NCAAB News and Notes Saturday 1/16

NCAAB News and Notes Saturday 1/16

Saturday's Top 25 Matchups
By Matt Fargo

Syracuse Orange (5) at West Virginia Mountaineers (9) 12:00 PM ET

Easily the marquee matchup of the day, we get started early with a great matchup. Syracuse is 16-1 on the season including a perfect 5-0 away from home. It has played only two true road games on the season however and those came at Seton Hall and Rutgers so this will easily be the biggest road test thus far and mark the first road game against a ranked opponent. Many are considering this to be one of Syracuse’s best and most complete teams and it shows on both ends of the floor. The Orange are ranked first in the nation in shooting offense at 53.2 percent from the floor and 10th in the country in shooting defense, allowing just 37.3 percent. Syracuse is one of only three teams nationally with Kansas and Texas being the others that are ranked in the top 10 in both.

The Mountaineers started the season 11-0 but are just 2-2 in their four games with losses coming against Purdue and Notre Dame, both taking place on the road. West Virginia is 7-0 at home and this is being hailed one of the biggest games in program history and it is the first time in the 40-year existence of the WVU Coliseum that there will be a matchup of two Top 10 teams. Interestingly, the only other time a West Virginia game was played in Morgantown with two teams ranked in the Top 10 was 50 years ago to the day when the Mountaineers hosted Villanova on January 16, 1960. Syracuse has won nine of the last 10 meetings in this series and it is 15-5 against the Mountaineers since West Virginia joined the Big East in 1995.

This will be a tough matchup for the Orange who are extremely strong down low but will be facing a similar frontcourt as Da'Sean Butler, Devin Ebanks and Kevin Jones will present a formidable challenge. Whichever team ends up shooting better will be likely be victorious as West Virginia is 51-1 under head coach Bob Huggins when posting a higher shooting percentage than its opponent but just 11-24 when it doesn’t.

Mississippi Rebels (23) at Tennessee Volunteers (10) 1:30 PM ET

Mississippi is quietly off to a solid start this season at 13-3 and was ranked as high as 14th before its most recent loss against rival Mississippi St. The Rebels other two losses came against top teams from the Big East at West Virginia and against Villanova in Puerto Rico. Besides those three games, the only other quality game came against Kansas St. and that resulted in a win prior to that Villanova game in Puerto Rico. The rest of the schedule has been relatively soft with blowouts over cupcakes as well as narrow two-point wins over Southern Mississippi and UTEP. At 83.4 ppg, Mississippi leads the SEC and ranks 12th in the nation in scoring offense.

The loss of four players was thought to have completely shattered Tennessee’s season but instead, it is playing its basketball right now. The Volunteers are employing only six scholarship players along with three walk-ons and the three games with this roster has resulted in three wins including a victory over then top-ranked Kansas. Tennessee has won these three games by a combined 51 points and looks to remain undefeated at home where it is 9-0 to start the season. The Volunteers are at a slight disadvantage here as it has one less day to prepare as it will be taking the floor less than 43 hours after the win over Auburn. The good news is that there is no travel involved.

Mississippi plays a similar style to that of Auburn but shoots the ball much better and possesses better athletes. The backcourt matchup will be a challenge as the Rebels are shooting 37.5 percent from long range. Tennessee has won 14 of the last 20 meetings in this series and it is 37-10 all-time at home against the Rebels as they are the only SEC opponent against which the Volunteers have a winning record on its home court.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (18) at North Carolina Tar Heels (13) 2:00 PM ET

Georgia Tech will be facing its second straight ranked opponent on a Saturday following its win over Duke at home a week ago. That was obviously a huge win for the Yellow Jackets but it provided little momentum as they fell flat four days later in a loss at Virginia. That was the second straight road loss for Georgia Tech who also lost at rival Georgia back on January 5th. Three of the four losses on the season have come by exactly seven points while the other defeat against Dayton was by four points on a neutral floor in Puerto Rico. Defense is the strength of the Yellow Jackets as they held Duke to 19 points below its season average and have allowed 70 points in a game only twice in the last 11 games.

North Carolina should be hungry on Saturday as it is coming off a dreadful performance at Clemson on Wednesday as it went down by 19 points. That dropped the Tar Heels to 0-3 in true road games but they are a perfect 11-0 at the Dean Smith Center. Offensively, North Carolina seems to be fine as it is averaging 83.6 ppg but it is very misleading. The Tar Heels have scored more than 80 points on 11 different occasions but only twice against major conference teams and only once in a game it won. Inexperience at guard in a fast-paced offense is a bad combination and that has showed as they are averaging 16.9 turnovers per game which is second most in the country for teams from major conferences. Georgia Tech forces 16.1 tpg on defense.

North Carolina needs a win to get back on track while the Yellow Jackets want to prove that win over Duke was not a fluke and the loss to Virginia was. A loss here will drop Georgia Tech to 1-3 in the ACC and with its next two games after this against ranked opponents followed by Wake Forest and a rematch at Duke, this is a pretty vital stretch to save its season. It is big for North Carolina as well, who has not lost back-to-back games since March 2007, both road games, and has not lost back-to-back games that included a home game since January 2006.

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College Hoops Betting TV Guide

No. 5 Syracuse at No. 10 West Virginia (12 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Wesley Johnson quickly made a name for himself in his first season for Syracuse after transferring from Iowa State. However, in Wednesday’s win over Rutgers, he had one of his worst games in an Orange uniform, scoring just 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting. In the five prior games, Johnson had scored at least 19 points.

Louisville at No. 16 Pittsburgh (12 p.m. ET, Big East Network)

After Pittsburgh lost to lowly Indiana in early December, not much was expected in terms of Big East play. However, after starting the conference season with four straight wins, including road wins at Syracuse and Connecticut, Pittsburgh has proven again that it is one of the beasts of the Big East.

No. 24 Clemson at North Carolina State (12 p.m. ET, Raycom)

While beating North Carolina by 19 points Wednesday was a big win for Clemson, it must now prove that it was not a fluke. Over the past few seasons, the Tigers have built up gaudy non-conference wins, then fallen on their face in conference play. After getting off to a 2-1 start in the ACC, it looks like Clemson may finally be legit.

Missouri at Oklahoma (1 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Road wins have been tough to come by when playing in Big 12 arenas this season and Missouri showed how difficult it is Wednesday. Leading by eight points with just over a minute remaining at Texas Tech, Missouri watched its lead slip and Texas Tech forced overtime. Missouri eventually pulled out the win, but learned that no lead is safe on the road.

No. 20 Georgia Tech at No. 12 North Carolina (2 p.m. ET, ESPN)

With such a young roster, it was expected that North Carolina would need solid play from post players Ed Davis and Deon Thompson. In Wednesday’s loss to Clemson, it was Davis and Thompson who struggled, combining for 17 of North Carolina’s 26 turnovers. North Carolina was unable to handle the Clemson full court pressure.

"There wasn't anything differently we needed to do, we just needed to take care of the ball, and couldn't do it,” senior Marcus Ginyard told the News & Observer.

California at Washington (2:30 p.m. ET, FSN)

Heading into the season, it was expected that California and Washington would be two of the top teams in the country. However, after struggling at the beginning of Pac-10 play, both teams are just looking to get enough conference wins to make the NCAA Tournament. Both teams have five losses overall.

Illinois at No. 7 Michigan State (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

Just four games into Big Ten play, Michigan State has proven that it can win at any pace. Michigan State scored 91 points in a win over Northwestern and just 54 points in a win over Wisconsin and 60 points in a win over Minnesota.

"Racehorse one day, smash-mouth the next. And I don't think that's easy to do, and I think the players deserve credit for being able to play both,” coach Tom Izzo told the Lansing State Journal.

Notre Dame at Cincinnati (4 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

Opening up Big East play with two wins, Cincinnati had hopes of making the NCAA Tournament. After three straight conference losses, including a loss to St. John’s team Wednesday, Cincinnati needs to get better inside play if it wants to compete in the conference.

Arizona at Oregon (4:30 p.m. ET, FSN)

Prior to this month, Arizona guard Nick Wise was expected to do almost everything to lead Arizona to victory. However, in a 17-point win over Washington, the Wildcats showed more balanced scoring with six players in double figures.

"Guys are stepping up and playing big, so it's taken a lot off my shoulders," Wise told the Arizona Republic. "That's what we're going to need game in and game out, so it's harder for other teams to scout us when the whole team can put the ball in the hole."

No. 6 Purdue at Northwestern (5:30 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network)

After starting the season 14-0, Purdue dropped its first two conference games, including Tuesday’s loss to Ohio State that saw Purdue waste a 35-point effort from star Robbie Hummel. Hummel hit eight 3-point shots, all in the first half.

"I was just fortunate to make some tonight, but it's a hard one to swallow,” Hummel told the Journal and Courier.

Texas A&M at No. 1 Texas (6 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

Sherron Collins may have gotten the preseason hype as an all-American and the title of best guard in the Big 12, but Texas freshman guard Avery Bradley is quickly giving Collins a run for his money. Following Bradley’s 24-point, six-assist and six-rebound effort in a win over Iowa State, Iowa State coach Greg McDermott called Bradley the best guard in the conference.

No. 23 Miami at Virginia (8 p.m. ET, ESPNU)

Some coaches make players run when they miss free throws in practice, for Virginia, players are forced to serve teammates their pre-game meal. That strategy appears to be working for coach Tony Bennett. His team has been 20 percent more efficient from the free throw line than its opponents, leading to an increase of more than five points per game. Those points have been needed in Virginia’s surprising 2-0 start in ACC play, both narrow victories.

No. 13 Wisconsin at Ohio State (9 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network)

In just his third game back after missing more than a month with a back injury, Ohio State guard Evan Turner scored 23 of his 32 points in the second half, leading to an impressive win over Purdue. With him in the lineup, it instantly legitimizes Ohio State, making the Buckeyes a threat against any team in the conference.

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Louisville (12-5, 5-7 ATS) at (16) Pittsburgh (14-2, 7-5-2 ATS)

The scalding-hot Panthers shoot for their eighth straight victory – and fifth straight to open Big East play – when they welcome conference-rival Louisville to Petersen Events Center.

The Cardinals kicked off the conference season with wins over Providence (92-70 as a 3½-point road chalk) and St. John’s (75-68 as a 13-point home favorite), but they couldn’t handle fourth-ranked Villanova on Monday, falling 92-84 as a 3½-point home favorite. Louisville is still 7-2 in its last nine games (2-4 ATS in lined games), but both defeats came against ranked opponents (Villanova and then-No. 3 Kentucky), the only two Top 25 foes Rick Pitino’s squad has faced to date.

Pittsburgh ran its winning streak to seven in a row (5-0-1 ATS in lined action) with Wednesday’s impressive 67-57 rout of No. 15 UConn as a six-point road underdog. That capped a perfect three-game Big East road trip, which started with upsets of Syracuse (82-72 as an 11-point ‘dog) and Cincinnati (74-71 as a four-point pup). The Panthers’ only two losses came on neutral courts against Texas (78-62) and Indiana (74-64). Pitt is 4-0 in Big East action (3-0-1 ATS). At home, Jamie Dixon’s squad is 9-0 (2-3-2 ATS), averaging 66.7 points per game (49 percent shooting) and allowing just 51.3 ppg (34.5 percent).

Louisville knocked off Pitt 69-63 as a two-point home favorite last year, and the teams have alternated SU and ATS wins and losses in their last six meetings. The SU winner has covered the spread in all seven series clashes since Louisville joined the Big East in the 2005-06 season.

The Cardinals counter negative ATS streaks of 3-7 overall and 1-5 on Saturday with positive pointspread runs of 27-9-1 on the road, 42-14-2 in conference play and 9-3 after a SU defeat. Pitt carries ATS trends of 5-0-1 overall, 3-0-2 at home, 4-0-1 after a SU win, 7-3-1 after a spread-cover, 6-0-2 against winning teams and 4-1-1 on Saturday.

Louisville is on “over” runs of 9-2 overall, 6-2 on the road, 4-1 in league play, 6-1 on Saturday, 5-1 after a SU loss and 5-0 after non-cover. Also, the over is 36-17-1 in Pitt’s last 54 Saturday contests, but seven of its last 10 home games have stayed low. Also, the under is 5-2 in this rivalry.


(5) Syracuse (16-1, 10-3 ATS) at (10) West Virginia (13-2, 6-8 ATS)

The day’s only matchup of Top 10 teams comes from WVU Coliseum in Morgantown, where the Mountaineers host Syracuse in a key Big East contest.

Since suffering their first defeat of the season – a surprising 82-72 home loss to Pitt as an 11-point favorite on Jan. 2 – the Orange have ripped off three straight double-digit wins (and covers). Syracuse pounded Memphis 74-57 as a 7½-point home favorite in a non-conference game on Jan. 6, then returned to league action with wins over South Florida on Sunday (82-65 as a 15-point home favorite) and Rutgers on Wednesday (81-65 as a 12½-point road chalk). The Orange have played two true road games (both in Big East gyms), going 2-0 SU and ATS.

West Virginia opened the season 11-0 but has since split its last four games (three of which were played on the road). The Mountaineers followed up last Saturday’s 70-68 loss at Notre Dame as a 4½-point favorite with Wednesday’s 69-50 romp at South Florida as a nine-point chalk. West Virginia, which has been held under 70 points in four of its last five games, is 3-2 SU and ATS in Big East outings (1-1 SU and ATS at home). Bob Huggins’ troops are 7-0 at home (2-4 ATS in lined action), outscoring visitors by more than 20 ppg (73.4-53.1).

These teams met twice last year, with Syracuse winning and cashing in both games by scores of 74-61 (as a 1½-point home underdog) and 74-69 in overtime (as a 6½-point pup in the Big East tourney). The Orange are 10-1 SU in the last 11 meetings (8-3 ATS). The host has won the last four regular-season contests (3-1 ATS).

Syracuse is riding a plethora of positive pointspread streaks, including 20-6 overall, 4-0 on the highway, 10-2 in Big East play, 15-5 after a SU victory and 13-4 after a spread-cover. Conversely, the Mountaineers are 1-5 ATS in their last six after a victory and 1-4 ATS in their last five after a non-cover.

The high-scoring Orange are on “over” runs of 12-5 overall, 6-2 on the road, 7-2 against Big East opponents, 13-3 on Saturday, 20-7 after a SU victory and 16-5 after a non-cover. On the flip side, the under is 13-5 in West Virginia’s last 18 games in Big East play, 4-1 in its last five against winning teams and 4-0 in its last four after a spread-cover. Finally, four of the last five meetings in this rivalry have stayed low.


(21) Ole Miss (13-3, 7-5 ATS) at (9) Tennessee (13-2, 7-4-1 ATS)

Tennessee puts a five-game winning streak on the line when it hosts its second Top 25 opponent to Thompson-Boling Arena this week, as Ole Miss comes calling for an SEC clash.

The Rebels followed up last Saturday’s 80-75 home loss to Mississippi State as a 3½-point home favorite with Wednesday’s 80-76 win at Georgia, coming up just short as a five-point chalk. That puts Ole Miss at 2-1 SU and 1-2 ATS in true roadies this season. However, the Rebels are 0-2 SU and ATS against ranked opponents, losing to No. 5 Villanova 79-67 as a three-point neutral-site underdog and No. 6 West Virginia 76-66, cashing as an 11½-point road pup.

Despite a team scandal that resulted in several player suspensions, including the dismissal of star guard Tyler Smith, the Vols banded together and shocked top-ranked and unbeaten Kansas 76-68 Sunday, cashing as a five-point home underdog. Then in its SEC opener Thursday, Tennessee came out sluggish and fell behind Auburn by 12 points, only to turn on the jets and cruise to an 81-55 victory as a 14-point home chalk. The Vols have won five in a row (4-0 ATS in lined games), averaging 82 ppg and allowing 66.2 ppg. They’re 9-0 SU and 4-2 ATS at Thompson-Boling Arena.

Ole Miss pounded Tennessee 81-65 as a 5½-point home favorite in last year’s lone meeting, cashing for the third straight time in this rivalry. The home team has won six in a row (4-2 ATS) between these teams and is 10-1 SU in the last 11 clashes (8-3 ATS).

The Rebels have cashed in 10 of their last 14 games after a non-cover, but they’ve failed to cover in four straight conference games and four straight on Saturday. Tennessee is on ATS rolls of 4-0 overall, 5-2 in SEC play and 4-0 against winning teams.

The under is 8-3 in the Rebels’ last 11 on the road and 13-6 in its last 19 after a SU win, but Ole Miss has topped the total in five of seven overall, five of seven in conference and four straight on Saturday. The Vols carry “under” trends of 20-7 overall, 5-1 at home, 9-3 in SEC play and 11-3 after a SU win. Finally, the total has alternated in the last six Ole Miss-Tennessee battles, with last year’s game sneaking under the posted price.


Texas Tech (12-4, 6-4 ATS)) at (3) Kansas (15-1, 6-6-1 ATS)

After suffering consecutive losses to begin the conference season, the Red Raiders now face their toughest test to date when they visit Allen Fieldhouse for a Big 12 battle with No. 3 Kansas, which owns the nation’s longest home-court winning streak at 51 in a row.

Texas Tech got destroyed in its Big 12 opener a week ago, losing 81-52 at Oklahoma State as a seven-point underdog, then came home Wednesday and suffered a heartbreaking 94-89 overtime loss to Missouri as a four-point pup. The Red Raiders started the season with nine straight victories, but are just 3-4 since (3-3 ATS), including losing three road games (1-2 ATS). Texas Tech has followed up a five-game ATS run by failing to cash in three of its last four lined contests.

The Jayhawks went to then-No. 16 Tennessee on Sunday and fell to the depleted Volunteers 76-68 as a five-point road favorite to snap their perfect season. Then they went to Nebraska for their Big 12 opener on Wednesday and came out sluggish, falling behind 44-43 at halftime before rolling to an 84-72 victory, pushing as a 12-point road favorite. Kansas has scored more than 70 points in all but two games, but the defense has slipped a bit in the last three contests, giving up 66, 76 and 72 points after yielding 58.2 ppg through the first 13 games.

As part of its 51-game winning streak at Allen Fieldhouse, Kansas is 10-0 at home this year winning games by an average of 31.6 ppg (90.4-58.8) while outshooting visitors 52 percent to 35 percent. However, the last time Bill Self’s squad was at home, it barely got past Cornell 71-66, never threatening to cover as a 21-point favorite.

The Red Raiders stunned Kansas 84-65 as a hefty 10-point underdog last year, making the home team 6-0 SU and ATS in the last six meetings. Furthermore, the host has cashed in nine of the last 10 regular-season clashes. Also, in its last four trips to Lawrence, Kan., Texas Tech has lost by scores of 109-51, 86-52, 96-77 and 108-81, failing to cover in all four games.

Texas Tech is 1-3 ATS in its last four overall (all three non-covers as an underdog). Kansas is on pointspread rolls of 35-17-2 overall, 34-16-1 at home, 17-5-2 in Big 12 play, 6-1 on Saturday and 41-20-2 versus winning teams.

Texas Tech is on “over” tears of 34-15-2 overall, 20-7 on the highway, 21-9-1 in Big 12 action and 11-5-2 on Saturday. Conversely, the Jayhawks are on “under” runs of 5-2 overall, 4-0 at home, 21-6 after a SU win and 10-1 at home against opponents with a losing road mark. Also, three of the last four meetings in this rivalry have stayed low.


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(20) Georgia Tech (12-4, 7-4 ATS) at (12) North Carolina (12-5, 6-9 ATS)

The Tar Heels, who have already exceeded their loss total from last year, face their second straight ranked conference foe when they return to the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill for an ACC clash with Georgia Tech.

The Yellow Jackets failed to build on the momentum from last Saturday’s 71-67 upset victory over Duke (as a seven-point home favorite), falling 82-75 at Virginia as a two-point road underdog. Georgia Tech, which hadn’t given up more than 74 points all year prior to Wednesday, has alternated SU and ATS wins and losses in its last four games, with both defeats and non-covers coming on the road.

North Carolina got steamrolled at Clemson on Wednesday, falling 83-64 as a five-point road underdog, ending a 10-game winning streak against the Tigers. The Heels are just 5-4 SU in their last nine games (2-5 ATS in lined action), but all four losses (three against ranked foes) came away from Chapel Hill. At home this year, North Carolina is 11-0 (4-5 ATS), averaging 88.5 ppg (53 percent shooting) and yielding 67.6 ppg (38.8 percent).

The Tar Heels destroyed Georgia Tech 104-74 as a 23-point home favorite last year, improving to 4-1 SU in the last five meetings. However, despite last year’s ATS result, the Yellow Jackets have cashed in 11 of the last 15 series clashes (including six of the last nine).

Despite some inconsistent play recently, Georgia Tech is still on ATS rolls of 11-4 overall, 6-2 on the highway, 5-2 in ACC play, 4-0 on Saturday, 9-4 against winning teams and 4-0 after a SU defeat. North Carolina is 1-4 ATS in its last five lined games and has failed to cover in 19 of its last 26 league games, but Roy Williams’ squad is on ATS upticks of 11-5 against winning teams, 35-15-1 after a SU defeat and 6-2 after a non-cover.

The Jackets are riding “over” streaks of 4-1 on the road, 4-1 versus winning teams, 7-2 after a SU defeat and 6-2 after a non-cover. On the flip side, UNC is on “under” runs of 4-1 in ACC games, 4-1 after a SU defeat and 4-1 on Saturday. Lastly, four of the last five in this rivalry have topped the total.


Oklahoma State (13-3, 6-3-1 ATS) at (22) Baylor (13-2, 6-2 ATS)

Two Big 12 opponents coming off tough losses this week hook up at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas, where the Cowboys visit Baylor, which needs a big win today to hang onto its national ranking.

Oklahoma State roared out of the gate in Big 12 play last Saturday, destroying Texas Tech 81-52 as a seven-point home favorite, but the Cowboys came crashing back down to earth two days later with a 62-57 overtime loss at archrival Oklahoma, failing as a 1½-point road underdog. Oklahoma State has followed up a five-game winning streak (3-0 in lined play) by splitting its last four games (1-2 ATS), with both losses coming away from home.

Like Oklahoma State, the Bears kicked off the conference season in dominating fashion, crushing Oklahoma 91-60 as a seven-point home favorite last Saturday, running their winning streak to nine in a row (6-0 ATS). However, the bubble burst when Baylor went to Colorado on Tuesday and stumbled 78-71 as a three-point road favorite. The Bears are 8-0 at home – outscoring foes 22 ppg (81.7-59.7) – but only the Oklahoma contest was against a lined opponent.

The home team has dominated this rivalry, winning the last seven in a row while going 5-0 ATS in the last five (all as a favorite). Last January, Baylor won 98-92 as a 5½-point home favorite in overtime, but Oklahoma State got revenge with an 84-74 as a 4½-point chalk a month later. The Bears are 5-2 ATS in the last seven clashes overall and 4-1-1 ATS in the last six meetings in Waco.

Despite failing to cash at Oklahoma, the Cowboys are still on impressive pointspread rolls of 17-4-1 overall, 10-2 in Big 12 play, 6-1-1 on Saturday and 14-4-1 against teams with a winning record. Baylor has cashed in six of its last seven overall (all against winning opponents), but otherwise the Bears are in ATS funks of 3-7 at home, 5-13 in conference action, 3-9 after a SU loss and 4-10 after a non-cover.

OSU carries “under” trends of 6-0 overall, 5-2 on the road, 4-0 in conference and 5-1 on Saturday. Baylor is 11-3-1 “under” in its last 15 league games and 7-2-1 “under” its last 10 after a SU defeat, but the over is 17-7-1 in their last 25 Saturday outings. On the flip side, in this rivalry the “over” is on stretches of 6-1 overall and 4-1 at Baylor.


(6) Purdue (14-2, 7-8-1 ATS) at Northwestern (12-4, 8-4 ATS)

The suddenly slumping Boilermakers hope to get back on track when they pay a visit to Welsh-Ryan Arena looking to upend Big Ten rival Northwestern.

Purdue ripped off 14 consecutive wins to start the season, including 12 double-digit blowouts, before going to Wisconsin last Saturday and falling 73-66 as a 1½-point favorite. The Boilermakers returned home Tuesday and took the court as a nine-point chalk against Ohio State, but blew a 10-point lead with four minutes to go and were stunned 70-66 despite a career-high 35 points from Robbie Hummel.  Prior to the last two games, Purdue has scored fewer than 67 points just once all season and fewer than 70 points just four times.

The Wildcats took a nine-game winning streak into their Big Ten opener at Illinois, where they lost 89-83 in overtime as an eight-point underdog. That began a current 2-3 SU slump (2-2 ATS), with the lone Big Ten victory coming at Michigan on Sunday (68-62 as an eight-point underdog). That was followed by Wednesday’s 60-50 home loss to Wisconsin as a three-point pup. Northwestern has allowed just two teams to score more than 67 points all year.

Purdue needed a big rally in last year’s trip to Northwestern, pulling out a 63-61 win but falling short as a four-point road favorite. But the Wildcats went to Purdue six weeks later and stunned the Boilermakers 64-61 as a 12½-point road ‘dog, ending a five-game losing streak in the rivalry and improving to 10-4 ATS in the last 14 series battles with Purdue. Prior to last year, the favorite had cashed in seven straight head-to-head meetings. Also, the SU winner is 9-1 ATS in the last 10.

The Boilers are 6-2-1 ATS in their last nine against winning teams, but otherwise they’re in pointspread ruts of 2-5 overall, 3-8 on the highway and 1-4 in Big Ten play. Northwestern is 7-2 ATS in its last nine overall and 6-2 ATS in its last eight against winning teams, but the ‘Cats have failed to cash in four straight games following a SU defeat.

The over is 7-3 in Purdue’s last 10 overall, 5-2 in its last seven on Saturday, 21-10-1 in Northwestern’s last 32 home contests and 11-1 in Northwestern’s last 12 coming off a SU defeat. Finally, five of the last seven in this rivalry have hurdled the posted total.


Texas A&M (12-4, 6-5 ATS) at (1) Texas (16-0, 7-5 ATS)

After surviving a scare in its Big 12 opener, Texas puts its unbeaten record on the line once again when it entertains the rival Aggies at the Erwin Events Center.

Texas A&M opened the conference season with last Saturday’s 64-53 win over Nebraska as a seven-point home favorite, then went to 13th-ranked Kansas State on Tuesday and got thumped 88-65 as a nine-point road underdog, ending a three-game winning streak. The Aggies have dropped three straight games away from home (0-3 ATS), and they’re 2-4 (3-3 ATS) against opponents that are or have been ranked this year.

The Longhorns jumped to the top of the polls for the first time in school history on Monday, then went out Wednesday and nearly stumbled at Iowa State, hanging on for a 90-83 win. However, they fell just shy as an eight-point road chalk, their third straight non-cover. Wednesday’s game marked just the third time this year that Texas failed to win by double digits. At home this year, Rick Barnes’ squad is 10-0 (4-2 ATS in lined action), putting up 88.2 ppg (50.8 percent shooting) and yielding 59 ppg (34 percent).

The home team has owned this rivalry, winning the last 11 meetings in a row (8-2-1 ATS). Last year at the Erwin Events Center, Texas gutted out a 67-58 win, but misfired as a 12-point chalk, and the Aggies got revenge several weeks later with an 81-66 victory as a two-point home underdog. Texas A&M is 7-2 ATS in the last nine series clashes (3-2 ATS in Austin).

The Aggies sport a slew pointspread runs, including 17-8 overall, 37-17 on the road, 11-4 in Big 12 games, 6-2 on Saturday, 22-7 after a SU defeat, 12-3 after a non-cover and 14-6 against winning teams. Texas has cashed in seven of its last nine home games, but it is 6-19-2 ATS in its last 27 conference games and 3-7 ATS in its last 10 on Saturday.

The over is on runs of 5-1 for A&M in league games, 5-2 for A&M on Saturday, 5-1 for the Longhorns overall, 4-0 for the Longhorns on Saturday, 5-1 for the Longhorns after a SU win and 5-2 in the last seven meetings between these rivals.


(13) Wisconsin (14-3, 10-5 ATS) at Ohio State (12-5, 8-9 ATS)

Coming off a huge road upset of sixth-ranked Purdue, the Buckeyes return home and face another ranked opponent as they welcome No. 13 Wisconsin to Value City Arena.

The Badgers improved to 8-1 SU and 7-2 ATS in tehir last nine games with Wednesday’s 60-50 win at Northwestern, cashing as a three-point favorite. Wisconsin is 4-1 SU and ATS in Big Ten action, the only blemish being a 54-47 loss at No. 10 Michigan State as a six-point road underdog on Jan. 6. Bo Ryan’s team has held seven of its last eight opponents to 58 points or less.

Ohio State has played four of its first five Big Ten games on the road. The first three didn’t go well (0-3 SU and ATS, including a 22-point loss at Wisconsin), and Tuesday’s outing at Purdue wasn’t looking good either until star point guard Evan Turner (career-high 32 points, 23 in the second half) returned from injury and led a huge late charge. Eventually, the Buckeyes overcame a 10-point deficit late in the game to pull out a 70-66 win as a nine-point underdog. Ohio State is 10-0 at home (6-4 ATS), including a 79-54 rout of Indiana as a 14-point chalk in its lone conference contest at Value City Arena.

The Badgers limited Ohio State to just 14 field goals (in 43 attempts) on New Year’s Eve, rolling 65-43 as a six-point home favorite. Wisconsin has taken three of the last four meetings (2-2 ATS), including a 58-53 victory as a 1½-point road underdog in the most recent battle at Ohio State. The host is 6-1 in the last seven meetings, but the visitor has cashed in four of the last five clashes and the ‘dog is 5-2 ATS in the last seven.

Wisconsin is on ATS runs of 5-1 overall, 4-1 in conference, 4-1 after a SU win, 5-2 after a spread-cover and 4-1 versus winning teams. Conversely, the Buckeyes are in pointspread slumps of 2-7 overall and 0-5 after a victory.

Last month’s battle in Wisconsin stayed way under the total, as the under has cashed in each of the last six meetings overall and four of the last five at Ohio State. Furthermore, the Buckeyes are on “under” runs of 6-2 overall, 4-0 at home, 8-3 in Big Ten play, 36-15-1 on Saturday and 6-0 against winning teams, while the Badgers are on “under” rolls of 7-1 overall, 9-1 on the road, 35-17 in conference, 14-6 on Saturday, 6-0 against winning teams and 37-16-1 after a SU victory.


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Re: NCAAB News and Notes Saturday 1/16

NCAAB News and Notes

Saturday, January 16

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

Xavier won seven of last eight games vs Dayton, winning last six played here by 7-9-5-16-26-17 points. Xavier is 3-0 in A-14, winning games by 6-7-12 points- they're 9-3 vs spread as a favorite. Dayton is 11-1 in last 12 games, winning firs two in A-14 by 6-16; they're 1-2 as an underdog this year. Atlantic 14 home favorites are 3-9 vs spread in league games.

Clemson won last four games vs NC State by average of 11 points in a series where favorite covered last five games; they won last two visits to Raleigh by 11-7 points. Tigers waxed North Carolina in last game, which makes this trap game. Wolfpack is 4-0 vs spread as an underdog this year. Home teams are 9-7 vs spread in ACC games, 1-0 as underdogs.

Louisville won last three regular season meetings with Pitt by 13-2-6 points, but lost last three meetings in Big East tourney; Cardinals won last two visits here- they had two extra days to prepare for this. Pitt is 4-0 in Big East, winning last three as underdog. Big East home favorites are 11-10 vs spread in conference play. Cardinals are 1-2 on the road.

Syracuse won six of last seven games vs West Virginia, including OT win in LY's Big East tourney, night after their 6OT win. Teams split last two meetings here. Orangemen are 2-0 on Big East road, winning by 16-7 at Rutgers/Seton Hall. Big East favorites are 20-13 vs spread in league play, 11-10 at home. WVa split last four games; their PG play is shaky.

Home side won last six Ole Miss-Tennessee games; Rebels lost three in a row here by 17-14-2 points; am guessing new football coach Dooley is going to speak to crowd, which will get fans jacked up. Ole Miss is 13-3, losing by 5 to Miss State, 10 at WVa, 12 to Villanova. SEC home faves are 3-7 vs spread in conference play. Vols covered last four games.

North Carolina won four of last five games vs Georgia Tech, winning last five games played here by 15-22-7-16-30 points. UNC ranks in lower half of country in turnover %age; their guards aren't protecting the ball. Tech lost at Virginia after upsetting Duke; they're 2-3 in last five games (all 3 losses by 7 points). ACC home favorites are 8-7 aganst spread.

Cal won four of last five games vs Washington, winning last two visits here, including triple OT win LY. Bears are 3-1 in Pac-10, winning tilts by 26-8-5 points; they're 0-3 as an underdog this year. Huskies snapped 3-game skid by waxing Stanford Thursday; they're 4-8 as favorites. Pac-10 home favorites are 5-11 vs spread in league play.

Michigan State won last four games vs Illinois by 10-8-6-8 points; they won/covered all four Big 11 games, winning both home games by seven points. Illinois is also 4-0 in Big 11 but beat four worst teams in league to get there; Illini is 2-1 on road, winning at clemson in only game as an underdog. Big 11 home faves are 10-6 vs spread in conference games.

Notre Dame won two of last three games vs Cincinnati, with home side winning last two; Irish lost 93-83 here LY (-2.5). Bearcats just lost road games vs Rutgers/St John's, damaging losses; they've lost last three in a row by total of 12 points. Irish won last two games by total of three points. Big East home favorites are 11-10 vs spread in conference play.

Kansas State won last seven games vs Colorado, winning last three trips to Boulder by 16-16-2 points; Wildcats are 2-1 on road, losing by six at Missouri, but winning at UNLV/Alabama. Colorado is 8-0 at home vs D-I teams, upsetting Baylor in Big 12 home opener. Big 12 home dogs are 3-1 against the spread in league games.

Home side won last two Oklahoma State-Baylor games; Cowboys lost last three visits to Waco by 4-8-6 points. Bears have best team in yesrs with 12-2 record- they're 3-2 as a favorite. Big 12 home favorites are 5-1 vs spread in conference play. Cowboys are 1-3 on road after OT loss at Oklahoma Monday- they're 1-2 as an underdog this season.

Boston College won five of last six games vs Maryland, taking last two by 3-9 points, in series where road teams won last three meetings. BC is 1-3, losing at Clemson by 16, Duke by 20 and at home by point against Maine. Maryland is 5-2 in last seven games, 2-1 on the road. ACC home favorites are 8-7 vs spread in conference games.

Stanford won four of last five games vs Washington State, splitting last six visits here; favorite is 8-1 vs spread in last nine series games. Cardinal is 0-5 on road, losing by 13-8-13-26-33 points; they trailed at half by 19 20 points in their Pac-10 road games. Wazzu allowed 82 ppg in losing its last two games. Underdogs are 13-6 vs spread in Pac-10 games.

Home team won six of last seven Virginia Tech-Florida State games, as Hokies lost last four visits here by 7-6-9-10 points. Seminoles lost last two games, allowing 82.5 ppg; they're 2-5 vs spread as a fave this year. Hokies are 3-2 on road, 2-2 as an underdog this year. ACC home teams are 9-7 against the spread, 8-7 as favorites.

Vanderbilt won six of last seven games vs South Carolina, taking three of last four visits here (all three wins by 1 point or in OT). Commodores won last seven games, beating Florida/Alabama in first two SEC games. Vandy is 2-2 on road, winning at St Mary's/Bama. Gamecocks also won their last three in row. Underdogs are 8-3 vs spread in SEC games.

USC is 0-2 on Pac-10 road, scoring 56 ppg in losses by 1 at Stanford, by 8 at Cal. Trojans are 0-4 in true road games. UCLA is 6-2 in its last eight series games, winning four of last five here, by 21-21-5-16 points; teams split pair of meetings in last two Pac-10 tourneys. Pac-10 home teams are 7-12 vs spread in conference play. Bruins are 2-2 in Pac-10 play.

Wisconsin is 8-3 in last 11 games vs Ohio State, going 3-2 in its last five trips to Columbus; Badgers waxed OSU 65-43 New Year's Eve, in game OSU star Turner missed (he is back). Badgers' Leuer is out (back); he had 11 points in second half of first meeting. Favorite is 5-0 vs spread in Wisconsin's conference games this season (Badgers 0-1 as Big 11 dog).

Miami won last three games vs Virginia by 8-2-7 points; underdogs are 5-2 vs spread in last seven series games- teams split last four played in this gym. Virginia scored 76 ppg in winning first two ACC games; they won last six games overall. Hurricanes were down 27 at half in last game Wednesday. ACC home favorites are 8-7 vs spread in league games.

St Mary's is 11-3 in last 14 games vs Portland, winning last three here by 16-37-12 points; favorites covered seven of last nine in series. Dogs are 7-1 vs spread in WCC games, 4-0 on road. Gaels lost tough game to Gonzaga late Thursday; they're 14-3, 11-4 vs spread as favorite. Pilots got first win in four true road games Thursday at San Diego.

Siena won five of last six games vs Fairfield, beating Stags three times a year ago by 6-16-15 points; Saints split last six visits here, winning by 2-11-6 points. Siena is 6-0 in league, winning by 13 at Iona, at Loyola by 20 in its road games. Fairfield is 5-1, losing at Niagara by nine. MAAC home teams are 9-22 vs spread in league play; home underdogs are 3-6.

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