No. 22 Miami Hosts Ohio State on Wednesday, Hurricanes 8-Point Favorites Print
Written by Anthony Rome   
Monday, 01 December 2008 18:49
NCAAB Headline News



Canes Host OSU

Coral Gables, FL - After relatively easy wins in their last games, the schedule is about to get much tougher for both Miami and Ohio State.

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The 21st-ranked Hurricanes begin a difficult portion of their schedule looking for their first win in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Tuesday when they host the Buckeyes, who play their first road game of the season.

Oddsmakers from online sports book Sportsbook.com have made Miami -8 point spread favorites (NCAAB Odds) for today's game (View Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 67% of bets for this game have been placed on Miami -8 (View NCAAB Bet Percentages).

Miami (4-1) opened with its highest preseason ranking ever at No. 17, but dropped five spots after losing 76-63 to No. 2 Connecticut at the Paradise Jam in the U.S. Virgin Islands on Nov. 23. The Hurricanes bounced back in the tournament with an 80-45 win over San Diego the next day and returned home to defeat Stetson 79-65 on Saturday.

Jack McClinton, who is averaging a team-high 15.8 points, was held scoreless in the first half Saturday before finishing with 12 points and six assists.

With McClinton starting slowly on Saturday, forward Cyrus McGowan stepped up and scored a career-high 14 points. McGowan is averaging 10.7 points on 55.0 percent shooting in his last three games after averaging 5.5 points on 36.4 percent shooting in his first two.

"It's about team," Hurricanes coach Frank Haith said. "I think that our guys understand that we're about growing as a team, and its good to see Jack have those kind of numbers."

Although McClinton had a uncharacteristic low-scoring performance and Miami still won, the Hurricanes may not be as fortunate if that happens again.

Before visiting Kentucky on Saturday, Miami faces an Ohio State (3-0) team that is coming off a 59-22 victory over Samford on Saturday. It was the fewest points the Buckeyes allowed since a 34-22 win over Wabash on Dec. 14, 1939.

Ohio State led 30-6 at halftime, and held the Bulldogs to 18.8 percent (9-for-48) shooting and 2-of-18 (11.1 percent) from 3-point range.

"Defensively we had a very good effort," Buckeyes coach Thad Matta said. "We sustained defensive intensity."

Sophomore Evan Turner, who leads Ohio State in scoring (12.0), had a season-high 16 points and career highs of 13 rebounds and five steals on Saturday.

Ohio State will face much stiffer competition its next two times out, as it plays No. 7 Notre Dame in the Hall of Fame Showcase at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on Saturday.

Miami has won both of its home games this season, and is 16-2 at BankUnited Center since the start of last season.

The Buckeyes, meanwhile, have not had much luck on the road against ranked opponents, dropping seven straight versus Top 25 teams since a 79-68 win at No. 18 Michigan State on Feb. 22, 2006. Ohio State was 3-9 against ranked foes last season.

While Miami is off to a strong start, it hasn't had fared well in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

The Hurricanes have lost their only two previous appearances in the event, including a 61-59 defeat to Northwestern on Nov. 28, 2006 in their most recent game. McClinton had 30 points in that loss.

The Buckeyes are participating in their seventh straight ACC/Big Ten Challenge, and have lost each of the last two years - both to North Carolina. Ohio State is 1-5 all-time in this event.

Miami leads the all-time series with Ohio State 2-1, and these schools haven't met since the Hurricanes' 75-62 win in the second round of the 2000 NCAA tournament.

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Posted: 12/1/08 11:51 PM ET

 

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