, Villanova has won four in a row. Even better, the Wildcats have taken the cash in six consecutive contests, including Wednesday’s 94-91 win at Providence as 2 ½-point favorites. Scottie Reynolds scored 31 points and grabbed six rebounds for the Wildcats.

--Jay Wright’s team has won 11 of its 12 home games with the lone loss coming by one to Louisville. The Wildcats are 5-3 ATS at home.

--Jim Boeheim’s squad is winless both SU and ATS in three Big East road games as an underdog.

--Villanova has won five of the last seven head-to-head meetings between these Big East rivals. The Wildcats are 4-3 ATS in those encounters.

--The ‘under’ is 11-7 overall for ‘Nova, 6-2 in its home games. On the flip side, the ‘Cuse has watched the ‘over’ go 11-8 overall.

--ESPN will have the telecast at noon Eastern.

**Miami at Duke**

--Las Vegas Sports Consultants opened Duke (19-3 SU, 11-9-1 ATS) as a 15 ½-point favorite with a total of 139. However, as of early this morning, most betting shops had the Blue Devils at 14 with a 141-point tally.

--Miami (15-7 SU, 8-8-1 ATS) is coming off its best performance of the season, trouncing Wake Forest 79-52 as a 2 ½-point home underdog. Jack McClinton paced the Hurricanes with 32 points on 11-of-19 shooting.

--Duke is coming off an embarrassing 74-47 loss at Clemson as a four-point underdog. The Blue Devils, who haven’t been to a Final Four since 2004 and haven’t made it out of the first week of the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back seasons, looked soft as the Tigers cruised to the easy victory. Gerald Henderson scored a team-high 16 points in the losing effort.

--From a situational perspective, the advantage in this spot seemingly belongs to Duke. You know Coach K held super-intense practices the last two days, challenging his players to be tougher. On the flip side, you know the ‘Canes have been on cloud nine since spanking Wake Forest.

--Miami owns a 4-2 spread record in six games as an underdog. The ‘Canes have won three of those six outright and they covered the number in their only game as double-digit ‘dogs, an 82-65 loss at North Carolina as 17 ½-point puppies.

--Duke has won all 13 home games, posting a 6-5-1 ATS record at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Blue Devils are 7-5 ATS as double-digit ‘chalk’ this year (regardless of venue).

--The ‘under’ is 15-5 overall for Duke, 9-3 in its home games. The ‘under’ is on an incredible 10-1 roll in the Blue Devils’ last 11 outings.

--The ‘over’ is on a 4-1 run for the ‘Canes, who have seen the ‘over’ compile a 9-8 overall mark.

--Since UM joined the ACC in the 2004-2005 season, Duke has won six of the seven head-to-head meetings. The ‘Canes picked up their first victory over the Blue Devils last year when they collected a 96-95 win as a 6 ½-point home underdog in South Florida.

--Tip-off is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Eastern.

**Charleston at Davidson**

--LVSC opened Davidson (20-3 SU, 10-9-1 ATS) as a 17-point favorite and that remained the line at nearly every book early this morning. One offshore had the total at 154 ½.

--Charleston (16-6 SU, 6-9 ATS) has been atrocious for our purposes lately, dropping eight in a row ATS. Bobby Cremins’ team has lost three of its last four outright, including Thursday’s 70-68 defeat at Western Carolina as a 1 ½-point underdog.

--Bob McKillop’s team has won 10 in a row while going 6-3-1 ATS. The Wildcats are off a 75-54 triumph at UNC-Greensboro as 21-point road favorites. Stephen Curry led his team to victory with 29 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals.

--Curry leads the nation in scoring with a 28.0 points per game average. The junior is also dishing out 6.3 assists per game to with a 4.3 rebounds per contest average. Curry, who has moved to point guard this year after the departure of Jason Richards, is averaging 2.8 steals per game and has a 145-82 assists-to-turnover ratio.

--Charleston owns a 2-2 spread record in four underdog spots this season. The Cougars beat South Carolina (82-80 in overtime) outright as one-point underdogs, and they lost a 79-75 decision to Davidson but did cash tickets as 5 ½-point home ‘dogs on Dec. 29.

--The ‘under’ is 11-8 overall for Davidson, 4-4 in its home assignments. Meanwhile, the Cougars have watched the ‘over’ go 11-8 overall.

--The ‘under’ has cashed in five consecutive head-to-head meetings between these Southern Conference rivals.

--ESPN2 will provide television coverage at 6:00 p.m. Eastern.

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Memphis at Gonzaga
By Brad Young

Two teams stepping out of conference play in an effort to boost their NCAA Tournament resume collide in a battle of top-25 teams. Memphis and Gonzaga enter this matchup riding a combined winning streak of 24 games, and are meeting for the third time in as many years.  It's rare that there is such a high-profile game between out-of-conference teams in February, and this matchup should help both squads when seedings for the Big Dance are distributed.

Both fifteenth-ranked Memphis and 18th-ranked Gonzaga will be dancing at the NCAA Tournament, but a victory in this spot will boost their tournament seeding. There is still a month to go in the regular season, and the Tigers are currently projected to be around a third seed. The Bulldogs are presently seen to be a four seed, but their ratings may take a dip since they play in the West Coast Conference. Memphis sits atop the Conference USA standings with an unblemished 8-0 record, while Gonzaga also sports an 8-0 record in WCC play.

Las Vegas Sports Consultants installed Gonzaga as a four-point home 'chalk' over Memphis, with the total set at 143. ESPN will provide coverage of Saturday's contest beginning at 9:00 p.m. ET.

Memphis (19-3 straight up, 12-8 against the spread) extended its current winning streak to 15 games after cruising past Southern Methodist Wednesday as a decided 17-point road favorite, 79-66. The Tigers had covered four games in a row before that contest.

Memphis won the game by shooting a blistering 52 percent (26-of-50) from the field, including 40 percent (8-of-20) from beyond the arc. Guard Tyreke Evans led all scorers with 26 points on 8-of-18 shooting, while Antonio Anderson added 10 and eight rebounds.

The Tigers sport a solid 7-2 SU road record, but they are just 3-6 ATS. Memphis has been winning those affairs by an average score of 71-65.

Gonzaga (17-4 SU, 10-9 ATS) notched its ninth consecutive SU victory by upending Portland Thursday as a 10-point road 'chalk,' 93-78. The Bulldogs snapped a two-game ATS losing skid with that triumph.

Gonzaga trailed by a point at halftime, 43-42, before outscoring the Pilots in the second half, 51-35. The Bulldogs won the rebounding battle, 33-28, and finished the game by shooting a robust 53 percent (31-of-58) from the field.

All five starters reached double digits in scoring, led by guard Matt Bouldin's 26 points and eight assists. Jeremy Pargo contributed 22 and six rebounds, while the bench provided just two points over a combined 27 minutes.

The Bulldogs sport an 8-2 SU home ledger, but they are just 3-5 ATS. Gonzaga has been winning its home endeavors by an average score of 78-57.

Memphis and Gonzaga have met twice since the 2007 campaign, with the Tigers going 2-0 SU and 0-2 ATS. Memphis needed overtime to prevail in 2007 as a 4 1/2-point road favorite, 78-77, while winning last season as a 13-point home 'chalk,' 81-73.

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Re: NCAAB News and Notes Saturday 2/7

Non-Conference Battles
By Judd Hall

If you love college hoops, then Saturday is going to be your utopia with 19 of the AP Top 25 squads in action. Adding a little bit more intrigue into the fold is that four of those squads are playing in three non-conference tilts that might give us a look at some possible tournament matchups.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish at UCLA Bruins

--Las Vegas Sports Consultants have made the Bruins 10 ½-point home favorites.

--Notre Dame (12-9 straight up, 4-11 against the spread) is in a major free fall right now after dropping six straight games. The Irish fell to Cincinnati as 2 ½-point road favorites, 93-83, on Feb. 4. And just like the five matches before, it was Luke Harangody taking care of business with 28 points, 14 rebounds and five assists. Notre Dame did allow the Bearcats to hit 43 percent of their three-pointers compared to the 23 percent they hit from beyond the arc.

--The Irish looked like they were going to be a lock to get into the NCAA Tournament just a month ago. Now, they most likely will have to win at least six of their next nine matches to even get a sniff from the selection committee.

--On the other side of the court are the Bruins, who have won three straight and 14 of their last 16 tilts. UCLA (18-4 SU, 11-10 ATS) took the Trojans to task in its classic rivalry as an 8 ½-point home “chalk,” 76-60, on Feb. 4. Jordan Shipp dropped 19 points in the Bruins’ victory, but his wasn’t the most impressive performance of the night. Senior center Alfred Aboya scored 14 points, but led the team with 12 rebounds. Southern California had just 28 boards in the game as a team. That’s flat out domination, folks.

--The Bruins have made Pauley Pavilion a pit of despair for visiting non-conference teams of the last two seasons, going 17-1 SU. Bettors haven’t been able to get a proper gauge as UCLA is just 7-8-1 ATS in that time frame.

--Notre Dame is only 5-5 SU and 4-6 ATS when playing against out of conference foes on the road or at a neutral arena. The ‘under’ has gone 7-3 during those matches.

--Despite that lackluster mark for the Irish on the road, they can take heart that the visitor has gone 2-0 SU and ATS in that past two head-to-head meetings of these programs.

--You can catch this battle on CBS at 1:00 p.m. EST.

Michigan Wolverines at Connecticut Huskies

--Michigan (15-8 SU, 9-8-1 ATS) was in desperate need of a win on Thursday night against the Nittany Lions…especially after dropping five of its last six contests. And the Wolverines got that win as 4 ½-point home faves, 71-51. Manny Harris, who was ejected last Saturday in a loss at Purdue, led all scorers with 28 points. Although, the Maize and Blue did benefit by playing a squad that lives and dies by the three. Penn State is second in the Big Ten by hitting 38.8 percent of its three-pointers for the season. On Feb. 5, the Lions connected on just 28 percent of their shots from beyond the arc.

--Connecticut stands atop the rankings as the No. 1 college squad in the land right now. And in a rare change of pace, the Huskies actually defended their perch with a 68-51 win over Louisville as 2 ½-point road ‘dogs on Feb. 2. Hasheem Thabeet was a man not to be denied in this tilt with 14 points and 11 boards against the Cardinals. More impressive for UConn is that they just flat out bruised the Cards in this one as they missed all eight three-pointers they shot. Instead, they hit 47 percent from the field and a ridiculous 83 percent from the free throw line.

--The Huskies have been very effective at defending their home turf in Storrs, posting a perfect 13-0 SU record over the last two seasons against non-conference schools. The gambling public has avoided UConn like the plague in this instance, going 1-4 ATS in the five board affairs they had. The ‘under’ went 5-0 during that time as well.

--The good folks at LVSC have installed the Huskies as heavy 16-point home faves with a total of 135.

--Michigan hasn’t been great against out of conference squads on the road or neutral settings as evidenced by a 3-7 SU and 1-7 ATS mark in John Beilein’s two years in Ann Arbor.

--ESPN will be broadcasting this fixture at 6:00 p.m. EST.

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Re: NCAAB News and Notes Saturday 2/7

(20) Syracuse (18-5, 9-10 ATS) at (17) Villanova (18-4, 11-7 ATS)

Surging Villanova goes after its fifth straight win when it takes on Syracuse in a Big East battle at the Wachovia Center.

The Wildcats won a shootout at Providence 94-91 Wednesday night, narrowly covering as a 2½-point chalk for their sixth consecutive spread-cover (5-1 SU), with the lone blemish in that stretch being a five-point road loss at current No. 1 Connecticut. Over the past six games, Villanova has held four opponents to 61 points or less and posted three double-digit victories, outshooting opponents 47.7 percent to 38.3 percent.

The Orange had a week off to regroup from a three-game SU and ATS skid, then ended that slump Wednesday by topping West Virginia 74-61 as a 1½-point home underdog. For the season, Syracuse has averaged 79.5 ppg on a sturdy 49.6 percent shooting, while allowing 70.7 ppg on 40.4 percent shooting. But the Orange have lost their last three roadies – all in Big East play – by an average of 12.7 ppg, despite shooting 47 percent from the floor.

Villanova has won three of the last four clashes in this rivalry (2-2 ATS), including an 82-63 blowout as a 2½-point pup in last year’s Big East tournament. The underdog has cashed in each of the last four meetings.

Along with their current 6-0 ATS run, the Wildcats are on a handful of positive pointspread streaks, including 8-3 as a favorite of less than 15 points, 5-0 against winning teams, 4-0 after a SU win, 5-0 after a spread-cover and 5-1 on Saturday. The Orange have cashed in five straight Saturday contests, but they are just 1-5 ATS in their last six following a spread-cover.

The over is on a 7-3 run in conference play for Villanova and is on a 6-2 run for Syracuse in Saturday games, but the under for the Wildcats is on rolls of 22-10-1 overall, 6-1 on Saturday and 10-3 after a SU win.


Notre Dame (12-9, 4-11 ATS) at (15) UCLA (18-4, 11-10 ATS)

Freefalling Notre Dame takes a break from the rigorous Big East for a West Coast trek to face UCLA at Pauley Pavilion.

The Fighting Irish tumbled to Cincinnati 93-83 Wednesday laying 2½ points on the road for their sixth consecutive SU loss and seventh straight setback at the betting window. During the six-game skid, Notre Dame has lost by no less than seven points and has fallen by double figures four times (all on the road). The Irish are averaging 72.4 ppg in their last five outings – nearly six points below their season average – while giving up an eye-opening 83.8 ppg.

The Bruins have been enjoying the comforts of home lately, ripping off a three-game SU and ATS streak, with all three wins coming by double digits. UCLA whipped archrival Southern Cal 76-60 Wednesday as an eight-point favorite to follow up a 15-point win over California and a 34-point pounding of Stanford. In their last five outings – including an 11-point loss at Washington – the Bruins are outscoring opponents by an average of 13 ppg (78-67) and shooting 51.5 percent from the floor, including 47.5 percent from three-point range.

These two teams have met just twice this decade, with both going 1-1 SU and ATS, and the road team winning and covering each time. In February 2004, Notre Dame traveled to Pauley Pavilion and scored a 75-60 victory in a pick ‘em, and a year later, UCLA went to South Bend, Ind., and prevailed 75-65 as a seven-point road pup.

In addition to their 0-7 ATS slump overall, the Irish carry on nothing but negative ATS streaks, including 0-5 on the highway, 1-5 as a ‘dog this season 0-6 against teams with a winning percentage above .600, 1-5 against the Pac-10 and 7-19-1 on Saturday. The Bruins are just 5-11 ATS in their last 16 games coming off a spread-cover, but they are on ATS upticks of 4-1 at home and 9-3 against winning teams.

The under is 5-0-1 in Notre Dame’s last six games against Pac-10 foes, but aside from that, the over for the Irish is on stretches of 5-2 overall, 4-0 on the road, 15-3 in roadies against teams with a winning home record, 18-7 against teams with a win percentage above .600 and 23-11 on Saturday. The under is 9-2 in UCLA’s last 11 tilts against the Big East, but the over for the Bruins is on surges of 5-0 overall, 4-1 at home, 4-1 after a SU win and 11-4 on Saturday.


Miami, Fla. (15-7, 8-8-1 ATS) at (4) Duke (19-3, 11-9-1 ATS)

Duke aims to bounce back from its worst loss in nearly 18 years when it welcomes Miami to Cameron Indoor Stadium for an ACC contest.

The Blue Devils got hammered at No. 10 Clemson 74-47 as a four-point chalk Wednesday, their worst setback since getting drummed 103-73 by UNLV in the 1990 NCAA title game. Duke has now lost two of its last three SU and ATS, with both losses coming on the road as it shot a combined 32.2 percent in the defeats. However, Duke is 13-0 SU at home this year, winning by an average of 25 ppg (83-58).

A couple of hours before Duke got spanked at Clemson on Wednesday, the unranked Hurricanes bashed No. 7 Wake Forest 79-52 as a 2½-point home pup, ending a three-game SU and ATS decline, which included back-to-back overtime losses to Virginia Tech (home) and North Carolina State (road). Miami, looking to snap a three-game skid in ACC road games, has averaged 72.3 ppg as a visitor this season, just a tick better than its opponents (72.2).

Duke is on a 6-1 SU run (4-2-1 ATS) in this rivalry, but Miami pulled off a 96-95 home win last February as a 6½-point underdog, a couple weeks after the Blue Devils prevailed 88-73 as a 15-point home favorite.

The Blue Devils are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games after a non-cover, 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight home games and 7-2 ATS when favored between 10 and 19½ points, but they are on pointspread back-slides of 1-5-1 against teams with a winning percentage above .600, 2-6-1 on Saturday and 4-9 after a SU loss. The Hurricanes are on ATS runs of 8-2-3 in Saturday contests and 4-1 after a SU win of more than 20 points.

The under for Duke is on rolls of 21-5 overall, 21-8 at Cameron Indoor, 14-3 in the ACC, 4-0 against teams with a win percentage above .600 and 4-0 after a SU loss. Conversely, the over for Miami is on streaks of 4-1 overall, 5-0 against winning teams and 9-3 on Saturday, and in this rivalry, the total has gone high in each of the last five meetings.


Oklahoma State (14-7, 5-9-1 ATS) at (21) Kansas (18-4, 11-5 ATS)

Defending national champion Kansas goes after its eighth consecutive win when it squares off against Oklahoma State in a Big 12 contest at Allen Fieldhouse.

The Jayhawks dropped Baylor 75-65 catching 1½ points on the road Monday, cashing for the sixth time during their seven-game winning streak – all in Big 12 play – to keep their perfect conference record intact. Kansas has outscored its opponents by an average of 13 ppg for the season (78-65), and that margin is still in double digits during the Jayhawks’ current unbeaten run, as they are averaging 74.9 ppg while allowing 64.1.

The Cowboys held off Texas Tech 81-80 Wednesday to halt a two-game SU skid, but they never came close to covering as a healthy 12½-point home chalk in dropping their third straight ATS decision. Oklahoma State has put up an average of 84.0 ppg this season and allowed 75.1, but on the road, the Cowboys drop off more than eight points per game, getting outscored 78.0-75.8.

Oklahoma State is on a 5-2 ATS run (3-4 SU) in this rivalry, including a 61-60 upset last February as an 11-point home underdog, which ended a three-game SU run for Kansas in this series and was the last loss the Jayhawks would suffer on its way to the national championship.

The Jayhawks are on a plethora of positive pointspread streaks, including 20-8 overall, 6-2 at home, 7-1 in conference play, 8-1 as a favorite of 12 points or less, 5-0 against teams with a winning percentage above .600, 5-1 after a SU win, 4-1 after a spread-cover and 6-2 on Saturday. The Cowboys are 5-2-1 ATS in their last eight Saturday starts but are otherwise on pointspread dips of 1-5 overall (all in the Big 12), 1-5 against winning teams, 8-22-1 on the highway and 1-6 as an underdog this season.

The under is on a trio of 8-3 runs: for Kansas against winning teams; for Oklahoma State against winning teams; and in the last 11 clashes in this rivalry. Furthermore, the under for the Jayhawks is on rolls of 5-1 overall, 6-1 after a SU win and 6-2 on Saturday.


Michigan (15-8, 9-8-1 ATS) at (1) Connecticut (21-1, 9-8 ATS)

UConn, which is looking to become the first team in more than a month to hold onto the nation’s No. 1 ranking for longer than a week, puts its 10-game winning streak on the line when it hosts Michigan in a non-conference battle at Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Conn.

Hours after ascending to the top spot in the polls, the Huskies went out and justified their new ranking with a 68-51 rout of No. 7 Louisville, cashing as a 2½-point road underdog, their fourth consecutive spread-cover. During its winning streak, UConn has been rock-solid defensively, giving up 61 points or less to eight of 10 opponents, allowing just 55.5 ppg on 29 percent shooting in the last four. Offensively, the Huskies are putting up 78.2 ppg on 46 percent shooting in their last five outings.

The Wolverines halted a two-game SU and ATS slide in dominating fashion Thursday, crushing Penn State 71-51 as a 4½-point home favorite. Despite the win, Michigan remains just 2-5 SU and ATS in its last seven games – all in Big Ten action – including 0-4 SU and ATS away from home. John Beilein’s squad has been held to 61 points or fewer in seven of its eight defeats, averaging only 54 ppg in its last five setbacks.

UConn is a perfect 11-0 in non-conference play this season, but just 3-4 ATS in lined games, including 6-0 SU and 0-2 ATS at home. Michigan is 10-2 outside of the Big Ten, including 5-1-1 ATS in lined games. In their one true non-conference roadie, the Wolverines fell 75-70 at Maryland, pushing as a five-point underdog. Also, Michigan, which was ranked at one point this season, is 2-2 SU and ATS against Top 25 teams.

Despite its success covering pointspreads in non-league games, Michigan is mired in ATS slumps of 11-28-2 on the road, 3-9-1 against Big East foes, 2-5 against winning teams and 7-22-2 on the highway against teams with a winning home record. The Huskies are 5-0 ATS in their last five on Saturday, but 6-14 ATS in their last 20 contests outside the Big East, 1-4 ATS in their last five at home and 2-6 ATS as a double-digit chalk this season.

Michigan has stayed under the total in three straight games, and the under is 6-1-1 in its last eight outings, including 3-0-1 on the road. In fact, the under is 11-2-1 in the Wolverines’ last 14 on the highway dating to last year. Also, the under is 8-3 in UConn’s last 11 overall. However, the over is on streaks of 12-5 for Michigan in non-conference games, 6-1 for UConn against the Big Ten and 4-1 for UConn on Saturday.


Florida State (17-5, 10-5-1 ATS) at (10) Clemson (19-2, 8-7-1 ATS)

Two teams clogged in the middle of the ACC standings do battle at Littlejohn Coliseum, where Clemson goes after its fourth consecutive victory when it hosts Florida State.

The Tigers ended a 22-game regular-season losing streak to Duke in emphatic fashion Wednesday, rolling to a 74-47 victory over the fourth-ranked team in the nation, cashing as a four-point home underdog. Clemson, which is on a 3-0 SU and ATS surge, had a 46.7 percent to 30.8 percent edge in shooting and a 38-28 rebounding advantage as it handed the Blue Devils their worst loss since a 30-point beatdown against UNLV in the 1990 national championship game.

The Seminoles held off Georgia Tech 62-58 on Thursday, but came up short as an 8½-point home chalk, ending a modest two-game ATS run. The 58 points allowed were the fewest Florida State has given up in ACC play, but their 62 points were the second-fewest scored in conference. The ‘Noles have alternated SU wins and losses in their last five games (2-2-1 ATS), averaging 71.4 ppg (42 percent shooting) while giving up 69.6 ppg (39 percent).

Clemson is 5-2 in ACC action (4-2-1 ATS), including 3-1 (2-0-1 ATS) at home. Florida State is a game behind at 4-3 in league play (4-2-1 ATS), including 2-1 SU and ATS as a visitor.

This has been an evenly matched rivalry in recent years, with Clemson winning six of the last 10 meetings both SU and ATS, and the SU winner cashing in all 10 contests. During this 10-game stretch, the host is on a 7-3 SU and ATS run. One edge for the Tigers: They’re 5-1 ATS the last six times hosting the Seminoles at Littlejohn.

Florida State is on a plethora of pointspread streaks, including 5-2-1 overall, 9-1-1 on the road, 8-2-2 in ACC play, 6-2 as an underdog, 4-1 on Saturday, 4-1-1 against winning teams, 8-1-1 on the road against teams with a winning home mark and 4-0-1 after a non-cover. The Tigers are 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 league games and 9-4 ATS when coming off a victory of more than 20 points, but they’re 0-4-1 ATS in their last five on Saturday.

The over is 9-4 in Florida State’s last 13 games on Saturday, but Clemson is riding “under” streaks of 6-2 overall, 7-0 at home, 8-0 on Saturday and 8-1 against winning teams. Finally, the under is 6-1 in the last seven series meetings.


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Re: NCAAB News and Notes Saturday 2/7

(19) Minnesota (18-4, 9-7-1 ATS) at Ohio State (16-5, 10-7 ATS)

Minnesota will try to bounce back from its worst loss of the year when it visits Value City Arena for a matchup with Ohio State.

The Golden Gophers went to Michigan State on Wednesday and had the unfortunate luck of facing a ticked-off Spartans team that had lost two straight home games, as Minnesota got drubbed 76-47, never threatening to cover as an 8½-point road underdog. In scoring a season-low in points, Minnesota shot just 28.8 percent from the field (15-for-52), allowed Michigan State to shoot 51 percent and got outrebounded 39-21.

Since a four-game SU and ATS surge that pushed them into the Top 25, the Gophers are just 2-3 SU and 1-4 ATS in their last five, averaging 60 ppg (37.8 percent shooting) and allowing 63.8 ppg (43.5 percent).

Ohio State needed overtime to dispatch 12th-ranked Purdue on Tuesday, prevailing 80-72 as a two-point home underdog .The Buckeyes have followed up a two-game SU and ATS slide with three straight wins and covers, and their offense has come to life during this stretch, putting up 81.7 ppg while shooting a sizzling 60 percent from the floor. Thad Matta’s team has now split its eight games against ranked opponents this season (5-3 ATS).

These foes are tied in the middle of the pack of the Big Ten standings at 6-4, with Minnesota going 5-5 ATS and Ohio State posting a 6-4 ATS mark (6-2 ATS in the last eight). The Gophers are 3-2 in Big Ten road games but 2-3 ATS, including three straight non-covers, while the Buckeyes are 4-1 when hosting conference rivals (3-2 ATS).

Minnesota tonight will be looking to sweep the season series from Ohio State for the first time in four years, as the Gophers topped the Buckeyes 68-59 as a 3½-point home chalk on Jan. 3. Tubby Smith’s squad has won and covered the last two meetings after going 0-3 SU in the previous three and 0-4 ATS in the previous four. Ohio State has won the last two battles at home by margins of 16 and 14 points, and the host is 5-0 ATS in the last five series clashes.

The Gophers have proven they can bounce back from bad losses, going 10-2-1 ATS in their last 13 after a defeat of more than 20 points, and they’re 14-6 ATS in their last 20 Saturday outings. Ohio State is on solid ATS stretches of 6-2 overall (all in Big Ten action), 11-5 at home, 9-2 after a spread-cover and 4-1 after an outright victory.

The under has hit in seven of the last nine head-to-head matchups between these schools. Also, the under is on runs of 38-14 for Minnesota on Saturday, 6-2 for Minnesota against winning teams, 10-3 for Minnesota after an ATS setback, 7-2 for Minnesota after a SU win, 6-1 for Ohio State against winning teams and 40-18-1 for Ohio State on Saturday. However, the over is 4-1 in the Buckeyes’ last five home games and 5-2 in the Gophers’ last seven overall.


(14) Memphis (19-3, 13-8 ATS) at (18) Gonzaga (17-4, 10-9 ATS)

The marquee matchup on the Saturday slate comes from McCarthy Athletic Center in Spokane, Wash., where Gonzaga and Memphis meet in a non-conference clash between two of the nation’s hottest teams.

The Tigers, on the road for the fourth time in their last five games, are coming off Wednesday’s 79-66 rout at SMU, but they failed to cover as a 17-point road chalk, ending a 5-0 ATS run. Memphis is riding a 13-game winning streak (9-3 ATS in lined action), going 5-0 SU and 2-3 ATS on the road. During the streak – which is the second longest in the nation behind Utah State – John Calipari’s squad  has played stifling defense, giving up just 58.8 ppg, with only one opponent (Division II Lamar) scoring more than 68 points on the Tigers.

Gonzaga ran its winning streak to nine in a row with Thursday’s 93-78 thumping of Portland as a 10-point road underdog. The Bulldogs are just 5-4 ATS during their winning streak, including 2-3 ATS at home and 4-4 ATS as a favorite. Prior to Thursday’s shootout at Portland, Gonzaga had held seven straight opponents under 70 points, giving up 56 ppg during that stretch.

These teams have faced off three times in regular-season action since 2005, and the Tigers have won all three, but Gonzaga got the cash in the last two. Two years ago, Memphis went to Spokane and needed overtime to salt away a 78-77 victory as a 4½-point favorite, then last season the Tigers prevailed 81-73, but failed as a 13-point home favorite.

All three of Memphis’ losses have come in non-conference action, where it is 10-3 SU and 7-5 ATS, including 2-2 SU and 1-3 ATS in road/neutral-site contests. Likewise, the Zags’ four defeats all came against non-league foes. Gonzaga started the season with seven consecutive non-conference victories (5-1 ATS), then went 1-4 SU (0-4 ATS) in the next four before outlasting Tennessee 89-79 in overtime as a four-point underdog on Jan. 7 prior to starting West Coast Conference play.

Memphis has faced just two ranked opponents this season, losing 79-70 at Georgetown in overtime as a six-point pup and falling 72-65 to Syracuse at home as a nine-point chalk. The Bulldogs are 3-1 SU and ATS versus Top 25 foes, beating Tennessee twice as well as conference rival St. Mary’s, while falling 88-83 to then-No. 2 UConn as a three-point favorite in nearby Seattle.

For the season, Memphis averages 77 ppg on 44.2 percent shooting (33 percent from three-point range) while Gonzaga puts up 78.8 ppg on 47.9 percent shooting (38 percent from beyond the arc). Defensively, the Tigers give up 61.5 ppg (37.6 percent overall, 31.4 percent on three-pointers) and Gonzaga yields 62.4 ppg (36.6 percent overall, 32.7 percent on three-pointers).

Memphis has cashed in four straight non-conference games and is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 Saturday outings and 4-0 ATS in its last four against winning teams. The Tigers have been an underdog just twice this season, going 1-1 SU and ATS. Gonzaga is on ATS runs of 23-10 on Saturday and 5-1 against Conference USA opponents, but the Zags are mired in pointspread funks of 2-5 at home, 2-7 against winning teams, 4-8 as a chalk and 1-5 after a non-cover.

The under is on runs of 4-1 for Memphis in non-conference games, 4-1 for Gonzaga at home and 9-1 for Gonzaga after a spread-cover. However, the over is 15-6 in the Bulldogs’ last 21 on Saturday, and these teams topped the total in their meetings the last two seasons.


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Re: NCAAB News and Notes Saturday 2/7


Notes on the best of today's games.

Villanova won last four games, by 9-10-21-3 points- they won last three home games, by 19-10-21, after losing to Louisville. Syracuse lost last three road games by 14-18-6 points, giving up 88.7 ppg; they snapped three-game skid overall in last game, beating West Virginia by 15. Home favorites are 29-22 against the spread in Big East play.

Notre Dame lost its last six games, giving up 83.8 ppg- they forced only 62 turnovers in last eight games, were outscored by 10+ points in second half in four of last six games. UCLA won, covered last three games, with wins by 15-34-16 points. Big East road underdogs are 11-9 vs spread in non-league games. Pac-10 home favorites are 27-26.

Miami crushed Wake Forest in its last game, snapping three-game skid, Duke lost by 27 on road, their second loss in last three games. Miami's last three losses are by 5ot-3ot-5 points; they're 2-0-1 vs spread as dog in ACC games. Blue Devils are 3-1 vs spread as ACC home fave, with wins by 25-17-41-25 points. ACC home favorites are 10-21 vs spread.

Texas lost last two home games for first time in seven years; road team is 6-1 vs spread in their Big 12 games- Longhorns are 2-1 on road, 1-0 as road favorite, winning by 22 in Lubbock, 6 at Baylor, losing to Sooners. Road team won last four Nebraska games; Huskers are 2-2 in Big 12 tilts at home, losing last two, by 2 to Oklahoma State, 6 to Kansas.

Providence gave up exactly 94 points in each of its last three games (1-2) losing last two, by 33 at UConn, 3 to Villanova; Friars are 2-2 on road in Big East, 2-1 as road dog, losing by 7,33 points. West Virginia lost three of last four games; they're 1-2 as Big East home favorite, winning by 3 vs South Florida, 23 vs St John's, losing to UConn, Pitt.

Kansas State won last four games after 0-4 start in Big 12- they've won last two road games in OT, at Colorado, Texas. K-State held its last four opponents under 42% from floor, after previous four had made 50%+ of shots from floor. Texas A&M is 3-1 at home in Big 12, winning by 11-8 12 points, losing only to Oklahoma. Big 12 home favorites are 12-16.

UAB won four of last five games, but they're 1-3 on C-USA road, losing by 19 at Houston, 13 at Memphis, 1 at Tulsa, winning by a hoop in OT at Marshall- Blazers shot 50%+ from floor in last three games. Southern Miss lost three of last four games, but they won last two at home, by 7 vs Houston, 5 vs Marshall. C-USA home dogs are 7-6 vs spread.

Underdogs are 6-0-1 vs spread in Florida State's SEC games; FSU is 3-0 as an ACC road dog, winning at NC State, Virginia, losing at Miami by 6. Clemson just pounded Duke by 27; they're 3-1 at home in ACC, with wins by 12 (NC State), 14 (Ga Tech), 27 (Duke) points. Tigers are 4-0 in ACC if they allow less than 78 points- they're 2-1 as home favorite.

Xavier is 8-0 in A-14, 7-1 vs spread, winning road games at Fordham by 26, URI by 2, St Bonaventure by 20- they also won during that stretch by 10 at LSU, but have quick turnaround here after Thursday's Temple home game. Duquesne is 5-3 in A-14, with two of the three losses in OT they're 3-1 at home in A-14, losing only by nine points to Dayton.

Wright State (+10) lost 64-48 in first meeting at Butler, but is 6-1 since that game; Raiders are 5-0 at home in Horizon, winning by 9-1-21-26-10 points. Butler is 11-1 in Horizon, 3-2-1 as road favorite, winning away games by 2-8-13-23-7-5 points, losing to Green Bay. Third road game in six nights for Butler. Horizon home underdogs are 10-9 vs spread.

Green Bay was up 11 at half, won 77-75 in OT at Milwaukee in the first meeting, game started Green Bay's current 7-1 streak- they covered four of five as Horizon home favorite, upset Butler in last game. Panthers are 3-1 as Horizon dog; they lost last two road games, by 12 at Valparaiso and 30 at Butler. Horizon home favorites are 22-13 against the spread.

Ohio State (+3.5) lost 68-59 at Minnesota Jan 3, shooting 35% from the floor; Buckeyes won last three games by 18-12-8 points- they're 5-1 at home in Big 11, 2-1 as home fave, winning by 3-24-18-8 pts. Minnesota is 2-3 in last five games, losing by 29 in East Lansing in last game- they are 2-2 as Big 11 road dog, losing by 9 at Northwestern (3-2 SU road).

New Mexico (+5.5) lost 60-58 in first meeting at UNLV, despite UNLV shooting 36% from floor; Lobos are 4-0 at home in the Mountain West, winning by 25-19-18-29 points- they're 4-0 vs spread as MWC favorite. Rebels had four-game win streak snapped in OT by San Diego State on Tuesday- they're 2-2 on MWC road, losing at TCU, Colorado State.

Tulsa (+4.5) won 78-70 in El Paso two weeks ago, in foulfest when two teams combined to take 83 foul shots; Miners are 3-1 on road in C-USA (2-0 as road dog), losing by 5 at UAB, winning at SMU, East Carolina, Houston. Tulsa won its last four games overall, last three at home, with wins by 19-1-9 points. C-USA home favorites are 17-14 vs spread.

Arizona State (-20) crushed Oregon State 69-38 in first meeting. making 65% from floor; both teams run some Princeton offense. ASU is 4-2 on Pac-10 road, winning by 30-3-6-9 points- they're 4-3 as favorite, 2-1 on Pac-10 road. Beavers won four of last five games, covering last four in league play. OSU is 2-4 at home in Pac-10, losing by 23-4-26-3 points.

Gonzaga pulled away in second half of tough road game at Portland just two days ago; Bulldogs are 8-0 in WCC but are just 2-4 in last six games outside the league, and they were favored in all four losses. Memphis is also 8-0 in its league; they're 9-3 outside C-USA, and won 13 games in a row overall. This game is in Spokane Arena, not the Kennel.

Long Beach State lost three of last four games after 5-0 start in Big West all three of those losses came at home- they won 74-64 (+7.5) at Pacific in first meeting, making 10-21 from the arc in game they trailed by 5 at half. Pacific is 3-2 on Big West road, with underdog 4-0 vs spread in the games. Big West home favorites are just 11-23 against the spread.

Cal Bears (+1) won 57-50 in first meeting at Washington State, making half their shots from floor in game where total of just 12 foul shots were taken. Bears are 4-1 at home in Pac-10, winning by 14-10-7-15 pts- the dog covered four of those five games. Wazzu lost four of last five games; they're 1-2 as road dog, losing by 10-11 points in last two road games.

St Mary's (-5) nipped Santa Clara 63-62 in first meeting, shooting 33% from floor, and that was with Mills playing; Gaels are 1-1 since Mills is on bench (hand). Broncos won last four games after 0-4 start in league play- they're 3-1 at home in WCC, losing to San Diego by 5. Home dogs are 2-5 against the spread in the WCC this season.

Siena is 12-0 in MAAC, but 1-4 as road favorite, winning by 7-4-6-16-11 points away from home- they won 91-81 in first meeting vs Rider, as Saints shot 53% from floor. Rider won three of last four games; they're 4-1 at home in MAAC, losing by 14 to Loyola- they're 3-1 vs spread as an underdog in league play. MAAC home underdogs are 10-6 vs spread.

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Re: NCAAB News and Notes Saturday 2/7

What to watch: College basketball bettors' TV guide

There's no need to hit that guide button on your remote control to decide on what college basketball action to monitor this weekend. Here are the best matchups to get you through Saturday and Sunday.

Syracuse at Villanova (Saturday, noon, ESPN)

The Orange, who ended a three game losing streak by beating West Virginia on Wednesday, haven't won a road date since Jan. 10, and their only two Big East away wins were hard-fought ones against bottom-feeders Rutgers and South Florida.

These teams met three times last year. The first was a 10-point home loss for Syracuse, the second a 14-point Orange win in Philly and the third a Nova 19-point victory in the first round of the Big East Tournament, which sealed SU's fate as an NIT team.

Villanova has won four games in a row this season since falling at Connecticut. The Wildcats are 11-2 when leading scorer Dante Cunningham scores at least 17 points.

Notre Dame at UCLA (Saturday, 1 p.m, CBS Regional)

The Irish are in the midst of one of the most ridiculous schedules you will ever see, and it's killing their NCAA Tournament hopes. They have lost six games in a row (their longest losing streak in 15 years) with the first five of those to ranked Big East clubs. Now the Irish get a break from the brutal Big East … and face the Pac-10's best team in No. 12 UCLA.

According to the Chicago Tribune, coach Mike Brey will make a lineup change heading into Saturday. Senior guard Ryan Ayers will enter the starting lineup replacing either senior forward Luke Zeller or junior point guard Tory Jackson. Look for it to be Jackson, who is 18 of 58 from the floor with 23 turnovers during the losing streak.

Oklahoma St. at Kansas (Saturday, 3:30 p.m., ABC Regional)

Don't look now, but the defending national champs are surging. KU has won seven games in a row to get back into the polls. The Jayhawks have the longest home winning streak in the country at 36 games. KU is 13-0 at Allen Fieldhouse this season and 7-2 ATS.

Kansas has won three of the last four and seven of the last 10 games in this series, although OSU won by one in the lone matchup last season. This is the schools' first meeting since Bill Self was nearly lured to Stillwater following that national title run.

Jayhawks guard Sherron Collins missed his first free throw in Big 12 play this season, making a school-record 35 straight, in KU's win over Baylor on Monday.

Michigan at Connecticut (Saturday, 6 p.m., ESPN)

UM has lost five of seven games, but it also has beaten Duke and UCLA already this season. But the Wolverines are 0-5-1 ATS on the road this season.

This is only the second meeting all-time between the schools and will be the 21st time that Michigan has faced the No. 1 team in the country. The Wolverines are 1-19 against top-ranked teams, with the sole win coming against Duke in 1997.

UM coach John Beilein made a lineup change before the win over Penn State on Thursday, sending second-leading scorer DeShawn Sims and Kelvin Grady to the bench and moving Zack Gibson and Zack Novak into the starting lineup. Beilein said the four-guard lineup would “probably” be the same against Connecticut.

Memphis at Gonzaga (Saturday, 9 p.m., ESPN)

Nice non-conference matchup between conference leaders who have combined for 22 consecutive wins. Both teams have balance with four players averaging double-figure points on each side.

Memphis was awful from the 3-point line in the first 14 games hitting just 28.9 percent. But in the past eight games the Tigers are hitting 41.5 percent.

Since scoring just one point and grabbing only two rebounds in the Tigers' last-second victory at Tulsa on Jan. 13, senior forward Walter Dozier has come on, averaging 11.7 points and 8.2 rebounds.

These teams have one common opponent in Tennessee. Memphis won by two in Knoxville and the Zags beat the Vols by nine at a neutral site and then by 10 in Knoxville.

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Re: NCAAB News and Notes Saturday 2/7

I made separate thread for today's NCAA trends since it takes up so many pages

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Re: NCAAB News and Notes Saturday 2/7

Saturday Research
By Indiancowboy

Eastern Michigan at Ohio

Eastern Michigan is actually one of the worst teams in the country outside the top 320 (similar to what Citadel was last year - but of course, Citadel is a top 240 team this year). Ohio is a top 200 team that is hosting Eastern Michigan and consequently this is why the spread is so high. Ohio just faced a similar Northern Illinois team at home and won by 30 points. So, there is no reason why the oddsmakers think that Ohio can't win by this margin against an Eastern Michigan that is ranked even worse than Northern Illinois. Has Ohio played other teams outside the top 300 and how have they done? Well, this team played Bucknell at home who is around the top 300 and won by 18. This team played #297 St. Francis and won by 17. But, the question is how does this Eastern Michigan team (who should clean house in their coaching department) respond from a 41-78 thumping at home to the hands of Akron? This team just got beat by 37 points at home and needs a gut check. But, will a team that is 3-19, 1-7 in conference play, having 2 of those 3 wins come against teams not even in the division 1 - really get a gut check? I really don't think so and I lean on Ohio laying the points here.


Northwestern vs. Iowa

Now, this is interesting. You have a NW team that although lost to Michigan in their last road game, is the only team in this conference that went up to Michigan State and defeated the conference leading Spartans. Folks, I will write an article about this sometime soon, but I firmly believe that the Big10 is the new ACC in some ways in College Basketball. With the likes of Purdue, Northwestern, Penn State, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State and the two "down" teams this year are indeed Iowa and Indiana - with Wisconsin in there as well. But, the Big 10 is certainly a force to contend with now with the emergence of Northwestern, Penn State and Minnesota this year. . As per this game, I lean on NW but Iowa at some point needs to step up. They did step up when they did against Wisconsin at home in OT. These two teams have not met this year but Iowa returns home after losing to Indiana (their first conference win - and I was on Indiana to win Outright) on the road. This is a night game, so no thanks despite having a slight lean on NW.

Minnesota vs. Ohio State

There are two competing theories here. For starters, if you want to bet on Ohio State, you have revenge in your favor. But, if you want to bet on Minnesota, you have the fact that this team is coming off a big win over Purdue in OT and likely to have a let down. Plus, tack on the fact that Minny got trounced 47-76 at Michigan State and Tubby will have his boys revved up to go. I don't want to compete with either theory, no thanks.

Indiana vs. Michigan State

Indiana comes off their first conference win and they have been playing better basketball as Crean is one of my favorite coaches. But, Michigan State just crushed Minnesota at home and this is one of those games that can go either way or a backdoor cover could be in the horizon. Although, if I was a Spartan player, do I really "get-up" to play the Hoosiers of Indiana of 2009? In that same token, if I was a Hoosier, I would certainly want to play the Spartans of 2009. This can go either way as it is a big net of 22 but that means nothing to Michigan State who just beat Minnesota nearly 30 at home.

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