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Thursday's Road Tests

**Arizona at Colorado**

--These schools played a controversial thriller in Tucson earlier this season. As of Wednesday night, most betting shops had Arizona (20-3 straight up, 10-11 against the spread) installed as a 2.5-point favorite for the rematch.

--On Jan. 3, Colorado (16-7 SU, 13-8 ATS) was poised to hand Arizona its first loss of the season as a 12.5-point road underdog. However, Sabatino Chen’s 3-pointer that banked home at the buzzer was waved off even though replays indicated that Chen got the shot off in time. Therefore, the game went to overtime and Sean Miller’s team eventually captured a 92-83 win.

--Mark Lyons scored a game-high 24 points in the previous win over CU. The transfer from Xavier made all 10 of his attempts from the free-throw line, including a pair that forced the extra session. Kevin Parron added 16 points and eight rebounds for the winners. In the losing effort, Askia Booker scored 18 points and dished out five assists.

--Lyons is averaging team-highs in scoring (15.4 points per game) and assists (3.0 APG). He scored 16 points, making 4-of-7 shots from 3-point land, in Sunday’s stunning 77-69 loss to California as a 13-point home favorite. The Wildcats had won four in a row prior to the loss the Bears. Nevertheless, they are 8-3 and in a three-way tie for first place in the Pac-12 with Oregon and UCLA.

--Tad Boyle’s team has won nine of its 10 home games, posting a 5-3 spread record. The Buffaloes are 6-5 straight up in league play. They are in their first spot as home underdogs this year.

--Arizona is No. 9 in the RPI Rankings. The Wildcats are 5-2 SU against RPI Top 50 opponents, 9-3 against Top 100 foes.

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--CU is 18th in the RPI Rankings, going 2-3 against the RPI Top 50, 7-6 against the RPI Top 100.

--Arizona owns a 4-3 spread record in seven games as a road favorite.

--The ‘under’ is 11-6-1 overall for Arizona even though it has watched the ‘over’ hit in three consecutive games. The ‘under’ is 5-2 in the Wildcats’ seven true road assignments.

--The ‘under’ is 9-5 overall for CU, 2-2 in its four home games with a total.

--Sportsbook.ag has 16/1 odds for Arizona to win the national championship. Colorado’s future number is 200/1.

--Tip-off is slated for 10:00 p.m. Eastern.

**Gonzaga at Saint Mary’s**

--As of Wednesday night, most books were listing Gonzaga (23-2 SU, 12-10-1 ATS) as a one-point favorite.

--Saint Mary’s (21-4 SU, 12-9-1 ATS) is unbeaten in 13 home games but is just 5-6 ATS. If the Gaels close as home underdogs, it will be a first for this season. In fact, they haven’t even been single-digit home favorites yet. Randy Bennett’s team has been favored by at least 12 (vs. Harvard in a 70-69 non-covering victory) in each home outing.

--Since losing 83-78 at Gonzaga on Jan. 10, Saint Mary’s has won nine consecutive games while going 5-3-1 versus the number. The Gaels are coming off a 74-64 win at San Diego as 10-point road ‘chalk.’ Matthew Dellavedova led the cause with 19 points, seven assists and three rebounds, while Brad Waldoe chipped in with 18 points on 8-of-9 shooting from the field.

--Dellavedova is one of the nation’s premier guards. The senior from Australia, who played with former Gaels’ star Patty Mills in this past summer’s Olympics, is averaging 15.9 points and 6.6 assists per game.

--Gonzaga has won six in a row since getting beaten at the buzzer at Butler on Jan. 19. The Bulldogs’ only other loss this year came vs. Illinois on Dec. 8.

--Gonzaga beat Loyola-Marymount 74-55 Saturday as a 24.5-point home favorite. Kelly Olynyk and Kevin Pangos led the way for the Bulldogs with 20 points apiece. Elias Harris added 16 points and 10 rebounds.

--Olynyk leads the ‘Zags in scoring (17.7 PPG), field-goal percentage (65.2%) and blocked shots (25). Harris is averaging 14.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game, while Pangos averages 11.9 points and 3.5 assists per contest.

--Mark Few’s squad is 12th in the RPI Rankings. The Bulldogs are 4-2 against the RPI Top 50, 8-2 vs. Top 100 opponents.

--Saint Mary’s is ranked 49th in the RPI Rankings, going 0-1 against RPI Top 50 opponents and 3-2 vs. the RPI Top 100.

--Gonzaga has 18/1 odds to win the national title per Sportsbook.ag.

--The ‘under’ is 12-8 overall for Gonzaga, 7-1 in its last eight contests.

--Totals have been a wash for Saint Mary’s overall (8-8) and at home (4-4).

--ESPN2 will have the telecast at 11:00 p.m. Eastern.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

--Kentucky announced Wednesday morning that Nerlens Noel suffered a torn ACL in Tuesday’s loss at Florida and will miss the remainder of the season. Noel is scheduled to have surgery in 2-3 weeks when the swelling subsides. The 6-10 freshman will most likely be the No. 1 pick in this summer’s NBA Draft despite the injury. Noel finished the season averaging 10.6 points, 9.6 rebounds and 4.5 blocked shots per game.

--Despite Tuesday’s blowout loss at arch-rival Michigan St., Michigan remains the plus-450 ‘chalk’ to win the national championship at Sportsbook.ag. Florida, Miami and Indiana share 5/1 odds, while Duke is at 8/1. Louisville’s future number is 10/1, followed by Michigan St. and Syracuse, both of whom own 15/1 odds.

--With thoughts of making a profit through potential hedges during the NCAA Tournament, the most attractive future numbers in my opinion belong to Butler (40/1), Minnesota (60/1), VCU (60/1) and Wisconsin (80/1).

--As of Wednesday night, Stanford was listed as a nine-point home favorite vs. Southern Cal. ESPNU will provide television coverage Thursday night at 11:00 p.m. Eastern.

  
HEADLINES
· Marshall: College Hoops Superlatives
· Ollie fired for impermissible contact
· Tennessee broadcaster John Ward dies
· Stanford's Travis transferring to Kentucky
· ASU will have more options this season
· Duhon named Illinois State coach
· White ready for shot at UNC point guard
· Martin understands Bowen's choice
· Iowa State adds Kane as an assistant
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