Streak of Top-Ranked Teams Losing Should End This Week
How crazy was last week in college basketball? Top-ranked Indiana was one of four top five teams to get knocked off; it was the fifth-straight week a No. 1 team has been beaten. Because of all that shakeup at the top, however, the Hoosiers remained No. 1 in Monday's polls. The Hoosiers should stay there at least for one more week as their schedule sets up quite easily in the upcoming days.
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Indiana (21-3, 9-2 Big Ten) lost on a layup at the buzzer at Illinois on Thursday - vastly helping the Illini's NCAA Tournament resume - but rebounded with an impressive 81-68 victory at No. 10 Ohio State on Sunday. It was IU's first road win against a top 10 team in 13 years but its third overall against a top 10 club this season. The Hoosiers are the first team since the 2005 Fighting Illini to stay atop the polls despite a loss the previous week. That Illinois club, led by Deron Williams, started 29-0 and would reach the national championship game, losing to North Carolina.
On Wednesday, Indiana hosts Nebraska (12-12, 3-8), one of the worst teams in the Big Ten. The Huskers, one of the nation's worst offensive teams, are 0-6 against ranked teams this year, losing five of them by at least 10 points. Nebraska did surprise No. 13 Indiana 70-69 in Lincoln last year, with IU blowing a 13-point second-half lead. The Cornhuskers haven't faced the nation's top-ranked team since a 75-64 loss at Kansas on February 6, 2010.
Indiana then hosts in-state rival Purdue (12-12, 5-6) on Saturday, which will have live play-by-play betting at the book. The Hoosiers played one of their best games of this season when they visited Purdue on January 30, crushing the Boilermakers 97-60. It was Indiana's biggest win ever in West Lafayette and its highest point total against Purdue since 1992. Purdue is 1-5 against Top 25 teams this season, with all five losses by double-digits.
The Hoosiers shouldn't get too comfortable at No. 1, however, as they visit No. 8 Michigan State on February 19.
Weekday Live Betting Schedule
Speaking of those Spartans (20-4, 9-2), they have a huge matchup Tuesday night at home against No. 4 Michigan (21-3, 8-3), which is a game behind MSU and Indiana in the Big Ten. It's the first time in the series' 170-game history that both will be in the top 10 when facing off.
Spartans coach Tom Izzo has a 19-11 mark against Michigan, but the Wolverines have won three of the past four meetings. U-M has played back-to-back overtime games and was the victim of a buzzer-beating half-court three-pointer Saturday at Wisconsin that sent the game into an extra period. The Badgers went on to win 65-62.
Also available for Live Betting Tuesday is No. 25 Kentucky at No. 7 Florida. A UK victory would tie the Wildcats atop the SEC with the Gators. Since an uneven start, Kentucky has won five straight (2-3 ATS) and seven of eight.
Florida, meanwhile, had a chance to rise to No. 1 in the polls but was routed 80-69 at Arkansas last Tuesday. Billy Donovan's club bounced back with an 83-58 home win over Mississippi State on Saturday and is 11-0 at home (5-3 ATS). The Gators did suffer a big personnel loss last week as junior forward Will Yeguete is out for the rest of the regular season following knee surgery. The 6-foot-7 Yeguete was the team's second-leading rebounder and considered its best interior defender.
Florida is 9-7 at home against UK under Donovan, although Florida lost three times to the Cats last year; Kentucky was ranked No. 1 in all three.
On Wednesday, the book offers No. 6 Syracuse at Connecticut, North Carolina at No. 2 Duke and No. 23 Oregon at Washington.
The Orange's chances of winning the Big East regular-season title and earning a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament got a big boost Sunday when second-leading scorer James Southerland returned after missing six games due to an eligibility issue; SU was 4-2 without him. Southerland, the team's sixth man, had 13 points in a 77-58 win over St. John's. The Orange shot 53.7% from the field, their best in conference play. It's potentially the final meeting for the foreseeable future between SU and UConn, with the Orange off to the ACC next year.
The Duke-North Carolina matchup needs no explanation as it's easily the best rivalry going in college basketball. The Blue Devils need a win to stay within shouting distance of ACC-leading Miami, which just crushed the Tar Heels on Saturday (and crushed Duke earlier this year). That ended UNC's ACC title hopes. Duke and North Carolina each won on the other's court last season. This will be the sixth-straight meeting in which at least one of the schools is ranked in the top five.
Oregon had lost three straight since beating Washington 81-76 in Eugene on January 26, but the Ducks stopped that skid with a 73-64 win over Utah on Saturday. Oregon is tied atop the Pac-12 with Arizona and UCLA, and the Ducks beat both the Wildcats and Bruins in their lone regular-season meetings.
On Thursday, the book offers No. 20 Wisconsin at Minnesota, St. John's at No. 12 Louisville and No. 5 Gonzaga at Saint Mary's (Calif.). The Gophers could use a win against a quality opponent as they are likely on the NCAA Tournament bubble at 17-7 overall and 5-6 in the Big Ten. Minnesota has dropped two straight and six of eight (3-5 ATS).
Gonzaga (23-2, 10-0) can all but wrap up the West Coast Conference regular-season title by beating the Gaels (21-4, 10-1) in one of the best mid-major rivalries in the nation. The Zags beat Saint Mary's 83-78 in Spokane on January 10. Last season, the Gaels won both the WCC regular season and tournament titles. Gonzaga, which hasn't had back-to-back ATS win since November, also has a legitimate shot at a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament should it win out.
Check back Thursday for a weekend Live Betting preview at the book.
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