Big Monday Action
March 2, 2014
By Brian Edwards
**Notre Dame at North Carolina**
-- As of early Sunday night, most betting shops had North Carolina (22-7 straight up, 16-13 against the spread) installed as an 11.5-point home favorite. The Tar Heels have won 11 consecutive games and haven't tasted defeat since a Jan. 20 loss at Virginia.
-- Notre Dame (15-15 SU, 8-18-2 ATS) has lost three of its last four games while going 0-4 ATS. The Fighting Irish suffered a gut-wrenching loss at home Saturday. Pittsburgh went into the Joyce Center and captured an 85-81 triumph in overtime as a 3.5-point road 'chalk.' In the losing effort, Pat Connaughton scored a team-best 19 points, while Eric Atkins added 17 points and nine assists.
-- Roy Williams's squad scratched past Va. Tech 60-56 in Blacksburg on Saturday. UNC failed to cover for the second straight time as a 10.5-point road favorite. Nevertheless, the Tar Heels are still 9-2 ATS during their 11-game winning streak. James Michael McAdoo led the way against the Hokies with a team-high 15 points.
-- UNC has won 14 of its 17 home games, posting a 10-7 spread record. The Tar Heels have won seven in a row at home and have taken the cash in their last six home contests.
-- Atkins leads Notre Dame in scoring (13.7 points per game), assists (4.8 APG) and steals (1.3 SPG).
-- Notre Dame has only been a double-digit underdog twice, going 1-1 ATS. However, we will point out the Irish's 4-1 ATS mark when listed as a 'dog of six points or more.
-- The 'over' is 15-12 overall for the Irish.
-- Totals have been an overall wash for UNC (14-14), with the 'over' going 9-7 in its home games. -- When these new ACC adversaries met in South Bend, UNC collected a 73-62 win as a 1.5-point road favorite. The 135 combined points fell 'under' the 145-point total. McAdoo was the catalyst for the Heels, producing 18 points, eight rebounds and four steals. Marcus Paige, who averages team-highs in scoring (17.2 PPG) and assists (4.5 APG), added 16 points and dished out six helpers. Garrick Sherman scored a team-high 17 points for Mike Brey's team.
-- ESPN will have the telecast at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.
**Kansas State at Oklahoma State**
-- Oklahoma State (19-10 SU, 11-13-1 ATS) has its mojo back thanks to the the return of sophomore sensation Marcus Smart, who watched his team go winless during his three-game suspension stemming from an incident with a fan in Lubbock during a loss to Texas Tech. Travis Ford's team ended a seven-game losing streak in Smart's first game back, and it has now won three in row both SU and ATS.
-- How does a team win a game when it gets destroyed on the board by a 41-22 margin? Well, you better have Smart on your squad and you better force 22 turnovers. That was the recipe for success in Oklahoma State's 72-65 win Saturday night over Kansas as a one-point home favorite. Smart finished with 21 points, six rebounds, five assists and four steals. Markel Brown also scored 21 points by making all 10 of his attempts from the free-throw line. Le'Bryan Nash added 16 points and four blocked shots.
-- Kansas State (20-9 SU, 16-10-1 ATS) picked up a huge win Saturday night when it knocked off Iowa State by an 80-73 count as a two-point home 'chalk.' Five players scored in double figures, including Thomas Gipson and D.J. Johnson. Gipson had 12 points, eight rebounds and a pair of blocked shots, while D.J. Johnson contributed 12 points and six boards off the bench. In just 16 minutes of playing time, Johnson made all five of his shots from the field. Marcus Foster, one of the nation's top freshmen and K-State's leading scorer (15.1 PPG), added 11 points.
-- As of early Sunday night, most books had Oklahoma State listed as an 8.5-point home favorite.
-- Oklahoma State has a 12-3 SU record and a 7-4 ATS mark at home this season.
-- Bruce Weber's team has won five of its last seven games, compiling a 4-3 spread record. Kansas State has been an underdog 11 times, going 6-5 ATS with four outright victories.
-- Kansas State has won five of the last six head-to-head meetings against Oklahoma State both SU and ATS. When these Big 12 rivals met in Manhattan on Jan. 4, the Wildcats won a 74-71 decision as 5.5-point home underdogs. Foster led the way with 17 points and eight rebounds. Nino Williams added 15 points and Gipson finished with 10 points and 11 boards. Nash had a team-high 20 points in the losing effort.
-- The 'over' is on a 6-2 run in the last eight KSU-OSU encounters.
-- The 'over' is 14-11-1 overall for the Cowboys, 7-4 in their home games. However, the 'under' has cashed at a 4-1 clip in OSU's last five outings.
-- The 'under' is 16-10-1 overall for KSU.
-- Tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.
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