NCAAB News and Notes Thursday 3/19

NCAAB News and Notes Thursday 3/19

Thursday's Early Tips
By Brian Edwards

The 2009 NCAA Tournament will tip at 12:20 p.m. Eastern Thursday afternoon when LSU and Butler square off in Greensboro, N.C., for the event’s lid-lifter. Within 10 minutes, two more games will get started and a fourth contest out in the West region will go at 2:30 p.m.

From there, it’s nothing but bets and ballgames from lunch until midnight for four straight days. Does it get any better? Let’s look at the four early games for the tournament’s first day.

**Butler vs. LSU**

--This is a showdown between eight (LSU) and nine (Butler) seeds in the South region. Unless Radford becomes the first No. 16 seed to advance in tournament history, the winner will take on top-seeded North Carolina on Saturday.

--Las Vegas Sports Consultants opened LSU (26-7 straight up, 13-12 against the spread) as a 3 ½-point favorite with a total of 126. As of early Tuesday morning, most books had the Tigers at 2 ½ with the total adjusted to 127 ½.

--LSU has lost three of its last four games on the heels of a 10-game winning streak. The Tigers dropped a 67-57 decision to Mississippi St. in the semifinals of the SEC Tournament. They had beaten Kentucky by a 67-58 count in the quarterfinals.

--Butler (26-5 SU, 16-12-1 ATS) appeared to be on its way to a better seed until it lost three of its last seven games, including a 54-51 loss to Cleveland St. in the finals of the Horizon League Tournament.

--Brad Stevens’ team has thrived in underdog roles this season. In fact, the Bulldogs are 5-1 SU and 6-0 ATS when listed as underdogs.

--Butler won three of its five games against teams in the field. The Bulldogs won two of three against Cleveland St. and also beat Xavier. They lost 54-51 at Ohio St. and also dropped the aforementioned game against the Vikings.

--LSU has a 3-4 record against teams in the field, beating Mississippi St. twice and also knocking off Tennessee. The four losses came to Mississippi St., Xavier, Texas A&M and Utah.

--Trent Johnson’s team owns a 7-6 spread record as a single-digit favorite this year.

--LSU guard Marcus Thornton is the SEC’s second-leading scorer, averaging 20.7 points per game. Tasmin Mitchell, who started on LSU’s 2006 team that went to the Final Four, averages 16.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game.

--Butler lost four starters from last season’s 30-win team, but the East-of-the-Mississippi-River version of Gonzaga is back in the Big Dance yet again. Sophomore Matt Howard leads the team in scoring (14.6 PPG) and rebounding (6.7 RPG), while freshman Gordon Hayward is averaging 13.2 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.

**Cal-St. Northridge vs. Memphis**

--This is a 2/15 matchup that’ll be played at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, MO. LVSC opened second-seeded Memphis (31-3 SU, 22-11 ATS) as a 19-point favorite with a total of 134. As of early Tuesday morning, most spots had the Tigers at 19 ½.

--Cal-State Northridge (17-13 SU, 16-10 ATS) has only played one team in the field, losing 85-67 at UCLA. The Matadors covered the spread as 21 ½-point underdogs.

--Cal-State Northridge won the Big West Tournament by beating Pacific 71-66 in overtime as a 1 ½-point underdog. Rodrigue Mels scored a team-high 23 points to pace the winners. Mels is averaging 18.3 PPG in the Matadors’ last six games.

--Cal-St. Northridge owns a 2-2 spread record in four games as a double-digit underdog.

--The Matadors have been without two of their best players recently. Senior guard Deon Tresvant, who was averaging 13.3 PPG, was suspended from the team in early January after being arrested with head coach Bobby Braswell’s son on burglary charges. Josh Jenkins, the team’s senior point guard who was averaging 10.2 PPG and leading the Big West in assists with 6.2 per game, was injured in a one-car accident in February.

--Memphis hasn’t tasted defeat since losing at home to Syracuse back on Dec. 20. Since then, the Tigers have won 25 consecutive games, compiling an 18-6 spread record in the 24 lined affairs. They beat Tulsa 64-39 as 14 ½-point home favorites in the finals of the C-USA Tournament.

--John Calipari’s team is led by freshman guard Tyreke Evans, who averages 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game. Evans did it all against the Golden Hurricane, finishing with 18 points, six rebounds, five assists, three blocked shots and two steals.

--Memphis owns an 18-6 spread record in 24 games as a double-digit favorite. The Tigers played only four games against teams in the field, going 2-2 both SU and ATS. They lost to the ‘Cuse at home and to Xavier on a neutral court. On the other hand, they won at Tennessee in a nail-biter and trounced Gonzaga 68-50 in Spokane.

--The ‘under’ has been a monster money maker for Memphis, cashing at a 22-11 overall clip. The ‘under’ has cashed in eight straight games for the Tigers and is on an 11-1 run in their last 12 outings.

--The ‘over’ is 14-11 overall for the Matadors.

**Texas A&M vs. Brigham Young**

--This is an 8/9 game at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia that is a rematch of last year’s first-round encounter. The Aggies won last season’s meeting 67-62 as one-point favorites.

--LVSC opened BYU (25-7 SU, 15-14 ATS) as a 1 ½-point favorite with a total of 140. As of early Tuesday morning, most books had the Cougars as two-point ‘chalk’ with the total slipping a touch to 139 ½.

--Texas A&M (23-9 SU, 15-9 ATS) won each of its last six regular-season games before allowing a 21-point second-half lead to get away in an 88-83 loss to Texas Tech in the first round of the Big 12 Tournament. Nevertheless, the Aggies are still in the midst of a 10-3 ATS surge in their last 13 games.

--Mark Turgeon’s team is making its fourth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament (twice on Billy Gillispie’s watch and twice since Turgeon came to College Station from Wichita St.). The Aggies are 6-1 ATS in their seven tournament games since 2006. They were eliminated by UCLA last season in a 51-49 loss as 9 ½-point underdogs.

--BYU has one of the country’s most underrated players in Lee Cummard, who averages 16.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. The Cougars have two other prolific scorers in Jonathan Tavernari (16.2 PPG) and Jimmer Fredette (15.9 PPG).

--Jeff Reynolds’s squad lost a 64-62 decision to San Diego St. in the MWC Tourney semifinals as a 2 ½-point favorite. Fredette had a team-high 17 points in the losing effort.

--BYU had covered the number in nine straight games before failing to cover in its regular-season finale and both games it played in the MWC Tourney.

--BYU is 5-6 ATS as a single-digit favorite this season. Meanwhile, Texas A&M has cashed tickets at a 9-3 ATS clip in 12 underdog spots.

--The ‘over’ is 15-13 overall for BYU, but the ‘under’ is on a 5-1 run for the Cougars.

--The ‘over’ has cashed in four straight and six of the last seven for Texas A&M. For the season, however, totals were a wash (12-12) for the Aggies.

**Northern Iowa vs. Purdue**

--This is a 5/12 matchup that’ll tip at 2:30 p.m. Eastern at the Rose Garden in Portland. The winner will move on to face the Washington-Mississippi St. winner.

--LVSC opened Purdue (25-9 SU, 14-16 ATS) as a nine-point favorite with a total of 125. As of early Tuesday morning, most spots had the Boilermakers as 8 ½-point favorites with a total of 124.

--No. Iowa (23-10 SU, 16-13 ATS) won the Missouri Valley Tournament by prevailing 60-57 over Illinois St. in the finals. The Panthers won outright as three-point underdogs.

--No. Iowa has taken the cash in eight consecutive games as an underdog. For the season, the Panthers are 9-4 ATS in 13 spots as ‘dogs.

--Matt Painter’s team won the Big Ten Tournament by rallying from a 30-25 halftime deficit to capture a 65-61 triumph. Bettors backing Purdue appeared to be on the verge of victory when Chris Kramer drained a pair of free throws with 4.8 seconds left to briefly get ahead of the number from a six-point ‘chalk’ situation. However, Jon Diebler buried a seemingly meaningless 3-pointer at the buzzer that allowed Ohio St. backers to cash tickets. E’Twaun Moore was the catalyst for the Boilers, knocking down five triples en route to a team-high 17 points.

--Purdue has limped to a 6-10 spread record in 16 games as a single-digit ‘chalk.’

--These teams had a pair of common foes in Iowa and Indiana St. Purdue swept a pair of games from the Hawkeyes, who trounced No. Iowa by a 65-46 count. The Boilers beat Indiana St. by 14, while the Panthers won two of three games against the Sycamores.

--No. Iowa enjoyed its one shining moment as a No. 14 seed in 1990 when it stunned Missouri 74-71 on a game-winning 3-pointer by Maurice Newby. The win over Norm Stewart's Tigers is the Panthers' only NCAA Tournament win in school history.

--Purdue is in its third straight NCAA Tournament in the fourth year of Painter’s tenure. The Boilers gave eventual national champ Florida fits in a narrow second-round loss in New Orleans two seasons ago. They actually led the Gators by as much as seven points midway through the second half. In the 2008 tourney, Purdue beat up on Baylor before bowing out in a loss to Xavier.

--Ben Jacobson’s squad has played just two games against teams in the Big Dance. The Panthers lost 81-75 at Siena and were destroyed 73-43 by Marquette on a neutral floor.

--No. Iowa is back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006 when it lost a 54-49 decision to Georgetown as a 3 1/2-point underdog in the first round.

--The ‘over’ is 18-11 overall for No. Iowa, 8-2 in its last 10 games.

--The ‘over’ is on a 3-0 run for Purdue and is 15-15 overall for the year.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**


--Illinois guard Chester Frazier (hand) is “doubtful” for his team’s first-round game against Western Kentucky. Frazier averages 5.7 points, 5.3 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game for the Illini.

--Akron is in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1986 when the Zips were coached by current West Virginia coach Bob Huggins.

--Only four No. 15 seeds have knocked off No. 2 seeds in NCAA Tournament history. That’s bad news for Cal-State Northridge, Morgan St., Robert Morris and Binghamton. However, Todd Bozeman’s Bears can take solace in the fact that the last two No. 15 seeds came out of the MEAC. Hampton beat Iowa St. in 2001, while Coppin St. took out a South Carolina team led by B.J. McKie back in 1997. The first No. 15 seed to advance was Dick Tarrant’s Richmond Spiders, who beat a Syracuse team led by Lawrence Moten in the ’91 Tourney.

--Kansas is a No. 3 seed this year just like it was in 2005 when Bucknell upset Bill Self’s first team at KU.

Editor's note: Brian Edwards has picks galore available for both the NIT and NCAA Tournaments. In addition, you can purchase his entire bracket for your office pool now!

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Re: NCAAB News and Notes Thursday 3/19

Thursday Prime Time Tips
By Judd Hall

The first day of the 2009 NCAA Tournament will already have eight games in the books when we reach the early primetime matchups on Thursday. And the whirlwind will continue for us as four tests get underway within a matter of 15 minutes.

Let’s take a look at this third session of Day 1.

Michigan Wolverines vs. Clemson Tigers – 7:10 p.m. EDT

--The opening contest of the session showcases the No. 11 seed Wolverines and sixth seed Tigers of the South Region. The winner gets to face either Oklahoma or Morgan State on Saturday to make the Sweet 16.

--Las Vegas Sports Consultants opened Clemson (23-8 straight up, 12-13-1 against the spread) as a six-point “chalk” with a total of 137. The line has since moved with the Tigers as 5 ½-point faves.

--You want to come into the big dance playing your best. That hasn’t happened for the Tigers as they’re 1-4 SU and ATS in their final five games. Oliver Purnell’s squad fell to the cellar dwelling Yellow Jackets as a nine-point favorite in the ACC tourney on March 12, 86-81.

--Michigan (20-13 SU, 15-11-1 ATS) had quality wins over the Bruins and Blue Devils at the start of the season, but needed close out the campaign with a flourish in order to make the field of 65. The Wolverines closed out the year 5-3 SU and 6-2 ATS. They bowed out of the Big Ten Tournament as a two-point underdog to the Fighting Illini on March 13, 60-50.

--The Wolverines haven’t been a team you want to back when listed as pups this year with a 3-9 SU and 6-6-1 ATS mark. Although they have gone 4-1 ATS in their last five road games as ‘dogs. The ‘under’ is 9-3 in those tilts.

--Clemson is 11-6 SU and 8-9-1 ATS when made a single-digit favorite this season. The ‘under’ has gone 10-7 in those matches as well.

--John Beilein’s squad must own the boards in this game to be successful, which could be a tall order. That’s because they grab 30.9 offensive rebounds per game, but give up 34 boards every night. So keep a close eye on Manny Harris and DeShawn Sims since they both average 6.9 RPG.

--The Tigers will be aiming to get their perimeter shots to drop from K.C. Rivers and Terrence Oglesby. That duo hit just 8-for-25 from beyond the arch against Georgia Tech. Not good when you consider that Clemson led the ACC with a 37.9 connection rate from three-point land.

Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Texas Longhorns – 7:10 p.m. EDT

--This 7 vs. 10 showdown in the East bracket will be played at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina. The victor of this contest gets to take on either Duke or Binghamton in the second round.

--LVSC posted Texas (20-10 SU, 11-18-1 ATS) as a 5 ½-point favorite with a total of 126. Bettors have been coming in heavy on the Golden Gophers since the line moved down to four on Tuesday afternoon.

--Minnesota (22-10 SU, 12-14-1 ATS) were one of those clubs that found itself on the bubble as Selection Sunday loomed. Tubby Smith’s program had a great win over Louisville, but tripped down the stretch with a 3-5 SU and ATS record. But that win over the Cards and playing in a tough conference proved just enough to get tickets to the dance.

--The Golden Gophers can honestly call themselves a tournament tested squad with 15 matches against NCAA tourney teams. They went 7-8 SU and 6-8 ATS in those contests. The ‘under’ is 9-5 in those games as well.

--Tubby Smith can rest assured that he’ll get a solid effort out of Lawrence Westbrook and Damian Johnson, who average 12.4 and 9.7 points per game respectively. But Smith could get a boost out Devron Bostick in this contest. The junior guard from Racine, WI scores just 4.1 PPG this year but scored 11 and 12 points in his last two appearances.

--The Longhorns have been an up and down squad this season. They closed out the year at 3-3 SU and 1-4-1 ATS. Texas fell to the Bears in the Big XII tournament as a 4 ½-point “chalk” on March 13, 76-70, to snap a 24-game win streak.

--Texas’ biggest issue has been draining buckets as they ranked eighth in its league with 72.3 PPG this year. A lot of that is due to the offense being funneled through A.J. Abrams. Unfortunately, Abrams hadn’t performed lately. Outside of the 20 points he scored against Baylor, the senior guard had averaged just 9.8 PPG in his last five starts.

--The Orange Bloods have seen Dexter Pittman come up huge with 15.6 PPG from Feb. 28 to March 12. Pittman scored just seven points in the loss to the Bears last Friday.

--Minnesota is just 2-12 ATS in its past 14 meetings with Big XII squads.

American Eagles vs. Villanova Wildcats – 7:20 p.m. EDT

--This 3/14 matchup will tip-off at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia. Whoever wins this battle gets to face either UCLA or Virginia Commonwealth on Saturday.

--LVSC has opened up with Villanova (25-6 SU, 16-13 ATS) as a 19-point “chalk” with a total of 132. The public has actually pushed this line down to make the Wildcats 17-point faves. Even the total got knocked down a few pegs to 130.

--American (24-7 SU, 1-0 ATS) is making its second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament by beating 73-57 on March 13. The Eagles easily covered as five-point favorites. Meanwhile the combined 130 points went ‘over’ the closing total of 117.

--The Wildcats looked like they could make a run at a top seed in the big dance with wins over Syracuse, Pittsburgh and Marquette. They even finished 6-2 SU, but didn’t do bettors any favors with a 3-5 ATS mark. But ‘Nova had to settle with a No. 3 seed after falling to the Cardinals as a 4 ½-point underdog on March 13, 69-55.

--The Eagles will be looking to their talented senior trio Garrison Carr (17.8 PPG), Brian Gilmore (12.4 PPG) and Derrick Mercer (11.5 PPG) to keep the score close against Villanova.

--American was out of sorts during its first round game last year against the Volunteers. Yet they still wound up covering as a 19-point pup, 72-57.

--‘Nova is a perfect 10-0 SU when they’ve been tabbed as a double-digit favorite. As far as the gambling public is concerned, they’re 5-5 ATS.

Akron Zips at Gonzaga Bulldogs – 7:25 p.m. EDT

--This No. 4 vs. No. 13 tilt from the South Region will be taking place at the Rose Garden in Portland. The winner of this matchup will get to square off with Illinois or Western Kentucky.

--LVSC first installed the Bulldogs as 14-point favorites with a total of 133. While the total has stayed the same, the public has pushed Gonzaga (26-5 SU, 15-13 ATS) down to a 12-point fave.

--Akron (23-12 SU, 16-13-1 ATS) is making its first trip to the NCAA Tournament in 23 years thanks to beating the Bulls as a 2 ½-point “chalk” in the MAC Championship Game, 65-53. Brett McKnight led the Zips with 16 points and Chris McKnight poured in 12 points in a winning effort.

--The Bulldogs could not have picked a better time to play their best basketball. Ever since getting blown out by Memphis on Feb. 7, the Zags have won nine straight contests, covering in five of them. What was Gonzaga’s average margin of victory in that stretch? 23 points. And they won the West Coast Conference Tournament by at least 36 points.

--Gonzaga has been as automatic a play as there has been this year as a double-digit favorite, going 18-1 SU and 8-6 ATS.

--The Zips have only been double-digit ‘dogs once this year. They lost 86-67 to Pittsburgh on Nov. 21, but they did cover the 20-point spread.

--If you’ve been looking for an upset play in the first round, a 13 vs. 4 is a good one to back. Siena and San Diego both won last season as a 13th seed. On the betting front, teams listed as No. 13 have gone 11-14 ATS.

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BUTLER vs. LSU
Butler is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games
Butler is 18-4 SU in its last 22 games
LSU is 3-6 ATS in its last 9 games
LSU is 11-3 SU in its last 14 games

CS NORTHRIDGE vs. MEMPHIS
CS Northridge is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
Memphis is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
Memphis is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games

TEXAS A&M vs. BYU

Texas A&M is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games
Texas A&M is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games
BYU is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 games
BYU is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games

NORTHERN IOWA vs. PURDUE
Northern Iowa is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games
Northern Iowa is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Purdue is 14-5 SU in its last 19 games

RADFORD vs. NORTH CAROLINA
No trends available
North Carolina is 1-7 ATS in its last 8 games
North Carolina is 14-2 SU in its last 16 games

MARYLAND vs. CALIFORNIA
Maryland is 9-4 ATS in its last 13 games
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Maryland's last 7 games
California is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games
California is 16-8 SU in its last 24 games

CHATTANOOGA vs. CONNECTICUT
Chattanooga is 2-6 ATS in its last 8 games
Chattanooga is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games
Connecticut is 1-6 ATS in its last 7 games
Connecticut is 16-3 SU in its last 19 games

MISSISSIPPI STATE vs. WASHINGTON
Mississippi State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Washington is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games

MICHIGAN vs. CLEMSON
Michigan is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
Clemson is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games
Clemson is 17-8 SU in its last 25 games

MINNESOTA vs. TEXAS
Minnesota is 4-11 ATS in its last 15 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Minnesota's last 6 games
Texas is 1-5-1 ATS in its last 7 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Texas's last 6 games

AMERICAN vs. VILLANOVA
No trends available
Villanova is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
Villanova is 12-3 SU in its last 15 games

AKRON vs. GONZAGA
Akron is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games
Akron is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games
Gonzaga is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games

BINGHAMTON vs. DUKE
No trends available
Duke is 8-1 SU in its last 9 games

MORGAN STATE vs. OKLAHOMA
No trends available
Oklahoma is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games
Oklahoma is 20-5 SU in its last 25 games

VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH vs. UCLA
Virginia Commonwealth is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games
Virginia Commonwealth is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
UCLA is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games
UCLA is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games

WESTERN KENTUCKY vs. ILLINOIS

Western Kentucky is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games
Western Kentucky is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Illinois is 17-8 SU in its last 25 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Illinois's last 6 games

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Re: NCAAB News and Notes Thursday 3/19

NCAAB Today

Thursday, March 19

Thursday afternoon
Northridge lost both starting guards to off-field incidents after starting its season 0-5 vs D-I teams, losing to Stanford by 18, New Mexico by 11, Rider by 13, UCLA by 18, but Matadors wound up winning both regular season and Big West conference tourney. Memphis won its last four first round NCAA Games by 16-16-15-24 points. Big West teams lost three in a row in NCAAs, losing by 8-15-35 points. Memphis is 13-4 against spread in its last 17 games.

9-seed Texas A&M (-1) beat BYU 67-62 in first round LY; same exact scenario here, except Cougars are 10-2 in last 12 games, with two losses by combined total of three points. Cougars are 12-2 out of conference, losing by 7 to Wake Forest, 1 to Arizona State in Phoenix. Aggles blew a 22-point lead to Texas Tech in first round of Big 12 tourney, snapping a 6-game win streak; they're 14-1 outside of Big 12, losing to Tulsa by 11.

Young Butler (341st in experience) is 4-3 in last seven games, after 22-2 start, which included wins at Xavier, Davidson. Experienced LSU (24th in experience) lost three of its last four games after 13-1 midseason run; Tigers' non-SEC schedule ranked 308th- they lost at Texas A&M, Utah un only two non-league road games. Tigers have guys who played in a Final Four- they're 2-5 vs spread in last seven games as a fave. Butler is 5-0 vs spread as an underdog this season.

Northern Iowa won last five games after 1-4 February skid; they lost at Iowa by 19 Dec 9, in only game vs Big 11 opponent; Panthers only have one senior in their rotation, play slowish (318th) pace- they covered last nine tries as an underdog. Purdue won Big 11 tourney Sunday, plays on Thursday afternoon, a quick turnaround; they're 5-6 vs spread in last 11 games as a favorite. Boilers (-25) beat Indiana State by 14 in their only game vs MVC opponent this season.

North Carolina won last seven first round games (3-2-2 vs spread); they waxed NC-Asheville 116-48 Nov 30. Radford beat their conference rival Asheville three times, but all three were close games. Radford lost by 2 to Virginia, by 22 to Virginia, in its two games vs ACC foes- they also got crushed by 35 at West Virginia. Lawson isn't supposed to play here, as Tar Heels try to get his foot healthier for when they play better foes. #1 seeds are 6-9-1 vs spread in first round games the last four years.

California lost four of last six games, allowing 77.8 ppg in last five; they are 11-2 outside Pac-10, losing 80-77 to Florida State on neutral floor, in its only game vs ACC foe. Bears lost 93-66 at Mizzou Dec 7, are back in Missouri again- they shoot 43.4% beyond arc, best in nation. Maryland is 4-5 in last nine games; they're mediocre defending treys. Cal starts four juniors and a sophomore, Terps three juniors and a senior. Maryland is 11-3 outside ACC, losing to Morgan State at home.

UConn is 1-9 vs spread in last 10 first round games; they haven't won a postseason game of any kind since '06, are coming off epic six-OT loss to Syracuse in Big East tourney. Huskies whacked Western Carolina 81-55 in season opener; Western split pair of games with Chattanooga-- Mocs are 18-16, won SoCon tourney on their home floor- they lost by 39 at Tennessee, 28 at Missouri, 12 to Memphis, 27 to USC. If UConn has anything in its tank, this could be ugly.

Mississippi State won, covered last five games; they have to travel long way, play Thursday after winning SEC title Sunday. Bulldogs lost 63-52 to Washington State on neutral floor in November, are 8-5 outside SEC. Washington ranks 6th in pace, Miss State 92nd; Bulldogs had scored 75+ points 11 games in row before they got bogged down playing 3rd, 4th day in row at SEC tourney. Interesting contrast; Bulldogs rank 4th in US in blocked shots, Washington ranks 3rd in offensive rebounding.

Thursday night games
Michigan split pair of games with Duke, lost 75-70 at Maryland in three games vs ACC teams; they're 3-3 in last six games and 4-2 vs spread last six games as an underdog. Clemson won by hoop at Illinois in only game vs Big 11 foe- Tigers lost four of last five games, allowing 91 ppg in last two games. Wolverines are young team that plays slowish pace, and an unusual 1-3-1 defense. Over last four seasons, favorites are 13-3 against the spread in 7-10 games.

Minnesota is 4-7 in last 11 games; they're 0-8 vs spread in its last eight games as an underdog. Gophers are 12-0 outside Big 11 (beat Louisville 70-64 in Phoenix)- they're young team that plays slowish pace (219th). Texas is 2-3 in last five games, 4-8 vs spread in last dozen tries as fave-- they struggled with point guard play this year. Longhorns went 12-2 in a tough pre-conference schedule; they won 74-69 at Wisconsin, lost 67-63 to Michigan State in Houston, which is still Longhorn country.

American (+18) got to NCAAs for the first time LY, lost to Tennessee 72-57; Patriot League teams are just 2-15 SU in this event, but are 6-2 vs spread in this round the last eight years. American lost to Oklahoma by 29, Georgetown by 24, Maryland by 16- they have seven seniors, make 37.7% of their 3's. Villanova beat Navy of Patriot League 78-68; they're 1-4 vs spread in last five games as a favorite. #3 seeds are 7-1 vs spread in this round the last two seasons.

Akron is in NCAAs for first time since '86; they're 8-6 outside its league, losing by 19 at Pitt, 4 to Dayton, 29 at Rhode Island. Zips are 14-3 their last 17 games, 7-4 vs spread as a dog. MAC teams are 0-5 in this event last five years, losing by 13-5-10-2-13 points, but they're 5-1 vs spread in last six tourney games as an underdog. Gonzaga won 17 of last 18, is 5-1 vs spread in last six games as favorite- they went 9-5 against difficult non-league schedule, then went 16-0 in the WCC.

Morgan State won at Maryland; they play good defense (ranked 12th in effective defense), are experienced team (26th). MEAC teams are 9-0 vs spread in last nine non-play-in games. Bears are coached for former Cal coach Bozeman. Oklahoma lost four of last six games, is rumored to have chemistry issues; they're 3-6 vs spread in last nine games as fave-- they beat Coppin State of MEAC 93-62 Jan 3. #2 seeds are 6-10 vs spread in first round the last four seasons.

America East teams are 1-11 in NCAAs last 12 years (Vermont got the only win), 4-8 vs spread; Binghamton is more athletic than Duke, but its guards make bad decisions with ball- they play at pretty good pace (89) but don't shoot it well- they beat Rutgers 66-56, won 74-73 at Tulane, lost 82-80 to Manhattan. Duke failed to cover last four first round tilts, are 0-6 vs spread in first round when they've been lower than a #1 seed. Duke won six of last seven games (0-3 in last three tries as favorite).

VCU is only couple hours from Philly, UCLA is 2,700 miles away, but Bruins have been in Final Four last three years. Both sides have superior senior guard- rest of VCU's team is very young. CAA teams are 7-2-1 vs spread in last 10 first round games. Rams won last six games, but are 7-5 outside of CAA, losing at URI by 6, Vandy by 5, Oklahoma by 11, by 1 at Nevada. UCLA won five of last six games, is 4-1 vs spread in last five games as favorite, 6-4 vs spread as a non-conference favorite.

Western Kentucky won last seven games, 15 of last 17, after losing early in season by 32 at Evansville, 28 at Murray State; they beat Louisville on neutral court, still went just 5-5 outside the Sun Belt. Hilltoppers got to Sweet 16 LY, under former coach Horn. Illinois is 12-1 in non-league games, beating Mizzou by 16, Vandy by 6, losing by hoop to Clemson. Illini lost three of last four games, scoring just 61.3 ppg. Faves are 8-4 vs spread in 5-12 games the last three tournaments.

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Re: NCAAB News and Notes Thursday 3/19

CBB Streaks & Notes
sportspic.com

Maryland (10) vs California (7)
Terps earned their ticket to the Dance defeating North Carolina State, upsetting seventh-ranked Wake Forest before losing by six to Duke in the ACC semifinals. Cashing all three of those games along with being 7-3-2 ATS in their last 12 non-conference games, 6-3-1 ATS in their last ten in the underdog roll makes them another team that could play havoc against a 7th seed. Golden Bears have been a bust at the betting window cashing a single ticket in it's last six tries. Golden Bears have also been bad bets on neutral hardwood (1-4 ATS L5) and in NCAA Tournament games (2-4 ATS)

Michigan (10) vs Clemson (7)
Tigers struggled down the stretch going 1-3 to end regular then prompty fell 86-81 to Georgia Tech in the ACC Conference Tournament giving the team a 1-4 ATS record it's past five. Tigers with little NCAA Tournament experience the past 5 years (0-1) and 0-4 ATS in their last four neutral site games as a favorite are a dicey #7 this season. Wolverines off a remarkable 20-win season after 22 losses a year ago could upset the apple cart. Then again, Wolverines were a lowsy 3-6-1 ATS on the highway this season, just 2-7 ATS in their last 9 neutral site games as an underdog and haven't had much success vs ACC foes going 1-5-1 ATS last seven

Minnesota (10) vs Texas (7)
Longhorns off an 0-2-1 ATS Conference tournament bring to the Dance a 3-10-1 ATS record it's last fourteen on the hardwood along with a cash draining 1-7 ATS mark last eight NCAA Tournament games as a favorite of 6.5 or less. Meanwhile Golden Gophers are 4-11 ATS L15, 3-8 ATS in their last eleven neutral site games, 3-7 ATS last ten vs a Big 12 opponent.

Southern California (10) vs Boston College (7)
Trojans winning the Pac-10 Tourney enter on a 5-0 SU & ATS hot streak but keep in mind Eagles are 8-2 ATS in their last 10 neutral site games as an underdog, 8-4 ATS last twelve in NCAA Tournament games while Trojans are 2-6 ATS in their last eight neutral site games as a favorite, 3-4 running the hardwood vs the ACC.

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Re: NCAAB News and Notes Thursday 3/19

BINGHAMTON (23 - 8) vs. DUKE (28 - 6) - 3/19/2009, TBA
Top Trends for this game.
DUKE is 33-53 ATS (-25.3 Units) in March games since 1997.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

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MINNESOTA (22 - 10) vs. TEXAS (22 - 11) - 3/19/2009, TBA
Top Trends for this game.
MINNESOTA is 8-18 ATS (-11.8 Units) as an underdog over the last 2 seasons.
MINNESOTA is 3-13 ATS (-11.3 Units) against Big 12 conference opponents since 1997.
MINNESOTA is 2-10 ATS (-9.0 Units) in all tournament games over the last 3 seasons.
TEXAS is 7-0 ATS (+7.0 Units) after failing to cover the spread in 3 or more consecutive games over the last 3 seasons.
TEXAS is 12-25 ATS (-15.5 Units) when playing with 5 or 6 days rest since 1997.
TEXAS is 5-12 ATS (-8.2 Units) after a conference game this season.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

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RADFORD (21 - 11) vs. N CAROLINA (28 - 4) - 3/19/2009, TBA
Top Trends for this game.
N CAROLINA is 21-8 ATS (+12.2 Units) in non-conference games over the last 2 seasons.
N CAROLINA is 11-19 ATS (-9.9 Units) in all games this season.
N CAROLINA is 11-19 ATS (-9.9 Units) in all lined games this season.
N CAROLINA is 11-19 ATS (-9.9 Units) as a favorite this season.
N CAROLINA is 3-10 ATS (-8.0 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record after 15 or more games this season.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

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BUTLER (26 - 5) vs. LSU (26 - 7) - 3/19/2009, TBA
Top Trends for this game.
BUTLER is 55-39 ATS (+12.1 Units) in all games over the last 3 seasons.
BUTLER is 55-39 ATS (+12.1 Units) in all lined games over the last 3 seasons.
BUTLER is 13-1 ATS (+11.9 Units) as an underdog over the last 3 seasons.
BUTLER is 17-5 ATS (+11.5 Units) in non-conference games over the last 2 seasons.
BUTLER is 35-21 ATS (+11.9 Units) after allowing 60 points or less over the last 3 seasons.
BUTLER is 8-2 ATS (+5.8 Units) in road games when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
LSU is 16-29 ATS (-15.9 Units) as a favorite over the last 3 seasons.
LSU is 4-12 ATS (-9.2 Units) in non-conference games over the last 2 seasons.
LSU is 1-8 ATS (-7.8 Units) versus good defensive teams - allowing <=64 points/game over the last 2 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

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UT-CHATTANOOGA (18 - 16) vs. CONNECTICUT (27 - 4) - 3/19/2009, TBA
Top Trends for this game.
UT-CHATTANOOGA is 10-2 ATS (+7.8 Units) when playing with 7 or more days rest since 1997.
CONNECTICUT is 3-12 ATS (-10.2 Units) as a neutral court favorite of 12.5 or more points since 1997.
CONNECTICUT is 0-7 ATS (-7.7 Units) in road games in March games over the last 3 seasons.
CONNECTICUT is 2-10 ATS (-9.0 Units) in first round tournament games since 1997.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

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TEXAS A&M (23 - 9) vs. BYU (25 - 7) - 3/19/2009, TBA
Top Trends for this game.
BYU is 121-76 ATS (+37.4 Units) as a favorite since 1997.
TEXAS A&M is 51-34 ATS (+13.6 Units) in all games over the last 3 seasons.
TEXAS A&M is 51-34 ATS (+13.6 Units) in all lined games over the last 3 seasons.
TEXAS A&M is 9-2 ATS (+6.8 Units) in all neutral court games over the last 2 seasons.
TEXAS A&M is 32-19 ATS (+11.1 Units) after a conference game over the last 3 seasons.
TEXAS A&M is 9-2 ATS (+6.8 Units) when playing on a neutral court over the last 2 seasons.
TEXAS A&M is 17-8 ATS (+8.2 Units) in road games when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons.
TEXAS A&M is 19-10 ATS (+8.0 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record after 15 or more games over the last 2 seasons.
BYU is 40-74 ATS (-41.4 Units) in road games when playing against a team with a winning record since 1997.

Head-to-Head Series History
TEXAS A&M is 1-0 against the spread versus BYU over the last 3 seasons
TEXAS A&M is 1-0 straight up against BYU over the last 3 seasons
1 of 1 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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AMERICAN (24 - 7) vs. VILLANOVA (26 - 7) - 3/19/2009, TBA
There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

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VA COMMONWEALTH (24 - 9) vs. UCLA (25 - 8) - 3/19/2009, TBA
There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

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CS-NORTHRIDGE (17 - 13) vs. MEMPHIS (31 - 3) - 3/19/2009, TBA
Top Trends for this game.
MEMPHIS is 21-11 ATS (+8.9 Units) in all games this season.
MEMPHIS is 21-11 ATS (+8.9 Units) in all lined games this season.
MEMPHIS is 19-10 ATS (+8.0 Units) as a favorite this season.
MEMPHIS is 91-62 ATS (+22.8 Units) off a win against a conference rival since 1997.
MEMPHIS is 61-39 ATS (+18.1 Units) after allowing 60 points or less since 1997.
MEMPHIS is 155-106 ATS (+38.4 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record since 1997.
MEMPHIS is 10-3 ATS (+6.7 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record after 15 or more games this season.
CS-NORTHRIDGE is 16-6 ATS (+9.4 Units) versus good defensive teams - allowing <=64 points/game after 15+ games since 1997.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

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MARYLAND (20 - 13) vs. CALIFORNIA (22 - 10) - 3/19/2009, TBA
Top Trends for this game.
MARYLAND is 19-9 ATS (+9.1 Units) in road games after a conference game over the last 3 seasons.
MARYLAND is 13-4 ATS (+8.6 Units) in road games when playing against a team with a winning record after 15 or more games over the last 2 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

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MORGAN ST (23 - 11) vs. OKLAHOMA (27 - 5) - 3/19/2009, TBA
There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

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MICHIGAN (20 - 13) vs. CLEMSON (23 - 8) - 3/19/2009, TBA
Top Trends for this game.
CLEMSON is 10-26 ATS (-18.6 Units) in road games after allowing 80 points or more since 1997.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

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N IOWA (23 - 10) vs. PURDUE (25 - 9) - 3/19/2009, TBA
Top Trends for this game.
PURDUE is 25-13 ATS (+10.7 Units) after a conference game over the last 2 seasons.
PURDUE is 18-9 ATS (+8.1 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record after 15 or more games over the last 2 seasons.
PURDUE is 27-15 ATS (+10.5 Units) versus good defensive teams - allowing <=64 points/game after 15+ games over the last 3 seasons.
N IOWA is 14-7 ATS (+6.3 Units) after a conference game this season.
N IOWA is 7-0 ATS (+7.0 Units) in road games when playing against a team with a winning record after 15 or more games this season.
N IOWA is 8-2 ATS (+5.8 Units) versus good defensive teams - allowing <=64 points/game after 15+ games this season.
PURDUE is 61-88 ATS (-35.8 Units) in road games when playing against a team with a winning record since 1997.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

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MISSISSIPPI ST (23 - 12) vs. WASHINGTON (25 - 8) - 3/19/2009, TBA
Top Trends for this game.
MISSISSIPPI ST is 54-36 ATS (+14.4 Units) in all games over the last 3 seasons.
MISSISSIPPI ST is 54-36 ATS (+14.4 Units) in all lined games over the last 3 seasons.
MISSISSIPPI ST is 6-0 ATS (+6.0 Units) in March games this season.
MISSISSIPPI ST is 13-6 ATS (+6.4 Units) after a conference game this season.
MISSISSIPPI ST is 46-29 ATS (+14.1 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 3 seasons.
MISSISSIPPI ST is 32-19 ATS (+11.1 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record after 15 or more games over the last 3 seasons.
MISSISSIPPI ST is 6-0 ATS (+6.0 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 77+ points/game after 15+ games this season.
MISSISSIPPI ST is 9-1 ATS (+7.9 Units) versus good offensive teams - scoring 77+ points/game this season.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

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W KENTUCKY (24 - 8) vs. ILLINOIS (24 - 9) - 3/19/2009, TBA
Top Trends for this game.
W KENTUCKY is 37-26 ATS (+8.4 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
W KENTUCKY is 37-26 ATS (+8.4 Units) in all lined games over the last 2 seasons.
W KENTUCKY is 14-1 ATS (+12.9 Units) in all neutral court games over the last 2 seasons.
W KENTUCKY is 11-0 ATS (+11.0 Units) in March games over the last 2 seasons.
W KENTUCKY is 18-6 ATS (+11.4 Units) in road games after a conference game over the last 2 seasons.
W KENTUCKY is 14-1 ATS (+12.9 Units) when playing on a neutral court over the last 2 seasons.
W KENTUCKY is 15-6 ATS (+8.4 Units) in road games off a win against a conference rival over the last 2 seasons.
W KENTUCKY is 12-1 ATS (+10.9 Units) in all tournament games over the last 2 seasons.
W KENTUCKY is 25-9 ATS (+15.1 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record over the last 2 seasons.
W KENTUCKY is 16-4 ATS (+11.6 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record after 15 or more games over the last 2 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

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AKRON (23 - 12) vs. GONZAGA (26 - 5) - 3/19/2009, TBA
Top Trends for this game.
GONZAGA is 44-25 ATS (+16.5 Units) in road games in all tournament games since 1997.
GONZAGA is 10-20 ATS (-12.0 Units) versus good defensive teams - allowing <=64 points/game over the last 2 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

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NEW MEXICO (22 - 11) at NOTRE DAME (19 - 14) - 3/19/2009, 7:00 PM
There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

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RHODE ISLAND (23 - 10) at PENN ST (23 - 11) - 3/19/2009, 7:00 PM
There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

Head-to-Head Series History
RHODE ISLAND is 1-0 against the spread versus PENN ST over the last 3 seasons
RHODE ISLAND is 1-0 straight up against PENN ST over the last 3 seasons
1 of 1 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

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THE CITADEL (20 - 12) at OLD DOMINION (21 - 10) - 3/19/2009, 7:00 PM
Top Trends for this game.
OLD DOMINION is 8-1 ATS (+6.9 Units) in home games off a loss against a conference rival over the last 3 seasons.
THE CITADEL is 18-7 ATS (+10.3 Units) in all games this season.
THE CITADEL is 18-7 ATS (+10.3 Units) in all lined games this season.
THE CITADEL is 14-2 ATS (+11.8 Units) as an underdog this season.
THE CITADEL is 6-0 ATS (+6.0 Units) as a road underdog of 6.5 to 9 points over the last 3 seasons.
THE CITADEL is 12-0 ATS (+12.0 Units) in road games this season.
THE CITADEL is 12-0 ATS (+12.0 Units) in road lined games this season.
THE CITADEL is 14-6 ATS (+7.4 Units) after a conference game this season.
THE CITADEL is 9-2 ATS (+6.8 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
THE CITADEL is 10-2 ATS (+7.8 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record after 15 or more games over the last 2 seasons.
OLD DOMINION is 1-8 ATS (-7.8 Units) in March games over the last 3 seasons.
OLD DOMINION is 2-11 ATS (-10.1 Units) in all tournament games over the last 3 seasons.
OLD DOMINION is 72-101 ATS (-39.1 Units) when playing against a team with a winning record since 1997.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.

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Re: NCAAB News and Notes Thursday 3/19

Binghamton vs. Duke, 9:40 ET
Binghamton:
5-1 Under as an underdog
5-1 Under vs. non-conference

Duke:
2-8 ATS as a neutral court favorite of 18.5 to 24 points
29-14 Under as DD favorite


Minnesota vs. Texas, 7:10 ET
Minnesota:
8-18 ATS as an underdog
3-13 ATS vs. Big 12

Texas:
7-0 ATS off 3+ ATS losses
6-1 Under playing with 5 or 6 days rest


Radford vs. North Carolina, 2:50 ET
Radford:
n/a
n/a

North Carolina:
21-8 ATS vs. non-conference
28-10 ATS off SU loss as favorite


Butler vs. LSU, 12:20 ET
Butler:
13-1 ATS as an underdog
17-5 ATS vs. non-conference

LSU:
4-12 ATS vs. non-conference
8-25 ATS off SU loss as favorite


UT-Chattanooga vs. UConn, 3:00 ET
UT-Chattanooga:
10-2 ATS playing with 7+ days rest
3-0 Under on neutral court

UConn:
0-7 ATS Away in March
2-10 ATS in first round tournament games


Texas A&M vs. BYU, 12:30 ET
Texas A&M:
8-1 ATS when the line is +3 to -3
9-2 ATS on neutral court

BYU:
6-0 Over off SU loss as favorite
3-11 ATS off SU conference loss as favorite


American vs. Villanova, 7:20 ET
American:
3-0 Under off DD win
4-1 Under off SU win

Villanova:
8-2 ATS off an Under
5-1 ATS off BB ATS losses


VA Commonwealth vs. UCLA, 9:50 ET
VA Commonwealth:
0-6 ATS off BB covers as favorite
14-5 Under in tournament games

UCLA:
19-9 ATS off ATS loss
7-0 Under as a neutral court favorite of 6.5 to 12 points


CS-Northridge vs. Memphis, 12:25 ET
CS-Northridge:
6-2 Over in non-conference games
3-1 Over as DD underdog

Memphis:
17-6 ATS as DD favorite
8-2 ATS after allowing 50 points or less


Maryland vs. California, 2:55 ET
Maryland:
12-4 Under on neutral court
15-5 Under in tournament games

California:
6-0 ATS Away off BB SU losses
5-1 ATS off BB Overs


Morgan State vs. Oklahoma, 9:40 ET
Morgan State:
2-8 ATS as an underdog
3-10 ATS vs. non-conference

Oklahoma:
8-1 Over off an Under
5-1 Over after a loss by 6 points or less


Michigan vs. Clemson, 7:10 ET
Michigan:
6-1 ATS vs. non-conference
6-1 Over vs. ACC

Clemson:
6-17 ATS Away after allowing 85+ points
38-59 ATS Away off BB conference games


Northern Iowa vs. Purdue, 2:30 ET
Northern Iowa:
7-0 ATS Away vs. teams with winning records
6-0 ATS after a game with 9 or less assists

Purdue:
5-1 Over off 3 straight conference wins
10-16 ATS if favored last game


Mississippi State vs. Washington, 4:55 ET
Mississippi State:
6-0 ATS off SU dog win
6-0 ATS in March

Washington:
16-2 Over off conference game
8-2 Over off BB Overs


Western Kentucky vs. Illinois, 9:55 ET
Western Kentucky:
14-1 ATS in neutral court games
11-0 in March

Illinois:
15-5 Under as favorite
41-19 Under off conference game


Akron vs. Gonzaga, 7:25 ET
Akron:
12-5 ATS if favored last game
50-39 ATS in all games

Gonzaga:
1-6 ATS playing with 7+ days rest
9-2 Under after scoring 80+ points 3 straight games

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Re: NCAAB News and Notes Thursday 3/19

Tips and Trends

South Region: #10 Michigan vs. #7 Clemson


Michigan: Wolverines head coach John Beilein saw his team lose a school-record 22 games a year ago but bounced back big-time this season with a 20-13 mark. The team got off to a 13-3 start with wins over UCLA and Duke before finishing 9-9 in Big Ten play. Beilein has turned the program around by instilling a winning attitude. “I talk a lot about right up the road at Michigan State and at Wisconsin: those guys don’t know what it’s like not to go to the tournament,” Beilein said. “That’s the culture you’re trying to establish and certainly you’ve just got to be persistent and stay with what you’re doing.”

Michigan is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games overall.
The OVER is 7-1 in Michigan's last 8 games vs. ACC.

Key Injuries - NONE

PROJECTED SCORE: 67 (Side Play of the Day)

Clemson (-5.5, O/U 137.5): The Tigers are back in the Big Dance for the first time in more than a decade thanks to a 16-0 start and rout of ACC powerhouse Duke. They handed the Blue Devils their worst loss in 19 years on February 4th (74-47) but have dropped five of their last nine games heading into the NCAA tournament. “It really helps us to be comfortable in the top half of the ACC, to be comfortable in the NCAA tournament,” Clemson head coach Oliver Purnell said. “And I think when you’re comfortable, great things can happen.”

Clemson is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games overall.
The OVER is 7-2 in Clemson's last 9 games overall.

Key Injuries - NONE

PROJECTED SCORE: 70


East Region: #11 VCU vs. #6 UCLA

VCU: The Rams are President Obama's choice to win this game in his bracket, which has some of the players excited and not wanting to disappoint him. “I saw he picked us - that was pretty neat to watch,” VCU forward Larry Sanders said. “It’s fun when you’re in the mix. But I think our focus is on UCLA right now, those 40 minutes between those two lines. You can’t get wrapped up in it. But it’s nice to enjoy it.” Star Eric Maynor may need to duplicate his heroics from two years ago when he hit the game-winning shot to beat Duke in the first round.

VCU is 5-1 ATS in its last 6 games overall.
The OVER is 16-7-1 in VCU's last 24 games as an underdog.

Key Injuries - NONE

PROJECTED SCORE: 66 (OVER - Total Play of the Day)

UCLA (-8, O/U 136): The Bruins had a disappointing year by their standards after making it to the Final Four in three straight years. Meanwhile, VCU has just five tournament wins in eight all-time trips to the Big Dance and has never made it past the second round. Still, UCLA is a popular pick to go out in the first round. “It doesn’t really matter what people think of us,” Bruins forward Josh Shipp said. “We believe in each other. We know what we each are capable of, what this team is capable of. For the outsiders, they don’t believe. That’s good for them. But for us, we know.”

UCLA is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games overall.
The OVER is 13-3 in UCLA's last 16 games overall.

Key Injuries - NONE

PROJECTED SCORE: 74

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Re: NCAAB News and Notes Thursday 3/19

NCAA Tourney Research
By Indiancowboy

Butler vs. LSU

How much do you trust the SEC is the question in this contest? I don't think anyone of us realized how good LSU will be this year but that credit goes to their once Stanford coach who brings yet another team to the Dance and brings the SEC Regular Season Championship as well. Butler did beat Cleveland State on the road, Xavier on the road and UAB at home. The public is basically split on this game. The only thing that you have to worry about LSU is that they did not have a strong non-conference schedule and believe it or not when you consider "neutral" games, this team has only played two - the two that it played in were the SEC tournament in Miami. Butler on the other hand is more experienced and has played a much tougher non-conference schedule to their credit this year.

CS Northridge vs. Memphis

Memphis gets snubbbed for the #1 seed so obviously the team is ticked. Having said that, how do you take a team that is backed by 70% of the public or more - in fact, 77% in several books. CS Northride is a team that is ranked in the top 125, but did lose to UCLA by 18 on the road and lost to Stanford by 18 on the road as well. Again, Memphis is ticked for getting snubbed but 77% are riding their backs today.

Radford vs. UNC

I usually don't like #1 seeds vs. #16 seed spreads because it is like a rat race. In fact, since 2004, I believe when the 1 seeds face the #16 seeds, they are just 10-9 ATS overall in those five years. So, not a huge success rate one way or another. UNC will not have Lawson for this game. Radford to their credit is a top 175 team, but lost at home by 21 to Duquesne. This team lost by 35 to WVU on the road. I know that 65% of the public favors UNC here, but Radford comes from one of the weakest conferences in the country and I think UNC bounces back well from a dissappointing loss in the ACC tourney.

Maryland vs. California

I've rode Maryland at various times in the year including the ACC Tournamnet when they faced Duke. 60% of the public favors Maryland here over Cal. Give Coach Gary a lot of credit as I think this year he has done the most with the least given the talent level he has on this team. But, Maryland might surprise you, they beat Michigan State by 18 on neutral footing, beat Michigan by 5 and of course, beat UNC as well. Cal is no joke. The Pac-10 is very deep this year imo and this team beat Arizona, Arizona State, Utah on the road and Washington on the road. My favorite stat about Cal is the fact they shoot 75.6% from the line. Maryland is no slouch either shooting 76.8% from the line. Nevertheless, I like Cal here as I have them slated as about 25 power ranking spots higher.

Chattanooga vs. UConn

Chatt is the team from the Southern Conference that won its home game essentially in the conference tournament to defeat Charleston (who beat Troy on the road in their respect tourney) and faces a Uconn team who I believe is the most vulnerable of the #1 seeds - although I see UNC is vulnerable whenever they step on the floor without Lawson. I think this game could get ugly for Chatt if they are not careful b/c this is the same team beat Louisville on the road by 17. When Chatt faces better teams in the nation they have had the following result: They lost to Tennessee 75-114, only lost to 12 to Memphis on neutral footing, lost to USC by 27 on neutral footing and lost to Missouri by 28 on the road. Give this team some credit as they did beat Niagara at home and Citadel on the road. Nevertheless, I rarely get involved with #1 vs. #16 seeds, it's a tossup.

Western Kentucky vs. Illinois

I have to be honest with you, I don't think Illinois will be around for long in this tourney. In fact, in most of my brackets, I have them losing this game to Western Kentucky. Remember, Western Kentucky has tourney experience from last year. Plus, Illinois does not have Frazier and you saw what that does to this team in the Big10 tourney. I just hate the fact they come such an ugly loss though in the tourney. Give WKY their due though - this team took care of business in the conference tournament. This team shocked Louisville on neutral footing. The Hilltoppers have won 7 in a row coming into this game and losing Chester Frazier will once again really be to the detriment of this team. I will say this though, the public are betting heavily against Illinois in some consensus polls - maybe it's not all that impossible this team bounces-back from an ugly loss and with a solid coach, they might have some things to make up for the loss of Frazier in this contest.

NIT/CBI/CIT

Citadel vs. Old Dominion


I can't take the Citadel here, but I wanted to mention this game to show that the Citadel could be very competitive in this game. This team has come a long way and was one of the top 3 teams in the Southern Conference in my book next to Charleston and Davidson. Sorry, Chattanooga was not on my list and they were beneficiaries that the tourney was held on their home floor. The Southern Conference is beyond foolish in how they conduct the tournament. This team lost by 14 to Michigan State and 14 to South Carolina. ODU lost to VCU in the conference tourney, but this team is undoubtedly talented. Given that Citadel had such a dissappointing Tournament, I suspect they will have a good game here.

New Mexico vs. Notre Dame

Be careful if you are riding Notre Dame here. They did defeat UAB at home but they had a tough in doing so and New Mexico is a very dynamic and athletic team. The public is biting hard on ND on the short lay of -4 here, but I would not be a bit surprised to see a top 35 team like New Mexico roll up and defeat the Irish in their place or stay inside the number.

Rhode Island vs. Penn State

Penn State was not overly impressive in their win over George Mason, although GM is a solid team. RI, give them a lot of credit for going on the road to defeat Niagara. The public once again is biting heavily down on Penn State, but again, Rhode Island is no starnger to adversity and playing tough teams on the road. I think the lay is just -1 here as RI is likely primed for an outright here.

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