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Top 25 Match-Ups
by Matt Fargo - 01/14/2011
Matt will be taking a look at the weekend top 25 matchups in college hoops every week. This week only two games feature a matchup of teams from the AP Top 25.
Missouri Tigers (15) at Texas A&M Aggies (14) 1:00 PM ET
Missouri is fresh off its revenge win, non-cover over Nebraska on Wednesday to improve to 1-1 in the Big XII following an upset loss at Colorado in its conference opener a week ago. That was the Tigers first true road loss of the season although it was just their second road game of the year, the first resulting in a three-point win at Oregon. This will mark the first game this season that Missouri will be an underdog after going 2-5 ATS as pups last season, losing six of those games outright.
Texas A&M is undefeated at home with a 10-0 record and it has won 12 straight games following a two-point loss against Boston College in Florida, its only blemish on the season. The Aggies are coming off a blowout win over Oklahoma St. by 23 points on Wednesday to increase its winning margin at home to 18.2 ppg. While they own solid wins over Washington and Temple as well, only half of their 16 games have been lined showing the overall weakness of the non-conference schedule.
Surprisingly with both teams being successful over recent years, the Aggies have owned this series, winning six straight games while covering nine in a row. Missouri's last win in College Station was February 17th, 2001. The Aggies have won the last three home meetings by an average of 18 ppg which fits right into this year’s home scoring margin. Texas A&M is 12-3-1 ATS in its last 16 games against teams with a winning percentage better than .600 so it has stepped up when needed.
Illinois Fighting Illini (16) at Wisconsin Badgers (20) 3:00 PM ET
The loser of this game is no doubt dropping out of the rankings next week and quite possibly both could be ousted depending on this outcome. Both Illinois and Wisconsin are coming off road losses on Wednesday as the Illini fell to Penn St., the second straight upset for the Nittany Lions, while the Badgers went down in overtime against Michigan St. Even though we are not even half done with January, this is an early season revenge game for Wisconsin.
The first meeting took place in Illinois on January 2nd with the Illini winning by eight points. Wisconsin shot a woeful 35 percent while Illinois nailed 56.1 percent of its shots including 50 percent from long range. The game was as close as it was because the Badgers committed only three turnovers, a category they lead the nation in, averaging only 8.3 tpg. Illinois has now won three of the last four meetings in this series dating back to the start of last season and the favorite is on a 5-2-1 ATS run.
It will be tough to go against the Badgers as they haven't lost consecutive games in more than two years, having won 17 straight games coming off a loss. Returning home certainly helps as well as they are 9-0 this season and Wisconsin has won 30 of its last 31 games at the Kohl Center, with Illinois taking credit for the only defeat. The Illini were the only team to beat the Badgers at the Kohl Center a year ago with a 63-56 win on February 9th. The Illini are a solid 11-5 ATS in their last 16 roadies.