NCAAB News and Notes Wednesday 1/20

NCAAB News and Notes Wednesday 1/20

Game Of The Day: Baylor at Kansas
By David Chan

Baylor travels to Kansas Wednesday night. The Bears begin a tough 11-day stretch that has them hosting Kansas State and traveling to face Texas. Kansas is also setting up for a tough couple of weeks with Missouri and that same rejuvenated K-State team away.

Defensive surge

Baylor defeated Oklahoma State 83-70 Saturday. The Bears used solid defense to overcome a 40-39 halftime deficit. After shooting 48.4 percent in the first half, the visiting Cowboys shot only 30 percent after the break.

The game featured a matchup of high school teammates. Seniors Obi Muonelo (6-foot-5 shooting guard, Oklahoma State) and Ekpe Udoh (6-foot-10 forward, Baylor) were together at Edmond (Okla) Santa Fe HS. This was their first meeting in college. Udoh played two years at Michigan before transferring to the Big 12.

Confidence boost

Baylor was coming off a 78-71 loss at Colorado when it faced Oklahoma State. Baylor Coach Scott Drew seemed almost relieved to get the win with the Jayhawks next up.

“You don’t want to go into Kansas with a two-game losing streak,” Drew told reporters. “Everyone knows how tough it is to win up there. You better protect your home court in the Big 12 with as tough as it is this year. I think this win will rejuvenate us.”

I taut I taw…

So much of what the Bears do flows through Tweety Carter. Carter played a much different role in the Oklahoma State game as the Cowboys keyed on him.

Carter sunk only three of four shots for nine points (averaging 15.6 points) but racked up eight assists while coughing up only one turnover (2.59 turnovers a game this season). Let’s see what Kansas tries to do with him.

Jayhawks rebounding

Kansas responded to a nationally televised loss at Tennessee with a double-digit road win at Nebraska (pushing the 12-point number) and a 26-point blowout of Texas Tech (covering 21.5).

Questions for Wednesday

Starters Cole Aldrich and Sherron Collins each lost a grandparent on Friday. Aldrich found out after the Texas Tech blowout that his grandmother, who had been in hospice care, passed away in Minnesota. Collins knew before the game that his grandfather died in Chicago. As of Tuesday it is not yet clear whether then men would face Baylor or fly home to be with family.

Pick your poison

The Jayhawks used a balanced attack to dismantle Texas Tech. Marcus Morris poured in 20 points in 22 minutes, while Xavier Henry and Alrich added 14 each. Collins had nine points in the win. Brady Morningstar, Markief Morris and Tyrrel Reed combined for 64 minutes and 20 points as the first three men off the bench.

The defense was even better.

Texas Tech junior forward Mike Singletary has three 25-plus point performances this season. The Jayhawks smothered him, leaving Singletary to finish with no points going 0-for-4 from the field over 20 minutes.

When the Lawrence Journal-World asked Red Raiders’ coach Pat Knight why Singletary was ineffective, he simply replied “If you find out, let me know.”

Once ranked as high as No. 16 this season, the Red Raiders were crushed.

“Honestly, (Kansas is) at a different level than us,” Knight continued. “And, really, I think they’re probably at a different level than most teams in this league.”

Trends

Baylor is 7-1 ATS in its last eight.

Under is 6-2 in Kansas’ last eight.

The road team is 10-1 ATS in the last 11 games.

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Re: NCAAB News and Notes Wednesday 1/20

(12) Georgetown (13-3, 6-6 ATS) at (9) Pittsburgh (15-2, 8-5-2 ATS)

The Hoyas play a second straight road game against a Top 10 conference opponent when they invade Petersen Events Center looking to end Pittsburgh’s eight-game overall winning streak and 31-game home winning streak.

Georgetown went to Villanova on Sunday and fell 82-77, coming up just short as a 4½-point road underdog. The Hoyas (4-2, 2-4 ATS in Big East play) won their first conference road game by 17 points at DePaul, but they’ve since dropped consecutive roadies at Villanova and Marquette (62-59 as a 1½-point underdog) by a total of eight points. Georgetown has averaged 78 ppg in its last three contests, but the once-stout defense has surrendered season-highs of 82 and 73 points in the last two after holding its first 14 opponents to 70 points or less.

Pittsburgh staged a big rally in the final minute on Saturday against Louisville to force overtime, then held on for an 82-77 Big East win as a 1½-point home favorite. The Panthers (5-0, 4-0-1 ATS in the Big East) trailed the majority of the second half and were losing by five points with 34 seconds left, but Louisville missed four foul shots down the stretch while the Panthers hit two free throws with 1.9 seconds remaining to send the game to overtime. Pitt has cashed in four straight games and is 6-0-1 ATS in lined action during its winning streak.

The Panthers’ 31-game home winning streak is second-best in the nation behind Kansas’ 52-game run. This year, Pitt is 10-0 at Petersen Events Center, outscoring visitors 14.3 ppg (68.2-53.9) and outshooting them 49 percent to 36 percent.

Pitt has pulled off three straight upsets against Georgetown, winning last year’s lone meeting 70-54 as a 3½-point road ‘dog. The pup has cashed in six of the last eight meetings and the visitor is 10-3 ATS in the last 13 regular-season series clashes (with the Hoyas getting the money in five of their last seven trips to Pittsburgh).

Georgetown has cashed in four of its last five after a non-cover and it is 11-4-1 ATS in its last 16 Wednesday outings. On the other hand, the Hoyas are in pointspread ruts of 10-20-1 overall, 6-20 in Big East games and 4-11 after a SU loss. In addition to going 6-0-1 ATS in their last seven overall and 4-0-1 ATS in Big East Play, the Panthers are on pointspread surges of 4-0-2 at home, 5-0-1 after a SU win, 3-0-1 after a spread-cover and 8-1-2 against winning teams.

The under is 8-3 in the Hoyas’ last 11 on Wednesday, 4-1 in their last five against winning teams and 4-1 in Pitt’s last five against opponents with a  winning record. However, the over is 23-11-1 in the Panthers’ last 35 conference contests. Finally, four of the last five head-to-head clashes between these schools have stayed low.

ATS ADVANTAGE: PITT and UNDER


Wake Forest (12-4, 6-7 ATS) at (24) North Carolina (12-6, 6-10 ATS)

Less than a year removed from winning the national championship, the Tar Heels now find themselves clinging to a Top 25 ranking as they take a two-game losing skid into an ACC clash with Wake Forest at the Dean Smith Center.

The Demon Deacons got destroyed at Duke on Sunday, losing 90-70 as a 16-point road underdog. Wake Forest has dropped two of its last three games, with both defeats coming on the road in ACC play (the other being a 67-66 loss at Miami as a 5½-point pup). Prior to this mini-slump, the Deacons had won seven in a row, and three of their last five games have gone to overtime, while a fourth was the one-point loss at Miami. They’re just 2-5 ATS in their last seven contests.

North Carolina has dropped three of its last four games, including the last two in a row to Clemson (83-64 as a five-point road underdog) and Georgia Tech (73-71 as a 6½-point home chalk). In Saturday’s loss to the Yellow Jackets, the Tar Heels rallied from a 42-28 halftime deficit but still couldn’t avoid ending their 19-game home winning streak. UNC’s defense has been a big reason for the team’s struggles this year, as it has given up an average of 82.7 ppg in its six losses.

Wake Forest handed the Tar Heels their second defeat of the season last year, winning 92-89 as a 6½-point home underdog, ending a four-game SU and ATS losing skid in this rivalry (all as an underdog). The Demon Deacons are 5-2 ATS in their last seven trips to Chapel Hill, and the SU winner has covered the spread in each of the last 15 head-to-head meetings.

As part of Wake Forest’s current 2-5 ATS slump, it has failed to cash in four of its last five conference games and is 2-5 ATS in its last seven after a non-cover. North Carolina is 35-16-1 ATS in its last 52 games after a defeat, but otherwise the defending champs are 1-5 ATS in their last six overall, 1-4 ATS in their last five on Wednesday and 7-20 ATS in their last 27 ACC contests.

The over has hit in five of the last six in this rivalry, with the last four at the Dean Dome topping the posted total. The over is also 7-1 in UNC’s last eight games on Wednesday and 4-1 in Wake’s last five overall, but otherwise the under is on stretches of 6-2 for the Deacons on the road, 5-2 for the Tar Heels overall, 4-1 for the Tar Heels at home and 4-0 for the Tar Heels in ACC play.

ATS ADVANTAGE: WAKE FOREST


(25) Baylor (14-2, 7-2 ATS) at (3) Kansas (16-1, 7-6-1 ATS)

The third-ranked Jayhawks shoot for their 53rd consecutive win at Allen Fieldhouse when they host Baylor in a Big 12 battle.

The Bears had a nine-game winning streak snapped eight days ago at Colorado, losing 78-71 as a three-point road chalk in their first conference road game of the season. But they rebounded Saturday, routing Oklahoma State 83-70 as a six-point home favorite. In addition to losing at Colorado, Baylor’s only other setback this season came on a neutral court against Alabama (79-76 as a one-point favorite). The Bears have scored at least 70 points in eight straight games, and prior to the last two contests they had held eight of nine opponents to 64 points or less.

After two lackluster performances on the road (eight-point loss at Tennessee followed by a 12-point win at Nebraska), Kansas returned to its dominating ways Saturday, throttling Texas Tech 89-63 and easily cashing as a 21½-point home favorite following an 0-2-1 ATS dip. The Jayhawks’ 52-game winning streak is the best in the nation, and it includes 11 victories this year by an average of 31.1 ppg (90.3-59.2). Kansas makes 51 percent of its shots at Allen Fieldhouse and holds the opposition to 35 percent (27.6 percent on three-pointers).

The Jayhawks went to Baylor last February and rolled 75-65 as a 1½-point road underdog, but the Bears got revenge in the first round of the Big 12 tournament, scoring a shocking 71-64 upset as an eight-point underdog. That win ended Baylor’s eight-game SU losing skid in this rivalry, and the teams have now alternated spread-covers in the last nine clashes, with the underdog going 7-3 ATS in the last 10 (3-0 ATS in the last three). Also, the visitor has cashed in nine of the past 10 regular-season battles, with Baylor going 6-0 ATS in its last six visits to Lawrence, Kan., all as a double-digit ‘dog.

The Bears are on ATS rolls of 7-1 overall, 4-1 on the road, 5-2 in league play, 7-1 against winning teams and 5-1 after a SU victory. Kansas is 35-16-1 ATS during its 52-game home winning streak, and the Jayhawks are also on pointspread rolls of 36-17-2 overall, 18-6-2 in conference, 19-6-2 on Wednesday and 42-20-2 versus opponents that have a winning record.

Baylor is on “over” surges of 4-0 overall and 4-1 in Big 12 play, but four of its last five on Wednesday have stayed low. Meanwhile, the Jayhawks sport “under” trends of 6-2 overall, 5-0 at home, 22-6 after a SU victory and 8-1 following a non-cover. Finally, last year’s two meetings between these clubs stayed below the posted total.

ATS ADVANTAGE: UNDER

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Re: NCAAB News and Notes Wednesday 1/20

Wednesday Wagers
By Brian Edwards

**Wake Forest at North Carolina**

--Las Vegas Sports Consultant opened North Carolina (12-6 straight up, 6-10 against the spread) as a nine-point favorite.

--UNC has lost back-to-back games and three of its last four, including Saturday’s 73-71 loss to Georgia Tech as a 6 ½-point home favorite. The Tar Heels rallied from 20 points down to take the lead late in the second half, only to lose when the Yellow Jackets made more plays in the final minute. Williams Graves had 24 points, seven rebounds and three assists in the losing effort.

--After the loss to Ga. Tech, UNC head coach Roy Williams told the Associated Press, “We were so tentative, so tight early, it was unbelievable. You can't expect things to be given to you. In the ACC, you have to play and you have to take things. You have to compete.”

--Wake Forest (12-4 SU, 6-7 ATS) is looking to bounce back from Sunday night’s 90-70 loss at Duke as a 16-point underdog. The 160 combined points sailed ‘over’ the 148 ½-point total. Al-Farouq Aminu had 22 points and 10 rebounds, while Chas McFarland finished with 17 points and 10 boards in the losing effort.

--Wake’s four losses have come vs. William & Mary, at Purdue, at Miami and at Duke. The Deac’s best road win came at Gonzaga. They own quality home wins over Richmond, Xavier, N.C. St. and Maryland, with each of those victories coming in overtime except for the triumph over the Wolfpack.

--Dino Gaudio’s squad is 2-2 ATS in four games as an underdog. Meanwhile, UNC is 3-2 ATS in five single-digit ‘chalk’ spots.

--North Carolina had won all of its 11 games at the Dean Dome before Ga. Tech came to town this past weekend. However, the Tar Heels are just 4-6 ATS at home.

--Before falling to Ga. Tech, UNC got spanked 83-64 at Clemson as a five-point road underdog last week. If the Tar Heels lost to Wake, it would be their first three-game losing streak in ACC play in four seasons.

--UNC sophomore center Tyler Zeller is out until at least mid-February with a broken foot. Zeller was averaging 9.6 points and 4.5 rebounds per game in UNC’s first 16 contests.

--Bettors should check the injury status of a pair of UNC players on Wednesday. As of Tuesday afternoon, sophomore center Ed Davis was listed as “questionable” with a sore knee, while Larry Drew II was also “questionable” with an ankle injury. Davis averages a double-double, 14.7 PPG and 10.1 RPG. Drew is averaging 8.4 points and a team-high 6.4 assists per contest.

--These teams met only once last season with Wake capturing a 92-89 win as a 6 ½-point home underdog. Jeff Teague, now with the Atlanta Hawks, scored a game-high 34 points for the Deacs, while McFarland had 20 points and nine rebounds.

--The ‘under’ has cashed in three straight Carolina games. The ‘under’ is 7-6 overall for UNC, 4-3 in its home outings.

--The ‘over’ has hit in four of Wake’s last five games. For the season, the Deacs have watched the ‘over’ go 7-5 overall, although the ‘under’ is 4-2 in their road assignments.

--The ‘over’ is on a 5-1 run in the last six Wake-UNC meetings.

--Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.
   
**Baylor at Kansas**

--LVSC opened Kansas (16-1 SU, 7-6-1 ATS) as a 15 1/2-point favorite.

--Since suffering its lone loss of the year Jan. 10 at Tennessee, KU has won consecutive games by double-digit margins. The Jayhawks won 84-72 at Nebraska last Wednesday as 12-point road favorites. Next, they trounced Texas Tech 89-63 Saturday as 21 ½-point home ‘chalk.’ Marcus Morris was the catalyst against the Red Raiders, scoring 20 points and pulling down eight rebounds. Cole Aldrich added 14 points, seven boards and three blocked shots.

--Baylor (14-2 SU, 7-2 ATS) saw its nine-game winning streak snapped in last Tuesday’s 78-71 loss at Colorado as a three-point road favorite. The Bears bounced back Saturday by thumping Oklahoma St. 83-70 as six-point home favorites. LaceDarius Dunn scored a team-high 25 points and pulled down nine rebounds. Anthony Jones added 16 points, while Ekpe Udoh finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots.

--Bill Self’s team is unbeaten in 11 home games, compiling a 5-3 spread record. The Jayhawks are 6-5-1 ATS as double-digit favorites (regardless of the venue).

--Baylor has been an underdog three times this year, winning outright in each instance. The Bears beat Xavier 69-64 as 6 ½-point ‘dogs at a neutral-site game in Florida. They also picked up wins at Arizona St. and at South Carolina. This is their first double-digit underdog situation of the year.

--Kansas has won nine in a row against Baylor, but the Bears are 6-4 ATS in the last 10 head-to-head meetings. The road team is 10-1 ATS in the last 11 encounters between these Big 12 adversaries.

--The ‘under’ is 8-5 overall for KU, 5-2 in its home games.

--The ‘over’ has hit in four consecutive Baylor games and is 6-3 overall for the Bears.

--ESPN2 will have the telecast at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

--George Blaney will serve as UConn’s interim head coach while Jim Calhoun is on a medical leave of absence. That starts Wednesday vs. St. John’s.

--Michigan St. will take on Iowa at the Breslin Center with tip-off slated for 6:30 p.m. Eastern on the Big Ten Network. LVSC opened the Spartans as 22 ½-point home favorites.

--Pitt will host Georgetown at 7:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPNU. LVSC opened the Panthers as two-point favorites.

More nuggets to be added after Tuesday's card is completed, so please check back later...

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