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NCAA Buy or Sell
by ASA - 02/06/2009
Buy â€“ Ole Miss Rebels
Back on December 18th, Ole Miss lost their leading scorer Chris Warren (19 ppg) to a knee injury and it looked like a lost season for the Rebels. It took some time to regroup without Warren, as the Rebels lost 3 of their first 4 conference games. They have since found their stride. They beat Kentucky for only the 12th time in 107 all-time meetings, and there was no letdown after that. They followed the win over Kentucky with an impressive road win against a very good Mississippi State team, and a blowout win against Auburn on Wednesday. With a favorable upcoming schedule, we donâ€™t see them slowing down anytime soon.
Now the Rebels will be a small dog when they visit Vanderbilt on Saturday. Vandy has lost two of their last three home games, with the two losses coming in blowout fashion. Their one win was against a weak Alabama squad, and they only managed a 5-point victory. The Commodores will also be looking ahead to their next game, a revenge situation @Tennessee. After their match-up with Vandy, the Rebels travel to LSU where they will be a significant underdog. They were embarrassed at home by the Tigers, losing by 32 on January 17th, easily the Rebels worst performance of the year. They are playing much better now and will want to make up for that bad home loss.
One reason for the recent success is that the Rebels have been playing great defense. They have held their last three opponents, Kentucky, Mississippi State, and Auburn, all under 39% shooting. They have out rebounded four straight opponents including Kentucky by +10. Ole Miss is 7-1 ATS in their last 8, and we expect the Rebels ATS success to continue in the near future.
Sell â€“ Duquesne Dukes
After winning 7 straight games from late December-early January; the Dukes of Duquesne have lost 3 of their last 5. Two of those losses were in overtime and another was to Atlantic 10 powerhouse Dayton. Their two wins were against Fordham and St. Bonaventure, rather unimpressive considering their combined 14-26 record. The Dukes are 5-3 in conference play but they have only played two good teams, losing to both St. Josephs and Dayton. The Dukes are a very young team, with four of their top six players being either freshmen or sophomores. Look for fatigue to set in, and for the grueling A-10 conference schedule to take its toll on this young Duquesne team.
Their upcoming schedule is quite brutal, as they face Xavier at home on Saturday, Richmond on the road, and Temple at home next weekend. Xavier is 8-0 in the conference and has only two losses this season. Temple is very underrated and is 5-1 at home. And Richmond on the road is a bad â€œsandwichâ€쳌 spot between two important home games.
Duquesne is a one of the worst defensive teams in the nation, allowing opponents to shoot 45.4% this season (253 nationally) and an average of 74.2 points per game (311 nationally). In conference play alone they allow 48.1%, which is 13th in the Atlantic 10. To go along with their poor defense, they are also a very weak rebounding team. The Dukes rank 9th in the Atlantic 10 in rebounding; and with Xavier (1st in rebounding) and Temple (3rd in rebounding) on the upcoming schedule, the outlook doesnâ€™t look good. Sell the Dukes.