Games to Watch
January 28, 2013
By David Schwab
This Monday will mark the third week in a row where the top of the rankings in men's college basketball will be completely scrambled after another round of shocking upsets among some of the best teams in the nation. All this does is add to the excitement of a season that has already been filled with its fair share of surprises.
Turning to this week's games, the following is a brief look at one of the top matchups on each day's slate along with a few facts and figures to help handicap the games.
Monday, Jan. 28
No. 3 Kansas Jayhawks vs. West Virginia Mountaineers
Kansas continued its climb to the top of the rankings with a 67-54 pasting of Oklahoma this past Saturday as a 12 ½-point home favorites. It is now 18-1 straight-up on the year and a perfect 11-0 SU at home. The Jayhawks have gone 9-9 against the spread and the total has stayed UNDER in six of their last seven games. They are averaging 74.6 points a game while shooting a rock-solid 48 percent from the field. Ben McLemore leads the team with 16.2 points a game and Jeff Withey is pulling down a team-high 8.4 rebounds while chipping-in another 13 points a game.
The Mountaineers fell to 9-10 SU on the year and 5-10-2 ATS with an 80-66 loss to Oklahoma State as 9 ½-point underdogs on the road in their last outing. It was their fifth SU loss in their last seven games and they are now 2-4 in conference play in their first season in the Big 12. West Virginia is averaging 67.2 points a game and ranked near the bottom of Division I with a dismal shooting percentage of 39.5 percent. Their top two scorers are both averaging less than 10 points a game.
Tuesday, Jan. 29
Wisconsin Badgers vs. No. 14 Ohio State Buckeyes
The Badgers snapped a two-game skid this past Saturday with a 45-44 victory over Minnesota as 3 ½-point home favorites. They are now 14-6 SU this season and 6-12 ATS. The total stayed UNDER the 125-point line in that game and it has now stayed UNDER in six of their last seven contests. Jared Berggren leads the team in scoring with 12 points a game and Ryan Evans is adding 10.9 points and a team-high 7.8 rebounds a game. The team as a whole is shooting 43.5 percent from the floor.
Ohio State posted a pair of wins last week against Iowa and Penn State to improve to 15-4 SU and 5-2 in Big Ten play. It has covered the spread in five of its last eight games and is now 10-6-1 ATS overall. The Buckeyes are 11-1 SU (6-4 ATS) at home this season and the total has stayed UNDER in seven of their last eight games. Deshaun Thomas continues to put up some impressive totals with an average of 20 points and 6.5 rebounds a game. He is shooting 46.8 percent from the field and 41.7 percent from three-point range.
Wednesday, Jan. 30
No. 1 Duke Blue Devils vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons
Duke bounced back from last Wednesday's stunning 27-point loss to Miami as a 2 ½-point road favorite with a 20-point victory over Maryland this past Saturday as a 12-point favorite at home. The Blue Devils are now 17-2 SU (10-8 ATS) and the total has gone OVER in their last four games. Mason Plumlee and Seth Curry continue to lead the way with a combined 33.1 points a game. Overall, the team is averaging 78.2 points a game while shooting 46.4 percent from the field.
The Demon Deacons fell to 3-4 SU in the ACC after losing to Georgia Tech 82-62 this past Saturday as 6 ½-point road underdogs. They are now just one game over .500 at 10-9 SU but still profitable ATS at 11-5-1. The total has gone OVER in their last two games after staying UNDER in five of their previous six outings. Travis McKie and C.J. Harris are each averaging around 15 points a game but the team as a whole is only scoring a total of 68.1 points.
Thursday, Jan. 31
No. 6 Arizona Wildcats vs. Washington Huskies
The Wildcats lost for just the second time this season with an 84-73 setback against UCLA as 8.5-point home favorites last Thursday. They quickly got back to their winning ways with Saturday's 74-50 pasting of USC that has the team 17-2 SU and 9-8 ATS overall. Arizona is 5-2 in the Pac-12 and the total has stayed UNDER in four of its last six games. It is averaging 75.5 points a game behind Mark Lyons' 14.9 points and Solomon Hill's 13.5-points. Hill is shooting 47.2 percent from the floor and 41.9 percent from three-point range.
Washington's current losing streak reached three games with Saturday's 81-76 loss to Oregon as a 7 ½-point road underdog. It is now 12-8 SU overall and 4-3 in conference play. The Huskies have gone 10-8 ATS this season and the total has now stayed UNDER in five of their last eight games. CJ Wilcox is pumping in 19 points a game but the team is ranked 128th in the nation in scoring with an average of 69.4 points.
Friday, Feb. 1
Milwaukee Panthers vs. Valparaiso Crusaders
The Panthers have just one SU win in their last seven games and are winless on the road this season at 0-9. Overall, they are 5-16 SU and a costly 6-12-1 ATS with the total staying UNDER in four of their last seven games. Milwaukee is ranked near the bottom of Division I with an average of 61.7 points a game while shooting just 37.6 percent from the field. Paris Gully is the team's leading scorer with 15.2 points a game and Jordan Aaron is a close second with a 14.3-point scoring average.
Valparaiso moved to the top of the Horizon League standings at 6-1 with a 73-61 victory over Green Bay last Wednesday as an 8 ½-point home favorite. It is now 16-5 SU on the year and 11-7 ATS. The total has gone OVER in its last five games. The Crusaders are averaging 70.1 points a game and shooting 46.4 percent from the floor. Ryan Broekhoff leads the team with 17.2 points and 8.5 rebounds a game.
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