Saturday's NCAABK Action
January 25, 2013
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LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (16-3) at GEORGETOWN HOYAS (13-4)
Sportsbook.ag Line: Louisville -5
No. 5 Louisville looks to stop a two-game losing skid when it visits Georgetown on Saturday afternoon.
The Cardinals, were ranked No. 1 in the nation when they lost to then-No. 6 Syracuse last Saturday by a 70-68 score. But Tuesday's loss at unranked Villanova was much more troubling, as the Wildcats ended the game on a 27-14 run, aided by Louisville's 7-of-18 shooting (39%) from the foul line during that stretch. Georgetown is riding high after a 63-47 rout at Notre Dame on Monday. The Hoyas outshot the Irish 47% FG to 35% FG and outrebounded them 35-24. Georgetown is 7-2 SU (4-4-1 ATS) against Louisville since 2000, winning each of the past three meetings SU. Despite the Cardinals recent struggles, they have been an outstanding road team this year at 4-1 (SU and ATS), outscoring these hosts by 14.4 PPG. Louisville also has more size and experience than Georgetown, which is a horrible 1-5 ATS at home, scoring just 63.8 PPG in these 10 games.
Louisville scores 75.7 PPG (36th in nation) and ranks 59th in the country in both rebounds (38.0 PPG) and assists (15.0 APG). SG Russ Smith is the team's top scorer at 18.7 PPG, but he makes just 41% of his shots and 32% of his threes. He shot a woeful 2-of-13 at Villanova on Tuesday, while committing four turnovers. PG Peyton Siva has also shot horribly during the two-game skid (6-for-22 FG), but he has 19 assists during this stretch. Siva had an outstanding game against Georgetown last season with 15 points, six assists and five steals. PF Chane Behanan has been a force on the glass in the past four games (9.3 RPG) and also has eight steals over his past three contests. C Gorgui Dieng has upped his season rebounding average to 10.1 RPG, thanks to his 11.6 RPG in the eight games this month. Both Behanan and Dieng grabbed eight boards apiece in last season's home loss to the Hoyas.
Georgetown is not a prolific offense (64.0 PPG, 255th in D-I), but it shares the ball well (15.0 PPG, 59th in nation) and takes good shots (46.2% FG, 46th in D-I) in its patience Princeton-style offense. With second-leading scorer F Greg Whittington (12.1 PPG, 7.0 RPG) suspended for the past four games, leading scorer Otto Porter (14.6 PPG, 7.7 RPG) has stepped up his offense, netting at least 19 points in all four contests. Porter has also notched 9.3 RPG during this four-game stretch, and tallied an impressive 14 points and 14 rebounds in the win at Louisville last season. Junior SG Markel Starks (11.2 PPG) has shot the ball pretty well this season at 46% FG and 41% threes, but he's made just 4-of-17 FG in his past two contests, scoring a total of 12 points. However, Starks poured in a game-high 20 points on 7-of-8 FG (4-of-4 threes) in last year's victory over the Cardinals. The Hoyas got great production from their bench in Monday's win at Notre Dame, as SG D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera dropped in 14 points on 6-of-12 FG, and C Moses Ayegba grabbed 10 rebounds. The Nigerian-born junior will likely play a big role trying to contain Dieng on Saturday.
MARYLAND TERRAPINS (15-4) at DUKE BLUE DEVILS (16-2)
Sportsbook.ag Line: Duke -12.5
No. 1 Duke looks to bounce back from its embarrassing loss at Miami on Wednesday when it hosts Maryland on Saturday afternoon.
The Blue Devils were completely dominated in the 90-63 drubbing from the Hurricanes, getting outshot 57% FG (47% threes) to 30% FG (17% threes). Their starting backcourt of PG Quinn Cook and SG Seth Curry combined to make just 1-of-22 shots. Maryland has dropped five straight games ATS (2-3 SU), but it did win its last time out on Tuesday, edging 8.5-point underdog Boston College 64-59. Duke has owned the Terrapins since the start of the 2007-08 season, going 11-1 SU (8-3-1 ATS) and winning the past four matchups by 18, 16, 13 and 18 points. Despite the series dominance, this spread seems a bit too lofty for a Duke team that is 4-6 ATS at home, and has outscored ACC foes by just 5.4 PPG this season. Maryland has given up only 57.7 PPG in its three road games and ranks second in the entire nation in rebounds per game (43.0 RPG). The Blue Devils have been outrebounded by 10 boards in three contests without starting PF Ryan Kelly (5.4 PPG), and this factor should allow the Terrapins to hang around for the majority of the afternoon.
Maryland scores just 71.8 PPG (85th in nation), but it makes 46.8% FG (31st in D-I) and dishes out 16.1 APG (20th in D-I). The strength of the team lies on the glass though, as the Terps are pulling down an impressive 43.0 RPG, good for second in the country. Seven-foot-1 C Alex Len (13.5 PPG, 8.2 RPG) recorded his fifth double-doubles this season on Tuesday with 16 points and 13 rebounds. He also has six straight games of at least 10 points. SF Dez Wells (11.8 PPG, 4.4 RPG, 3.1 APG) has been outstanding in his two ACC road games this season with 19.5 PPG on 68% FG, but was held to five points in Tuesday's home win over Boston College. Sophomore SG Nick Faust (8.7 PPG) is the team's third-leading scorer, but he's made just 37% FG and 29% of his threes this season. PG Pe'Shon Howard (4.6 APG) has failed to score a point in four of his past five games, and turned the ball over seven times at UNC last Saturday. But he played well in his one game against Duke last season with 10 points, six rebounds and four assists.
Duke is led by senior PF Mason Plumlee (17.3 PPG, 11.4 RPG), who has three straight double-doubles. But he's also missed 23 shots (12-for-35 FG, 34%) and turned the ball over nine times over the past two games. However, Plumlee dominated the Terps last year, scoring 19.5 PPG on 56% FG. He had 23 points, 12 rebounds and four assists in the most recent meeting on Jan. 25, 2012 in College Park. SG Seth Curry (15.9 PPG) is the team's No. 2 scorer, but he was 0-for-10 FG (0-for-5 threes) in the loss at Miami. This was very surprising considering how well he shot against Georgia Tech in the previous game at home, scoring 24 points and draining 6-of-7 threes. He made just 2-of-9 shots at Maryland last season, but scored 19 points on 7-of-15 FG in the home win last February. PG Quinn Cook (11.1 PPG, 6.1 APG, 4.0 RPG) missed 11 of 12 shots on Wednesday, but he has done a wonderful job running this offense with 109 assists and just 40 turnovers (2.73 Ast/TO ratio). This ratio has jumped to 4.0 (36 Ast, 9 TO) in the past five games. Freshman SG Rasheed Sulaimon (11.3 PPG) has made just 40% FG this season, but since his 0-for-10 performance at NC State, he has an impressive 15.5 PPG on 53% FG in his past two contests. PF Ryan Kelly (13.4 PPG) will miss his fifth straight game on Saturday due to a foot injury.
NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS (13-5) at NORTH CAROLINA STATE WOLFPACK (15-4)
Sportsbook.ag Line: NC State -5
No. 18 North Carolina State tries to remain in second place in the ACC standings when red-hot rival North Carolina makes the short trip to Raleigh on Saturday night.
UNC has won three straight games (SU and ATS), holding its opponents to a mere 62.3 PPG. NC State has dropped two of its past three contests (SU and ATS), but is a perfect 11-0 SU (6-3 ATS) at home this season. Although the Wolfpack are the nationally-ranked and favored team here, the Tar Heels have won 13 straight meetings SU and are 9-2 ATS over the past 11 times they have met. UNC is on a roll right now, and the Heels have beaten this Wolfpack club in 13 of the past 16 meetings in Raleigh. Although both of these teams rank among the top-15 in the nation in scoring, the Tar Heels are the No. 1 rebounding squad in the country, while NC State ranks 102nd in rebounding at 36.9 RPG.
North Carolina is one of the more potent offenses in the nation with 78.7 PPG (14th in nation) despite a mediocre 44.5% FG clip (115th in D-I). The Tar Heels also grab the most rebounds in the nation (43.1 RPG) while dishing out 18.1 APG (3rd in D-I). PF James Michael-McAdoo leads the club in scoring (14.7 PPG) and rebounding (8.3 RPG) and is averaging 15.7 PPG and 9.3 RPG during the three-game win streak. Junior swingman Reggie Bullock (14.3 PPG, 5.8 RPG) has also been strong during the win surge with 17.7 PPG on 50% FG. Bullock averaged 9.0 PPG and 6.7 RPG in the three meetings with NC State last season. SG P.J. Hairston (11.9 PPG, 4.2 RPG) is the other double-figure scorer for Carolina. In the team's last road game, he lit up Florida State for 23 points on 9-of-14 FG. He also scored 15 points in just 17 minutes in Wednesday's win. A big reason UNC scores so many points is the decision making of PGs Marcus Paige (6.7 PPG, 4.4 APG) and Dexter Strickland (7.9 PPG, 4.9 APG). Paige has 12 assists over the past two games, while Strickland has a 2.77 Ast/TO ratio for the season, with 72 assists and only 26 turnovers.
NC State scores 79.2 PPG (9th in D-I) and makes an impressive 51.0% FG (3rd in nation). This team has six players that score at least 9.9 PPG, led by the impressive trio of SF C.J. Leslie (15.3 PPG, 6.8 RPG), PG Lorenzo Brown (12.8 PPG, 6.9 APG, 4.5 RPG) and PF Richard Howell (12.6 PPG, 10.9 RPG). All three of these players had huge games in the near upset of then-No. 4 UNC in last season's ACC Tournament. Leslie had 22 points (9-of-14 FG) and seven rebounds, Brown poured in 16 points, six assists, four rebounds and four steals, while Howell posted a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. When it comes to shooting well from downtown, senior SF Scott Wood is usually called upon with his 42% clip from three-point range this season.
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