College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, March 16

College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, March 16

College Knowledge

Conference USA tournament (Tulsa)
Memphis is 18-0 in league play, 22-2 in last 24 C-USA tourney games; since since '06, Tigers are 117-14 in conference games- they beat USM twice this season, 89-76 (+1.5) on road, 89-73 (-7.5) at home. Southern Miss played four kids 32+ minutes Friday, used only six players more than nine minutes- they're bubble team if they lose. Memphis won true road game at Tulsa last night, only played one kid 30+ minutes- they've won last six C-USA final appearances, with five wins by 11+ points.

SEC tournament (Nashville)
Alabama has gone W-L in last four SEC tourneys, losing by 24-6-14-3 points; Crimson Tide is 3-3 in last six games, losing three of its last four away games- they lost 64-52 (+16) at Florida ten days ago, game Bama led by 8, before Florida outscored them 27-7 over last 11:17, outscoring Tide 22-6 at foul line. Florida last won this tourney in '07; they're 5-1 in last six semi-final appearances, winning by 22-6-16-21-11 points. Tide won its last three games, allowing average of 51.3 ppg.

Ole Miss outscored Missouri 18-6 over final 8:48 last night; Rebels are now 5-1 in last six games- they survived 5-21 shooting from arc Friday. Ole Miss (-8.5) won 89-79 in OT at Vanderbilt Jan 15, game they trailed by 13 with 8:39 left. Vandy upset Kentucky Friday, they're 6-1 in last seven games after 10-15 start- they played two kids 33+ minutes, three subs 19+ Friday, as they play here for 3rd day in row, but this tourney is also in Nashville, albeit not on Commodores' unusual home court.

ACC tournament (Greensboro)
Over last decade, Miami has won twice in only one ACC tourney, year Hurricanes went 4-12 during season. Miami struggled with BC Friday, but had bye Thursday; they got tip-in at buzzer to beat NC State 79-78 (even) Feb 2, in game State led by 5 with 1:51 left, as Miami shot 67.5% inside arc, 3-21 outside arc that game. NC State won eight of its last 10 games; Wolfpack won last two days by 17-19 points, so they haven't been overextended.

Maryland beat Duke Friday for second time this year, most pundits are saying they need this win too, to make NCAAs, but traditionally hard for team to get back up after upsetting Duke. Terps played four starters 30+ minutes Friday- they lost twice to North Carolina this year by 10-11 points. Carolina soph Hairston hurt his hand last night, status for this is unknown; Tar Heels won four of last five semi-final games, winning by 15-2-5-2 points- they've won seven of last eight games overall.

Atlantic 16 tournament (Brooklyn)
Butler is now 16-6 in last 22 conference tournament games, but they got beat twice by Saint Louis this year, 75-58 (+2.5) on road Jan 31, 65-61 at home Feb 22. Bulldogs were -23 in turnovers (37-14) in those games. Veteran Billikens (top 6 guys juniors/seniors) won 13 of last 14 games- they had bye Thursday, while Butler is playing third day in row. Butler played three starters 32+ minutes Friday, had two subs play 17-23- they've won last four games, after losses to Billikens/VCU.

VCU is now 20-5 in last 25 conference tourney games; they didn't play Thursday, while UMass is playing 3rd day in row, which could hurt vs Rams' pressure. VCU forces turnovers 28.6% of time, most in country. Minutemen played three starters 31+ minutes Friday; its star Williams played 78 minutes last two nites. VCU (-11.5) won 86-68 over UMass Feb 14, forcing 24 turnovers (+16) while holding Williams to six points. Rams won nine of their last 11 games overall.

Big Dozen tourney (Chicago)
Over last decade, Wisconsin is 4-1 in its second Big Dozen tournament game, winning by 2-3-12-2 points; they beat Indiana 64-59 Jan 15, with Hoosiers other than Zeller making only 8-27 from floor. Indiana is 3-2 in last five games after a 24-3 start- they played their starters 30+ minutes Friday, even though they led by 14 at half, weren't really challenged by Illini in 80-64 win. Weird that #1 seed Indiana's first two tourney games came vs teams that both beat indiana in their only meeting.

Michigan State is 6-1 in this tournament last 2+ years, after being 7-9 in previous eight; home side won both of Spartans' games with Ohio State this year- MSU (-2) won 59-56 Jan 19, then lost 68-60 (+3) Feb 24 in Columbus. Buckeyes are 11-2 in this tourney last 4+ years, 7-0 in 2nd tourney game over last decade- they've won last six games overall, all by 8+ points. Spartans were down 12 to iowa with 11:58 to play Friday, so they had to fight like hell to win yesterday.

Big X tournament (Kansas City)
Kansas is 18-2 in last 20 Big X tourney games, winning last five finals by 12-4-10-8-12 points; they treat K-State like a pinata, beating them 59-55 (-3.5) in Little Apple Jan 22, then 83-62 (-8.5) Feb 11- Jayhawks won nine of last 10 games overall, have eFG% of 41.6%, #1 in country. K-State won eight of last nine games, with only loss by 6 at Oklahoma State; they're just 4-7 in this event last 7+ years. With Duke losing last night, Jayhawks could be playing here for a #1 seed in NCAAs.

Mountain West tourney (@ UNLV)
UNLV won seven of last eight games, are playing in home building but crowd will be split with lots of Lobo fans in Las Vegas for the weekend. New Mexico is 8-1 in last nine games, with only loss in that span 89-88 at Air Force; Lobos won this event LY, since '05, they're 10-6 in MWC tourney. UNLV won this event in '07/'08, is 6-4 in it since, despite this being their home court- since teams had Thursday off, both are playing second night in row. Lobos played all five starters 33+ minutes Friday.

MAC tournament (Cleveland)
Akron's 7-foot center Marshall had 7 blocks in 62-59 win last night, as Zips survived 17 turnovers, 13-29 foul shooting in tense win over rival Kent State. Zips beat Ohio twice this season, by 14-7 points, but both were with PG Abreu in lineup. Ohio has great PG in Cooper; their two MAC losses were both to Akron; Bobcats won 16 of last 19 games- in last night's win, Ohio made 11-21 from arc, played four starters for 30+ minutes, but weren't seriously challenged.

Big East tournament (NYC)
Syracuse is playing fourth night in row, surviving an emotional OT game with rival Georgetown Friday; road team won both their games this year with Louisville, Cardinals winning last meeting 58-53 in dome March 2, after losing by hoop at home Jan 19. Last 4+ years, Louisville is 11-2 in this event; over last decade, they're 4-1 in conference tournament finals. Cards are only playing third night in row; they've won nine games in row played 3 starters 34+ minutes in fairly easy win (never trailed) Friday.

Pac-12 tourney (MGM Garden Arena, Las Vegas)
UCLA lost freshman star Adams (foot) for season last night, after his 24 points propelled Bruins past Arizona for third time this season; Oregon (+5) won 76-67 at UCLA Jan 19, back when PG Artis was healthy and . Ducks were rolling- they're splitting PG with Artis/Loyd now; Loyd and UCLA star Muhammad are both Vegas kids, have lot of friends/family in tourney. Bruins played seven kids last night; with Adams out, the roster is very thin. Its been five years since #1 seed won Pac-12 tournament.

Big West tournament (Anaheim)
Pacific coach Thomason is retiring after 25 years; his Tigers won 55-53 last night on putback with 0:01.3 left; they beat Cal-Irvine 70-62 (-5) on March 7, after losing 68-59 (+2.5) in Bren Center Feb 20. Irvine played its starters 30+ minutes Friday, but only Wilder played more than 31; Anteaters won seven of last eight games, with four of last five wins on road/neutral courts. Pacific won its last six games; no one played more than 31 minutes Friday; three subs played 11-23-27 minutes.

WAC Tournament (Orleans Arena, Las Vegas)
Home team won both UTArlington-New Mexico State games; State (-9) beat Mavericks 66-63 last Saturday (led by 15 at half), avenging a 65-47 loss (-2) in Arlington Dec 29. Aggies are without gritty senior Watson; they played four starters 30+ minutes last night. Arlington is 9-3 in last 12 games- they had stress-free win last night. Key is for Aggies to get turnovers and score in transition; UTA held them down in halfcourt in second half last Saturday. State is 12-3 in WAC tourney last 5+ years.

Big Sky tournament (Missoula, MT)
Weber State won last 13 games, but they trailed North Dakota by 12 in last 14:51, by 3 with 2:36 left, as they dodged upset to set up this final with Montana club that beat them in last three Big Sky tourneys, two finals and a semi. Home side won both Weber State-Montana games this year, but Griz big guy Ward missed Montana's last six games- that hurts Montana's inside game. Griz is 6-1 in this tourney last 3+ years. Weber hasn't won this tourney since '07; in '10, they had 20-point halftime lead at home, lost to Montana in finals by a point.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, March 16

Saturday's Tip Sheet
By Brian Edwards
VegasInsider.com

Florida vs. Alabama

Most books opened Florida (25-6 straight up, 16-12 against the spread) as a 13.5-point favorite for this SEC Tournament semifinals matchup in Nashville.

Billy Donovan’s team advanced by virtue of Friday afternoon’s 80-58 win over LSU as a 16-point ‘chalk.’ Erik Murphy exploded for a career-high 27 points and 12 rebounds, splashing the nets at a 5-of-7 clip from 3-point range. Scottie Wilbekin finished with 16 points on 4-of-5 shooting from deep. The 138 combined points went ‘over’ the 128-point total.
   
Alabama (21-11 SU, 13-15 ATS) captured a crucial win over Tennessee on Friday in the SEC Tournament quarterfinals. The Crimson Tide won a 58-48 decision as a 1.5-point underdog. The 106 combined points stayed ‘under’ the 117-point tally. Levi Randolph and Trevor Releford led the way with 15 and 14 points, respectively.

Anthony Grant’s squad has been an underdog nine times this year, posting a 6-3 spread record. The Tide has been a double-digit ‘dog twice, going 1-1 ATS.

Florida has been a double-digit ‘chalk’ 22 times this season, compiling a 14-8 spread record.

With an RPI of 61, Alabama has to have this game to feel good about its at-large chances. The Tide has eight wins over Top 100 foes, but it has just two wins over RPI Top 50 foes in Kentucky (48) and Villanova (50).

When these schools met at the O-Dome in Gainesville on March 2, UF recovered from a five-point second-half deficit to storm past Alabama, 64-52. However, the Tide took the cash as a 16-point road underdog. Murphy paced the Gators with 15 points and eight rebounds. Releford scored a team-high 12 points for Alabama.

The ‘under’ is 19-7 overall for ‘Bama.

The ‘under’ is on a 7-1 run in Florida’s last eight games to improve to 14-11 overall.

Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Eastern on ABC.

Wisconsin vs. Indiana

Most spots opened Indiana (27-5 SU, 17-13 ATS) as a 6.5-point ‘chalk.’

Tom Crean’s team hooked up its backers in Friday’s 80-64 win over Illinois as a 10-point favorite. Cody Zeller was the catalyst, producing 24 points and nine rebounds while making 9-of-11 shots from the field. Victor Oladipo added 12 points and 11 boards and thrilled the United Center crowd with a nasty 360 dunk on a run-out in the final minute.

Wisconsin (22-10 SU, 12-17-1 ATS) overcame a horrific shooting slump in the first half to erupt for 51 points in the final 20 minutes on its way to 68-59 win over Michigan as a two-point underdog. Traevon Jackson led the Badgers with 16 points, while Ben Brust buried four treys en route to scoring 14 points and pulling down eight rebounds. Ryan Evans finished with 12 points, six board and six assists.

Bo Ryan’s team has been an underdog seven times this season, going 3-3-1 ATS.

IU has been a single-digit favorite nine times, posting a 3-6 spread record.

When these Big Ten rivals met on Jan. 15, Wisconsin went into Assembly Hall in Bloomington and collected a 64-59 win as an outrageous 15.5-point underdog. Evans led the way with 13 points and eight rebounds, while Jackson added 11 points before fouling out. The 123 points fell ‘under’ the 132.5-point total.

The ‘over’ is 14-13 overall for the Badgers, cashing in four of their last six games.

The ‘under’ is 4-1 in IU’s last five games, 14-14 overall.

CBS will have the telecast at 1:40 p.m. Eastern.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, March 16

Big Ten Tournament: Wisconsin vs. Indiana
By Covers.com

Indiana Hoosiers vs. Wisconsin Badgers (+6.5, 127)

A spot in the Big Ten tournament championship game is on the line when top-seeded Indiana and fourth-seeded Wisconsin meet in Saturday’s semifinals in Chicago. The No. 3 Hoosiers dispatched Illinois in Friday’s quarterfinals while the No. 23 Badgers advanced by overcoming a double-digit deficit to knock off Michigan. Wisconsin won the regular-season meeting 64-59 at Indiana. The early season loss surely provides the Hoosiers with even more motivation to end an 11-game losing streak against the Badgers.

Wisconsin coach Bo Ryan didn’t want to discuss the Badgers’ longstanding dominance of the Hoosiers after beating the Wolverines. “I don’t even think about those kind of things,” Ryan said. “Never have. And people that know me will tell you that.” Indiana’s 59 points in the first meeting is its second-lowest output of the season. The Hoosiers average 80.8 points and are 16-1 when scoring 80 or more this season. Indiana had a 38-26 rebounding edge in the win over Illinois. “I think our guys really, really understand how important rebounding on both ends is, and specifically how important guard rebounding is,” Indiana coach Tom Crean said afterward.

ABOUT INDIANA (27-5): Sophomore forward Cody Zeller had 23 points and 10 rebounds in the January loss to Wisconsin and excelled in the victory over Illinois by scoring 24 points on 9-of-12 shooting and collecting nine rebounds. Junior guard Victor Oladipo had a solid all-around game against the Illini with 12 points and 11 rebounds and senior forward Christian Watford scored 15 points as five Hoosiers reached double digits. “These guys are so unselfish and they’re so selfless with one another,” Crean said. Indiana is in the tournament semifinals for the first time 2006 as the program bottomed out badly before Crean arrived to revive it.

ABOUT WISCONSIN (22-10): The Badgers made a stunning turnaround in their 68-59 victory over Michigan by scoring three times as many points (51) in the second half than the first (17). Wisconsin’s 17.2 percentage over the first 20 minutes was a season-low for a half and the Badgers shot 60.7 percent in the second half while tallying their most points in a half this season. Sophomore point guard Traevon Jackson led the way with 16 points and frustrated Big Ten Player of the Year Trey Burke for much of the contest. Jackson is aware of the chatter that the Badgers don’t have the type of talent that schools like Indiana and Michigan do. “When we play together as a team, we can get beat anybody,” Jackson said. “Yeah, these guys are NBA guys, but we believe in ourselves as well.”

TRENDS:

* Over is 4-1 in Badgers’ last five overall.
* Badgers are 9-2 ATS in the last 11 meetings.
* Over is 4-1 in Hoosiers’ last five neutral site games.

TIP-INS

1. Indiana’s last victory over Wisconsin came Jan. 31, 2007 when the Badgers were ranked second in the nation.

2. Badgers junior G Ben Brust had four of Wisconsin’s eight 3-pointers against Michigan.

3. The Hoosiers racked up nine steals against Illinois, including two by freshman point guard Yogi Ferrell, whose 71 steals are three shy matching the school record held by Isiah Thomas (1980-81).

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, March 16

Atlantic 10 Semis: Butler vs. Saint Louis
By Covers.com

Bulter Bulldogs vs. Saint Louis Billikens (-3, 124)

Saint Louis looks to continue its dominance when the No. 16-ranked and top-seeded Billikens play fifth-seeded Butler in the Atlantic 10 semifinals Saturday in Brooklyn, N.Y. Saint Louis, which has won 13 of its last 14 games, is coming off a 72-55 victory over ninth-seeded Charlotte in Friday’s semifinals. The Billikens finished 13-3 in the conference, winning their first outright regular-season title since 1957.

Butler, which has won four straight, defeated fourth-seeded La Salle 69-58in Friday’s semifinals after beating 12th-seeded Dayton 73-67 in Thursday’s first round. The Bulldogs finished third in the conference at 11-5. Butler was swept by Saint Louis in the regular season, losing 65-61 on Feb. 22 in Indianapolis and falling 75-58 on Jan. 31 in St. Louis.

ABOUT BUTLER (26-7): The Bulldogs, who are in their first season in the A-10 after leaving the Horizon League, have big wins over Gonzaga, Indiana and Marquette and likely will make their fifth NCAA Tournament appearance in six seasons under head coach Brad Stevens. Stevens guided Butler to four Horizon League regular-season championships, three league tournament titles and back-to-back NCAA national runner-up finishes during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 seasons. Senior guard Rotnei Clarke, who leads Butler in scoring (16.8), led five Bulldogs in double figures with 14 points against La Salle on Friday.

ABOUT SAINT LOUIS (25-6): Junior forward Dwayne Evans scored a career-high 25 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Billikens past Charlotte. Evans finished 8-for-9 shooting and 9-for-9 from the foul line. Evans, who was selected to the A-10 First-Team All-Conference squad, leads the team in scoring (13.3) and rebounding (7.6). Senior forward Cody Ellis, the A-10 Sixth Man of the Year, has come off the bench in all 31 games and is second on the team in scoring (10.2). Senior guard Kwamain Mitchell (10.1) and junior guard Mike McCall Jr. (10) also average double-digit points.

TRENDS:

* Over is 5-1 in Bulldogs’ last six neutral site games.

* Billikens are 6-0 ATS in their last six Saturday games.

* Billikens are 7-0 ATS in their last seven games vs. a team with a winning percentage above .600.

TIP-INS

1. Saint Louis interim head coach Jim Crews on Tuesday was named National Coach of the Year by The Sporting News and Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year by the conference. Crews took over the program in August after it was announced that Rick Majerus would not coach this season. Majerus died during the season.

2. Evans has scored in double figures in 13 straight games.

3. Butler sophomore F Kameron Woods scored six of his 10 points and grabbed all nine of his rebounds in the second half against La Salle.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, March 16

Big 12 Tournament Final: K-State vs. Kansas
Covers.com

Kansas State Wildcats vs. Kansas Jayhawks (-5, 134)

Top-seeded Kansas looks for its ninth Big 12 tournament title when it meets second-seeded Kansas State at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. Mo. The No. 6 Jayhawks are 8-1 in championship games and have dominated the conference winning nine straight regular-season titles. A victory would appear to make Kansas a lock for one of the four top seeds in the NCAA Tournament field.

Kansas State is looking for its first Big 12 tournament title. The No. 12 Wildcats last reached the final in 2010 before losing to their in-state rivals. The Wildcats were also swept by Kansas in the regular season losing by four at home and a decisive 21 on the road.

ABOUT KANSAS (28-5): The Jayhawks punched their ticket in the final with an easy 88-75 victory over Iowa State in the semifinals. Kansas swept three games from the Cyclones and improved 5-0 in games at the Sprint Center. Kansas is 19-5 all-time at the venue and won the CBE Classic on the same court earlier this season. The Jayhawks apparently enjoy shooting at the Sprint Center. They shot a tournament record 66 percent in their quarterfinal dismantling of Texas Tech and hit 53.2 percent against Iowa State to average 89.5 points in the two games. Kansas entered the game 27th in the nation in scoring. Kerry Ellis scored a career-high 23 points off the bench against the Cyclones replacing Kevin Young who left the game with an injured ankle and did not return. Kansas coach Bill Self said Young should be available for the title game as x-rays on his lower leg came back negative.

ABOUT KANSAS STATE (27-6): Rodney McGruder led all scorers with 25 points as Kansas State eased past Oklahoma State on Friday to avenge a loss on the final day of the regular season which prevented the Wildcats from winning the outright Big 12 title. Angel Rodriguez also had a hot hand in the semifinal game, battling Cowboys' star Marcus Smart even in duel of two of the best guards in the conference. Rodriguez finished with 17 points and six assists. Kansas State center Jordan Henriquez bears watching in the title game. Henriquez was treated for back pains at a hospital early Friday, but came back to score eight points and grab a game-high 11 rebounds. He'll have his hands full with Kansas center Jeff Withey.

TRENDS:

* Jayhawks are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 games overall.
* Wildcats are 5-1 ATS in their last six Saturday games.
* Jayhawks are 9-1 ATS in their last 10 vs. Big 12 foes.

TIP-INS

1. Self is 20-4 in Big 12 tournament play.

2. Top seeds have won seven titles while No. 2 seeds have won four in the 16-year history of the tournament.

3. Kansas is 34-8 all-time in Big 12 tournament action.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, March 16

Big East Tournament Final: Syracuse vs. Louisville
By Covers.com

Syracuse Orange vs. Louisville Cardinals (-4.5, 123)

As a founding member of the Big East, Syracuse’s consistent excellence has contributed greatly to the conference’s rise as an elite league since its formation in 1980. Louisville has stolen the Orange’s thunder in conference tournament play recently, however – a trend Syracuse will try to change Saturday when they meet as Big East rivals for the final time in the championship game at Madison Square Garden. Syracuse will leave for the ACC next season while the Cardinals will join them in 2014.

Louisville is playing for the tournament title for the third straight year – and fourth in its last five seasons – while the No. 20 Orange is in the championship game for the first time since 2009. The No. 4 Cardinals, who defeated Syracuse for their first Big East tournament championship that year, are on a nine-game winning streak after Friday’s semifinal victory over Notre Dame. The Orange ended the regular season with four losses in five games, but have won three straight at this event in large part due to exceptional 3-point shooting (28-for-52).

ABOUT SYRACUSE (26-8): James Southerland hit four 3-pointers and is 16-for-25 beyond the arc in three tournament games. The 16 3-pointers moved him into a tie with Orange assistant coach Gerry McNamara - a former Syracuse star - for the tournament record. C.J. Fair also achieved a bit of history, passing the 1,000-point mark with an emphatic dunk in overtime. Little-used Trevor Cooney contributed 10 points off the bench Friday – one point more than he had scored in the previous seven games combined. Fellow reserve Baye Keita scored 13 points and went 7-for-7 from the foul line despite entering the game as a 48.6 percent foul shooter.

ABOUT LOUISVILLE (28-5): Peyton Siva, last year’s tournament MVP, put on a dazzling defensive display Friday. His seven steals tied a career high, matched a tournament record held by 10 other players and allowed him to break Darrell Griffith’s school record for career steals. Following the game, coach Rick Pitino said, “Siva kept bailing us out one rotation after another. He’s just an incredible player.” The Cardinals recorded 11 steals against the Irish – their 24th game with at least 10. Leading scorer Russ Smith went 3-for-4 from the foul line and has made 179 foul shots, breaking Wes Unseld’s single-season school record of 177 from the 1967-68 season.

TRENDS:

* Cardinals are 6-0 ATS in their last six games overall.
* Cardinals are 6-0 ATS in their last six vs. Big East foes.
* Orange are 1-5 ATS in their last six Saturday games.

TIP-INS

1. Louisville has won six straight games in the Big East tournament, which is the fifth-longest winning streak in the event’s history.

2. Syracuse is 50-28 all-time in the tournament and will be playing in its 15th Big East championship game.

3. The Cardinals’ average margin of victory is 13.7 points during their winning streak.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, March 16

Pac-12 Tournament Final: Oregon vs. UCLA
By Covers.com

Oregon Ducks vs. UCLA Bruins (-1.5, 138)

Oregon and No. 25 UCLA will each try for their third Pac-12 tournament title in the last 10 years when they meet Saturday in Las Vegas. The top-seeded Bruins will need to regroup after receiving news that second-leading scorer Jordan Adams will miss the remainder of the season after breaking his right foot on the final play of UCLA’s semifinal win against No. 18 Arizona on Friday. Adams, a freshman guard who scored 24 points against the Wildcats, was just as valuable on the defensive side of the ball, leading the Pac-12 in steals (2.2).

Oregon learned this season what can happen when a key starter goes down with an injury. The third-seeded Ducks won their first six conference games with Dominic Artis starting at point guard. He went down with a foot injury and Oregon went 5-4 while he was out, losing their grip on first place in the Pac-12.

ABOUT OREGON (25-8): Damyean Dotson seems to have found his groove again and that could spell trouble for the Bruins, especially with Adams unable to guard the freshman shooting guard. Dotson combined for 31 points in the first two tournament games, his best two-game stretch of the season. He scored in single digits the final six regular-season games. Another player who seems to be finding his shooting touch at the right time is senior forward E.J. Singler. He has scored in double figures in three straight games for the first time this season.

ABOUT UCLA (25-8): The Bruins are hoping they’ll see the Larry Drew II that scored a season-high 20 points in the quarterfinals and not the one who went scoreless against Arizona. The senior point guard wasn’t counted on for his scoring this season, so anything he contributes is a big bonus, especially with Adams sidelined. His specialty is ball distribution as he entered the tournament fourth in the nation in assists (7.6) and second in assist-to-turnover ratio (3.28).

TRENDS:

* Bruins are 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall.
* Over is 4-0 in Ducks’ last four Saturday games.
* Ducks are 1-5 ATS in their last six neutral site games.

TIP-INS

1. UCLA leading scorer Shabazz Muhammad has combined for six points in the first half of the first two tournament games and 21 in the second half.

2. The Bruins won the tournament in 2006 and 2008, Oregon in 2003 and 2007.

3. The Ducks are 18-2 with Artis in the starting lineup.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, March 16

SEC Tournament: Semifinals Betting Preview
By Covers.com

Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Florida Gators (-13.5, 116)

Top-seeded Florida had little trouble in its quarterfinal matchup with Louisiana State on Friday. No. 4 seed Alabama will try to give the Gators more of a challenge when the schools meet in the semifinals of the SEC tournament on Saturday in Nashville, Tenn. The Crimson Tide improved their NCAA Tournament resume by taking out Tennessee in the quarterfinals but could put themselves in a much more secure position by beating Florida.

The Gators got a career highs in points (27) and rebounds (12) from Erik Murphy on Friday and overwhelmed the Tigers on the defensive end. Alabama showed that it would have no trouble playing a rugged defensive contest in its victory over Tennessee and will have more on the line as it attempts to reach the SEC finals and attract the attention of the NCAA Tournament selection committee. Trevor Releford and Levi Randolph hit all the big shots when called upon Friday and should keep Florida busy guarding the perimeter.

ABOUT ALABAMA (21-11): The Crimson Tide do not have the size to match the likes of Murphy and Patric Young on Florida’s interior but will spread the floor and penetrate the lane with a series of quick guards. Sophomore forward Nick Jacobs came off the bench Friday to pull down 12 rebounds and could be counted on again Saturday to provide an interior presence. Alabama had an eight-point lead on the Gators at one point in the regular season meeting but fell off down the stretch. Releford led the Crimson Tide with 12 points but went 0-of-3 from 3-point range and got little help from Randolph (three points) and Rodney Cooper (five). Alabama has not beaten a ranked team and dropped three of five to end the regular season. A win over the Gators could help the NCAA Tournament selection committee overlook losses to Dayton, Mercer and Tulane in the non-conference portion of the schedule.

ABOUT FLORIDA (25-6): The Gators have no reason to worry about a bid to the NCAA Tournament but would like to sweep through the SEC to ensure themselves of the highest possible seed when the field is announced Sunday. Florida came out with that purpose in mind Friday and dominated LSU, pushing the lead to 35 points in the second half before settling for an 80-58 victory. Murphy and Scottie Wilbekin combined to go 9-for-12 from 3-point range and Michael Frazier added a pair of 3-pointers off the bench as the Gators cruised. Florida led the SEC and ranked among the leaders nationally in scoring and field goal percentage defense, and proved it could turn that on with a 15-0 run in the first meeting with Alabama that erased the eight-point second half deficit. The Gators ended up holding the Crimson Tide to one field goal in the final 9:53 in that contest.

TRENDS:

* Crimson Tide are 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall.
* Under is 6-1 in Gators’ last seven overall.
* Underdog is 8-2 ATS in the last 10 meetings.

TIP-INS

1. Florida has not won the SEC tournament since taking the last of three straight in 2007.

2. Alabama’s second-leading scorer, guard Trevor Lacey, has totaled 11 points on 4-of-17 shooting in the last two games.

3. Murphy has scored in double figures in four straight games and matched a career high with five 3-pointers on Friday.


Ole Miss Rebels vs. Vanderbilt Commodores (-4.5, 133)

Vanderbilt looks to add a third upset to its SEC tournament experience when it faces No. 3 seed Mississippi in the semifinals Saturday in Nashville, Tenn. The Commodores, the No. 10 seed, have already taken down No. 7 Arkansas and No. 2 Kentucky in their first two games as they try to repeat as conference tournament champions.

The Rebels almost didn't make it to the semifinals, needing a second-half rally to down Missouri in the quarterfinals. The two teams had an overtime affair in the regular season in Nashville that Mississippi won in overtime. Marshall Henderson hit a 30-foot 3-pointer to send that game to overtime, and the league's leading scorer will be a big focus for both teams in this one as well.

ABOUT VANDERBILT (16-16 SEC): The Commodores have won five straight SEC tournament games, having gone 3-0 in the tournament last year for their second title. If Vanderbilt can play like it did against Kentucky in the quarterfinals - shooting 50 percent - it will be able to hang with the Rebels' high-powered offense. Kedren Johnson leads the team in scoring, averaging 13.5 points, with Rod Odom at (10.5). Johnson and Odom have each made 54 3-pointers and hoisted a combined 301 as the Commodores try to stretch the defense. Vanderbilt ranks third in the conference in scoring defense, allowing 60 points and allowing opponents to shooting 40.6 percent. Since they've already overachieved, the Commodores can play loose, and that could help them to another upset win.

ABOUT MISSISSIPPI (24-8): The Rebels showed how high-powered their offense can be when it gets going, especially Henderson, in the win over Missouri. Henderson scored 20 points in the second half as Ole Miss rallied, and he'll be a focus for the Commodores from the moment he steps on the court. But Mississippi has more than just the high-scoring Henderson (19.9 points), as shown by Derrick Millinghaus' game-tying and game-winning scores in the final minute against Missouri. Millinghaus is the team's seventh-leading scorer, showing the depth of the Rebels. Murphy Holloway (14.5 points, 9.7 rebounds) and Reginald Buckner (9.3, 7.5) will give Mississippi an advantage inside, especially on the boards.

TRENDS:

* Commodores are 5-0 ATS in their last five Saturday games.
* Over is 4-1 in the last five meetings.
* Over is 4-1 in Commodores’ last five vs. a team with a winning S.U. record.

TIP-INS

1. The Commodores' victory over Kentucky gave coach Kevin Stallings his 400th career victory.

2. Buckner needs three blocks to move into fifth on the all-time SEC list. The senior is the Ole Miss leader with 315 career blocks.

3. While Vanderbilt is the defending SEC tournament champion, Mississippi hasn't been to the championship game since 2001, when it lost to Kentucky.

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Re: College Basketball Betting News and Notes Saturday, March 16

ACC Tournament: Semifinals Betting Preview
By Covers.com

NC State Wolfpack vs. Miami Hurricanes (-2, 134)

North Carolina State has been impressive in dispatching Virginia Tech and Virginia in the first two days of the ACC tournament. The Wolfpack will have to raise their game a few more notches against top-seeded Miami (Fla.) in the semifinals at Greensboro, N.C., on Saturday. North Carolina State won by an average of 18 points the first two games, getting contributions from inside and outside. The Hurricanes fought off a challenge from Boston College with a late run for a 69-58 victory in the quarterfinals.

Lorenzo Brown of the Wolfpack, who did not play in the 79-78 loss to Miami on Feb. 2 because of injury, will take on Miami’s Shane Larkin in a battle of two of the best point guards in the league and the nation. The other key matchup is inside between the top rebounders North Carolina State’s Richard Howell and Reggie Johnson of Miami.

ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA STATE (24-9): One concern after the 75-56 in victory over Virginia on Friday was the health of Howell. The senior forward played through a thigh injury in the second half and still finished with 12 rebounds. The Wolfpack will need him to be 100 percent and join C.J. Leslie to win the battle on the boards. North Carolina State was third in the ACC in rebounding margin, one spot behind Miami, in league games. Leslie has averaged 16 points and nine rebounds in the tournament. Brown has recorded 18 assists and three turnovers in the first two games and Scott Wood has drained 10 from 3-point range.

ABOUT MIAMI (25-6): The 10th-ranked Hurricanes expect a lot from Larkin and ACC Defensive Player of the Year Durand Scott also provides leadership, but Kenny Kadji has quietly put together an impressive run. The 6-11 senior has averaged 18.6 points over the last five games and registered double-doubles in the last four. Kadji will have to come up big along with Johnson and starting center Julian Gamble inside to make room for outside shooters Larkin and Trey McKinney Jones, who combined for 32 points in the quarterfinals. Larkin, a sophomore, has averaged 16 points in his first three ACC tournament games.

TRENDS:

* Wolfpack are 5-1 ATS in their last six games overall.
* Under is 6-1 in Wolfpack’s last seven overall.
* Underdog is 5-0-1 ATS in the last six meetings.

TIP-INS

1. Miami has reached the tournament semifinals for the second time since joining the ACC before the 2004-05 season.

2. North Carolina State leads the ACC with 35 double-doubles - 17 by Howell.

3. The victory over Boston College improved Miami to 7-3 after trailing at halftime.


Maryland Terrapins vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (-5, 142)

Dez Wells has led Maryland back into contention for an NCAA bid. The sophomore swingman has 51 points in the last two games to carry the seventh-seeded Terrapins into the semifinals of the ACC tournament against North Carolina on Saturday at Greensboro, N.C. Wells poured in a career-best 30 points to beat No. 2 Duke 83-74 on Friday as Maryland limited the talented Blue Devils to 4-of-25 from 3-point range.

The Terrapins have good size and are one of the nation’s top rebounding teams but have dropped two games to the Tar Heels, who often go with a relatively small lineup. Third-seeded North Carolina hammered Florida State 83-62 in the quarterfinals, but suffered what could be a damaging injury late on the contest. P.J. Hairston, who scored 21 points against the Seminoles, suffered a cut on his left hand that required eight stitches and is questionable for Maryland.

ABOUT MARYLAND (22-11): The Terrapins looked as if they were headed for the NIT after some rough road losses, but they can make all their fans forget with two more performances like the one Friday. Wells came up big, but Maryland placed four other players in double figures including 7-1 sophomore Alex Len. Freshmen Jake Layman and Seth Allen had strong games against Duke and junior point guard Pe’Shon Howard may have been the most important with seven points, five assists and zero turnovers. Howard also had 10 points in the first-round game after going scoreless in four of his previous five contests.

ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA (23-9): The Tar Heels have won seven of eight games as coach Roy Williams turned to a quicker lineup. Hairston has averaged 17.7 points in the last nine games and made 24 from 3-point range in the last eight contests. James Michael McAdoo and Reggie Bullock also average in double figures for North Carolina. The Tar Heels will have to play better defense if they are to have postseason success. Freshman point guard Marcus Paige, who had a career-high 10 assists Friday, will also have to play beyond his years. Paige had eight turnovers in the 79-68 victory over Maryland on March 6.

TRENDS:

* Tar Heels are 8-1 ATS in their last nine games overall.
* Terrapins are 0-4 ATS in the last four meetings.
* Under is 6-1 in Tar Heels’ last seven overall.

TIP-INS

1. North Carolina is first in the ACC in assists, one spot ahead of Maryland.

2. Maryland advanced to the semifinals for the first time since 2009 and the 29th time overall.

3. North Carolina has won 17 ACC tournament titles, second to Duke’s 19.

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