College Basketball: Pittsburgh at Duquesne Preview, Picks, Odds Print
Written by Anthony Rome   
Wednesday, 05 December 2007 03:38
NCAAB Headline News



Hitting The Road

Pittsburgh has won its first seven games of the season, but hasn't yet hit the road. Its first contest in an opposing gym won't even be outside of city limits.

The 12th-ranked Panthers look for their sixth consecutive 8-0 start when they travel less than three miles down the road to face longtime rival Duquesne on Wednesday.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Pittsburgh –5.5 point spread favorites (View College Basketball odds) for today’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 86% of bets for this game have been placed on Pittsburgh –5.5 (View College Basketball bet percentages).

Pitt and Duquesne (6-1) first met in 1932, and the series has recently belonged to the Panthers. Pitt has won the last six matchups by an average of 17.0 points and 25 of the past 28 meetings to take a 44-31 lead in the overall series.

"It's very exciting for the city, but we just look at it as another challenging game on our schedule," Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said.

The Panthers are college basketball's fifth-winningest program since the 2001-02 season, when then current win streak against Duquesne began. They've gotten used to compiling quick starts to the season but have yet to advance past the regional semifinals in the NCAA tournament despite reaching that round four times since 2002.

The template has been the same so far in 2007-08 with Pitt winning its first seven by an average of 30.3 points. But though it has yet to face a ranked opponent, expectations have risen, largely due to the emergence of junior forward Sam Young.

Young, one of the school's most touted recruits prior to his freshman season in 2005-06, averaged 7.9 points and 4.4 rebounds in his first season, but his numbers dropped off last season to just 7.2 and 3.0, respectively.

He's been on a tear in 2007-08, however, scoring 18.0 points and grabbing 9.0 rebounds, both team highs. He was named the Big East player of the week on Nov. 19 and has three double-doubles, including a 17-point, 12-rebound effort in Pitt's 78-52 win over Toledo on Saturday.

"We maybe were a little bit sluggish at they start and they definitely came in ready to play," Young said. "Going up against a ranked team I'm sure they saw this as a chance to make a name for themselves. We were able to weather the storm early though, get back to playing our kind of basketball and make sure that didn't happen."

The game was tied at 27 late in the first half, but Pitt went on a 7-1 run to lead by six at the break, then outscored the Rockets by 20 in the second half. Star freshman DeJuan Blair was a major reason why. He didn't start for the first time because he was serving as a pallbearer at his grandfather's funeral, but after entering the game midway through the first half, he contributed 11 points, 11 rebounds, three steals, two blocks and two assists.

"DeJuan's maturity showed. He couldn't have handled today any better than he did," Dixon said. "It was good for him to be at the funeral. He was there for his family. ... Then he was there for his teammates."

Blair is averaging 10.3 points and 8.3 rebounds, and leads the team with 2.3 steals per game.

The emergence of Blair and Young has helped offset the struggles of Pitt's leading returning scorers, as guards Mike Cook, Levance Fields and Ronald Ramon have seen their averages and shooting percentages drop from last season.

Duquesne may be in position to give Pitt more of a test than it has in recent seasons. The Dukes won their first six games - something they hadn't done in 28 years - by an average of 29.3 points before losing 77-73 at Drake on Saturday. Duquesne turned the ball over 24 times in the defeat.

"Our biggest Achilles' heel was the turnovers," Dukes coach Ron Everhart said. "That just can't happen."

Duquesne is among the top 5 teams in the nation with 92.3 points per game and is led by junior guard Kojo Mensah's 16.4 a contest.

The Dukes enter their annual game against Pitt with a winning record for the first time since Dec. 18, 1993.

by Staff Writers - Email Us

More NCAA College Football Coverage from theSpread.com

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

 

NCAABB Team Pages

Top NCAABB Public Bets

View All: NFL |  NBA |  NCAAF |  NCAAB |  MLB |  NHL

Recent NCAABB Discussions

NCAABB Futures

NCAA BASKETBALL TEAM MENS TOURNAMENT ODDS CURRENT
KENTUCKY 4/1
ARIZONA 8/1
DUKE 10/1
WISCONSIN 12/1
FLORIDA 14/1
KANSAS 14/1
NORTH CAROLINA 16/1
VILLANOVA 25/1
WICHITA STATE 28/1
LOUISVILLE 28/1
View All

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Contact Us | Advertising | 888-99-SPREAD

THIS IS NOT A GAMBLING SITE – If you think you have a gambling problem click here.

Disclaimer: This site is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Individual users are responsible for the laws regarding accessing gambling information from their jurisdictions. Many countries around the world prohibit gambling, please check the laws in your location. Any use of this information that may violate any federal, state, local or international law is strictly prohibited.

Copyright: The information contained on TheSpread.com website is protected by international copyright and may not be reproduced, or redistributed in any way without expressed written consent.

About: TheSpread.com is the largest sports betting news site in the United States. We provide point spread news, odds, statistics and information to over 199 countries around the world each year. Our coverage includes all North American College and Professional Sports as well as entertainment, political and proposition wagering news.

©1999-2013 TheSpread.com