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College basketball tough spots

College basketball tough spots

College basketball tough spots
By MARC LAWRENCE

As unimaginable as it seems, the college hoops season is winding down and with it the start of the Bracket Buster games start this weekend.

The following week begins conference tournament play and before you know it the start of the big dance will be underway.

Until then, teams need to take care of business which is not always an easy task when so much is on the line. Take, for example, these three games:

Tuesday, February 17

Seton Hall Pirates at Marquette Golden Eagles


Don’t look now but Seton Hall is playing its best ball of the season and they invade Marquette with a purpose. That’s always a lethal combination and it could prove unsettling for the Golden Eagles in Milwaukee Tuesday.

Last year when Marquette mauled Seton Hall in all three meetings between these two schools, little did it realize it came with a price. The Eagles have a putrid 4-9 ATS record against teams seeking revenge from a conference tourney loss in the previous season. To make matters worse, Marquette is 1-8 ATS in these games when the opponent owns a .500 or greater record, including 0-5 as a pick or a favorite.

Considering the Pirates' streaky season (8-1 start, 1-8 next nine game, 5-1 last six games), this game has all the earmarks of a flat spot for Marquette.

Wednesday, February 18

Butler Bulldogs at Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers


When the final bell sounds in the Horizon League it will be safe to say the Butler did it. All but assured of the top spot in the League once again this season, the Bulldogs main focus is to remain focused from now until the postseason begins.

Wednesday's game will be no easy task. The Panthers take the court in their final home game of the season playing looking for revenge from a 78-48 at Hinkle Field House earlier this season.

The simple act of the matter is Butler can't be trusted as a conference road favorite when taking on a quality opponent. It has a paltry 2-10-1 ATS mark versus a .590 or greater foe. With the Panthers 10-2 SU & 7-3 ATS at home this season, including 2-0 SU & ATS when taking points, the points look to be the play here today.

Thursday, February 19

Stanford Cardinal at Oregon State Beavers


President Obama’s brother-in-law, Beaver head coach Craig Robinson, is having a pretty good year. He inherited a mess and has turned them into a pretty competitive bunch.

At 11-13 this season, he’s already surpassed expectations. Included among the victims have been the likes of Washington State, California, Stanford and USC. And therein lies the problem.

When OSU stunned the Cardinal 77-62 as 16-point road dogs last month, it marked the fifth worst pointspread home loss by Stanford since 1990, covering a span of 282 games.

Already comfortable with the knowledge that they are 19-0 SU and 17-2 ATS in their last nineteen visits to Corvallis, look for the tree to fall on the Beavers in this major payback game.

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