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College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, February 23

College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, February 23

College Knowledge

-- Memphis (+1.5) won 89-76 at Southern Miss Feb 9, making 60% of shots inside arc, 9-19 from arc; Tigers won 18 of last 19 series games, are 9-0 in last nine here, with five wins by 14+ points. USM is 21-6 despite turning ball over 23.7% of time (327th in country). Memphis won last 17 games; they're 6-0 at home in C-USA, with four wins by 11+ points. C-USA home favorites of 7 or less points are 16-10 vs spread.
-- Sellout crowd of 36,000+ for Georgetown's last visit to Carrier Dome, where Hoyas lost six of last seven visits, by 5-14-7-4-17-3 points, with three losses in OT. Orange won six of last seven series games overall. Big East home favorites of 7 or less points are 6-22 vs spread. Georgetown won its last eight games, winning at Cincinnati, Notre Dame. Syracuse is 6-0 at home in Big East, with five wins by 11+ points.
-- NC State (-4) beat North Carolina 91-83 Jan 26, leading by 28 with 13:22 left, then hanging on for only their second win in last 20 games vs rival Tar Heels; Wolfpack lost last nine visits here, with seven of last eight by 13+ points. State lost four of last five road games, with win by point at Clemson. UNC won its last five home games, all by 10+ points. ACC home favorites of 6 or less points are 6-15 vs spread.
-- Home side won last five New Mexico-Colorado State games, as Lobos lost last two visits here, by 6-8 points. New Mexico (-5) hung on to beat Rams 66-61 Jan 23, after leading by 22 with 11:59 left; they've won four of last five games- they scored 34-55 points in only two MWC losses, in San Diego/Vegas. State won six of last seven games, are 5-0 at home in MWC. MWC home favorites of 7 or less points are 12-6 vs spread.

-- Oklahoma won three of last four games; they're 5-1 at home in Big X, with only loss by hoop to K-State; Sooners (+6.5) won 74-71 at Baylor Jan 30, shooting 58.5% inside arc while Bears were 6-27 outside. Baylor lost five of last seven games, losing its last three road games by 8-2-20 points. Big X home favorites of 7 or less points are 7-10 vs spread. Last five Oklahoma games, six of last eight Baylor games went over total.
-- Marquette won three of last four games vs Villanova; last six games in series were decided by 5 or less points. Eagles are 2-3 in last five visits here, losing by 5-18-5 points. Marquette won four of last five games, is 2-3 in last five road games. Villanova won four of its last five home tilts. Five of last seven Villanova games stayed under total. Big East home favorites of 5 or less points are 3-17 against the spread.
-- UNLV lost its last four road games, including losses at Fresno and Air Force; they beat Wyoming 62-50 (-9) at home Jan 24, 18th series win in last 21 games for Rebels. Wyoming is 3-3 at home in MWC, losing by 2-9-4 points, but Washington didn't play last game; if he is out here, will be tough to match Rebels' size inside. UNLV won last two games, both by hoop at home. MWC home underdogs are 10-3 vs spread.
-- Kentucky's defensive eFG% in last three games: 54.7/63.0/54.9, after it had been over 46% in only one of previous seven games, when Noel was healthy. Wildcats won last five home games, holding on to win by 4 over Vandy last game. Missouri lost three of last four road games, with only win at lowly Miss State. SEC home favorites of 6 or less points are 8-11 vs spread. Last three Missouri games stayed under the total.

-- Rare trip east of Rockies for Montana, which is 15-1 in last 16 games, splitting pair with Weber State, only other Big Sky team ranked in top 250 in country; Griz is 1-3 vs top 100 teams, losing to Colorado State by 7, BYU by 25. Davidson went 5-6 vs #15 non-conference schedule; they've won 11 games in row since, but Charleston is only team in that stretch ranked in top 225. Under is 6-1-1 in last eight Davidson games.
-- Quick turnaround for St Mary's team that won 11 of its last 12 games, beating WCC rival BYU late Thursday night; Gaels lost Bracket Buster games last two years- they're 3-4 vs top 100 teams, losing at Northern Iowa of MVC by 7 in December, and losing twice to Gonzaga. Last six Creighton games stayed under total. Bluejays lost four of last six games on road; they haven't played since Tuesday, so more time to prepare.
-- South Dakota State lost in double OT at Bakersfield Wednesday; they are 6-8 in true road games, losing by 27 at Belmont in December in road trip similar to this one. Jackrabbits won 10 of last 12 games overall, but lost last two on road. Murray State won in double OT at Morehead last game, after losing two games before that, all on road- they've won five in row at home. Over is 5-2 in Murray State's last seven games.
-- Northern Iowa won last six games, allowing 55.8 ppg; Panthers won six in row at home, are 3-7 vs top 50 teams- they've played #38 schedule in nation to this point. Denver runs Princeton offense, hard to prep for, but UNI hasn't played since Tuesday. Pioneers are 13-1 in last 14 games after a 4-7 start; they're 0-6 vs teams ranked in top 80; #100 Utah State is best team they've beaten this season.
-- Ohio forces turnovers on 26.3% of possessions, #4 in country; they're 12-1 in last 13 games, with only loss at #43 Akron. Bobcats are 1-4 vs top 100 teams, with only win over #93 Richmond in November. This is rare national TV exposure for both Ohio/Belmont, which is playing first home game in three weeks. Bruins shoot 56.1% inside arc, 38.8% outside arc- they're #4 in country in eFG%. Can they handle Ohio's pressure?

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, February 23

Weekend Lean Sheet
By David Banks

VCU at Xavier

VCU is looking to bounce back from a 76-62 loss at Saint Louis on Tuesday, but the Rams are still the highest ranked Atlantic 10 Conference team on the Pomeroy Ratings at 22nd in the country overall. The Rams are much improved offensively compared to the last couple of years as they now rank 20th in offensive efficiency, while at the same time they have continued to play the pressure defense that has personified Shaka Smart coached teams, leading the nation in defensive turnover percentage. Xavier is a disappointing 10-5 and has yet to beat a Pomeroy Top 40 team all season. VCU is 21-13, 61.8 percent in its last 34 games when coming off of a road loss. LEAN: VCU

NC State at North Carolina

These teams were involved in a wild 91-83 shootout the first time they met this season and there is really no reason to believe the pace of this game will be any slower. NC State ranks sixth in the country in offensive efficiency and 17th in effective field goal percentage, and it also ranks sixth in three-point shooting. Unfortunately, the defense is ranked 148th in effective field goal percentage allowed, leaving the Wolfpack vulnerable to high scoring games. The Tar Heels will likely oblige here as North Carolina is ranked fifth in the nation with a tempo rating of 72.7 possessions per game, and they are on a mini-roll winning two straight games since a narrow five-point loss at Duke. The 'over' is 9-5, 64.3 percent in the last 14 North Carolina conference games when coming off of an 'under'. LEAN: OVER

Detroit at Wichita State

One if the BracketBuster games this weekend sees a Wichita State team ranked 31st overall on the Pomeroy Ratings hosting a Detroit team ranked 63rd. Besides being the higher ranked team the Shockers come out of the stronger conference in the Missouri Valley, which is the third ranked mid-major as a whole on Pomeroy. Yes Detroit is ranked 18th in the country in offensive efficiency, but the Titans are not used to facing defenses like Wichita State posses in the Horizon League, as the Shockers rank 22nd in defensive efficiency and 32nd in effective field goal percentage against. Conversely, the Titans are a dismal 156th in defensive efficiency and 308th in effective field goal percentage against vs. an easier schedule. Detroit is 9-19-1 ATS in its last 29 non-conference games.  LEAN: WICHITA STATE

Marquette at Villanova

Marquette is in a three-way tie atop the Big East standings with Syracuse and Georgetown as they are all 10-3 in conference play. The Golden Eagles must now guard against looking ahead to their big home date with Syracuse on Monday, but the fact that a loss here would diminish the importance of that game should be enough to keep Marquette motivated. Villanova had that unconscious spell last month when they beat Louisville and Syracuse in consecutive games, but the Wildcats have come back to earth since than and sit at just 8-6 in conference play. Villanova is ranked only 197th nationally in effective field goal percentage, so the Cats could have trouble keeping pace vs. a hot Marquette team that is ranked an excellent 14th in the country in effective efficiency. Marquette is 16-8 ATS in its last 24 road games.  LEAN: Marquette

Nevada at San Diego State

This is a bigger mismatch this season than it would have been in previous years as Nevada is a team in transition. The Wolf Pack are 12-13 overall and just 3-8 in conference play in their first season in the Mountain West after coming over from the WAC, as they are ranked just 253rd in effective field goal percentage and 247th in effective field goal percentage against. They also enter this contest having lost five of their last six games including losing as a home favorite to Fresno State in overtime on Tuesday. On the other hand, San Diego State is ranked 17th in the country overall on the Pomeroy Ratings, and the key to the Aztecs' success had been their defense, as they rank 13th in defensive efficiency and 19th in eFG% against. These teams have already met this season with San Diego State prevailing by 21 points on the road in Reno. Nevada is 11-20-2 ATS in its last 33 games after being favored in its previous game.  LEAN: SAN DIEGO STATE

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, February 23

College Basketball: Streaks, Tips, Notes 
Miami (FL) at Wake Forest February

Canes on a 14-0 (8-5-1 ATS) streak and still undefeated in the ACC (13-0, 7-5-1 ATS) try to remain flawless within the conference when they travel to Winston-Salem on Saturday to take on Wake Forest (11-14, 14-8-1 ATS). Canes defined more by it`s play at the defensive end limiting foes to a mere 58.4 PPG, on 37.9% shooting while scoring 68.9 points/game should keep the momentum rolling as they're 6-1 (3-3 ATS) last seven vs Demon Deacons. Win yes, cover ? May be a chore, Canes haven't exactly been best bets on the road in conference play posting a 2-4-1 mark at the betting window and as bad as Wake has been in the ACC (4-9) they've paid at the cash window going 8-5 ATS including covering 4-of-5 vs the top four teams sitting behind Canes in the conference.

Georgetown at Syracuse

The eight-ranked Syracuse Orange put a 38-0 home court winning streak on the line Saturday as they welcome eleventh-ranked Georgetown Hoyas to the Carrier Dome for Big East showdown. Orange routing Providence 84-59 in a tune-up to this battle enter 22-4 (14-8 ATS), 10-3 (7-6 ATS) in the conference behind a healthy 75.2 PPG while allowing 59.3 PPG on a mere 37.0% shooting by the opposition. Hoyas destroying DePaul 90-66 in it's tune-up marking an eight consecutive win/cover head into the much-anticipated matchup 20-4 (13-7 ATS) with an identical 10-3 (11-2 ATS) mark in Big East play. Georgetown not as productive netting 65.3 PPG but Hoyas are stingier on the defensive end as they allow just 56.1 PPG on 37.6% shooting from the floor. Plenty of reason to consider Orange who seem unbeatable at the Carrier Dome posting thirty-eight straight victories cashing 22 of the 33 lined games and owning a smart 11-4 (9-6 ATS) regular season stretch vs Hoyas including 7-1 (3-4 ATS) running the hardwood in Syracuse.

TCU at Kansas

Jayhawks escaping Oklahoma State with a 68-67 double overtime win moving to 22-4 (12-13 ATS) on the year, 10-3 (6-7 ATS) in the conference return to the comfort of Allen Fieldhouse where they will host basement dwelling TCU (10-16, 6-15 ATS). Jayhawks lead by Ben McLemore (16.2) netting 73.2 PPG will be mindful of the fact that they were ambushed 62-55 by Horned Frogs back on February 6th. Jayhawks 13-1 (7-6 ATS) on home court and still seething from the earlier defeat aren't about to squander an opportunity vs offensively challenged (54.2 PPG) Horned Frogs unable to solve Big 12 opponents winning just one of it's first thirteen tries (3-10 ATS) including a horrendous 0-6 on the road (2-4 ATS).

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, February 23

Saturday's Top 25 NCB Betting Notes

Check out our quick-hitting betting notes on Saturday’s Top-25 college basketball matchups:

Seton Hall at (10) Louisville (-19.5)

Louisville hosts Seton Hall in search of its sixth win in seven games. Notwithstanding the Cardinals' 104-101 five-overtime loss to Notre Dame, they’ve earned four of those five victories by at least 14 points. Seton Hall is looking to snap an eight-game losing streak and fell 73-58 in the last meeting with Louisville on Jan. 9. The Pirates are 0-4 ATS in the last four clashes between the schools.

(2) Miami-Florida at Wake Forest (+8.5)

Miami, in first place in the ACC, looks to extend its win streak to 15 games when the Hurricanes visit Wake Forest. Miami is 10-1 on the road, including 7-0 in the ACC, while Wake Forest, which is 9-4 at home, has lost eight of its last 10 games. The Demon Deacons are coming off a 57-56 home loss to Georgia Tech last Saturday. The Hurricanes are 10-1 ATS in their last 11 Saturday games.

Southern Miss at (19) Memphis (-7)

The Golden Eagles have lost 10 straight to ranked teams while the Tigers have won 17 consecutive games. Southern Miss has won three in a row since losing 89-76 to Memphis two weeks ago and is 0-4-1 ATS in its last five road games.

(24) VCU at Xavier (+3.5)

Xavier needs to finish strong to extend its streak of seven consecutive NCAA tournament appearances. Both teams have a shot at securing a top-four finish in the Atlantic 10, which carries with it a bye past the opening round of the league tournament. The Rams have tallied 70-plus points in nine of their conference games, but are 0-4 ATS in their last four road contests.

(14) Oklahoma State at West Virginia (+4.5)

Oklahoma State dropped a full game behind Kansas and Kansas State with five games to play in the regular season after losing 68-67 in double-overtime to the Jayhawks on Wednesday. West Virginia is 0-7 against the six teams ranked above it in the Big 12 standings, which doesn’t bode well for the Mountaineers’ chances in the conference tournament. West Virginia is coming off a 10-point loss to Kansas State in a game that wasn't that close, and the Mountaineers lost 80-66 to Oklahoma State on Jan. 26 in Stillwater. The Cowboys are 4-1 ATS in their last five games following an ATS loss.

Washington State at (12) Arizona (-15)

Arizona is in a first-place tie in the Pac-12 with four regular-season games remaining and knows it can’t afford a stumble against last-place Washington State. The Wildcats notched a 79-65 road win over the Cougars, who have lost seven straight games and are just 1-7 on the road, on Feb. 2. Washington State is 0-5 ATS in the last five meetings.

TCU at (9) Kansas (-24.5)

The Horned Frogs have won once in conference play, taking down the Jayhawks 62-55 on Feb. 6. That defeated prompted Kansas coach Bill Self to say it was the worst team the school has put on the floor "since Dr. Naismith was there." TCU's stunning upset of the Jayhawks was its first-ever win in the Big 12, but the Horned Frogs have reverted to their losing ways since that landmark victory by dropping their last four games. TCU has won only once away from home -- at Rice on Dec. 22 -- and has been overwhelmed in six conference road games, losing by an average of 21.3 points. The Horned Frogs have lost 12 of 13 overall.

(16) New Mexico at (21) Colorado State (-6)

New Mexico has a chance to expand its lead in the Mountain West, while host Colorado State is looking to move into a tie for first when the two squads meet Saturday. The Lobos have a one-game lead over the Rams and can move closer to the conference regular-season crown if it can end Colorado State’s 27-game homecourt winning streak. The Rams are 14-0 at home this season. The Lobos are 1-4 ATS in their last five trips to Colorado St.

(11) Georgetown at (8) Syracuse (-7)

A share of first place is on the line with these teams in a three-way tie with Marquette atop the Big East, and a record crowd of 35,012 is expected to pack the Carrier Dome. Georgetown has won eight straight games since its surprising loss to South Florida, while Syracuse has won four of its last five. The Hoyas have dropped their last two games against Syracuse, which hasn’t lost at the Carrier Dome this season. Georgetown is 10-1 ATS in its last 11 games overall.

(20) Marquette at Villanova (-1)

The Golden Eagles have been stuck in a two-win, one-loss pattern since Jan. 12, but a victory against the Wildcats would be their third straight. Marquette’s bench has been outstanding, outscoring opposing reserves 736-351 this season. Villanova has won four of its last five following Monday’s 71-63 victory over Rutgers. The Wildcats are 6-1 ATS in their last seven Saturday games.

Arkansas at (4) Florida (-17.5)

The Razorbacks, who have won three straight, beat Florida 80-69 on Feb. 5. That's the most points allowed by a Gator defense ranked third in the country in scoring defense (53 points). The Gators are 12-0 at home while Arkansas is 1-5 in road SEC games. The Razorbacks are 4-0 ATS in their last four games vs. a team with a winning record.

San Diego at (3) Gonzaga (-21)

Gonzaga will try to keep its perfect West Coast Conference record intact - and its hopes for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament alive - when it hosts San Diego. The Bulldogs have won their 13 WCC games by an average of nearly 19 points, but their closest margin of victory came in their ninth straight win over the Toreros, 65-63, on Feb. 2. Gonzaga is 0-5 ATS in its last five Saturday games.

(13) Kansas State at Texas (+2.5)

After Monday's 71-61 win over West Virginia, K-State kept pace in the Big 12 standings, as the Wildcats remain in a tie for first place with No. 9/9 Kansas with 10-3 league records. Texas enters Saturday's contest with wins in two of its last three games since the return of sophomore guard Myck Kabongo, who returned on a Feb. 13 after a 23-game NCAA?suspension.  The Longhorns are averaging 63.9 points on 40.9 percent shooting, including 27.9 percent from 3-point range, while holding opponents to 63.5 points on 36.8 percent shooting, including an NCAA-best 26.8 percent from beyond the arc. The Longhorns are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games.

Stanford at (23) Oregon (-3)

Oregon is deadlocked for first place in the Pac-12 standings heading into Saturday’s game against visiting Stanford. The Ducks lost their grip on sole possession by losing for the fourth time in seven games Thursday, giving up a buzzer beater to California in the 48-46 loss. In each of the recent setbacks, Oregon has been held to 54 points or fewer. Stanford began the skid for the Ducks, beating them 76-52 on Jan. 30. The Cardinal are 4-0 ATS in their last four road games.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, February 23

Saturday's Slate
By Brian Edwards

Creighton at Saint Mary’s

As of early Friday night, Saint Mary’s (23-5 straight up, 12-12-1 against the spread) was installed as a 4.5-point favorite at most spots.

Saint Mary's captured a key win Thursday night over BYU in a nail-biter. The Gaels pulled away with free throws in the final minute of a 64-57 victory as 8.5-point home favorites. Matthew Dellavedova scored a game-high 20 points, while Beau Levesque had 17 points and eight rebounds while burying all seven attempts from the charity stripe.

With the win over BYU, Randy Bennett’s team improved to 14-1 SU and 5-8 ATS at home. The Gaels are led by Dellavedova, who leads the team in scoring (16.0 points per game), assists (6.4 APG) and steals (1.2 SPG).

Since losing three in a row, Creighton (22-6 SU, 13-12-1 ATS) has won back-to-back games at Evansville (71-68) and vs. So. Illinois (59-45), failing to take the cash as a 4.5 and 14.5-point favorite in those spots, respectively.

Creighton is mired in an atrocious 1-9-1 ATS slump in its last 11 games.

Creighton is led by the head coach’s son, Doug McDermott, who averages 22.5 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. He is a legitimate first-team All-American candidate who plays incredibly efficient. McDermott shoots 55 percent from the field, 47.8 percent from 3-point land and makes 86.1 percent of his free throws.

Both teams are in dire need of a victory to improve their at-large aspirations, but there’s no doubt that Saint Mary’s needs the win more. The Gaels are 4-3 against the RPI Top 100, but they are winless in a pair of contests against the RPI Top 50 with both defeats coming against Gonzaga.

Saint Mary’s is 50th in the RPI Rankings, while Creighton is 47th in the RPI. However, the Bluejays have solid non-conference wins over Wisconsin, California, Arizona St. and Akron. The fact that the win over the Zips was the only game of those four at home is also worth noting. They are 8-4 against RPI Top 100 opponents.

This is a quick turnaround for Saint Mary’s after playing late Thursday night. On the other hand, Creighton has had two extra days to prepare since Tuesday’s win over So. Illinois.

The ‘under’ is 12-6 overall for the Bluejays, going 8-0 in their road assignments. The ‘under’ has connected in six straight Creighton games and nine of its last 10.

The ‘under’ is 11-8 overall for the Gaels,

ESPN will have the telecast at 6:00 p.m. Eastern.

Missouri at Kentucky

As of early Friday night, most books had Kentucky (18-8 straight up, 8-15 against the spread) listed as a 1.5-point favorite. 

Kentucky has lost four in a row ATS and owns an abysmal 3-10 spread record in its last 13 games. The Wildcats have only covered the spread in one of their six SEC home outings at Rupp Arena.

John Calipari’s team is going into its third game without freshman sensation Nerlens Noel, who went down for the season after suffering a torn ACL in a loss at Florida. Noel was leading the ‘Cats in rebounding (9.4 per game), field-goal percentage (59.0%), steals (2.1 SPG) and blocked shots (4.4 BPG).

In Kentucky’s first game without Noel, it took the worst beating of Cal’s tenure in an 88-58 loss at Tennessee. Calipari had not tasted defeat so decisively since his first season as a head coach in 1989.

UK staved off Vanderbilt’s upset bid at Rupp on Tuesday, capturing a 74-70 win as an 11-point home favorite. The Commodores sliced what was once a 13-point deficit to 61-59 with 3:57 remaining. But Kentucky avoided more embarrassment thanks to the play of Willie Cauley-Stein, who finished with a career-high 20 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots. Archie Goodwin added 16 points and six boards.

Missouri (19-7 SU, 11-11 ATS) is coming off its best effort of the season, rallying from a 13-point second-half deficit to win a 63-60 decision over Florida as a five-point home underdog. The Tigers hooked up money-line supporters with a payout in the plus-185 range (risk $100 to win $185). Laurence Bowers, who missed the first meeting against the Gators, a blowout loss in Gainesville, came up big at crunch time en route to a 17-point, 10-rebound effort. Phil Pressey finished with seven points, 10 assists, six rebounds and three steals, while Jabari Brown had 12 points and drained three long jumpers from deep.

As of early Friday morning, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi had Kentucky among his ‘first four teams out’ of the NCAA Tournament field. UK has an RPI of 48 and has zero wins over the RPI Top 50. The Wildcats’ best win is at Ole Miss (RPI: 57).

UK has won 13 of its 15 home games, posting a mediocre 5-7 spread record.

Missouri is 1-2 ATS in three true road games as an underdog and we should mention that Bowers was absent in both non-covers at Ole Miss and at Florida.

Frank Haith’s squad is 3-3 against the RPI Top 50 with wins over Florida, Illinois and VCU. The Tigers, who are 33rd in the RPI, are 8-6 against the RPI Top 100.

Although Missouri has seen the ‘under’ cash in three straight games, the ‘over’ is still 11-7 overall. The ‘under’ is 4-3 in the Tigers’ seven true road assignments.

The ‘over’ is 12-10 overall for UK, 6-5 in its 11 home games with a total.

Tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets

Two of the nation’s best players will be on display in Saturday’s BracketBuster matchup between Murray St. and South Dakota St. The Jackrabbits have a star in senior guard Nate Wolters, who averages 23.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game. Wolters is shooting 49.4 percent from the floor and making 41.4 percent of his attempt from deep. The Racers are led by senior guard Isaiah Canaan, who averages 21.2 points and 4.2 assists per contest. This game will be played in Murray, KY., on ESPN2 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern. Most spots opened Murray St. as a three-point 'chalk.'

D.J. Cooper will lead Ohio into Nashville to face Belmont in another intriguing BracketBuster showdown. Tip-off is slated for 10:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2. The Bruins are 29th in the RPI Rankings with a 6-3 record against RPI Top 100 foes. The Bobcats, who advanced to the Sweet 16 last season before losing to North Carolina in overtime, have an RPI of 75 with only one Top 100 win over Richmond.

Most books opened Syracuse as a seven-point home favorite vs. Georgetown. I like the Hoyas, who have won eight in a row and 10 of their last 11 both SU and ATS.

Florida will host Arkansas in a revenge game Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPNU. The Razorbacks thumped the Gators at Bud Walton Arena a few weeks ago. UF will be in bounce-back mode after letting a double-digit second-half lead slip away Tuesday night at Missouri.

Florida reserve forward Casey Prather has knocked down 17-of-23 shots (73.9%) from the field in the team’s last four games.

Mark Fox’s Georgia squad can’t buy a break. The Bulldogs lost a heartbreaker in overtime at Ole Miss last Saturday when they didn’t get a call at the end of regulation. Then Thursday night in Fayetteville, UGA dropped a 62-60 decision at Arkansas when B.J. Young scored the go-ahead basket with six seconds remaining. The Bulldogs missed a good look at a potential tying bucket at the buzzer. Replays showed that Young’s foot appeared to hit the ground before he launched his winning shot. Alas, a travel was not called and UGA lost a third straight game. However, you won’t find UGA gambling supporters complaining, as it easily took the cash as an 11-point underdog. Georgia is now 7-1 ATS in its last eight games. The Dawgs play South Carolina on Saturday at home in Athens.

With last night’s loss at Saint Mary’s, it’s clear that BYU will have to win the WCC Tournament to get to the Big Dance.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, February 23

College Basketball Point Spreads and Picks
By: Larry Hartstein

The Carrier Dome is adding seats for Saturday’s game. Think about that.

With No. 8 Syracuse set to join the ACC on July 1, the 4 p.m. ET game against No. 11 Georgetown will draw the biggest crowd in dome history.

It’s the final dome meeting between these Big East rivals in a series that’s produced countless memorable moments, and it highlights a Saturday slate featuring 16 ranked teams in action.

Carrier Dome officials are putting fans everywhere, even the football press box.

The total ticket count is 35,012, breaking the mark of 34,616 set for a 2010 game against Villanova. This is the 72nd time Syracuse will draw more than 30,000—17 coming against Georgetown.

Nostalgia is only part of the attraction. Georgetown and Syracuse enter tied with Marquette for first place at 10-3.

Georgetown is the nation’s hottest team against the spread. The Hoyas have won and covered eight straight and 10 of 11. The Orange haven’t been bad lately, going 4-1 SU and ATS. And don’t forget their 38-game home win streak.

The last team to beat the ‘Cuse at the Carrier Dome? Georgetown, on Feb. 9, 2011.

Syracuse’s Big East-best offense (75.2) faces the conference’s second-best defense in Georgetown (56.1). Georgetown has held 10 of its last 11 opponents under 40 percent shooting. The Orange are bigger and own a better rebounding margin, plus-5.3 to plus 1.3.

Hoyas coach John Thompson III didn’t sound concerned about the blow leading scorer and rebounder Otto Porter Jr. took to his right knee Wednesday against DePaul. The injury sidelined Porter for the final 17 minutes, but he’s expected to be full strength or near it Saturday.

Orange point guard Michael Carter-Williams, who had 12 assists in Wednesday’s win over Providence and averages 8.2, could be the key. When he gets sloppy, which is rare, the Orange struggle. Carter-Williams has committed 15 turnovers and shot 27 percent in Syracuse’s four losses.

The teams meet again in Washington, D.C. in the March 9 regular-season finale.

No. 11 Georgetown (20-4 SU, 13-7 ATS) at No. 8 Syracuse (22-4 SU, 14-8 ATS), 4 p.m. ET, CBS

Syracuse -7 Total: 122


Georgetown has won and covered eight straight games.

Georgetown has gone OVER the total in six of its last eight games.

Syracuse has covered four of its past five games.

The underdog has covered the past five meetings.

No. 16 New Mexico (22-4 SU, 13-10-2 ATS) at No. 22 Colorado State (21-5 SU, 12-9-1 ATS), 4 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Network

Colorado State -6 Total: 128

The Rams are on a 5-0-1 ATS run at Moby Arena, where they’ve won 27 straight. They’ve won their five conference home games by an average of 17.8 points. Despite a heartbreaking loss at UNLV on Wednesday—the first time the Rams have been outrebounded all season—they can tie New Mexico for first in the Mountain West by holding serve Saturday.

New Mexico won the first meeting 66-61 a month ago, covering as a 4.5-point home fave.

Here’s what coach Steve Alford said after his team allowed Colorado State to cut a 22-point lead to three late.

"They are a very gritty group," Alford said of the Rams. "They fight you. They do a great job defensively of making it hard on you. And it is, without question, the most relentless rebounding team we have faced all year. They attack the glass on free throws. It's almost as if they're trying to rebound balls on timeouts."

The Lobos are ranked No. 3 in the RPI, but they’re far from dominant. Ten of their wins have come by two possessions or fewer. New Mexico will be fresher, as it hasn’t played in a week. The time off gave point guard Hugh Greenwood, guard Demetrius Walker and center Alex Kirk a chance to rest nagging injuries.


New Mexico and Colorado State have stayed UNDER the total in their past six meetings.

New Mexico has stayed UNDER the total in eight of its past 10 road games.

Colorado State has stayed UNDER the total in seven of its last 10 games.

The home team has covered eight of the last 10 meetings.

Colorado State has covered 13 of its past 19 MWC games.

New Mexico has covered six of its past nine games against teams with a winning record.

Arkansas (17-9 SU, 9-8-1 ATS) at No. 5 Florida (21-4 SU, 14-8 ATS), 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU

Florida -18.5 Total: 139

This game couldn’t set up any better for Florida. The Gators are smarting from Tuesday’s three-point loss at Missouri, and they well remember the 80-69 defeat they took in Fayetteville, the most points they’ve given up all season. In that game, Arkansas hit 8-of-18 on 3-pointers and forced 16 turnovers.

The Razorbacks feed off their home crowd, enabling them to force turnovers and start their break. They’re not nearly as disruptive away. Junior forward Marshawn Powell (15.1 ppg, 5.3 rpg) also tends to get into foul trouble on the road.

Florida has had two extra days to prepare, as the Razorbacks edged Georgia at home Thursday.

The Gators undoubtedly worked on free throws. They hit 6-of-12 in the loss to Missouri.

“It’s hard to explain,” senior guard Mike Rosario told The Gainesville Sun. “Normally, we step up to the line and make those with confidence.”


Arkansas has covered its past four games against winning teams.

Arkansas has stayed UNDER the total in five of its last six road games.

Florida has covered nine of its last 13 home games.

Arkansas has stayed UNDER the total in its past four meetings in Florida.

Florida has covered the past four home meetings with Arkansas.

More Linemaker Leans:

NC State at North Carolina -5.5, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN:
NC State won the first meeting, 91-83, on Jan. 26th, so this is a revenge game for the Tar Heels. The Wolfpack have had some baffling games on the road, losing at Wake Forest and Virginia. Even though it's been an off year by North Carolina standards, the Tar Heels still have only lost to Miami at home. We are looking for the Tar Heels to get their revenge in this one.

Marquette at Villanova -1.5, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN2: Marquette is tied with Syracuse and Georgetown at the top of the Big East (10-3). However, the Golden Eagles only have one big win on the road (Pitt). The Wildcats have been a surprise and they are tough on their home floor. They have wins over Syracuse and Louisville here and we feel they have some value in this spot. Marquette has a date with Syracuse on Monday and could be looking ahead a little bit. Expecting a big game from the Wildcats.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, February 23

Saturday Two-Pack

Two CBB games you can't afford to miss this weekend

College basketball teams across the country only have a handful of regular season games left before conference tournaments begin and that means jockeying for position and (possibly) regular season titles are on the line. Here are two games featuring top-25 conference foes going up against one another that should attract plenty of attention this weekend:

#11 Georgetown vs. #8 Syracuse

This is the first of two meetings between these schools as they will meet in Georgetown two Saturday's from now in the season finale. Both are tied with Marquette at 11-3 SU in conference play for 1st in the Big East and both will want to have the upper hand with a win in this game.
Syracuse is a perfect 16-0 SU at home this year but hasn't been playing their best basketball of late. They are 4-3 SU in their last seven games (4-3 ATS) and will no doubt be laying quite a few points in this one as they haven't been listed as less than 8-point favorites in any home game this year. Georgetown is arguably the best team they have welcomed into their building to date, but many bettors will see Syracuse's flawless home record and the fact that they've won their last two by double digits and be willing to back the Orange in this spot.

But Georgetown has been phenomenal lately (8-0 SU and ATS last eight) and understands that this is the game that could really propel them to a conference title. They already own wins over Marquette and 4th place Louisville this season and will not see either of those team's again. Those are the next two opponents on Syracuse's schedule and a Hoyas win in this one could spark a mini-slide for the Orange that could take them out of the championship picture.

Georgetown is 2-0 ATS and SU in their last two conference games as underdogs (Cincinnati and Notre Dame), and has more than enough talent to keep this one closer than the line may suggest.

#4 Michigan State vs. #18 Ohio State

We can't be surprised to see yet another huge game in the Big 10 conference this weekend as it is the deepest conference by far. The Buckeyes have their shot at redemption in this one as they look to avenge a 59-56 loss @ Michigan State about a month ago.

That game was tied at 53 with under a minute to go when Spartans guard Keith Appling took over and scored the final six points for Michigan State en route to the victory. Appling even corralled the final rebound after Ohio State missed a game-tying 3-pointer with two seconds left, securing the win. The Buckeyes haven't forgotten about that heartbreaking loss and as (likely) small favorites in this position they will look to flip the script.

Michigan State's win that night propelled them on a run through the rankings that has them at their current top-5 position as they've only lost to Indiana (twice) since then. Those two losses were their only two ATS losses in that span as well (eight games) and they need to bounce back after losing their fist at home this year to the Hoosiers. But they aren't quite the same team on the road and Ohio State's 14-2 SU record at home is nothing to overlook. Those two losses for Ohio State came at the hands of Indiana and Kansas; two highly ranked teams themselves.

The Buckeyes are coming into this one full of confidence after blowing out Minnesota 71-45 in this building earlier this week and should get their revenge in this one.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, February 23

Saturday Cliff Notes
By Dave Essler

Missouri at Kentucky: A week ago what would this line have been and would anyone have even considered taking the Tigers! Now it's the Wildcats who may not even make the NCAA tournament, and the Tigers are again playing their way in and up, with at least three and possibly five winnable games left. Against Vanderbilt, Kentucky blocked five shots (only) and three were by Cauley-Stein. That's an awful lot of pressure to be putting on yet another Freshman, and ones who's only played about 40% of the teams minutes this season. Against Tennessee, they blocked three shots, two by Cauley-Stein. But, how over valued is Missouri off the Florida win, when the simple fact remains that there only road win was at Mississippi State. Since Kentucky has simply not been creating turnovers (14th in the SEC) and the Tigers are an excellent free throw shooting team as well as the number one defensive rebounding team, I actually like their chances here. I had thought that perhaps it was now Missouri who would be over valued, but there letdown may come at South Carolina next week against Frank Martin's Gamecocks. Lean Tigers and over without turnovers.

Creighton at St. Mary's: I'd like to take the Gaels here, but with a Thursday game against a BYU team that will wear them out, perhaps not. Both teams desperately need to win to be in, and Creighton has a gimme next before finishing at home against Witchita State, so the situation probably leads me to think that Creighton wins this game, especially with an extra days rest. Between that and the glaring weakness St. Mary's has with perimeter defense, I doubt I could take the home team here. However, the Jays have really struggled to score of late and simply are not road warriors. Both teams very experienced so I doubt they're going to attack each other, much like a playoff game in that teams will, at least initially, play NOT to make mistakes, meaning I may look hard at that under especially given that it will likely be be up from about 146 fairly quickly, so we'll wait for the best number here. Admittedly it appears like the Gaels have been playing better basketball, and the result of the BYU game will tell a lot. They've still only lost at home to Gonzaga, but they've not really beaten a good team. However, not losing at home does instill confidence.

Marquette at Villanova: Somehow Marquette is tied for the Big East lead. 'Nova simply looking to get into the 5-8 spot in the Big East Tournament. 'Cats have been playing some good basketball lately, and maybe their youth is starting to come together, and gain confidence. But, this will be their toughest test in some time. Marquette's conference losses have all come on the road, but they've got a game as soon as Monday back home against Syracuse, so a classic look-ahead spot here.They're (Villanova) is going to want to speed this game up, hence they're going to have to protect the ball. I love what Villanova has been doing on the glass, and given that Marquette plays slow and doesn't fire three's, I like the 'Cats to stay in this game all day. Marquette will be challenged inside by the height of the Wildcats, so a Villanova win is not out of the question.

NC State at North Carolina: Both team with nearly identical records and motivation aside from the normal "we don't like each other" stuff. Only Heels loss at home was to Miami, in a game that was even closer than the score indicated. Miami just made the plays (experience) down the stretch and UNC did not. Wolfpack will be favored in all of their remaining games, so THIS one is big for them, perhaps bigger than it is for North Carolina. They (NC State) can pretty much control their ACC destiny after this. NC State beat them earlier this season in what was a fairly high scoring game, meaning I'd almost automatically look to the under first. NC State just drained threes and lived at the free throw line, something I would expect to correct itself this game. NC State without a real quality road win in Conference (BC and Clemson do not count, although they are tough places to play). This is a game I may look to take NC State 1H and then expect the speed of the game that the Heels play to wear on the thin bench of the Wolfpack, so NC 2H.

Baylor at Oklahoma: Still seething we didn't formally add Iowa State to our Wednesday card, but it is what it is. Anyone who bought the package or is a long term subscriber knew what we were going to do. If the standings in the Big-12 hold fairly true to what they are now, these teams could well meet a third time in a couple of weeks. Baylor lost to the Sooners at home and still have only beaten TCU on the road, while Oklahoma's only home loss was to K-State and they've got a reasonably easy (if there is such a thing) schedule left. Sooners' ought to be favored by perhaps a few more than they should, but with Baylor near the bottom of the conference in creating turnovers and not being as good on the offensive boards as perhaps their length would have you suspect, I can see a Sooner rout. However, Oklahoma does most of their damage inside (Baylor is actually a better perimeter defense) and they are an excellent FT shooting team, so inasmuch as I'd like to make a case for the points, right now I can't.

New Mexico at Colorado State: Too little, too late, for the Rams at UNLV, but they can take plenty from that game. New Mexico's last really good win was over CSU, so clearly there's even more reason for CSU to play hard here. Colorado State will be favored in all their remaining games, while New Mexico has a tough one at SDSU coming up. Obviously the MWC Championship is in Las Vegas, and were it not I would call it a lock that these two meet again for the Conference title and a great seed, so again, this game has ramifications well beyond "this game". It's almost impossible for me to fade a team like CSU that gets nearly every missed shot at both ends of the floor, and for as small as they are it's been tough to fathom all year (see coaching). The caveat when playing New Mexico is their length, but CSU is also one of the most seasoned teams in the nation. They both get to the line a ton and are great FT shooting teams, which would give me a decent lean to the over, even though this game might be played slower than I'd like to make that bet. However, it ought to be plenty close, meaning some free throws late. I just have to wonder if CSU isn't (or won't be) favored by a couple too many.

Denver at Northern Iowa: Clearly Northern Iowa has played the far better schedule this season, so why isn't it just that easy.These teams are mirror images of each other on offense, as both will simply walk the ball up and take the first available three point shot. NI does have a significant height advantage, but in a game like this where rebounds are few and far between because of all the long shots, I'm not sure how much that really matters. Denver's more likely to create a couple of extra turnovers, while NI is likely to grab a few more points at the line. Denver hasn't had a bad loss. They played a tough first 6-8 games, and although they lost most of them, they should have. And have only lost once since December 29th. NI doesn't have a bad loss, either, but Indiana State and E'ville beat them at home. They did, however, beat both Witchita State and Creighton at home. I what should be an extremely low scoring game, I may make the case for Denver here. If they win this game, with their last three at home they would almost certainly finish Conference play at 16-2 and with their RPI and a reasonable showing against LaTech could be in the Tournament.

Southern Miss at Memphis: Southern Miss playing for seeding in the Big Dance, because unless they beat Memphis in the Conference Tournament, that's what's left. Memphis hasn't lost since December 15ht to L'ville, and already beat Southern Miss on the road. Having said that, I suppose Memphis could actually be a little over confident here, maybe thinking about their road game at Xavier on Tuesday. I do like the fact that not only will Memphis get sloppy with the ball, but Southern Miss will indeed create turnovers, but, so will SoMiss and if Memphis forces the pace that could be a problem of epic proportion in the way of easy baskets SoMiss cannot afford to give up. This is the time of year when the contenders separate themselves from pretenders, and simply taking underdogs is a process that typically needs to be revisited. SoMiss is simply going to have to hit their three's to stay in this, because with their size disadvantage Memphis ought to have their way inside. Southern Miss will win their remaining three games, so there is nothing not to leave on the court here. That could mean just about anything. They may well cover at least the first half, and this could be another game we bet in-game.

VCU at Xavier: We faded VCU against St. Louis and may do so again. There Conference schedule has been quite weak and they just don't have a quality road win. Xavier on the other hand has a date with Memphis, while the Rams have a ton of time off. This will be an interesting number. Xavier will slow the game down and has the serious length advantage, but VCU lead the conference in steals, which is interesting because Xavier has had issues protecting the ball. The Musketeers SHOULD control the boards and do defend the arc well, but they're going to have to score inside, and neither team shoots FT's all that well, so we've got a decent lean to the under in this one.

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