UCONN Goes For No. 9

A.J. Price looks for another strong game on offense, Hasheem Thabeet tries to maintain his impressive play defensively and Connecticut goes for a ninth straight win on Saturday in a Big East matchup at lowly South Florida.

Price scored 26 points and Thabeet blocked six shots to lift the 17th-ranked Huskies (19-5, 8-3) to an 84-78 win over No. 20 Notre Dame on Wednesday. Thabeet keyed UConn holding the Irish to 33 percent from the field in the second half.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Connecticut -6 point spread favorites (View College Basketball odds) for today’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 65% of bets for this game have been placed on Connecticut -6 (View College Basketball bet percentages).

It was the eighth straight win for the Huskies, who have moved into a tie with Notre Dame for third place in the conference, one game behind 23rd-ranked Louisville and 1 1/2 back of No. 8 Georgetown.

"I don't know what it's going to take to beat us, and I hope no team figures it out," said Price, who also had a career-high nine assists for the sixth time this season.

The junior guard has averaged 19.0 points over the last five games, raising his team-leading average to 15.0 for the season. Price's 6.1 assists per game tie him with the Irish's Tory Jackson for the league lead.

"I think he has been a key to their run, how he is stirring the drink so to speak," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said of Price.

With Price powering the offense, Thabeet is the lynch-pin of the Huskies' outstanding defense, which holds opponents to 37.7 percent from the field to tie Louisville for second in the conference behind Georgetown (35.3).

The 7-foot-3 Thabeet has blocked 24 shots in the last four games to give him 99 on the season, second in the nation to Jarvis Varnado (111) of Mississippi State. Thabeet also has averaged 10.0 rebounds in the last four games.

Half of the victories on UConn's current eight-game win streak have come against ranked opponents, though the Huskies are not scheduled to face another one over their final seven games.

"Each game that we win gives us more confidence as the season goes along," said Connecticut guard Doug Wiggins. "I think we finally learned how to win. We tell ourselves when we go on the court that we're going to win the game no matter what happens."

Thabeet had five blocks in the last meeting with South Florida on Jan. 2, 2007, a 69-50 home victory.

That was Connecticut's fifth consecutive win over the Bulls (11-14, 2-10), with two coming in conference play by an average of 16.0 points.

South Florida is hoping to snap that slide and after ending its season-high 10-game losing streak with a stunning 89-78 win over Syracuse on Wednesday.

"It's good to see them in the locker room smiling," USF coach Stan Heath said. "I want them to continue to achieve victories because that's what we play for."

The Bulls, though, have never won consecutive Big East games since joining the conference in 2005-06. They last won back-to-back league games from Feb. 2-5, 2005, as a member of Conference USA.

Dominique Jones scored 29 points in Wednesday's win and is second on the Bulls with 16.1 points per game.

Kentrell Gransberry, South Florida's leader with 16.8 points and 10.8 rebounds per game, had 23 points and nine boards versus Syracuse. The senior center will find himself matched up against Thabeet, giving up six inches in height.

Gransberry had 12 points and four rebounds opposite him in the last meeting.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

More NCAA College Basketball Coverage from theSpread.com

 - NCAA College Basketball teams
 - NCAA College Basketball standings
 - NCAA College Basketball schedule
 - NCAA College Basketball scoreboard
 - NCAA College Basketball injuries
 - NCAA College Basketball matchups
 - NCAA College Basketball stats
 - NCAA College Basketball odds
 - NCAA College Basketball public betting chart
 - NCAA College Basketball news wire
 - NCAA College Basketball top stories
 - NCAA College Basketball trends
 - AccuScore NCAA College Basketball predictions
 - Expert NCAA College Basketball picks
 - Comments and discussion
 - Signup for theSpread.com daily newsletter
 - NCAA College Basketball Home

Recent NCAAB Discussions

nba for sat night on Sat, Dec 2016 by Timmy1961
added cbb play on Sat, Dec 2016 by Timmy1961
early cbb plays 1st set on Sat, Dec 2016 by Timmy1961
Carolina Wise Guy Is Back!!!! CBB Plays 12/10 on Sat, Dec 2016 by CarolinaWiseGuy

NCAAB Top Stories

Thumbnail Akron vs. Gonzaga Prediction Will tonight's matchup between Akron and No. Gonzaga be low-scoring for bettors at 8:00PM ET?
Thumbnail Michigan vs. UCLA Prediction Following last week’s big win at Kentucky, is No. 2 UCLAdue for a letdown today when it hosts Michiganat 8PM ET?
Thumbnail Utah vs. Xavier Prediction Following back-to-back losses, is No. 13 Xavier a good bounce-back candidate today for bettors when the Musketeers host Utah at 4:30PM ET?
Thumbnail Duke vs. UNLV Prediction No. 5 Duke is a big road favorite when it faces UNLV today at 5:15PM ET. Are the Blue Devils biting off more than...
Thumbnail Cincinnati vs. Butler Pick Two non-conference foes meet up today when No. 16 Butler faces No. 22 Cincinnati at 4:30PM ET. Who has the edge...

NCAAB Headlines

NCAAB Team Pages