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NCAA Saturday Afternoon Basketball: Villanova/Creighton Preview

by Big Al Staff

Saturday, Feb 13, 2021

A heavyweight showdown between two nationally-ranked teams from the Big East tips off at 5 PM ET on Fox.Villanova improved to 13-2 on Wednesday in a 96-64 blowout victory at home against Marquette as an 11-point favorite. Head coach Jay Wright’s team shot 70% in the second half for 56 points to cruise to the win. The Wildcats are 8-1 in Big East play while ranking fifth nationally by the Associated Press. Wright had seen eight games postponed this season, including six straight during a COVID pause in late December through mid-January.Jeremiah Robinson-Earl scored a career-high 27 points while adding eight rebounds and three steals. The sophomore forward leads the team with a 16.1 points-per-game scoring average and a 7.3 rebounds-per-game mark. Collin Gillespie added 16 points with 11 assists for his third-career double-double. The senior point guard is second on the team with a 14.5 points-per-game scoring average, and he is also averaging 5.2 assists-per-game. Villanova has a balanced attack with five players averaging at least 11.1 points-per-game, and all five starters scored in double-digits against the Golden Eagles.The Wildcats rank fifth in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency at kenpom, and they make 38.7% of their shots from 3-point land, 15th nationally. They also only turn the ball over in 13.6% of their possessions, third nationally. Villanova is 29th in adjusted defensive efficiency at kenpom. They lead the Big East with a defensive turnover rate of 21.8%.Villanova’s two losses this season were against St. John’s and Virginia Tech in overtime in non-conference play. Their two most impressive victories have been against Texas and Seton Hall.Creighton won for the fifth time in their last six games on Tuesday with a 63-48 triumph at Georgetown as a 7.5-point favorite. The Bluejays’ defense shined with a program-record 19 steals. They held the Hoyas to 27.6% shooting, with the 48 points allowed being the fewest points they gave up against a power five conference opponent since 2012. Christian Bishop led the team with 17 points. The junior forward is fourth on the team with an 11.6 points-per-game scoring average. Bishop is listed as questionable today with an undisclosed issue. Denzel Mathews leads the team with a 14.5 points-per-game scoring average. Head coach Greg McDermott has five Creighton players average at least 10.4 points-per-game. The Bluejays rank 19th in the nation in the Associated Press poll with a 15-5 record. They are 11-4 in Big East play with two victories apiece against Seton Hall and UConn. Their five losses were a one-point setback to Kansas and losses to Marquette, Providence, Butler, and Georgetown in conference play. Creighton ranks 17th in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency at kenpom. They are 9th with a 57.5% shooting percentage inside the arc, and they rank 62nd with a 36.3% shooting clip from 3-point land. Their 56.2% effective field goal percentage is 10th best nationally. The Bluejays are also playing strong fundamental defense. They are limiting their opponents to just a 44.6% shooting percentage inside the arc, 26th nationally. They rank 40th in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency using the metrics at kenpom.This showdown is the first meeting between these two teams this season. BetAnySports lists Villanova as a 2.5-point road favorite with the total set at 144.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, NCAA Basketball, NHL and EPL Preview

by Big Al Staff

Saturday, Feb 13, 2021

The Saturday sports card features action in NCAA basketball, the NBA, the NHL, and the English Premier League.The college basketball card starts at noon PM ET. Ohio State hosts Indiana on ESPN with the fourth-ranked Buckeyes in the Associated Press poll 6.5-point favorites with the total set at 139.5. Loyola-Chicago visits Drake on ESPN2 as a 5-point road favorite with an over/under of 133. Oklahoma State plays at home against Kansas State on ESPNU, with the 23rd-ranked Cowboys a 13.5-point favorite with the total at 137. Xavier is at home against UConn on Fox as a 3.5-point favorite with an over/under of 134.5. Kentucky plays Auburn at home on CBS at 1 PM ET, with the Wildcats a 1.5-point favorite with a total of 146. Georgetown hosts Butler on the CBS Sports Network at 1:30 PM ET as a 1.5-point favorite with an over/under of 132.Tennessee travels to LSU on ESPN at 2 PM ET. The 16th ranked Volunteers are a 2.5-point road favorite with the total at 145. Arizona is at home against Oregon on ESPN2 as a 1.5-point favorite with an over/under of 145.5. Iowa visits Michigan State on Fox at 2:30 PM ET. The 15th ranked Hawkeyes are a 5-point road favorite with the total at 152. Kansas travels to Iowa State on ABC at 3 PM ET as an 11-point road favorite with an over/under of 146. Saint Louis visits Fordham on the CBS Sports Network at 3:30 PM ET as a 17-point road favorite, with the total at 127. Missouri hosts Arkansas at 4 PM ET on ESPN2. The 10th ranked Tigers are a 2.5-point favorite with an over/under of 150. Duke visits North Carolina State on ESPN as a 3.5-point road favorite with the total at 148.5. Villanova plays at Creighton on Fox at 5 PM ET in a battle of two ranked Big East teams. The Wildcats are ranked 5th by the AP, with the Bluejays ranking 19th. Villanova is a 2.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 144. Gonzaga visits San Francisco on ESPN2 at 6 PM ET. The number-one ranked Bulldogs are a 16.5-point road favorite with the total set at 156.5. Virginia hosts North Carolina on ESPN with the ninth-ranked Cavaliers at 6-point favorite with an over/under of 129.5. Rice plays at Western Kentucky on the CBS-Sports Network in a rematch of the Hilltoppers’ victory on Friday. USC plays at Washington State on ESPNU at 8 PM ET, with the 20th ranked Trojans a 7.5-point road favorite with the total at 132.5. Saint Mary’s visits Pepperdine as a 1.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 133 on the CBS Sports Network. Colorado travels to California on ESPNU as a 10.5-point road favorite, with the total at 134.5. Boise State plays at home against UNLV on FS1 as a 9.5-point favorite with an over/under of 141. UC-Irvine plays at UC-Riverdale in a rematch of the Highlanders’ victory on Friday at midnight ET on ESPNU.Five games are on the NBA slate for Saturday. Philadelphia visits Phoenix to tipoff the card at 3 PM ET as a 1-point road favorite with the total at 225.5. Brooklyn plays at Golden State on ABC at 8:35 PM ET. The card concludes at 9 PM ET with Utah hosting Miami.Ten NHL games are on the schedule beginning at 3 PM ET, with Winnipeg playing at home against Ottawa as a -220 money line favorite with an over/under of 6.5. Calgary travels to Vancouver at 10 PM ET to close out the slate as a -140 money line road favorite with the total at 6.Matchweek 24 in the English Premier League kicks off with four matches. Liverpool plays at Leicester City at 7:30 AM ET on the NBC Sports Network as a -0.5 goal line road favorite with an over/under of 2.75. Crystal Palace plays at home against Burnley at 10 AM ET on the NBC Sports Network as a -0.25 goal line favorite with an over/under of 2. Manchester City hosts Tottenham at 12:30 PM ET on NBC as a -1.5 goal line favorite with a total of 2.75. Aston Villa visits Brighton and Hove Albion at 3 PM ET on the NBC Peacock app as a pick ‘em with an over/under of 2.75.

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NCAA Friday Night Basketball: VCU/St. Bonaventure Preview

by Big Al Staff

Friday, Feb 12, 2021

The Friday night game on ESPN2 features two potential bubble teams from the Atlantic 10 that rank 51st and 52nd in the current kenpom rankings.St. Bonaventure won their eighth game in nine contests on Tuesday with their 86-73 win at home against LaSalle as a 13.5-point favorite. Jalen Adaway led the team with 20 points, with Kyle Lofton adding 18 points and eight assists. The Bonnies have five players scoring at least 10.8 points-per-game. Lofton leads the team with a 16.0 points-per-game scoring average while contributing 5.3 assists-per-game. Adaway, a junior transfer from Miami (OH) is fourth on the team with an 11.1 points-per-game scoring average.Head coach Mark Schmidt returned all five starters from the group last year that finished 19-12. St. Bonaventure has won at least 18 games in all seven seasons in Schmidt’s tenure but has only one NCAA Tournament and one NIT appearance to show for it. Forward Justin Winston did transfer in January after starting as a freshman, but he only played two games this season and lost minutes to Adaway. The Bonnies are 10-2 with an 8-2 mark in the Atlantic 10. They are 46th in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency at kenpom fueled by an offensive rebounding rate of 34.1%, 50th nationally. They lead the A-10 by pulling down 35.0% of their missed shots in conference play. Schmidt’s team is not likely to barrage a team with 3-pointers: they are last in the Atlantic 10 with only 29.3% of their field goal attempts from behind the line. St. Bonaventure is 59th in adjusted defensive efficiency at kenpom. They are 37th nationally in an opponent’s effective field goal percentage of 46.3%. The Bonnies are second in the A-10 in opponent’s effective field goal percentage despite their opponents taking 44.3% of their shots for 3-point land, second-most. St. Bonaventure’s two losses are against conference rivals, Rhode Island and St. Louis. Their most impressive victories are against Richmond and these Rams. VCU began the year on the opposite end of the spectrum from the Bonnies with all five starters departed from the group that finished 18-13. Head coach Mike Rhoades’ team was 17-6 at one point last season but only won once in their final eight games before the season got canceled. Sophomore Nah’Shon Hyland was the only player from the top-six scorers to return. Six other bench players and four freshmen in the Atlantic 10’s top-rated recruiting class form the foundation of this team.The Rams won their fourth straight game on Tuesday in a 76-67 victory at Dayton as a 1.5-point favorite. Hyland led the team with 19 points, and Vince Williams also poured-in 19 points. Hyland is the team’s top-scorer with a 19.2 points-per-game scoring average. Williams is the only other player scoring more than 6.9 points-per-game, with the junior averaging 10.9 points-per-game.The strength of this VCU team is their defense that kenpom ranks 14th nationally in his adjusted defensive efficiency rankings. The old “havoc” days under former head coach Shaka Smart remains as the Rams are fifth in the nation by forcing turnovers in 25.2% of their opponent’s possessions. VCU also ranks 30th with an opponent’s effective field goal percentage of 45.9%. They are vulnerable against teams who crash the glass as they are last in the Atlantic 10, with their opponents rebounding 32.9% of their misses. The Rams rank only 101st in adjusted offensive efficiency at kenpom. They rank third in the A-10 by rebounding 31.1% of their misses. Rhoades teams play fast as they rank 28th in the nation with an average possession length of 15.7 seconds. VCU is 14-4 with a 7-2 conference mark. Their four losses are against Rhode Island and these Bonnies with two non-conference losses to West Virginia and Penn State. The Rams have two nice victories outside the A-10 against Memphis and Utah State. These two teams played on January 20th, with St. Bonaventure winning at home, 70-54, as a 3-point favorite. These are young teams with only senior between both team’s rosters.BookMaker lists VCU as a 2.5-point favorite, with the total set at 134.5. The ESPN2 broadcast begins at 7 PM ET.

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NBA Weekend Shootaround: February 13-14

by Sean Murphy

Friday, Feb 12, 2021

Another busy weekend of NBA hoops is upon us with five games coming up on Saturday and 10 on the Sunday board. Here's a quick look at five matchups to pay attention to before the lines are released.Saturday76ers vs. SunsThe 76ers were rolling until they ran into a hot-shooting Blazers team on Thursday night. Portland made 17 three-pointers in the upset win, shooting 45% from beyond-the-arc. Now Philly's trip really toughens up with Saturday's game in Phoenix followed by a trip to Salt Lake City to face the league-leading Jazz on Monday. The Suns have shaken off a late-January slump to reel off seven wins in their last eight games, including an upset win over the Bucks on Wednesday. Well-rested and at home, Devin Booker and co. might be worth a look in this one.Rockets vs. KnicksYou'll want to keep your eye on the injury report ahead of this game as the Rockets have been dealing with a number of key absences. Houston heads to New York on the heels of four straight losses but does catch the Knicks in a favorable situation here. New York will be playing its second game in as many nights after a trip to Washington on Friday. Houston has scored 106 points or less in each of its last four contests - I don't need to tell you how bad that is by today's NBA standards. Meanwhile, the Knicks entered Friday's action ranked dead last in the league in pace rating.Nets vs. WarriorsThis is Saturday's showcase game, set to be nationally-televised in primetime on ABC. The Nets have been highly inconsistent since acquiring James Harden but perhaps a trip west will serve to galvanize this star-studded squad. The Warriors should draw plenty of support from the betting public here with Steph Curry putting on a clinic in recent games. Remember, last Saturday night Curry lit it up in a straight-up loss but ATS victory in another ABC-TV appearance against the Mavs. SundayT'Wolves vs. RaptorsThe Raptors are in the midst of a disappointing season, struggling to get back to the .500 mark following a dismal start. While this looks like a layup on paper against the lowly T'Wolves, it's worth noting that Minnesota has showed some signs of life lately, reeling off seven straight ATS victories entering Friday's game in Charlotte. Karl-Anthony Towns gave the T'Wolves a big emotional boost with his return on Wednesday, posting a double-double in a loss but ATS cover against the Clippers. The Raptors have shown a tendency to let inferior opponents hang around in "home" games in Tampa this season.Pelicans vs. PistonsWhile the Pelicans certainly have the talent to manhandle the Pistons, this is a tough spot to get up for as they play their fourth game (in four different cities) in the last six nights in Detroit...on a Sunday evening...with the stands empty...you get the picture. The Pistons are banged-up in the front-court heading into the weekend, which could certainly play a factor here with the Pelicans ranking as one of the best rebounding teams in the league. Keep an eye on the injury report but Detroit could be a sneaky play depending on the number the books decide to send out.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NCAA Basketball, NBA and NHL Preview

by Big Al Staff

Friday, Feb 12, 2021

The Friday sports card features action in NCAA basketball, the NBA, and the NHL. The college basketball card tips off at noon ET with Illinois-Chicago visiting IUPUI as a 1.5-point road favorite with the total set at 143 (all odds from BetOnline). Virginia Commonwealth hosts St. Bonaventure on ESPN2 at 7 PM ET. The Rams are 14-4 this season with a 7-2 mark in the Atlantic 10 conference. VCU won their fourth straight game on Tuesday with their 76-67 victory at Dayton as a 1.5-point favorite. The Bonnies have won eight of their last nine games to improve to a 10-2 mark. St. Bonaventure is 8-2 in A-10 play after their 86-73 victory against La Salle as a 13.5-point favorite on Tuesday. The Bonnies won the first meeting between these two teams on January 20th with a 70-54 victory as a 3-point favorite. VCU is a 3-point favorite in this rematch with an over/under of 135.Akron visits Miami (OH) on ESPNU at 7 PM ET. The Zips are 11-4 with a 9-3 mark in the Mid-American Conference. They upset Kent State, 72-61, on the road as a 2.5-point underdog for their seventh win in their last eight games last Friday. The Redhawks have lost three of their four games to fall to 8-7 and 5-5 in the MAC. They last played on Saturday in an 88-64 loss at Buffalo as an 8-point underdog. Akron is a 4.5-point road favorite, with the total at 142.5.Cleveland State plays at home against Detroit on ESPNU at 9 PM ET. The Vikings are 14-3 with a 14-2 mark in the Horizon League. They won their fourth game in a row with their 80-78 victory at Oakland as a 1-point favorite on Saturday. The Titans have won five in a row with their 83-56 win against IUPFW as a 6-point favorite on Saturday. They are 8-8 with a 7-5 record in the Horizon. Cleveland State is a 3-point favorite with an over/under of 137.5.Eleven games are on the NBA card headlined by a doubleheader on ESPN. Dallas hosts New Orleans in the ESPN opener at 7:35 PM ET. The Mavericks have won four of their last five games with their 118-117 victory against Atlanta as a 3.5-point favorite on Wednesday. The Pelicans had their four-game winning streak end on Wednesday in a 129-116 upset loss at Chicago as a 2.5-point favorite. Dallas is a 2-point favorite with the total at 233.5.Memphis visits the Los Angeles Lakers in the ESPN nightcap at 10:05 PM ET. The Grizzlies snapped their four-game losing streak on Wednesday in a 130-114 loss to Charlotte as a 3-point favorite. The Lakers won their sixth in a row on Wednesday with their 114-113 win against Oklahoma City as an 11.5-point favorite. Two games are on the NHL docket. Boston visits the New York Rangers at 7 PM ET as a -166 money line road favorite with the total set at 5.5. St. Louis travels to Arizona at 9 PM ET as a -135 money line road favorite with an over/under of 5.5.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NHL, NBA and NCAA Basketball Preview

by Big Al Staff

Thursday, Feb 11, 2021

The Thursday sports card features action in NCAA college basketball, the NBA, and the NHL. The college basketball card tips off at 4 PM ET. Gardner Webb visits Longwood as a 1-point road favorite with the total set at 134 (all odds from BetOnline). Austin Peay plays at home against Tennessee-Martin as a 16-point favorite with an over/under of 139.Minnesota hosts Purdue at 5 PM ET on ESPN2. The Golden Gophers, 12-7, ended a three-game losing streak on Monday with a 79-61 win against Nebraska as an 11.5-point favorite. The Boilermakers are ranked 24th by the Associated Press with a 13-7 record. They have won six of eight games with a win against Northwestern, 75-70, as an 8-point favorite on Saturday. Minnesota is a 3.5-point favorite with a total of 139.Kansas plays at home against Iowa State on ESPN at 7 PM ET. The Jayhawks, 13-7, defeated Oklahoma State as a 6.5-point favorite on Monday. The Cyclones, 2-12, comes off a 79-76 loss at TCU as a 4.5-point underdog on Tuesday. Kansas is a 14.5-point favorite with an over/under of 143.5.Colorado travels to Stanford on ESPNU at 7 PM ET. The Buffaloes, 15-5, defeated Oregon State, 78-49, as a 13-point favorite on Monday. The Cardinal improved to 12-7 on Sunday with their  76-70 win as a 10.5-point favorite against California. Colorado is a 1.5-point road favorite, with the total at 140.Arizona State plays at home against Oregon on ESPN at 9 PM ET. The Sun Devils, 6-8, return to action for the first time since January 30th when they lost, 79-75, against Stanford as a 3-point favorite. The Ducks, 10-4, defeated Washington by an 86-74 score as a 12.5-point favorite on Saturday. Arizona State is a 1-point favorite with an over/under of 152.5. Belmont hosts Eastern Kentucky on ESPNU at 9 PM ET. The Bruins, 20-1, defeated SIU-Edwardsville by a 94-62 score as an 18-point favorite on Saturday. The Colonels, 15-4, beat SIU-Edwardsville by a 78-74 score as a 10-point favorite on Monday. Belmont is an 11.5-point favorite, with the total at 160.Boise State is at home against UNLV on the CBS Sports Network at 10 PM ET. The Broncos fell to 14-4 with two straight losses with their upset loss, 73-62, at Nevada as a 5-point favorite on Sunday. The Rebels, 8-9, defeated Air Force, 69-64, as a 14-point favorite on Monday. Boise State is a 10-point favorite with an over/under of 142.UCLA visits Washington State on FS1 at 11 PM ET. The Bruins, 13-4, lost at USC, 66-48, as a 5-point underdog on Saturday. The Cougars, 11-8, upset Oregon State by a 68-66 score as a 2-point underdog on Saturday. UCLA is a 4.5-point road favorite with a total of 128.5. Five games are on the NBA slate, including a doubleheader on TNT. Miami plays at Houston in the TNT opener at 7:35 PM ET. The Heat have won three in a row with their 98-96 win against New York as a 6-point favorite on Tuesday. The Rockets have lost three in a row after their 130-101 loss at New Orleans as a 6-point underdog on Tuesday. The nightcap on TNT has Philadelphia visiting Portland at 10:05 PM ET. The 76ers won their sixth game in their last seven with a 119-111 victory at Sacramento as a 4.5-point favorite on Tuesday. The Trail Blazers won their third game in their four after their 106-97 win against Orlando as a 6-point favorite on Tuesday. Philadelphia is a 5.5-point road favorite with an over/under of 229.5.Ten games are on the NHL docket. Three games begin the NHL schedule at 7 PM ET, with three contests closing out the card at 10 PM ET. None of the games are on national television.

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NCAA Thursday Night Basketball: Oregon/Arizona State Preview

by Big Al Staff

Thursday, Feb 11, 2021

An ESPN doubleheader concludes at 9 PM ET with two Pac-12 teams battling to salvage seasons impacted by COVID.Oregon ended a two-game losing streak on Saturday with an 86-74 win against Washington as a 12.5-point favorite. The Ducks did not have their leader-scoring, Chris Duarte, and their fourth-leading scorer, Eric Williams, Jr., for that game but still shot 49.2% from the field for their best field goal percentage in conference play this season. Oregon also made 12 of 25 shots from 3-point land for a 48% clip, which was the top mark from behind the arc all season for head coach Dana Altman’s team.Eugene Omoruyi led the way with 25 points. The former Rutgers transfer is second on the team with a 17.6 points-per-game scoring average. He has reached double-digits in 13 of his last 14 games. Will Richardson added 19 points. He is third with a 14.5 points-per-game scoring average. The Ducks will be playing their third game since experiencing a three-game pause because of COVID in January. Oregon is 10-4 this season with a 5-3 record in the Pac-12. They have lost to Missouri and Colorado while suffering disappointing setbacks to Oregon State and Washington State. The Ducks’ highest-profile wins are against Seton Hall and Stanford. Altman returned two starters and multiple rotation players from the group that finished 24-7 last year. He brought in an influx of transfer players, including L.J. Figueroa from St. John’s, Amauri Hardy from UNLV, Omoruyi, and Williams, who came over from Duquesne. Oregon has rarely been at full strength this season. They rank 33rd in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency at kenpom. They are fifth in adjusted offensive efficiency in the Pac-12 while making 36.8% of their 3-pointers, fourth-best in the conference. The Ducks are 57th in the nation at kenpom in adjusted defensive efficiency. They rank 5th in adjusted defensive efficiency in the Pac-12 while ranking second by forcing turnovers in 22.1% of their opponent’s possessions in conference play. Duarte is the team’s leading scorer with a 17.8 points-per-game scoring average. The senior is doubtful to play with an ankle injury. Williams remains questionable as he remains in quarantine.  Arizona State returns to the court after their second pause because of COVID. The Sun Devils had two games with Utah postponed along with a game against Colorado. They last played on January 30th when they defeated Stanford by a 79-75 score as a 3-point favorite. Remy Martin led the team with 23 points while adding six assists. The senior is third in the Pac-12 with an 18.0 points-per-game scoring average. Arizona State had been on a six-game losing streak through most of January before winning their last two against California and the Cardinal before their most recent pause in play. Head coach Bobby Hurley’s team also experienced a three-week pause earlier in the season. It took three weeks for head coach Bobby Hurley’s team to play again after getting upset by UTEP, 76-63, despite being a 13-point favorite on December 16th. Arizona State was without four players in their regular rotation, including captain Remy Martin when they returned to the court on January 7th against UCLA. Yet the undermanned group took the Bruins to overtime before losing, 81-75. This team was considered Hurley’s most talented in his sixth year with the program. Martin and Alonzo Verge bypassed the NBA to return to the team, and Hurley added a five-star potential one-and-done recruit in Josh Christopher. COVID complications and playing shorthanded explains much of the reasons why the Sun Devils are 6-8 at this point of the season. Yet the play on the court has been a disappointment. Arizona State is making only 30.5% of their shots from 3-point land in conference play, which is problematic in Hurley’s run-and-gun system that prioritizes 3-point shooting. The Sun Devils take 38.5% of their shots from behind the arc, 147th most in the nation, yet only 29.2% of their points come from these shots, 214th. Arizona State is 3-5 in conference play with a win against Stanford. Hurley has lost three players due to COVID, with Taeshon Curry being the most significant as he averaged over 16 minutes-per-game. BetAnySports lists Arizona State as a 2-point road favorite with the total set at 151.

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Ness Notes: Feb 10 CBB 'State of the Union'

by Larry Ness

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2021

The latest AP poll was released Monday afternoon and for the 12th straight week, Gonzaga was No. 1 and Baylor No. 2 (note: The AP rankings have been a basketball staple since the 1948-49 season). That was hardly a surprise nor was the fact that Kansas dropped out of the top-25, having lost FIVE of its previous seven. While it was not a surprise, it sure was noteworthy. Bill Self's Kansas team was ranked No. 1 in the final AP poll after last season's shutdown. However, despite losing key players like PG Dotson (18.1-4.1-4.0) and the 6-10 Azubuike (13.7 & 10.5), this years' team opened No. 6 in the preseason poll. Kansas lost its season-opener to No. 1 Gonzaga but heading into its Jan 12 game at Oklahoma St, the Jayhawks were 10-2 and still ranked No. 6. However, a 75-70 loss at Stillwater was the beginning of Kansas losing those five of seven games, falling to 12-7 (6-5 in Big 12).The Jayhawks began their top-25 streak on Feb 2, 2009. Their decade-plus of dominance, which began the season after winning the national championship, included 10 consecutive Big 12 regular-season titles, five conference tournament titles, two more Final Four trips and a runner-up finish in 2012. Kansas run of consecutive top-25 appearances at 231. As fate would have it, Kansas played Monday night and was hosting Oklahoma St, which was the team that began the Jayhawks' run of FIVE losses in seven games (see above). The Cowboys (12-5 / 5-5 Big 12) entered Monday's game having just entered the AP poll for the first time this season earlier in the day at No. 23. It marked Oklahoma St's first ranking under head coach Mike Boynton (he's in his fourth season at Norman) and was the school's first top-25 ranking since Feb of 2015. Playing its first game as an unranked team in 12 years, Kansas responded by beating Oklahoma St 78-66! Kansas has a home game with Iowa St on Thursday and then plays the Cyclones in Ames on Saturday. Considering that Iowa St is 2-11 overall (0-8 in the Big 12), one wonders if a 3-0 week would be enough to get Kansas back in next Monday's rankings. My bet would be yes. As for Oklahoma St, the Cowboys host Kansas St (5-16 / 1-11 Big 12) on Saturday and a win may not be enough for them to stay in the top-25 "Come Monday" (there HAS to be Jimmy Buffet fans out there!).Gonzaga was 31-2 when last season was shut down and finished second in the AP's final poll, behind No. 1 Kansas (28-3). However, Gonzaga was the AP's No.1-ranked team and has NEVER looked back. With Kansas' 231-week streak over, the Bulldogs' run of 90 consecutive top-25 rankings becomes the longest-active run. Gonzaga also owned the nation's longest-active winning streak at 22 in a row as it entered Monday's game with BYU in Provo, while also having recorded 15 straight double-digit victories! However, the Cougars owned the distinction of being the last team to beat Gonzaga. The date was Feb 22, 2020, the site was the same as Monday's venue (Marriott Center) and the final score was BYU 91 and Gonzaga 78. Deja vu? There wasn't much suspense in this one, as the Bulldogs started quickly and never trailed in stretching the nation's longest active winning streak to 23 games with an 82-71 victory, the team's 16th straight win by double digits. That said, while Gonzaga is 19-0 this season, the Bulldogs remain a sub-.500 team ATS at 8-9-2.No. 2 Baylor is the nation's only other unbeaten team at 17-0 but unlike Gonzaga, checks in a MONEY-MAKING 13-4 ATS. However, the news wasn't all good for the Baylor basketball program. The school announced Monday that it would be postponing three more games, in accordance with Big 12 Conference men's basketball interruption guidelines. Baylor had already postponed two games vs TCU this past Saturday and a road tilt at Oklahoma scheduled for this week. Now, the Bears will also miss their next three games vs Texas Tech on Feb 13, at West Virginia on Feb 15 and vs West Virginia on Feb 18. Following the postponements, the Bears will have just three Big 12 games on their schedule, although it's expected the conference will attempt to reschedule the postponed games. For now, Baylor's next scheduled game is Feb 20 vs Oklahoma State.It's just another reminder that we are still stuck in "The Year of COVID," Here's another. ESPN's Joe Lunardi released his latest Bracketology on Tuesday morning and noted for the record, the following. "The 2020–21 college basketball season is unique. All involved — coaches, players, administrators, media, fans — can expect postponements, cancellations and adjustments to the normal cycle of games and the postseason. This includes the NCAA tournament, which is under the largest microscope after the abrupt end to the 2019–20 season. The 2021 tourney is on schedule, albeit at a single site, but it would be foolish to proceed without pandemic contingencies." In addition to the standard 68-team NCAA projections, Bracketology now includes 48-team and 16-team versions. The truth is there is no way to know at this point what Selection Sunday will bring, so all bases must be covered by these rules. Also for the record, the top-four regional seeds were Gonzaga, Baylor, Michigan and Ohio St. That's the same order as the AP's top-four, with 13-1 Michigan moving up to No. 3 in Monday's poll (from No. 4) and 15-4 Ohio St up to No. 4 (from No. 7). 13-5 Illinois moved up to No. 6 on Monday (from No. 12) and gives the Big Ten THREE teams in the top-six (seven in the top-25). The Big 12 has six teams in the top-15, led by No. 2 Baylor and No. 7 Texas Tech (14-5). The other four are No. 12 Oklahoma, No. 13 Texas, No. 14 West and No. 23 Oklahoma St, for now (see above re: OSU). Texas is in a free-fall, having lost THREE straight and FOUR of five and I'm not quite sure how (why?) the Longhorns are ranked as high as they are.Falling out of the top-25 along with Kansas were No. 21 UCLA, No. 22 Florida and No. 25 Drake. Drake entered the rankings for the first time since the 2007-08 season on Feb 1 with a 16-0 record. However, after extending their start to 18-0, the Bulldogs lost 74-57 at Valparaiso (Crusaders are just 7-12 on the season) on Saturday and dropped out. "Movin' on up (in)" were 15-3 USC at No. 20 (last ranking was back in Dec of 2017), 17-3 Loyola-Chicago (last ranking was back in the 1984-85 season), 12-5 Oklahoma St at No. 23 and 11-6 Rutgers at No. 25. Let me comment on two of the "new entries." Rutgers opened the season 6-0 and was ranked No. 11 in the Dec 21 poll but lost SIX of seven, including FIVE in a row. However, a four-game winning streak has them back in at No. 25. The fact that NONE of those wins came over a ranked opponent didn't seem to matter much to the voters. That has to frustrate Belmont of the OVC, as the Bruins are 20-1 and have won 17 straight (tied with Baylor for 2nd-longest active winning streak) since losing back on Dec 5. Winthrop (Big South) falls into a similar category, having opened its season 16-0 and had won 21 straight going back to the end of last season before losing 57-55 at home to UNC-Asheville on Jan 29. The Eagles will finally get back on the court this coming Thursday and Friday, after a near two-week break. Winthrop will play back-to-back nights at Radford, which is 13-7 but 12-2 in league play (Eagles are 13-1). One last thing, before getting to a Tuesday and Wednesday update. It was noted above that Loyola entered Monday's poll for the first time since the final poll of the 1984-85 season and some may say hey, I remember the Ramblers' dramatic run to the Final Four in 2018. However, that team may have made the Final 4, but it never cracked the top-25 that season.Tuesday recap: In the Big 12 (SIX top-25 teams), No. 7 Texas Tech lost 82-71 at home to No. 14 West Va, while No. 13 Texas barely edged Kansas St 80-77 in Manhattan. The Wildcats are just 5-16 overall (1-11 in the Big 12) and I'll go back to an earlier thought and ask again, why is Texas ranked so high? How the mighty have fallen. Duke opened as the AP's 9th-ranked team but Tuesday night Notre Dame rallied to defeat Duke 93-89 at Cameron Indoor Stadium, delivering another blow to the Blue Devils' NCAA Tournament aspirations. Duke (7-8, 5-6 ACC) has now lost three games in a row, including two at home across a four-day period (Duke is now under .500 for the first time since 1999!).Then there is Kentucky, another NCAA 'Blue Blood.' The Wildcats opened as the nation's No. 10 team in the AP's preseason poll but Arkansas made two free throws with 4.3 seconds left to give the Razorbacks an 81-80 win at Kentucky. It was the first win for Arkansas over Kentucky since Feb 27, 2014. Kentucky fell to 5-13 (4-7 in the SEC) with its fourth straight loss. An NCAA tourney without Coach K and Coach Cal? It's looking like a VERY real possibility. That's NOT all. Wednesday preview: Three top-10 teams are on the road on Wednesday. The trio includes No. 8 Houston at USF, No. 9 Virginia at Georgia Tech and No. 10 Missouri at Ole Miss. The surprise team in this trio is Missouri. Houston was coming off three seasons of 27, 33 and 23 wins (pandemic-shortened) and opened 17th in the AP's preseason poll (highest preseason ranking since the 83-84 team opened No. 3). UVa had won an average of 29.7 wins per season, capping that six-year run by capturing the national championship in 2019. The Cavs were not able to defend their title in 2020 when COVID forced the NCAA to shut down the season (Cavs finished 23-7). As for Missouri, Cuonzo Martin began his fourth season with the Tigers in November and was coming off seasons of 15-17 and 15-16. Missouri's 13-3 record this season has come out of nowhere. I noted earlier that Rutgers re-entered the rankings at No. 25 on Monday and Wednesday will play at No. 15 Iowa, which enters having lost FOUR of its last five.Closing thought regarding Monday's AP poll.  Kentucky is the winningest program in NCAA history, followed by Kansas, North Carolina and Duke, while UCLA ranks 7th in wins. The last time Duke, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina and UCLA were all unranked was 1961!Good luck...Larry

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NCAA Wednesday Night Basketball: Georgia/Tennessee Preview

by Big Al Staff

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2021

Georgia won their third straight game on Saturday with a 73-70 victory against Vanderbilt as a 4.5-point favorite. Samir Wheeler made eight of ten shots to lead the team with 16 points. The sophomore added nine assists. Wheeler leads the team with a 13.6 points-per-game scoring average while adding 7.4 assists-per-game. Virginia Tech grad transfer P.J. Horne added 14 points after making four of his five shots from 3-point land. Horne’s 9.2 points-per-game scoring average is seventh on the team in what is a balanced scoring attack for third-year head coach Tom Crean. The Bulldogs made 58.7% of their shots against the Commodores. That effort overcame 21 turnovers. Georgia is second-to-last in turnover rate in SEC play and their 22.5% turnover rate overall is 316th in the nation. Crean has his team create additional scoring chances by forcing turnovers in 22.6% of their opponent’s possessions, 36th in the nation. The Bulldogs also crash the glass by pulling down 35.8% of their missed shots, ranking 14th nationally. These second-chance opportunities help Georgia make 52.9% of their shots inside the arc, 66th in the nation. Crean also has his team play aggressively on the fast break off their opponent’s misses but this tactic leaves them vulnerable with these opponents getting second-chance opportunities of their own in 34.3% of their missed shots, 336th in the nation. In conference play, the Bulldogs allow their opponents to rebound 39.1% of their misses, last in the SEC. Georgia ranks 72th in adjusted offensive efficiency and 123rd in adjusted defensive efficiency at kenpom.Crean lost his top-two scorers, including the number one pick in the NBA draft, Anthony Edwards, from a team that finished 16-16. Six other sophomore from a top-15 ranked recruiting class returned including four four-star players. Crean added three grad transfers in Andrew Garcia from Stony Brook, Justin Kier from George Mason along with Horne from Virginia Tech. Georgia enters this game with a 12-6 record along with a 5-6 mark in the SEC. They have victories again Auburn, Kentucky, and twice against Ole Miss. Yet none of their wins are against a team ranked higher than 59th in the kenpom rankings. The Bulldogs’ six losses against South Carolina, Florida, Auburn, Arkansas, LSU, and Mississippi State are all ranked 81st or better at kenpom.Tennessee won their third game in their last four contests with their 82-71 victory at Kentucky as a 3.5-point favorite on Saturday. The Volunteers’ trailed by 10 points with 12 minutes left to go before going on a 12-0 run to take the lead before going on a second 12-0 run to seize a 10-point lead with under four minutes left to cruise to the victory. Keon Johnson scored 17 of his team-high 27 points in the second half with fellow freshman five-star freshman phenom Jaden Springer adding 23 points. Tennessee has five players scoring at least 9.2 points-per-game with Springer leading the way with a 10.5 points-per-game scoring average and Johnson adding 10.1 points-per-game. Senior big man John Springer scores 10.4 points-per-game with Oregon graduate transfer Victor Bailey adding 10.4 points-per-game. The Volunteers rank 16th in the nation in the Associated Press poll with a 13-4 record. They are 6-4 in conference play with losses to Ole Miss, Missouri, Florida, and Alabama. Tennessee has wins against Missouri and Arkansas in the SEC along with impressive non-conference victories from their non-conference schedule. Head coach Rick Barnes returned four starters from the group last year that finished 17-14. He added a top-five recruiting class led by Springer and Johnson. The Volunteers are the top-ranked team in adjusted defensive efficiency at kenpom. They rank 15th in opponent’s effective field goal percentage and they also rank 15th by forcing turnovers in 23.5% of their opponent’s possessions. This team can struggle to score baskets. They rank 163rd nationally an 11th in the SEC in effective field goal percentage. Tennessee is 61st in adjusted offensive efficiency at kenpom.BookMaker lists the Volunteers as a 12.5-point favorite with an over/under of 140.5. 

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, NHL and NCAA Basketball Preview

by Big Al Staff

Wednesday, Feb 10, 2021

The Wednesday sports card features action in NCAA college basketball, the NBA, and the NHL. The college basketball card tips off at 4 PM ET with UConn visiting Providence on FS1 at 4 PM ET. The Huskies, 8-4, have lost three of their last four games after their 80-73 loss to Seton Hall as a 1.5-point underdog on Saturday. The Friars, 9-10, have dropped seven of nine after their 92-81 loss to St. John’s as a 2-point favorite on Saturday. UConn is a 2-point road favorite with the total set at 133 (all odds from BetOnline).UNC-Greensboro plays at home against Furman on ESPNU at 5 PM ET. The Spartans, 13-6, ended their seven-game winning streak on Monday in a 68-49 loss at Furman as a 4-point underdog. The Paladins have won two of three to improve to 12-6. UNC-Greensboro is a 2-point favorite with an over/under of 141.5.Houston travels to South Florida on ESPNU at 7 PM ET. The Cougars are ranked 8th in the Associated Press poll with a 16-2 record. They have won nine of their last ten with their 112-46 win against Our Lady of the Lake on Saturday. The Bulls, 7-5, return to the court for the first time since January 9th, when they won at East Carolina, 69-63, as a 1-point favorite. Houston is an 11.5-point road favorite with the total at 128.5. Drake plays at home against Northern Iowa on the CBS Sports Network at 7 PM ET. The Bulldogs, 18-1, lost their first game of the season on Sunday in their 74-57 upset loss at Valparaiso as a 13-point favorite. The Panthers raised their record to 6-12 on Sunday with a 70-67 win against Indiana State as a 3-point favorite. Drake is a 10-point favorite with an over/under of 143.5.Tennessee is at home against Georgia at 8 PM ET on ESPN2. The Volunteers are ranked 16th by the AP with a 13-4 record. They have won three of four with their 82-71 win at Kentucky as a 3.5-point favorite on Saturday. The Bulldogs, 12-6, won their third straight game on Saturday with their 73-70 win against Vanderbilt as a 4.5-point favorite. Tennessee is a 12.5-point favorite, with the total at 140.5.Villanova hosts Marquette on FS1 at 9 PM ET. The Wildcats are ranked fifth in the nation by the AP with a 12-2 record. They defeated Georgetown, 84-74, as a 13.5-point favorite on Sunday. The Golden Eagles, 9-10, lost their fourth game in their last five on Saturday in a 71-68 loss as a 5-point underdog to Creighton. Villanova is a 10.5-point favorite with an over/under of 139.5. Saint Louis plays at home against Rhode Island on the CBS Sports Network at 9 PM ET. The Billikens improved to 8-3 with a 70-59 win against St. Bonaventure as a 4.5-point favorite on Saturday. The Rams, 9-11, lost their third straight game on Saturday to UMass, 75-63, as a 10-point favorite. Saint Louis is an 8-point favorite with the total at 138.Mississippi State is at home against LSU on ESPNU at 9 PM ET. The Bulldogs improved to 11-9 on Saturday with their 75-59 upset win at South Carolina as a 3-point underdog. The Tigers, 11-6, lost their fourth game in their last five with their 98-60 loss as an 8.5-point underdog last Wednesday. Mississippi State is a 1.5-point favorite with an over/under of 146.San Diego State hosts San Jose State on the CBS Sports Network at 11 PM ET. The Aztecs, 14-4, won their fifth in a row with their 85-54 victory against the Spartans as a 27.5-point favorite on Monday. San Jose State dropped to 5-12 with the loss that ended their three-game winning streak. San Diego State is a 28.5-point favorite with the total set at 144.There are nine games on the NBA docket with a doubleheader on ESPN. Dallas is at home against Atlanta on ESPN at 7:30 PM ET. The Mavericks won their third game in their last four on Monday with their 127-122 win against Minnesota as a 10-point favorite. The Hawks snapped their three-game losing streak on Saturday with a 132-121 upset win against Toronto as a 1.5-point underdog. Dallas is a 4.5-point favorite with an over/under of 233. Milwaukee travels to Phoenix in the nightcap on ESPN at 10 PM ET. The Bucks have won five in a row with their 125-112 win at Denver as a 2-point favorite on Monday. The Suns won their sixth game in their last seven with a 119-113 win against Cleveland as a 5.5-point favorite on Monday. Two games are on the NHL slate, with Boston visiting the New York Rangers on the NBC Sports Network at 7 PM ET. The Bruins won their seventh game in their last eight with their 2-1 win on Friday against Philadelphia. The Rangers had their two-game winning streak end on Monday in a 2-0 loss at home to the New York Islanders.

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NCAA Tuesday Night Basketball: West Virginia/Texas Tech Preview

by Big Al Staff

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2021

A Tuesday ESPN college basketball double-header concludes at 9 PM ET in a battle between two nationally-ranked Big 12 teams.West Virginia won their fourth game in their last five contests on Saturday in a 91-79 victory against Kansas as a 2.5-point favorite. Miles McBride led the way with a career-high 29 points. Tax Sherman added 25 points, which were also a career-high. The Mountaineers also forced 18 turnovers while holding the Jayhawks to 7 of 20 shooting from 3-point range. Head coach Bob Huggins declared that it was his team’s “best defensive performance of the year.”McBride leads the team with a 15.8 points-per-game scoring average. Sherman’s 13.1 points-per-game clip is third on the team. Big man Derek Culver contributes 14.3 points-per-game along with 10.3 rebounds-per-game. West Virginia has won three of their last four games with their 76-72 win at Oklahoma State on Tuesday as an 11-point favorite. Taz Sherman hit both his free throws with 6.4 seconds left in the game to ice the victory. Sherman led the team with 18 points. He is third on the team with a 12.4 points-per-game scoring average. Sean McNeil is the Mountaineer's fourth player scoring in double-digits with a 10.2 points-per-game average.West Virginia went on hiatus for two weeks after a COVID outbreak within their program in mid-January. They returned to the court on January 23rd in a 69-47 win at Kansas State as an 11-point favorite in their first game since January 9th.The Mountaineers are 5-3 since losing two players in their frontline rotation at the beginning of the month. Isaiah Cottrell suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in their game against Northeastern. The four-star freshman was averaging only 5.6 minutes-per-game, but he gave the Mountaineers’ depth at forward with potential upside as their highest-rated freshman. The more significant loss was Oscar Tshiebwe, who stepped away from the program for personal reasons. The sophomore led the team with a 10.2 points-per-game scoring average last season but had taken a step back this year by scoring 8.1 points-per-game while adding 3.8 rebounds-per-game. West Virginia ranks 14th in the current Associated Press poll with a 13-5 record. Their 6-3 conference mark places them second in the Big 12. They have high-profile wins against Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, and now Kansas after Saturday. The Mountaineers' five losses were against Gonzaga, Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Florida. “Press Virginia” has not been effective this season for Huggins as his team ranks only third in the Big 12 with a 21.2% defensive turnover rate. The Mountaineers’ 20.4% turnover rate overall is 105th in the nation. West Virginia is 50th nationally and seventh in the Big 12 in adjusted defensive efficiency at kenpom. The Mountaineers are 13th nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency because of their ability to generate second-chance scoring opportunities. West Virginia ranks 10th nationally with a 36.5% offensive rebounding rate. This group is one of the Huggins’ best 3-point shooting teams in his career as they are making 42.9% of their shots from downtown in Big 12 play.Texas Tech won their third straight game on Saturday with their 73-62 victory at Kansas State as a 15.5-point favorite. The Red Raiders converted 13 of their 24 shots in the second half to cruise to the win. Mac McClung scored a team-high 23 points. Head coach Chris Beard also got 16 points off his bench, which helped to make up for Terrance Shannon scoring only 2 points. The sophomore played only 11 minutes due to an apparent injury. He should be able to take the court tonight. Texas Tech climbed to 7th in the latest AP poll with a 14-5 record. The Red Raiders return home, where they have won only twice in their five games in conference play. This group is likely Beard’s most talented team in his five years as head coach of this program. While he lost three starters from the team that finished 18-13 last season, he was aggressive in attracting some high-level transfers while bringing in a good freshman class to join junior Kyler Edwards and sophomore Terrence Shannon. Some of the depth Beard had established diminished when five-star freshman Nimari Burnett decided to leave the team to transfer to another school. He was averaging 17.7 minutes-per-game but only scoring 5.3 points-per-game. Georgetown transfer Mac McClung has adapted to Beard’s system to lead the team with a 17.5 points-per-game scoring average. Shannon is second on the team by scoring 13.6 points-per-game. Texas Tech is once again an outstanding defensive team under Beard. They are 12th in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency, according to kenpom. The Red Raiders are also seventh in the country by forcing turnovers in 24.9% of their opponent’s possessions. This team thrives in getting second-chance shots. Texas Tech rebounds 34.7% of their missed shots, 24th in the country. They also get to the free-throw line as they rank 14th in free throw rate. The weakness of this team is shooting the basketball. The Red Raiders make only 34.1% of their 3-pointers and 48.2% of their shots inside the arc, ranking 150th and 237th, respectively. Kenpom ranks their adjusted offensive efficiency as 30th nationally. Texas Tech is 6-4 in the rugged Big 12 with losses to Baylor, West Virginia, Kansas, and Oklahoma State. They lost to Houston in non-conference play. Their highest-profile wins are against Texas and Oklahoma twice, along with a non-conference victory against LSU. West Virginia won the first meeting between these two teams on January 25th, 88-87, in Morgantown as a 2.5-point favorite. The Mountaineers made their last ten shots of the game culminating in a McBride jumper with six seconds to win the game. BetAnySports lists West Virginia as a 5.5-point favorite with the total set at 141.

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Big Al's Daily Angle: NHL, NBA and NCAA Basketball Preview

by Big Al Staff

Tuesday, Feb 09, 2021

The Tuesday sports card features healthy action in college basketball, the NBA, and the NHL. The college basketball card tips off at 2 PM ET with Georgia State playing at home against South Alabama as a 5.5-point favorite with the total set at 143.5 (all odds from BetOnline).The nationally-televised college basketball card tips off at 7 PM ET. Kentucky hosts Arkansas on ESPN. The Wildcats, 5-12, have lost three in a row after their 82-71 loss to Tennessee as a 3.5-point underdog on Saturday. The Razorbacks, 14-5, have won four of the last five games with their 61-45 victory against Mississippi State as a 7.5-point favorite last Wednesday. Kentucky is a 2-point favorite with an over/under of 142.Michigan State is at home against Penn State at 7 PM ET on ESPN2. The Spartans, 9-7, ended a four-game losing streak on Saturday with a 66-56 win against Nebraska as a 12.5-point favorite. The Nittany Lions improved to 7-8 with their 55-50 win against Maryland as a 3-point favorite on Friday. Michigan State is a 2.5-point favorite with the total at 143.5. Kent State visits Bowling Green at 7 PM ET on the CBS Sports Network. The Golden Flashes dropped to 10-5 on Friday with a 72-61 upset loss against Akron as a 2.5-point favorite. The Falcons, 10-8, have lost five in a row after their 76-70 upset loss to Western Michigan as a 13-point favorite last Wednesday. The game is a pick ‘em with an over/under of 157.Texas Tech hosts West Virginia at 9 PM ET on ESPN. The Red Raiders, 14-5, won their third in a row on Saturday with their 73-62 victory at Kansas State as a 15.5-point favorite. The Mountaineers rank 14th in the Associated Press poll with a 13-5 record. They have won four of their last five games with their 91-79 win against Kansas as a 2.5-point favorite on Saturday. Texas Tech is a 5.5-point favorite, with the total at 140.5.Creighton travels to Georgetown at 9 PM ET on the CBS Sports Network. The Bluejays rank 14th in the nation with a 14-5 record. They have won four of five after their 71-68 win at Marquette as a 5-point favorite on Saturday. The Hoyas dropped to 5-9 on Saturday with an 84-74 loss at home to Villanova as a 13.5-point underdog. Creighton is a 7-point road favorite with an over/under of 150.5.Butler plays at home against St. John’s at 9 PM ET on FS1. The Bulldogs, 6-10, ended a three-game losing streak on Saturday with a 60-58 win against DePaul as a 5.5-point favorite. The Red Storm, 13-7, have won six in a row on Saturday with their 92-81 upset win at Providence as a 2-point underdog. Butler is a 3-point favorite with a total of 139.5.TCU is at home against Iowa State on ESPNU at 9 PM ET. The Horned Frogs, 10-7, snapped a five-game losing streak last Wednesday with their 81-78 upset win against Oklahoma State as a 4.5-point underdog. The Cyclones, 2-11, have lost seven straight after their 79-72 setback at Oklahoma as a 14-point underdog on Saturday. TCU is a 6-point favorite with an over/under of 142.5.Colorado State hosts New Mexico on FS1 at 11 PM ET. The Rams, 14-4, have won four of their last five games with their 68-59 victory at Wyoming as a 6.5-point favorite on Saturday. The Lobos, 5-11, have lost three in a row after their 65-55 setback at Fresno State on January 30th as a 6.5-point underdog. Colorado State is an 18-point favorite with the total at 133.Seven games are on the NBA docket, including a double-header on TNT. Houston visits New Orleans in the TNT opener at 7:35 PM ET. The Rockets come off a 119-94 upset loss at Charlotte on Monday as a 1.5-point favorite. The Pelicans have won three in a row after they upset Memphis on Saturday, 118-109, as a 1-point underdog. The nightcap on TNT has Utah hosting Boston. The Jazz have won fifteen of their last sixteen games with their 103-95 win at Indiana as a 4.5-point favorite on Sunday. The Celtics have lost four of six after their 100-91 loss at Phoenix as a 3-point underdog. Eight games are on the NHL schedule with a double-header on the NBC Sports Network. Philadelphia plays at Washington in the opener at 6:08 PM ET. The Flyers have won five of their last seven in a 7-4 victory on Sunday against the Capitals. Washington has lost three in a row. Philadelphia is a -116 money line road favorite with an over/under of 6.Tampa Bay is at Nashville in the nightcap on the NBC Sports Network at 8:38 PM ET. The Lightning defeated the Predators on Monday, 4-1.

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