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Thursday, Feb 23
by Larry Ness - 02/23/2006
There were three games last night in college basketball featuring top-25 opponents, with the visiting team winning all three. No. 10 Tennessee won at No. 12 Florida 76-72, No. 13 Ohio State won at No. 18 Michigan State 79-68 and No. 21 North Carolina won at No. 15 North Carolina State 95-71.
My free play on Thursday is George Mason over Hofstra at 7:00 ET. Join me on Thursday as I continue my near 80% ATS run in the NBA (since Feb 3) with a rare NBA Las Vegas Insider Play. In college hoops, I'm featuring one of my exclusive LEGEND Plays plus my 10* College Mismatch of the Month.
For the Vols it was their second four-point win over the Gators, the first coming back on January 21 when they handed Florida its first loss of the season (Gators had opened 17-0). The Buckeyes ended a 10-game losing streak at East Lansing, while ending Michigan State's 15-game home winning streak. The Tar Heels seemingly took offense at being lower ranked than the Wolfpack for just the 4th time in the last 74 meetings, by routing the Wolfpack by 24 points!
Seven other top-25 teams were in action, with only Northern Iowa (T-25th) losing. The Panthers were playing their final game in the UNI-Dome and lost to Butler, 71-49. It marked the school's worst home loss in league play, since Northern Iowa joined the MVC back in 1991. For Butler, it was the school's first win over a ranked opponent since the Braves beat UTEP in the 1986 NCAA tournament.
No. 1 Duke, No. 4 Memphis, No. 6 George Washington and unranked Bucknell, all won. They are four of the five schools still unbeaten in conference play (Gonzaga is the other). Duke (14-0 in the ACC) survived Redick missing 15 of his first 17 shots to edge Ga Tech, 73-66. Memphis (11-0 in C-USA) won its 14th straight game, 66-56 over C-USA and No. 6 GW (13-0 in the A-10) won its nation-best 15th straight game, with a 77-65 win over LaSalle. Bucknell beat Lehigh 81-70, staying unbeaten in the Patriot League, at 13-0.
Tonight's 34-game college basketball 'board' features three top-25 teams in action. Four games will be televised by the ESPN networks and FSN has two games. No. 2 Villanova is at Cincinnati on ESPN at 9:00 ET. The Wildcats are ranked No. 2 for just the second time in school history (have never been No. 1) and take a 10-game winning streak into the game. The Bearcats were 13-2 at one time but have gone 6-7 since. 'Nova is favored by 3 1/2 points with a total of 142.
The early game on ESPN is South Carolina at Georgia (7:00 ET) in a write-in game. Both schools are 14-11 with the Gamecocks at 5-7 and Bulldogs at 4-8 in SEC-play. South Carolina is favored by 1 1/2 points (137). ESPN2 has Wisconsin visiting Northwestern at 9:00 ET. The 18-7 Badgers are 8-4 in the Big-10, just a half-game behind co-leaders Ohio St and Iowa. Wisconsin is favored by 3 1/2 points (120). ESPNU has a game from the "added board", with 20-5 Murray State of the OVC taking its 10-game winning streak to Tenn Tech at 9:00 ET. The Racers are favored by 3 1/2 points (133).
FSN starts with Cal visiting Washington State at 8:30 ET. The Bears are tied with UCLA for the Pac-10 lead and are favored by two points (113 1/2). No. 17 Washington hosts Stanford at 10:30 ET, in the late game. Back on Jan 28, Stanford beat Washington 76-67 in OT, as Chris Hernandez sunk three FTs with 0.2 seconds left in regulation, sending the game into an extra period. Both teams are 9-5 in league play but Washington is 20-5 overall, while Stanford is just 13-10. The Huskies, who have lost 15 of their last 19 versus the Cardinal, are favored by nine points (151).
No. 19 UCLA is the last of three ranked teams in action tonight, as the Bruins host Oregon state at 10:30 ET. UCLA is tied with Cal for first in the Pac-10, as they try to capture their first league title since 1996-97. The Bruins are favored by 15 1/2 points with a total of 127.
There weren't a lot of highlights in last night's nine-game NBA schedule, although the Sonics sure like playing the Hawks. Seattle is just 2-10 ATS over its last 12 games with both ATS wins coming in SU wins over Atlanta, after last night's 114-109 win.
Lowlights from Wednesday include the Magic losing their eighth straight game, 96-93 to New Jersey (Nets have won 14 of their last 15 at home). The Magic, who traded Steve Francis to the Knicks earlier in the day, have lost 12 of their last 13 (3-10 ATS).
Speaking of the Knicks, they lost at home to the Heat, 103-83. New York has now lost 17 of its last 19, going 5-14 ATS. For the Heat, it was their ninth win in their last 11.
Tonight's NBA has a three-game card with TNT carrying a doubleheader. The Pistons and Pacers continue their bitter rivalry in the first game at 8:05 ET. Indiana has been at home since Feb 1 and finished its homestand 6-1 SU and 7-0 ATS. However, the Pacers have lost five straight on the road. Detroit is only 6-4 SU in its last 10 and just 4-9 ATS in its last 13. Detroit is favored by 8 1/2 points with a total of 178. The Lakers host the Kings at 10:35 ET. The Kings are 6-0 SU and ATS at home with Artest but just 1-5 SU (2-3-1 ATS) on the road since acquiring the controversial forward. LA is favored by 2 1/2 points with a total of 198.
Although not on TV, Memphis at Dallas (8:35 ET), should be a good one. The teams will be meeting for the fourth time this year, with the visitor winning the first three. Dallas has won 12 straight at home and 16 of its last 17 overall, while Memphis comes in on a four-game winning streak. Memphis is the league's best defensive team (87.7 PPG allowed) and has allowed just two of its last 21 opponents to score 100 points. In Dallas' last 16 wins, the Mavs have held each opponent under 100! Dallas is favored by 7 1/2 points with a total of 181.
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