NCAAB News and Notes Tuesday 12/8

NCAAB News and Notes Tuesday 12/8

Game of the day: Butler Bulldogs vs. Georgetown Hoyas
By RICKY DIMON

Balanced attacks

It will be the first-ever matchup between the two schools when Butler (6-2, 3-5 ATS) and Georgetown (6-0, 1-1 ATS) make their respective debuts at the annual Jimmy V Classic in Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night.

Eight games into a brutal early-season schedule, Butler is led by forwards Gordon Hayward (15.4 ppg, 8.3 rpg) and Matt Howard (11.9 ppg, 5.0 rpg) along with guard Shelvin Mack (15.1 ppg, 3.5 apg). Bulldog head man Brad Stevens, a rising star in the coaching industry at just 33, utilizes a deep rotation in which eight players are averaging at least 12 minutes per game.

Although Georgetown boasts a potential 2010 lottery pick in center Greg Monroe (13.8 ppg, 10.0 rpg), the Hoyas also feature a well-balanced offensive arsenal. Monroe’s stellar supporting cast is paced by a trio of guards including Jason Clark (12.5 ppg, 5.0 rpg, 3.0 apg), Chris Wright (13.5 ppg), and Austin Freeman (11.3 ppg).

David vs. Goliath

Tuesday night’s showdown in New York City pits a dangerous Mid-Major team against a perennial Big East powerhouse.

Butler has won the Horizon League five times since 1997, has reached the NCAA Tournament in each of the past three seasons and has appeared in the Sweet Sixteen twice this decade. Georgetown leads the Big East with seven conference titles since 1980 (most recently in 2007) and won the National Championship in 1984.

Hoya head coach John Thomson III already has 190 wins—and a 2007 Final Four berth—in nine seasons (plus six games of 2009) at Princeton and Georgetown.

Stevens gradually worked his way up through the Butler coaching ranks and in 2008 he became the third-youngest coach in Division I history to record at least 30 wins in a season.

Butler, however, is not merely overwhelmed by Georgetown in name recognition. The Bulldogs will be up against much bigger opposition when they take the court against the hulking Hoyas.

Monroe weighs in at 6-foot-11 and 250 pounds, teaming up with 6-10 center Henry Sims and 6-9, 246-pound forward Julian Vaughn to make for an imposing frontcourt. Butler’s primary eight-man rotation involves no player taller than 6-8.

Hot starters

Two seasons ago, the Hoyas started out 13-1 (5-6 ATS) but ended up losing to Davidson in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Last year, Georgetown won 10 of its first 11 games before going 6-13 the rest of the way, falling in the first round of both the Big East Tournament and the NIT.

The Hoyas are off to a perfect start through six games this season, but they have not faced any school from one of the six BCS conferences. Butler (No. 22 AP, No. 20 ESPN/USA) will be Georgetown’s first Top 25 opponent of the year.

The Bulldogs, on the other hand, are preparing the hard way for conference play. Butler’s two losses have come at the hands of Minnesota (82-73) and Clemson (70-69), both in last month’s 76 Classic in Anaheim. But Stevens’ team already has victories over Davidson (73-62), Northwestern (67-54) and UCLA (69-67) on its resume.

The young and the restless

The Bulldog players resemble their coach – they’re young but they already have an abundance of experience. Rather than waste time on the bench, they endured a trial by fire in 2008-09 and passed with flying colors.

Butler returned all five starters from last year’s squad that went 26-6 and earned a No. 9 seed in the NCAA Tournament. This season’s starting lineup features three sophomores (Hayward, Mack and point guard Ronald Nored), one junior (Howard) and one senior (forward Willie Veasely).

That experience is paying early. The Bulldogs are turning the ball over just 12.9 times per game. Running the offense, Nored is averaging twice as many assists as turnovers.

Neither Butler (3-3 O/U) nor Georgetown (1-1 O/U) have been strong over/under plays this season. The over, however, is 9-2 in the Bulldogs last 11 neutral site games and 17-8 in their last 25 non-conference outings.

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(22) Butler (6-2, 3-5 ATS) vs. (15) Georgetown (6-0, 1-1 ATS)
(at New York)

The Bulldogs shoot for their third straight victory when they go up against Georgetown at Madison Square Garden.

Butler dropped two of three in a preseason tournament in Anaheim, Calif., last month – falling to Minnesota (82-73) and Clemson (70-69) – but then bounced back with easy wins over Ball State 59-38 (cashing as a 14-point road favorite) and Valparaiso 84-67 (falling short as an 18-point home chalk). In Saturday’s rout of Valparaiso, the Bulldogs easily set a season-high for points scored, topping the previous high of 73.

Georgetown has fattened up on a cupcake schedule that has featured just two lined opponents. The Hoyas’ last four victories – all double-digit blowouts – were against non-Division I schools. In their one game against a quality opponent, they beat Temple 46-45, but came up way short as a 10-point home favorite.

Butler is 38-17-1 ATS in its last 56 non-conference contests, but otherwise the Bulldogs are on pointspread slides of 3-9 overall, 1-6 at neutral sites, 2-6 versus winning teams, 2-6 after a SU win and 2-5 after a non-cover. Likewise, the Hoyas have been strong in non-conference lined games (5-1-1 ATS last seven), but they’re on ATS slides of 5-16-1 overall, 1-4 at neutral sites, 0-4 on Tuesday, 2-8-1 versus winning teams and 0-5-1 after a SU win.

The Bulldogs carry “over” trends of 17-8 in non-league contests, 9-2 at neutral sites, 5-1 on Tuesday and 11-4 after a non-cover, but the under is 6-1 in Georgetown’s last seven lined games on Tuesday.

This is the first meeting between these schools.

ATS ADVANTAGE: NONE


Vanderbilt (6-1) at Illinois (6-2, 2-5 ATS)

Vanderbilt puts a four-game winning streak on the line when it travels north for a non-conference clash with the Illini at Assembly Hall.

The Commodores’ only loss came against Cincinnati in the first round of the Maui Invitational back on Nov. 23, but they’ve since rebounded with four straight victories (3-1 ATS), three of them coming by double digits. Most recently, Vandy took out DePaul 67-54 on Saturday, coming up just short as a 15½-point home favorite.

Illinois dropped back-to-back close games to Utah (60-58) and Bradley (72-68) in a preseason tournament in Las Vegas two weeks ago, but the Illini rallied last week with wins over Clemson 76-74 as a six-point road underdog in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and Boise State 84-77 as a hefty 17-point home chalk on Saturday. Illinois has surrendered 72, 74 and 77 points in its last three games after holding its first five opponents under 70 points (average of 60.4 ppg).

These teams met last November at Vanderbilt, and the Illini came away with a 69-63 upset victory as a six-point road underdog.

The Commodores are 5-1 ATS in their last six games on Tuesday and their last six after a non-cover. Illinois has cashed in four straight against SEC competition, but is otherwise in pointspread nosedives of 1-4 overall in lined action, 1-6 at home and 1-6 after a SU win.

The “over” is on runs of 4-1 for Vanderbilt on the road, 5-2 for Vanderbilt after a non-cover, 6-0 for Illinois overall, 4-0 for Illinois at home and 5-1 for Illinois after a non-cover. Also, last year’s matchup at Vanderbilt barely topped the posted total.

ATS ADVANTAGE: OVER

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Re: NCAAB News and Notes Tuesday 12/8

NCAAB News and Notes

Tuesday, December 8

Information on the best of Tuesday's college hoop games........
When I give W-L records for these teams, I eliminate the non-Division I games, because to me they don't mean anything, unless they lost the game.

Miami OH (+3.5) won 68-52 at Temple LY; Red Hawks are 2-5 after a 65-58 home loss to Dayton- they're 1-1 at home. MAC home underdogs are 2-6 vs spread. A-14 road favorites are 7-6. Owls are 6-2, with wins over MAC members Ball State (66-46), at Western Michigan (76-70). Temple is 2-1 on road, (won by 20 Delaware, lost by 1 at Georgetown).

Young George Mason is 4-4 (2-0 at home, Liberty/Dartmouth) after its 57-52 road win in CAA opener at UNCW; CAA underdogs are 20-13 vs spread, 3-2 at home. Dayton is 5-2, winning only road game at Miami 65-58. Both teams went 1-2 in same tourney last month, getting beat by Villanova, Ga Tech. Atlantic 14 road favorites are 7-6 vs spread.

Butler is 6-2, 4-2 away from Hinkle Fieldhouse, losing on neutral court to Minnesota, Clemson; their best win is at Northwestern. Horizon dogs are 11-12 vs spread in non-league games. Georgetown is 6-0 but its only good win was 46-45 vs Temple. Big East favorites are 14-6 vs spread away from home. Butler has edge in experience.

Toledo (+5) lost 50-35 in ugly game at Wright State LY; Rockets are 1-5 vs D-I teams (only win vs UMBC), 2-2 vs spread as a dog. MAC dogs are 11-21 vs spread, 2-6 at home. Wright won league games by 9-13 last week; they're 0-2 on road (Washington/Northwestern), 2-1-2 vs spread as a favorite. Horizon favorites are 4-5 vs spread on the road.

TCU (+9.5) won 85-80 at Texas Tech LY; Horned Frogs are 4-3, losing only home game 68-63 at La Tech. Underdogs are 5-2 vs spread in TCU games this fall. Tech handed Washington its first loss in OT last week; Red Raiders are 8-0 but playing first road game; Huskies are only good team they played so far. Big 12 road teams are 20-13 vs spread.

Iowa coach Lickliter is ill, will miss this game; Hawkeyes (-6) won 65-46 over Northern Iowa LY, but they're 3-5 this year despite this being their first true road game (lost two neutral court games by 25-17). UNI is 5-1 with wins over BC, at Denver, at Iowa State- they won only home game 52-45 over No. Illinois. MVC home favorites are 6-8 vs spread.

Young Illinois is 6-2, winning at Clemson last week after being down 20 at half; they're 0-5 vs spread as a favorite this year. Big 11 home faves are 15-6 vs spread in non-league games. Vanderbilt is 6-1, with only loss 67-58 to Cincinnati on Maui- they won only road game at St Mary's by a hoop. SEC underdogs are 6-10 against the spread.

Cal-Northridge is 3-4 playing tough schedule; they're 3-2 vs spread as a dog, losing by 12 at Washington, 1 at Western Kentucky, 18 at TCU and 25 at Purdue. Big West road dogs are 14-10 vs spread. Denver won five of first seven games, losing last game 64-59 at Colorado State. Pioneers are 1-2 as a favorite. Sun Belt home favorites are 5-5 vs spread.

Kansas State is 6-1, losing on neutral court to Ole Miss 86-74; Wildcats are 3-2 as favorite- they also beat Dayton on neutral court. Home faves from Big 12 are 14-7 vs spread. Xavier is 5-2, losing two of three down in Orlando tourney (lost by 10 to Marquette, 5 to Baylor). This is first true road game for Musketeers. A-14 road underdogs are 6-17.

Pitt led New Hampshire 15-7 at half in last game (won 47-32); young Panthers still haven't played road game- they lost 78-62 to Texas on a neutral court, their only loss. Indiana is 3-4 with no good wins, as Crean rebuilds once-proud program- their losses are by 4-18-2-12 pts. Big 11 underdogs are 7-10, 6-6 away from home.

San Francisco (+6) lost 82-76 at San Jose LY, after being down 10 at the half; Dons are 1-6 vs D-I teams this year, losing last six games (0-6 vs spread, 0-5 as dog). WCC home underdogs are 5-2. San Jose is 2-3, 1-2 on road, losing by 10 at Washington, 4 at Riverside. Spartans are 1-0 as favorite- their only road win was 82-74 at Utah Valley State.

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Tips and Trends

Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Indiana Hoosiers


Pittsburgh (-7.5, O/U 132): Pittsburgh is 7-1 to start the season, a surprise to many people. This team lost alot of key players, notably DeJuan Blair and Sam Young. Despite these losses, coach Jamie Dixon has his team playing at a high level. Pittsburghs lone loss was to Texas, as 7.5 underdogs. Despite their success in the win-loss colum, Pittsburgh is only 2-4-1 ATS. The Panthers have played 3 neutral court games, going 2-1 both SU and ATS. Pittsburgh has been a single digit favorite twice this year, winning both games ATS. Guards Ashton Gibbs and Brad Wanamaker are the lone players averaging double digits, as they combine to average 29 PPG. Gibbs leads the team at 16 PPG, including two 3 pointers per game. The Panthers continue to rely on their defense, as only 1 team has scored more than 60 PTS against them.

Pittsburgh is 2-6 ATS last 8 neutral site games.
Under is 8-3 last 11 non conference games.

Key Injuries - G Jermaine Dixon (foot) is out.

PROJECTED SCORE: 72 (Side of the Day)


Indiana: Indiana is 3-4 SU to start the season, having lost 4 of their past 5 games. The Hoosiers have lost all 3 games that they were listed as the underdog. The Hoosiers have lost all 3 games SU that they played on a neutral court this season. Indiana has also failed to win any game ATS on a neutral court this year. All three of their wins have come win listed as a favorite of -13 or higher. The Hoosiers have 3 players averaging double digits in PTS, led by G Maurice Creek at 16.7 PPG. Creek is very efficient as he also shoots better than .500 from the field. Head Coach Tom Crean has decided on playing faster this season, and it's shown with 8 PPG more than last season. Of the 4 losses Indiana has this season, they've had at least 6 point leads in 3 of those contests. This is a young team that will continue to get better as their young roster gains more game experience. 

Indiana is 5-1 ATS last 6 games following a double digit loss at home.
Under is 9-4 last 13 neutral site games.
 
Key Injuries - None

PROJECTED SCORE: 56

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Jimmy V Classic Tips
By Brian Edwards

Bettors have a pair of televised neutral-site games to wager on tonight at Madison Square Garden for The Jimmy V Classic. Let’s break both of those contests down now.

**Butler vs. Georgetown**

Las Vegas Sports Consultants opened Georgetown (6-0 straight up, 1-1 against the spread) as a four-point favorite. As of early this morning, however, most books had the Hoyas favored by 2 ½ with a total of 128.

Butler (6-2 SU, 3-5 ATS) has won back-to-back games since losing a heartbreaker to Clemson (70-69) two Sundays ago. The Bulldogs are off an 84-67 win over Valpo, but they came up just short of covering the number as 18-point favorites. Gordon Hayward scored a team-high 18 points.
   
Georgetown has played four consecutive non-lined games since edging Temple 49-48 back on Nov. 17. The Hoyas are coming off a 73-46 win over American. Greg Monroe had nine points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots for the winners.

Monroe is averaging 13.8 points and 10.0 rebounds per game. The six-foot 11, 250-pounder from out of Louisiana will have a decided size advantage against the Bulldogs, who don’t have a player taller than six-foot, eight inches.

Brad Stevens, Butler’s 33-year-old head coach who is a rising star in the coaching profession, has an eight-deep rotation of players that each get at least 12 minutes of playing time per game. If the team has a go-to guy, it’s Hayward, a versatile sophomore forward who can score on the interior and from the perimeter. Hayward is averaging 15.4 points and 8.3 rebounds per game.

Both of Butler’s losses came at the 76 Classic in Anaheim to Minnesota (82-73) and as previously mentioned to Clemson.

The ‘over’ is 9-2 in Butler’s last 11 neutral-site games.

Totals have been a wash for both schools this year, going 3-3 for Butler and 1-1 for G’town.

These schools have never played each other previously. ESPN will have the telecast at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

**Indiana vs. Pittsburgh**

LVSC opened Pitt (7-1 SU, 2-4-1 ATS) as a 6 ½-point favorite, but most spots had the Panthers at eight this morning.

Indiana (3-4 SU, 2-4-1 ATS) has lost four of its last five games, including last Tuesday’s 80-68 home loss to Maryland in the Big Ten-ACC Classic. The Hoosiers led for most of the first half, but the Terrapins dominated the second half and took the cash as five-point road favorites. Maurice Creek had 19 points in the losing effort.

Pitt has won three straight games since losing 78-62 to Texas. Jamie Dixon’s team is coming off a 47-32 win over New Hampshire in a non-lined matchup. Ashton Gibbs scored a game-high 23 points.

Pitt owns a 2-0 spread record in a pair of single-digit ‘chalk’ spots this season, while IU is an abysmal 0-2-1 ATS as an underdog.

Jermaine Dixon remains out indefinitely for Pitt with a foot injury. Dixon averaged 8.4 PPG for last year’s team that lost to Villanova in the Elite Eight.

The ‘over’ is 3-0 for the Hoosiers this year, but the ‘under’ is 2-1 for the Panthers.

ESPN will provide television coverage 30 minutes after the conclusion of Butler-Georgetown.

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