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Thursday, Feb 2

   by Larry Ness - 02/02/2006

By beating the T-wolves last night 90-74, the Pistons avoided their first two-game losing streak of the season. Detroit is now 38-6 and has followed its six losses by winning its next game by an average margin of 13.3 PPG! The Mavericks won their 10th straight last night, edging the Grizzlies 81-80. Dallas has now held all 10 of its recent 'victims' to less that 100 points. Bettors were well aware of this game, as Dallas opened as a two-point favorite but closed as a 1 1/2-point underdog!

My free play for Thursday is in college hoops. Take North Carolina over Maryland at 7:00 ET. It was a tough night on Wednesday, as I lost all three 'BIG' plays, TWO by less than a bucket. However, my Triple 10* CBB Game of the Month Report was a perfect 3-0! In Thursday's college BKB, I feature my 20* Conf Underdog GOY, an exclusive Las Vegas Insider Play plus another Triple 10* CBB Game of the Month Report. Check back by 2:00 ET, for a possible NBA play.

The Bobcats dropped their 13th straight game last night, 102-92 to Atlanta. Whatever happened to those home court whistles? The visiting Hawks had 41 free throw attempts to Charlotte's 17! Just two games in the NBA tonight, both on TNT.The Cavs, winners of seven straight (5-1-1 ATS), are in Miami to play the Heat (8:05 ET). LeBron has averaged 34.4 PPG, 8.0 RPG and 7.7 APG in the team's winning streak, while the Heat have seen Wade return from an injury to score 60 points and dish out 20 assists in his last two games. Miami is favored by 7 1/2 points with a total of 198.

In the nightcap at 10:35 ET, the Spurs are in Oakland to play the Warriors. San Antonio is tied with Dallas for the league's second-best record (36-10), while the Warriors have faded after a 12-6 start. The team is just 3-10 since January 1 (5-8 ATS) and since opening 8-3 at home, has gone just 4-9 SU and ATS. The Spurs are favored by 7 1/2 points with a total of 186 1/2.

Highlights from Wednesday's college hoops...No. 2 Duke edged No. 15 Boston College 83-81, No. 3 Memphis crushed Tulsa 84-61 and No. 7 Texas beat Missouri 66-53. No. 11 West Va edged Notre Dame 71-70, ending an 11-game losing streak to the Fighting Irish. ND is now 1-7 in Big East play, while West Va (7-0) remains that conferences lone unbeaten team in league play.

It should be noted that while there are no unbeaten teams or winless teams in Division I, there still remains 11 schools that are undefeated in conference play and eight schools that remain winless in league games. Bucknell (17-3 / 8-0) of the Patriot League is one of those unbeaten as the Bison beat Army last night, 67-54. Bucknell will play at Northern Iowa in one of 13 just announced BracketBuster games, televised by the family of ESPN networks on February 17 and 18. Of the 26 teams participating, 14 played in last year's postseason, including NINE in the NCAA tournament.

Revenge worked for Temple last night as the Owls, who lost on January 21 at U Mass by the score of 60-34, returned the 'favor', beating the Minutemen 76-47. The halftime score was >34-9! Baylor got off the list of winless conference teams last night, beating Kansas St in OT, 72-70. Because of probation, Baylor was not allowed to play any non-conference games this year, so last night's game was just the team's SEVENTH of the season. The win ended Baylor's 20-game losing streak, dating back to 1/19/05!

Shocker of the night is reserved for Indiana State's upset of Southern Illinois in Carbondale. The Sycamores entered the game on an 11-game losing streak and were 16-point underdogs, yet won 63-54! Southern Illinois hadn't lost at home since January 2, 2004 and the Salukis' loss ends their home winning streak at 33 straight! Gonzaga and Illinois, both at home this weekend, have also won 33 straight home games.

Tonight's 35-game college schedule features two nationally televised games, No. 10 George Washington at Xavier (ESPN2 at 7:00 ET) and North Carolina at Maryland (ESPN at 7:00 ET)/ The Colonials, who moved into the top-10 on Monday for the first time since they were ranked No. 7 back in 1956(!), have lost NINE straight games at Xavier. The Musketeers are 9-1 at home this year and 74-11 at the five-year-old Cintas Center. Maybe that's why they are favored by 3 1/2 points (total is 146 1/2)?

North Carolina, last year's champs, enter just 12-5 after losing three of its last five games. Maryland, which lost its leading-scorer to academic suspension, is 14-2, including 12-1 at home. The Terps are favored by 3 1/2 points with a total of 158 1/2. Out in the Big West, Cal-Irvine is at Pacific (10:30 ET). This game is worthy of mention because the Anteaters are 8-0 in league play (one of those 11 unbeaten teams) but find themselves a 5 1/2-point underdog tonight in Stockton (total is 135).

Ness Notes is available by 1:00 ET on Monday through Friday. Saturday and Sunday, by 9:00 ET.

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