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Big Monday Tips

**Notre Dame at Pittsburgh**

--Pittsburgh (20-6 straight up, 9-10 against the spread) is in a fifth-place tie with Notre Dame in the Big East standings, as both teams have 8-5 records in league play. The Panthers had won three in a row and seven of their last eight until Saturday’s 79-69 loss at Marquette as two-point road favorites. In the losing effort, Lamar Patterson scored a team-high 19 points.

--Jamie Dixon’s team has won 13 of its 15 home games but has struggled to a 3-6 record versus the number. Pitt has posted a 1-1 spread record in a pair of home games as a single-digit favorite.

--Pitt is led by senior point guard Tray Woodall, who averages team-highs in scoring (10.9 points per game), assists (5.5 APG) and steals (1.4 SPG). The Brooklyn native, who attended St. Anthony’s High School that has produced college players galore like Eddie Rivera (UTEP, early ‘90s!), has scored in double figures in five straight games.

--Notre Dame (20-6 SU, 11-12 ATS) has won five of its last seven games, but should gamblers be concerned that fatigue is becoming an issue for this squad, especially considering the quick turnaround in this spot? Mike Brey’s team needed overtime, including five extra sessions two Saturdays ago in a win over Louisville, in three of its previous four games before getting thumped 71-54 Saturday at Providence.

--Jack Cooley had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds in the loss to the Friars even though foul trouble limited him to 26 minutes of playing time. Cooley is a candidate for Big East Player of the Year, averaging 14.6 points and 11.2 rebounds per contest.

--Notre Dame has been a road underdog three times, going 1-2 both SU and ATS with an outright scalp at Cincinnati.

--Notre Dame has won four consecutive head-to-head meetings over Pitt both SU and ATS. The ‘under’ has connected in each of those four contests. Going back further, the Irish own a 6-1 spread record in the last seven encounters with the Panthers.

--The ‘over’ is 10-5 overall for Pitt, 4-2 in its six home games with a total. However, the ‘under’ has cashed in four of the Panthers’ last five games.

--Totals have been an overall wash (10-10) for the Irish, but the ‘under’ is 4-2 in its six true road assignments. opened Pitt as a 10.5-point favorite.

--Tip-off is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

**West Virginia at Kansas State**

--Kansas St. (20-5 SU, 10-10-1 ATS) goes into Monday’s action in a three-way tie with Oklahoma St. and Kansas for first place in the Big 12 standings. The Wildcats bounced back from last Monday’s blowout loss at KU by trouncing Baylor 81-61 Saturday as 4.5-point home ‘chalk.’ Angel Rodriguez enjoyed a tremendous performance, producing 22 points, 10 assists and three steals compared to only two turnovers. Shane Southwell added 18 points for the winners.

--Bruce Weber’s team has won 12 of its 13 home games while compiling an outstanding 7-3 spread record.

--Rodney McGruder averages a team-high 15.0 points per game for K-St. McGruder, who also averages 5.3 RPG, has scored 20 points or more seven times this season. opened K-St. as a 10.5-point ‘chalk.’

--West Virginia (13-12 SU, 8-13-2 ATS) has won four of its last five games to get over .500. However, the Mountaineers have been going against the bottom feeders in the Big 12. They won a 66-64 decision Saturday over Texas Tech but failed to cover the number as 13.5-point home favorites.

--In the win over the Red Raiders, senior power forward Deniz Kilicli scored a game-high 25 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field. The ‘Istan-Bull’ also pulled down eight rebounds. Eron Harris added 15 points.

--West Va. has been a road underdog six times this season, limping to a 2-4 spread record.

--K-St. is 19th in the RPI Rankings, going 5-5 against the RPI Top 50 and 7-5 against the RPI Top 100. WVU is 94th in the RPI, going winless in eight games against RPI Top 500 opponents.

--When these teams met in Morgantown on Jan. 12, K-St. escaped with a 65-64 win as a one-point road favorite. Southwell buried a pair of free throws with 21 seconds remaining and then blocked a shot before the buzzer to help the Wildcats prevail. Southwell and McGrduer scored 17 points apiece. Jabarie Hinds has a team-high 15 points for WVU.

--The ‘over’ is 9-7 overall for the Wildcats, 4-1 in their five home games with a total.

--WVU has watched the ‘under’ go 13-10, 5-4 in their nine true road games with a total.

--ESPN will have the telecast from Manhattan at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

--Bo Ryan is doing another stellar coaching job this year. His Wisconsin squad drilled Ohio St. by a 71-49 count Sunday as a 3.5-point favorite.

--How sketchy was the end of overtime for Georgia backers like me Saturday night at Ole Miss? The Bulldogs, who are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games, led the Rebels for most of the game as 11-point underdogs. But the game went to overtime when UGA couldn’t get a call when Kentavious Caldwell-Pope was fouled on an alley-oop pass at the end of regulation. Andy Kennedy’s team took a 10-point lead in the final minute of OT and got the ball back with a chance for the miracle cover. Thankfully for UGA supporters, the Rebels pulled it out and ran out the clock in the 10-point victory.

--Tennessee smashed Kentucky by 30 in Knoxville on Saturday. It was the worst loss for John Calipari since his first year as a head coach in 1989. I’m guessing that was the worst UK loss since Vandy destroyed it by 40-plus during Billy Clyde’s disastrous tenure in Lexington.

--Villanova can’t afford a loss Monday night at home against Rutgers. The Wildcats opened as 10-point favorites per BetOnline. Tip-off is slated for 9:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPNU.

· Marshall: College Hoops Superlatives
· 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
· Minnesota loses 7-footer Stockman
· Detroit hires Mike Davis as head coach
· Mitchell joins Penny's staff at Memphis
· Former WMU player cleared of murder
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