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Monday, Feb 13

   by Larry Ness - 02/13/2006

Nine of the nation's top-10 teams won over the weekend (the top-four all won on the road), with only No. 10 Illinois losing, 69-53 at No. 19 Ohio State. Four top-25 teams lost to unranked opponents. No.12 Michigan State lost at 12-9 Minnesota (69-55), No. 16 NC State lost 71-68 at 10-12 Ga Tech (Tech ended an eight-game losing streak, its longest in 25 years!), No. 22 Michigan lost at 9-14 Purdue (84-70) and No. 25 Northern Iowa lost at home to 16-7 Creighton, 66-63.

My free play tonight is Wisconsin-Green Bay over Butler at 8:00 ET. Sunday I delivered a PERFECT 3-0 sweep, completing a 6-1 BKB weekend!. While I'm passing on tonight's relatively light CBB schedule, I expect to continue my current RED-HOT run in the NBA (8-2), with two HUGE 10* plays. Get my 10* Underdog and 10* Favorite, Games of the Month.

No. 8 George Washington edged St Joe's 64-62 on Saturday, giving the school its best-ever start in its 89-year history (20-1), as well as the nation's longest current winning streak of 12 straight. Bucknell, Duke and Memphis joined No. 1 U Conn by winning their 11th straight games.

U Conn's 99-57 win at Seton Hall, was the school's most lopsided Big East win in its history. Poor Seton Hall. The Pirates fell to 0-10 all-time when facing the nation's top-ranked team, including 0-2 this year. Back on November 16, the Pirates lost to then-No. 1 Duke, 84-50!

Bucknell, Duke, GW and Memphis are joined by Gonzaga and Penn as the only schools still unbeaten in their respective conferences. Think that's not saying something? Pacific, 18-0 in the Big West, was the only Division I school to finish last year unbeaten in conference play.

This year's SIX unbeatens went a combined 66-24 .733 in their respective conferences last season. A pretty good mark but not quite this year's combined 1.000! Of those teams, Penn had the best conference mark last year (13-1 in the Ivy), with Memphis owning the worst (9-7 in C-USA).

St Bonaventure won yesterday, 71-57 over Richmond, ending the team's 11-game losing streak and giving the school its first conference win (A-10) of the season. That leaves FOUR schools still winless in conference play.

The Citadel is 0-11 in the Southern Conference, Prairie View is 0-11 in SWAC, South Florida is 0-10 in the Big East and Texas State 0-10 in the Southland. Last year these four schools were a combined 23-43 .348 in their respective conferences, with Texas State (8-8) posting the best record and The Citadel (4-12) posting the worst.

Tonight's 17-game college basketball 'board' features an ESPN tripleheader. No. 1 U Conn at No. 4 Villanova starts things off at 7:00 ET. The Huskies are 7-0 vs ranked teams this year but haven't beaten a top-five opponent is their last SEVEN tries. Villanova, a 2 1/2-point home 'dog' (total is 147 1/2), is just 4-14 in its last 18 games when facing the nation's top-ranked team.

Kansas visits Oklahoma State at 9:00 ET. The Jayhawks, a very young team, are coming together with seven straight wins (6-1 ATS) and have won 14 of their last 16. OSU has lost six of seven (2-5 ATS) and after back-to-back seasons of 31 and 26 wins, is just 13-10. Kansas is favored by three points with a total of 135 1/2.

The nightcap, at 12:00 ET, features La Tech at Nevada. The two schools are tied for the WAC lead at 8-3 but Nevada won at La Tech back on Feb 2, 65-53. The Wolf Pack are 10-1 at home but the Bulldogs are an impressive 7-2 ATS on the road. Nevada is favored by 8 1/2 points with a total of 132.

Gonzaga, the only one of the six conference unbeatens in action tonight, is at Portland (10:00 ET). The Bulldogs have won nine straight over the Pilots at this site (by an average of almost 13 PPG) and are favored by 11 1/2 points with a total of 148 1/2. The Citadel goes for its first conference win this year at home vs Davidson at 7:15 ET and is a 16-point home underdog (total is 145).

Miami picked up its first win of the season (1-7) against one of the league's top-four teams, when it made a HUGE 4th-quarter comeback against Detroit on Sunday. The Heat outscored the Pistons 29-14 in the final period, as Wade scored Miami's final 17 points. Detroit still owns the league's best record at 41-9 but the Pistons have looked vulnerable as of late. Friday night, Dallas' 13-game winning streak came to an end in Denver and New Jersey's 12-game home winning streak was ended by San Antonio.

Sad-sacks of the weekend go to Portland and the New York Knicks. Portland lost at Boston 115-83 on Friday and at Toronto 114-81, on Sunday. The Blazers allowed those two opponents to make 56.9 percent of their shots, including 20-of-43 from three-point range. Then of course there are the New York Knicks. NY lost Friday to the Hornets and Sunday to the Rockets. The Knicks have now lost NINE straight games and 15 of 16 (4-12 ATS).

Monday's NBA schedule features seven games. The Spurs go for their 10th straight overall win (as well as their 10th straight road win) at Cleveland ( 7:05 ET). San Antonio is favored by 2 1/2 points with a total of 179 1/2. Dallas hosts New York at 8:35 ET and the Mavs may just remember that they lost at New York back on January 11, 117-115 in OT. The Knicks have started 29 different lineups this year (wonder why they stink?), the most of any team in the league. Dallas is favored by 14 1/2 points with a total of 195.

Ness Notes is available Monday through Friday by 1:00 ET.

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