Games to Watch
January 14, 2013
By David Schwab
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The ranks of the unbeaten in men's college basketball dwindled to none with recent losses by Duke, Michigan and Arizona. This along with a few other shocking upsets over the course of last week's games should cause a major shake-up in this week's polls as well as open the door for a few other hot teams to continue their climb up to the top of the rankings.
Turning to this week's games, the following is a brief look at the top matchup on each day's slate along with a few facts and figures to help handicap the games.
Monday, Jan. 14
No. 3 Louisville Cardinals vs. Connecticut Huskies
Louisville finds itself near the top of the Big East with last Wednesday's victory over Seton Hall along with a 64-38 rout of South Florida this past Saturday as an 18 ½-point home favorite. The Cardinals are now 15-1 straight-up overall and 3-0 in conference play. They are 9-7 against the spread this season and a profitable 5-2 ATS on the road. Louisville's Russ Smith is averaging 18.7 points a game with Peyton Siva chipping-in 11.9 points and a team-high 5.8 assists.
Kevin Ollie has done an excellent job at coaching the surprising Huskies to a 12-3 SU start that includes an impressive 65-58 upset of No.17 Notre Dame as 8 ½-point road underdogs this past Saturday. Connecticut is 5-6 ATS and the total has gone OVER in two of its last three games. Another main reason for this team's early success can be attributed to the stellar play of Shabazz Napier (17.5 points and 4.0 assists) and Ryan Boatright (16.1 points and 4.5 rebounds).
Tuesday, Jan. 15
Wisconsin Badgers vs. No. 5 Indiana Hoosiers
The Badgers remained undefeated in Big Ten play with a huge 74-51 victory over No.12 Illinois this past Saturday as 6 ½-point favorites at home. The win raised their overall record to 12-4 SU but they are still 5-9 ATS. This was the just the second time in Wisconsin's last seven games that it was able to cover the spread. The total has stayed UNDER in five of those seven games. It is a perfect 10-0 SU against Indiana in the past 10 meetings and 8-2 ATS.
Indiana posted its sixth-straight victory with Saturday's 88-81 win over Minnesota, but it failed to cover as an eight-point home favorite. This leaves the Hoosiers 15-1 SU and 9-4 ATS with the total going OVER in four of its last seven games. They continue to lead the nation in scoring with an average of 87.1 points a game while shooting a deadly 51.1 percent from the floor. Cody Zeller has led the way with 16.6 points and 7.8 rebounds a game.
Wednesday, Jan. 16
No. 20 N.C. State Wolfpack vs. Maryland Terrapins
The Wolfpack will be moving up the charts with their 84-76 upset of Duke this past Saturday as one-point home underdogs. It was their 10th-straight victory to move to 14-2 SU overall and it also tied them with Miami for the lead in the ACC at 3-0. NC State is 8-6 ATS this season and the total has gone OVER in four of its last five games. It comes into this matchup as the No.1 shooting team in the nation with a field goal percentage of 52.8.
Maryland lost its second-straight ACC game with a 54-47 setback to the Hurricanes this past Sunday as a six-point road underdog. It is now 1-2 in the conference and 13-3 overall. The Terrapins have a 5-4 record ATS and the total has stayed UNDER in three of their last four games. They are averaging 74.8 points and have done a great job under the boards with 43.1 rebounds a game.
Thursday, Jan. 17
No. 11 Florida Gators vs. Texas A&M Aggies
Florida won its first two SEC games with victories this past week over Georgia and LSU. It is now 12-2 SU on the year and 7-4 ATS. The total stayed UNDER in Saturday's game against the Tigers but it had gone OVER in its previous three. The Gators are shooting a respectable 48.3 percent from the field and averaging 73.6 points a game. They have four different players scoring in double figures led by Kenny Boynton's 13.8 point average.
The Aggies are off to a perfect 2-0 SU start in their new conference with back-to-back wins over Arkansas as 1 ½-point home favorites and Kentucky as 15-point underdogs on the road. They are 12-3 SU overall and 5-3 ATS. The total has stayed UNDER in three of their last four games with a posted line. Texas A&M is led by Elston Turner, who leads the team in scoring (17.1 points) and rebounds (6.5). As a team, the Aggies are averaging 66.7 points a game.
Friday, Jan. 18
Stony Brook Seawolves vs. Vermont Catamounts
With a very thin schedule of games on Friday night, the America East will take center-stage on ESPNU with a matchup between two of the top teams in the conference. Stony Brook heads into Tuesday's matchup against Boston University at 12-4 SU overall and 3-0 in conference play. It is averaging 67.1 points a game while shooting 42.3 percent from the floor. The Seawolves boast a trio of players scoring in double-figures led by Jameel Warney's 12.3 points a game.
Vermont faces-off against Binghamton on Wednesday night with a 3-1 SU record in the America East. It is 10-6 SU overall 5-2 at home this season. Its only blemish in the conference was a 63-53 loss to Boston U last Tuesday in a game that had no posted line. The Catamounts have struggled offensively at times with an average of 62.1 points a game and they are shooting 42.1 percent from the floor.