NCAA Basketball Live Betting Weekend Preview
It's the final heavy college football Saturday of the season, so the Live Betting college basketball schedule remains light this week, but that will soon change. On Thursday night, the book offers a late-night betting game between Drake and California in the DirecTV Anaheim Classic. It's the final first-round matchup of that holiday tournament. The inaugural event was played in 2007, with USC capturing the title. Wake Forest (2008), West Virginia (2009), UNLV (2010) and Saint Louis (2011) also have won the event.
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This year's field has Pacific, Xavier, Drexel, Saint Mary's (Calif.), Rice, Georgia Tech, Drake and Cal - not a ranked team among the bunch. The Bears should be considered the tournament favorites. They have started with three double-digit wins. Cal also has the nation's leading scorer in junior guard Allen Crabbe, who averages 26.7 points per game. Crabbe and fellow guard Justin Cobbs, who averages 20.7 points, have combined for 142 of the team's 229 points this season. They are shooting a combined .607 (51-of-84) from the floor.
Drake, of the Missouri Valley Conference, opened with a 96-66 victory over William Jewell but then lost 85-79 at Detroit. Ben Simons leads five players averaging double figures in scoring at 18.0 ppg. Drake hasn't met Cal since the 1985-86 season. The Drake-Cal winner will face the Rice-Georgia Tech winner on Saturday. The title game is Sunday and most believe it will be Saint Mary's versus Cal.
Preseason Colonial Athletic Association favorite Drexel (1-2) would have had a solid chance of getting there, but the Dragons recently lost senior guard Chris Fouch for the season to a fractured ankle. Fouch is one of three seniors on the roster and was averaging 16.7 points. All three of the Dragons' games have gone to the wire and they have dropped two in overtime.
Another holiday tournament taking place this weekend is the Old Spice Classic in Orlando and the book will have Live Betting on Friday night's game. The field features West Virginia, Marist, Vanderbilt, Davidson, UTEP, Oklahoma, Clemson and Gonzaga. The No. 17 Zags are the tournament favorites and open Thursday night against Clemson. The winner will face the UTEP-Oklahoma winner in the Live Betting game Friday night.
Gonzaga currently leads the nation in scoring at 94.3 points per game and already has routed fellow Old Spice Classic team West Virginia 84-50. Gonzaga has a difference-maker in the middle in 7-foot-1 freshman Przemek Karnowski. He's averaging 16.7 points and 3.7 rebounds coming off the bench for now. It could well be a mid-major Old Spice final between Gonzaga and Davidson.
The Wildcats return all five starters from the squad that won the Southern Conference championship and pushed Louisville in the NCAA Tournament, including Jake Cohen, the league's reigning player of the year. However, the Wildcats have started 1-2 and Cohen has been off. The Old Spice championship game is Sunday.
The other Live Betting option on the weekend is Friday's matchup between No. 14 Creighton and Wisconsin in the Las Vegas Invitational. Those two schools are the class of the eight-team field. The Bluejays (4-0) have yet to be challenged this year and might have the best all-around player in the country in Doug McDermott.
McDermott was a first-team All-American last year - the only returning first-team All-American in the country - and a preseason member of that team as well heading into this year. He was one of the nation's leading scorers in 2011-12 but is currently averaging 16.8 points and 7.5 rebounds as McDermott hasn't been needed for heavy minutes. The Bluejays have four starters back from last season's 29-win team that lost to North Carolina in the Round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament.
Wisconsin (3-1) was a Top 25 team entering the season but fell out of the polls with a 74-56 loss at ranked Florida on November 14. Ben Brust leads the team in scoring (14.5 ppg), rebounds (9.3 rpg) and assists (2.5).
It should be a tremendous matchup of styles as Creighton is one of the top-scoring and shooting teams in the nation, while UW always has one of the nation's toughest defenses. This year, the Badgers are limiting teams to 51.0 points per game and 38.3% shooting from the floor. Creighton went 3-0 against the Big Ten last season.
Division III Star Sets Scoring Mark
Perhaps the biggest news in college basketball on Tuesday came out of little Grinnell College in Iowa as sophomore guard Jack Taylor set the NCAA single-game scoring record with an obscene 138 points in a 179-104 victory over Faith Bible College.
Taylor had an incredible 108 total field-goal attempts - one shot every 20 seconds. He was 27 of 71 from three-point range, 52 of 108 overall from the field and 7-for-10 from the free-throw line. Taylor, who didn't have a single assist, averaged four points a minute in the second half, when he scored 80. He recently had transferred to Grinnell after playing a year for Wisconsin-La Crosse. Amazingly, Faith Bible's David Larson was out of his mind as well, scoring 70 points on 34-for-44 shooting.
Bevo Francis of Rio Grande had held the NCAA record with 113 points against Hillsdale in 1954. Frank Selvy is the only other player to reach triple figures, scoring 100 points for Division I Furman against Newberry in 1954.
If you are wondering, the major college scoring record is 72 points by U.S. International's Kevin Bradshaw against Loyola Marymount on January 5, 1991. Legendary LSU star Pete Maravich is No. 2 with 69 in a February 7, 1970 game against Alabama. The Division I single-season scoring record is 44.5 by Maravich in 1969-70. "Pistol Pete" averaged an unthinkable 44.2 points in his career.
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