February 26, 2014
By Brian Edwards
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**Michigan at Purdue**
-- As of early this morning, most books had Michigan (19-7 straight up, 13-10-1 against the spread) installed as a five-point road favorite.
-- With four games remaining, Michigan is all alone atop the Big Ten standings after beating Michigan State for the second time this season Sunday afternoon in Ann Arbor. Nik Stauskas and Caris LaVert scored 25 and 23 points, respectively, to lead the Wolverines to a 79-70 win as 1.5-point home favorites. They committed just two turnovers and forced the Spartans into 13 giveaways. Glenn Robinson III also chipped in 15 points.
-- John Beilein's team is No. 14 in the RPI Rankings behind a 4-4 record vs. the Top 25, a 9-5 ledger against the Top 50 and a 10-6 mark versus the Top 100.
-- Purdue (15-12 SU, 8-15 ATS) is hoping to get an NIT bid at this point. The Boilermakers are just 5-9 in Big Ten play and they are winless against five RPI Top-25 opponents and 2-8 versus the Top 50.
-- Matt Painter's team has won 12 of its 15 home games, only to limp to an atrocious 3-8 spread record. Purdue is 0-3 as a home underdog with defeats by margins of nine, 14 and 15 points.
-- Purdue has lost back-to-back games since trouncing arch-rival Indiana at home two Saturdays ago. The Boilermakers got blasted 94-79 at home by Michigan State last Thursday. Then on Sunday at Nebraska, they were smashed 76-57 as 5.5-point underdogs. Bryson Scott was the only Boiler to show up in Lincoln, producing a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
-- The 'under' is 13-10 overall for the Boilers, 6-5 in its home games.
-- The 'over' has cashed in three of Michigan's last four games to improve to 13-10-1 overall.
-- Michigan has won three in a row over Purdue in this Big Ten rivalry and it hasn't tasted defeat in West Lafayette since 2010. However, the Boilers own a 3-0-1 spread record in the last four encounters. The 'over' is 5-1 in the last six head-to-head meetings. When these schools squared off in Ann Arbor on Jan. 30, Michigan captured a 75-66 home win but Purdue took the cash as an 11-point underdog. Stauskas scored a team-best 16 points, while A.J. Hammons also had 16 points and eight boards in the losing effort.
-- The Big Ten Network will have the telecast at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.
**North Carolina at North Carolina State**
-- As of early this morning, most books had North Carolina (20-7 straight up, 16-11 against the spread) as a 4.5-point road favorite.
-- North Carolina State (17-10 SU, 12-11-1 ATS) has won six of its last nine games both SU and ATS, including Saturday's 71-64 win at Va. Tech as a 2.5-point road 'chalk.' T.J. Warren exploded for a game-high 31 points to lead the Wolfpack into the win column.
-- Mark Gottfried's team is sitting at No. 55 in the RPI Rankings, leaving it starving for a win in this spot. The Wolfpack blew a golden opportunity to get a signature win at Syracuse two Saturdays ago, in part due to a shaky call but mostly due to a costly turnover. N.C. State is winless in seven games against the RPI Top 50 and has a 3-8 record versus the Top 100.
-- North Carolina has won nine in a row both SU and ATS to improve to 10-4 in ACC action. Roy Williams's team is coming off Saturday's 105-72 win over Wake Forest as a 14-point home favorite. Leslie McDonald led six double-figure scorers with 19 points thanks to 5-of-6 shooting from 3-point land.
-- UNC's surge has allowed it to climb to No. 22 in the RPI Rankings. The Tar Heels 3-3 against the RPI Top 25, 6-3 vs. the Top 50 and 10-4 against Top-100 foes.
-- UNC has dominated this Tobacco Road Rivalry recently, winning nine of the last 10 meetings while going 8-2 versus the number. When these teams met in Chapel Hill on Feb. 1, the Tar Heels collected an 84-70 win as 9.5-point home favorites. McDonald scored a team-high 20 points, while James Michael McAdoo had a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Marcus Paige finished with 15 points and five assists. In the losing effort, Warren had 21 points, eight boards, three steals and two blocked shots. Desmond Lee added 18 points.
-- The 'over' is on a 6-2 run in N.C. State's last eight games, cashing in three straight home contests. For the season, the Wolfpack has seen the 'under' go 12-11-1 overall, 6-6 in its home outings.
--- The 'over' is in the midst of an 8-3 spree in UNC's last 11 games to improve to 13-13 overall.
-- Gamblers can tune into this ACC showdown at 8:00 p.m. Eastern on DirecTV channel 724 as part of the ESPN Game Plan.
**B.E.'s Bonus Nuggets**
-- After getting clubbed 71-56 last night in Athens, Missouri fell into ninth place in the SEC and one game below .500 in conference play. The Tigers got swept by Georgia this year and suffered another killer loss this past Saturday at Alabama. The Bulldogs are in third place in the SEC with a 10-5 record in league play, but they have no shot at an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. But UGA has saved Mark Fox's job and will have a good squad next year, assuming Charles Mann and Kenny Gaines return healthy.
-- Nebraska is on an 11-1 ATS run in its last 12 games as it rolls into Champaign-Urbana tonight to face Illinois as an underdog.
-- Florida survived a game effort from Vanderbilt last night thanks to solid defense and the offense of Dorian Finney-Smith, who broke out of a prolonged slump to score 19 points and grab nine rebounds. UF back-up freshman PG Kasey Hill missed his third consecutive game with a groin injury. I would think Hill will be ready for Saturday's home game vs. LSU.
-- Xavier and Kansas State picked up monster road wins last night at State John's and at Texas Tech, respectively. However, the biggest bubble winner on Tuesday had to be Minnesota. The Gophers knocked off Iowa 95-89 as 3.5-point home underdogs. Austin Hollins dropped 27 points on the Hawkeyes.
-- DePaul ended its 10-game losing streak by beating Seton Hall 65-60 last night as a 5.5-point home underdog.
-- The 'under' improved to 21-4 in Bradley games when its 69-49 home loss to Wichita State saw the 118 combined points stay 'under' the 130.5-point total.
-- With the win over Bradley, the Shockers became the first 30-0 team since the 1990-1991 UNLV team led by Larry Johnson, Stacy 'The Plastic Man' Augmon, Greg Anthony and Anderson Hunt.
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