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NCAAB News and Notes Saturday 1/2

NCAAB News and Notes Saturday 1/2

What To Watch: College Hoops Betting TV Guide

Notre Dame Fighting Irish at No. 10 Connecticut Huskies (12 p.m., ET, ESPNU)

Coming into Notre Dame’s Big East opener against Providence, reserve Jonathan Peoples was averaging less than six points per game. But after a 23-point explosion, including 17 points in the first half, Peoples may be what the Irish need if they want to make the NCAA tournament.

Pittsburgh Panthers at No. 5 Syracuse Orange (12 p.m., ET, CST)

Last season, Syracuse forward Kris Joseph struggled from the free throw line, shooting just over 40 percent. This season he has improved his ways, shooting nearly 70 percent from the line and helping Syracuse to a 13-0 start. In Tuesday nights win over Seton Hall, Joseph went 8-of-9 from the free throw line.

Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. Illinois Fighting Illini (1 p.m., ET, CBS)

Illinois freshman Mike Tisdale has heard a lot of talk about how he is a soft player. In Illinois’ win over Northwestern Wednesday, Tisdale did a lot to silence those critics, going off for 31 points.

"If 31 is soft then I guess there isn't much you can do about it," Tisdale told "We're just gonna keep playing our game. I'm not gonna worry about people calling me soft just to prove it to them."

Arizona Wildcats at UCLA Bruins (1 p.m., ET, CBS)

After going to three straight Final Four’s from 2005-2007, UCLA has struggled in 2009 and is looking to Pac-10 conference play to help get back on track.

"Coach told us we've got to start 0-0 right now," Nikola Dragovic told the Los Angeles Times. "We have a chance to just start from the beginning. Start a whole new season."

Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. Rhode Island Rams (2 p.m., ET, ESPNU)

Oklahoma State (11-1) heads east to face a surprising Rhode Island team that is 10-1 after beating Drexel Tuesday night on a tip-in at the buzzer 80-79. Oklahoma State is led by guards James Anderson and Obi Muonelo, who nearly single-handedly took out Pacific Tuesday, combining for 47 points in the Cowboys 66-50.

No. 8 Villanova Wildcats at Marquette Golden Eagles (3:30 p.m., ET, ESPN2)

Before the season began, Villanova was looked at as the favorite in the Big East Conference. If the Wildcats want to live up to that potential, they will have to sure up their defense which has struggled in the non-conference portion of its schedule.

"I think the defense needs to get better," Villanova coach Jay Wright told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "We're getting there, though. We have to get a feel for each other defensively. We try to play together defensively off each other."

Louisville Cardinals at No. 3 Kentucky Wildcats (3:30 p.m., ET, CBS)

It has been 20 years since Kentucky has shot the ball as well as it has this season. Kentucky is shooting better than 50 percent from the field including 42.2 percent from 3-point range.

"You say we'll give you the three-point shot a la North Carolina. It's dangerous. If we make it, we'll blow you out of the gym," Kentucky coach John Calipari told the Lexington Herald Leader.

Minnesota Golden Gophers at Iowa Hawkeyes (4:00 p.m., ET, Big Ten Network)

Iowa guards Cully Payne and Matt Gatens were the primary targets of the Purdue defense in Iowa’s conference opening loss Tuesday. The two combined for nine of the Hawkeyes 16 turnovers. Iowa is off to a disappointing 5-8 start.

“I think we’re a better team than we were 40 minutes ago,’’ Iowa coach Todd Lickliter told the Des Moines Register after the loss to Purdue. “We had stretches of very good basketball.”

No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks at No. 18 Temple Owls (5:30 p.m., ET, ESPN2)

Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor led the U-19 USA team in scoring and assists over the summer but he lost his starting job earlier in the season before earning the job back. Taylor got his spot back by taking care of the basketball. Taylor has 17 assists and only three turnovers in his last three games.

No. 11 Michigan St. Spartans at No. 25 Northwestern Wildcats (6:30 p.m., ET, Big Ten Network)

Big Ten preseason player of the year Kalin Lucas was demoted from the starting lineup Wednesday and he responded just the way coach Tom Izzo wanted, scoring 16 points off the bench in the win over Texas-Arlington.

"He just told me to lead better," Lucas told the Lansing State Journal about what Izzo told him. "He told me to be a team player more and to be a better teammate to my guys."

Virginia Tech Hokies vs. Seton Hall Pirates (7:30 p.m., ET, ESPN2)

Just minutes into Virginia Tech’s win over Longwood Wednesday, Tech’s best player, Malcolm Delaney, suffered an injury that may derail the Hokies season. Delaney hurt his left ankle and was unable to put any weight on it as he left the floor. X-rays were negative on the ankle but Delaney will have an MRI. His status going forward is unknown.

Cincinnati Bearcats at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (8:00 p.m., ET, SNY)

Cincinnati freshman Lance Stephenson came to school as a player that was expected to lead Cincinnati to the NCAA tournament. It took just one Big East Conference game to prove that Stephenson is ready to take the Bearcats to the next level. Stephenson scored 21 points, including the game-winning free throws to beat 10th-ranked Connecticut Wednesday.

Austin Peay Governors at Morehead State Eagles (9:00 p.m., ET, ESPNU)

Morehead State got a late 3-pointer and free throw from Maze Stallworth to give it a 66-64 road win over South Dakota Monday.

"I told someone before the game if we could get a one-pointer and get out of here with a win I'd take it," Morehead State coach Donnie Tyndall told the Morehead News. "They are a solid, well-coached team and this is a tough environment to play in."

Arizona State Sun Devils vs USC Trojans (10:30 p.m. ET, FSN)

The Pac-10 is as open as it’s ever been and Arizona State is looking to take the conference crown. Arizona State opened conference play Thursday at UCLA and will look to go 2-0 for just the fourth time in conference play since 1979.

"In our eyes we really feel like we can compete for the championship," senior guard Derek Glasser told the Arizona Republic.

Utah State Aggies at New Mexico State Aggies (11:00 p.m., ET, ESPNU)

After struggling start to the season, New Mexico State has won four straight games and those could not have come at a better time with conference play beginning Saturday against Utah State.

"Four straight wins," Jonathan Gibson told the Las Cruces Sun-News. "We're just getting better every day. We're learning from the losses, we're learning from each win. It's definitely a good confidence booster."

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Re: NCAAB News and Notes Saturday 1/2

Louisville (10-3, 4-4 ATS) at (3) Kentucky (14-0, 6-6 ATS)

This annual matchup of instate rivals takes place at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Ky., as Rick Pitino’s Cardinals will try to snap the season-opening 14-game win streak of John Calipari’s Wildcats.

Louisville comes in having won five straight games over inferior competition (2-1 ATS), including a 73-52 victory over South Florida on Wednesday, easily cashing as a 13-point home chalk. The Cardinals have had trouble stopping teams on the road, allowing 76 points a game and permitting the opposition to shoot 48.2 percent from the floor.

In Calipari’s inaugural season in Kentucky, he’s already turned the program around, with several marquee wins over the likes of North Carolina, UConn, Indiana and Stanford (in overtime). On Tuesday, the Wildcats destroyed Hartford 104-61, cashing as a massive 31½-point favorite at Rupp Arena. Kentucky averages a whopping 87.1 points a game on its home court and shoots 51.9 percent from the floor while limiting the opposition to 65.4 points a game and 38 percent shooting.

Louisville scored a 74-71 home win in this rivalry last season, but came up short as a 7½-point favorite. The Wildcats have gotten the cash in four of the last five clashes, but lost outright at Rupp Arena in 2008, 89-75 as a 1½-point home ‘dog. The road team has cashed in five of the last six series matchups.

The Cardinals are on ATS slides of 0-4 after a spread-cover and 1-4 in non-conference action, but they have cashed in 26 of 35 road games. Kentucky is 12-3-1 ATS in its last 16 against Big East foes, but just 3-9 ATS in its last 12 after a spread-cover.

For Louisville, the “under” is 12-5 in its last 17 against SEC teams, but it is otherwise on “over” runs of 6-0 in non-conference games, 5-0 on Saturdays, 5-1 on the road and 4-1 after a straight-up win. The Wildcats are on “over” streaks of 5-0 overall, 5-0 in non-conference games and 4-0 at home. In this rivalry, the “under” is 8-2 in the last 10 clashes, including 4-1 in the last five at Rupp Arena.


(1) Kansas (12-0, 5-4 ATS) at (21) Temple (11-2, 9-4 ATS)

The top-ranked Jayhawks make a non-conference stop at Liacouras Center in Philadelphia for a showdown with Temple.

Kansas has only been tested once this season and that was back on Nov. 17 when it edged Memphis 57-55 on a neutral court in the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, coming up well short as a 10½-point favorite. The Jayhawks average 87.8 points a game and shoot 52 percent from the field while allowing just 58.6 points and limiting the opposition to 36.4 percent shooting, including 24 percent from beyond the 3-point line.

The Owls have some big wins under their belts this season, already scoring a victory over then-No. 3 ranked Villanova 75-65 on Dec. 13, cashing as three-point home ‘dogs. Temple went to Northern Illinois on Wednesday and scored a 70-60 victory, but came up just short as a 12-point road chalk, ending a 4-0 ATS streak. The Owls are all about defense, allowing just 52.7 ppg at home on just 37.7 percent shooting.

These squads squared off last season at Allen Fieldhouse in Kansas with the Jayhawks rolling to a 71-59 victory, narrowly getting the cash as 10½-point favorites.

Kansas is on a slew of positive ATS runs, including 34-16-1 overall, 7-3 on the road, 6-0 after a non-cover, 5-1 on Saturdays and 40-18-1 against teams with winning records. Meanwhile, the Owls are pretty good at the betting window as well, currently on ATS streaks of 44-21-1 overall, 23-8 at home, 4-1 in non-conference action, 10-4 against teams with winning records and 4-0 after a non-cover.

The Jayhawks are on a plethora of “under” streaks, including 5-2 overall, 6-2 on the road, 5-2 in non-conference games, 19-7 after a straight-up win and 5-2 on the road against teams with a winning home record. Temple is also on several “under” runs that include 19-7-1 overall, 16-5 at home, 11-3-1 in non-conference action, 5-0-1 on Saturdays and 18-7 after a non-cover.


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Re: NCAAB News and Notes Saturday 1/2

NCAAB News and Notes

Saturday, January 2

Information on the best of Saturday's college hoop games........

Pitt shot 53% from floor in 78-60 win over Syracuse LY (was 31-28 at half). Panthers are 11-2 this year, but this is their first true road game-- they're 2-2 on neutral courts, losing by 16 to Texas, 10 to Indiana. Big East favorites are 5-3 so far, 3-3 at home. Syracuse is 13-0, winning by 7 at Seton Hall in league opener. Doubt they lookahead to Memphis Wed.

UConn beat Notre Dame twice LY, by 8-7 points; red flag for Huskies is zero blocked shots they had in 71-69 loss at Cincinnati in league opner- they usually lead country in blocks. UConn is 1-3 when they score less than 70 points. Seven of last nine Notre Dame foes scored 70+; they're also playing their first true road game of the season.

Gonzaga played in Spokane late Thursday (game was delayed hour by a broken backboard) now play noon tipoff in Chicago, tough turnaround for Zags squad that has already played in Michigan, NYC and Hawai'i this season. Illinois needed OT to beat Northwestern in Big 11 opener, ending two-game skid. Big 11 home favorites are 22-13 vs the spread.

Arizona is 6-7, will likely miss NCAAs for first time in 25 years; they are 0-3 on road, losing by 17 at Oklahoma, 17 at San Diego State, 6 at USC; they're 2-4 as a dog this year. Home teams won both series games LY. UCLA is also 6-7 but won last three games; they're 2-3 vs spread as a favorite. Underdogs were 4-0 vs spread in Thursday's Pac-10 games.

South Carolina (+9) won 85-84 at Baylor LY; Gamecocks were down 21 at half to Boston College Wednesday, but lead to 3 before losing. Baylor is 9-1 after beating Arkansas by 23 Wednesday; they won only true road game by 3 at Arizona State. SEC home favorites are 28-23 vs spread in non-league games. Big 12 road underdogs are 13-11 vs spread.

Oklahoma State (-4) beat Rhode Island 86-82 LY, after being down six at half; Cowboys are 11-1, 1-1 on road, 2-0 in neutral games. Big 12 road teams are 27-20 vs spread out of conference. Atlantic 14 home teams are 26-17. This game is in Mohegan Sun casino, not URI's home but it is in New England, so Rams will be supported. URI won its last six games in a row, four by five points or less.

Calipari's first Kentucky-Louisville game; Wildcats (+7) lost 74-71 LY in Freedom Hall, but are 14-0 this year, beating North Carolina, UConn (both down this year) and bunch of stiffs. Cardinals are 10-3, losing by 5 at UNLV, 22 to Charlotte, 8 to W. Carolina, but they've won five games in row- this is first time this season they're the underdog. Big East road dogs are 11-14 against the spread this season.

Villanova was 2-1 vs Marquette LY, losing by 7 here, winning by 18 at home, by 1 in Big East tourney (led by 16 at half); Wildcats are 11-1 so far this year, 3-1 on road, losing by 10 to Temple. Marquette lost by a point at West Virginia despite going 10-16 from arc; they're 3-4 in their last seven games after 6-0 start, with three losses by four or less points.

Wm&Mary shot 29% in 54-44 loss at Hofstra LY; Tribe won 83-77 at Maryland Wednesday, great win for them- they're 8-0 since losing 87-85 in triple OT at Harvard Nov 15 (they also won at Wake Forest). Pride is 7-5 this year, 4-0 at home vs collection of stiffs. Wm&Mary gets 43.3% of points beyond arc, 2nd-highest %age of any team in the country.

Loyola IL is 11-2, with five wins by three or less points; LY they swept series with Detroit, winning by 6-26 points- their two losses are by 36 at K-State, by 21 at Green Bay. Detroit lost last game even though UIC shot 28% from floor; Titans are 1-4 on road, with win at 4-10 Albany. Ramblers won 12 of last 13 games that were decided by 5 or less points.

Kansas is 12-0, winning at UCLA by 12 in only true road game; they're 4-4 vs spread as the favorit. Temple is 11-2 with seven straight wins; they're 3-0 vs spread as an underdog, winning SU at Villanova/Seton Hall, losing by point at Georgetown. Big East underdogs are 19-7 vs spread this year; Big 12 favorites are 40-23 vs spread, 14-9 on the road.

Northwestern took 47 (16-47) of its 84 shots beyond arc in 89-83 OT loss to Illinois last game; they only had three turnovers in 45:00. Road team won both their games vs Michigan State LY, with Spartans taking 11-point win here, losing by 7 at home. State is 2-3 away from home, but losses are UNC-Texas-Florida- they're 2-6 vs spread as favorites.

Home team won both Cal-Stanford games LY; Cardinal lost by 7 here, won by 6 on Farm. Bears won four of last five games, are 6-1 vs spread as favorite this year. Stanford is 6-6, 0-3 on road, losing at San Diego by 13, by 8 at Northwestern, 13 at Texas Tech. Last eight Cal wins are all by 19+ points. Underdogs were 4-0 on Opening Night in Pac-10.

Seton Hall (+5.5) upset Virginia Tech 77-73 LY, after being down six at the half; Pirates lost three of last four games after 8-0 start, losing to the only three teams they played ranked above 71st (Hokies are 46th). VT is 11-1 playing 318th-best schedule. ACC underdogs are 10-8 vs spread this year, 0-1 at home. Big East road favorites are 19-11 vs spread.

Cincinnati (-8) beat Rutgers by 12 at home LY after being down seven at half; Bearcats blocked six shots in 71-69 win over UConn in its Big East opener Wednesday. Scarlet Knights are 9-3 playing 335th-ranked slate so far, but they were only down six at half in Chapel Hill last game (lost 81-67). Bearcats are 0-2 on road, losing at Xavier and UAB.

UAB had 10-game win streak snapped at Virginia Wednesday, first loss in three road games for Blazers. Arkansas, which plays Texas Tuesday, had its 5-game win streak snapped by Baylor last game. Hogs are 7-6 vs 336th-ranked schedule, with five losses by 9+ points (0-3 vs spread as underdog). UAB is 6-2 against the spread as a favorite.

Denver (+6) shot 55% from floor (12-30 from arc) but lost by 4 in OT at Troy LY; Pioneers are 10-4, but lost last three road games, scoring an average of 59.3 ppg- they're 0-4 as an underdog this year. Troy won its first two Sun Belt games by total of three points; they're 3-2 this year in games decided by four or less points. Sun Belt home favorites are 5-5.

Home side won two Arizona State-USC games LY, then Sun Devils lost Pac-10 title game to USC after leading by 15 at half. ASU is 0-2 on road this year, losing by 13 at BYU, 2 at UCLA (down 11 at half). Trojans won last seven games, are unbeaten since Gerrity/Washington arrived-- they held Arizona to 30% from floor, blocking 8 shots in Pac-10 opener.

Utah State beat New Mexico State by 10-19 points LY, then beat them by 1 in WAC tourney (trailed by 13 at half). USU is 2-3 on road, losing by 1 at Utah, 3 at Northeastern, 13 at Long Beach (won by 6 at Weber, 17 at Bakersfield). NMSU won last four games, scoring scoring 87.3 pg; they're 2-5-1 vs spread as an underdog this season.

Road team won both Iona-Niagara games LY; Gaels pulled 71-65 upset here LY (+7) going 25-40 from line (Eagles were 16-19). Niagara is 8-5, 2-0 in MAAC (wins by 24-20); they've lost three non-league games as a favorite of 7-10-12 points, a red flag. Iona lost its first two MAAC tilts by 2-13 points; they're 3-3 as dog. MAAC home favorites are 4-5.

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