Big Monday Action
February 2, 2014
By David Schwab
ESPN's Big Monday in men's college basketball starts things off with another ACC showdown for the No. 1 Syracuse Orange. The Orange took over the No. 1 spot in the nation in the latest AP Top 25 after a thrilling 91-89 victory in overtime over No. 17 Duke this past Saturday night as 4 ½-point home favorites.
The Orange now face Notre Dame in a 7:00 p.m. tip from upstate New York. The second-half of Monday's double-header takes us to the Big 12 for a conference tilt between No. 16 Iowa State and No. 19 Oklahoma State.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish at No. 1 Syracuse Orange (ESPN, 7:00 p.m. ET)
Notre Dame's inaugural season in the ACC has had its share of bumps in the road with a 3-6 straight-up record in conference play. The Irish are coming off a 76-73 overtime victory against Boston College as 6 ½-point home favorite this past Saturday to snap a three-game skid. It was just their second SU win in their last eight games and they are also 2-6 against the spread during this stretch. Notre Dame is 12-10 SU overall with a 6-13-1 record ATS. The total has stayed UNDER in four of its last six outings.
To have any shot at pulling off the upset, the Irish will need Garrick Sherman to step up. Sherman is one of three players averaging 14 points or more a game. The Irish are averaging 75.3 points a game and shooting 46.1 from the field and 36 percent from outside the perimeter.
Syracuse has now passed its first eight tests in its new conference as part of a perfect 21-0 SU start. It is now one of just two Division I teams that is undefeated on the year. The Orange have also been a profitable team to wager on with a 11-5-1 record ATS. They failed to cover against the Blue Devils but this followed a 7-1-1 ATS mark in their previous nine games. Syracuse is just 4-4-1 ATS at home this season and the total has stayed UNDER in five of eight home games.
CJ Fair and Jerami Grant came up huge against Duke with a combined 52 points and 17 rebounds. Fair leads the team in scoring with 17.2 points and Grant is the leading rebounder with 7.1 a game. Syracuse is averaging 72.3 points, but its real strength is on the other end of the court with a defensive effort that is holding teams to 59.3 points a game. The Orange are pulling down an average of 36 rebounds and shooting 46.1 percent from the field, which are middle of the road numbers in Division I, but the end result has been pure perfection.
Syracuse has been opened as a 13 ½-point home favorite over the Irish for Monday night's ACC tilt.
When both teams were still in the Big East, the Orange carved-out a slight 6-4 SU edge in the last 10 meetings and the series is tied 5-5 ATS. Syracuse is 4-1 both SU and ATS in the last five meetings and the total has stayed UNDER in the last four.
No. 16 Iowa State Cyclones at No. 19 Oklahoma State Cowboys (ESPN, 9:00 p.m. ET)
Iowa State should climb a spot or two in the new rankings after knocking off No. 23 Oklahoma 81-75 as a seven-point home favorite this past Saturday. The Cyclones are now 16-4 SU on the year with an even 4-4 record in the Big 12. They have failed to cover in their last six games to fall to 9-9 ATS. This includes a 4-5 ATS record on the road and the total has stayed UNDER in three of five road games with a posted line. Iowa State is just 2-6 ATS in conference play and the total has gone OVER in three of its last four games.
The Cyclones are ranked sixth in the nation in scoring with 84.5 points a game and they are pulling down an average of 38.8 rebounds. They have a trio of players scoring at least 16 points a game led by Melvin Ejim's 18.1 scoring average. He is also averaging 7.8 rebounds and hitting 51.3 percent of his shots from the floor. Dustin Hogue leads Iowa State in rebounds with 8.9 and he is the fourth player scoring in double figures with 11.2 points a game. The team as a whole is shooting 47.6 percent from the field and 35.3 percent from 3-point range.
The Cowboys come into this matchup with just one SU win in their last four games. This past Saturday they fell to Baylor 76-70 as 11 ½-point home favorites in a loss that should send them tumbling in the rankings. Oklahoma State is now 16-5 SU this season with a 4-4 record in conference play. It has failed to cover in its last three games as part of an overall record ATS of 8-9. The Cowboys are 5-2 ATS at home and the total has gone OVER in five of those seven contests. They are 3-5 ATS in the Big 12 and the total has gone OVER in their last four outings.
The big guns in this starting five are Marcus Smart and Markel Brown. They have combined for 34.1 points, 11 rebounds and 7.2 assists. Le'Bryan Nash has also been a key contributor with 14 points and 5.9 rebounds while converting on 54.1 percent of his shots from the floor. Phil Forte III is the fourth Cowboy scoring in double figures (12.4 points). Oklahoma State is averaging 83.2 points while shooting 47.6 percent from the field and 37 percent from beyond the arc. It should match up well under the boards with 37 rebounds a game.
Oklahoma State has been opened as a 5 ½-point home favorite over the Cyclones for this conference clash.
The home team in this series has won nine of the last 10 games SU and it has gone 8-3-1 ATS in the last 12 meetings. The total has gone OVER in 12 of 18 games between these two including eight of the last 10 contests played in Stillwater.
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