Session 4 Cheat Sheet
March 20, 2014
By Brian Edwards
Brian Edwards is off to a 4-0 start in the NCAA and NIT Tourneys, cashing outright underdog winners with N.C. St. and Tennessee in Dayton. Out of 26 VI college hoops handicappers, Brian is #3 in winning percentage (55.3%) and #3 in units earned ($18,720 for dime players!). Since Jan. 12, he owns a 107-74 record on CBB sides (59.1 %, +27.3 units!). Don't miss out on his Thursday winners, especially this pay-if-it-wins-only selection.
**Manhattan vs. Louisville**
-- Rick Pitino's team is absolutely on fire and its seeding as a No. 4 in the Midwest Region was an egregious error by the Selection Committee. Louisville has only tasted defeat once since the start of February, blowing an eight-point lead late in the second half of a 72-66 loss at Memphis on March 1. But the Cardinals breezed through the inaugural AAC Tournament with three blowout wins, including a 71-61 triumph over UConn in the finals as eight-point favorites.
-- Montrezl Harrell dominated the paint against the Huskies, producing 22 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots. Russ Smith dropped 19 points on UConn and he had a career-high 42 points vs. Houston in the AAC Tourney semifinals.
-- Louisville (29-5 straight up, 19-13 against the spread) is the defending national champion and still has many of the key parts that were so pivotal in last year's run to the national title with a win over Michigan in the finals. Smith, the senior combo guard who was the catalyst for last year's squad, has improved and appears poised to lead U of L on another deep run. He is averaging a team-high 18.3 points per game and is dishing out 4.7 assists per conteState Luke Hancock is averaging 11.7 PPG and can get hot from 3-point land at anytime. Point guard Peyton Silva isn't around anymore, but juco transfer Chris Jones has played well. Jones averages 10.3 PPG and has a 92/43 assists-to-turnovers ratio. Jones also has 68 steals.
-- As of early this morning, most books had Louisville installed as a 16.5-point favorite with a total of 142.5. The Jaspers have 15/1 odds to win outright.
-- U of L owns a 15-9 spread record in 24 games as a double-digit 'chalk.'
-- Manhattan (25-7 SU, 15-14-2 ATS) has won 11 of its last 12 games, including a 71-68 win over Iona as a two-point favorite in the MAAC Tournament finals in Springfield, MASS. George Beamon led the Jaspers against the Gaels, scoring 16 points and pulling down eight rebounds.
-- Manhattan won 10 of 14 games against teams in the RPI Top 150. The Jaspers have five victories over RPI Top-100 foes, including a pair of wins over Canisius and Iona, in addition to a 99-90 double-overtime triumph at La Salle. Other games of note for Jasper including an 86-68 win at South Carolina and an 80-74 loss vs. George Washington.
-- The winner will face the survivor of a great second-round showdown between fifth-seeded Saint Louis and 12th-seeded North Carolina State Tip-off is scheduled for around 9:50 p.m. Eastern in Orlando.
**Wisconsin-Milwaukee vs. Villanova**
-- If you want to look at the glass as half-full rather than half-empty, then Villanova (28-4 SU, 21-9 ATS) comes into the Tournament with fresh legs. On the flip side, the half-empty view is that the Wildcats are coming off a bad loss to a mediocre Seton Hall team in their opener at the Big East Conference Tournament. The defeat on a buzzer shot by the Pirates might have cost Jay Wright's team a No. 1 seed that ended up going to Virginia instead.
-- UW-Milwaukee (21-13 SU, 20-12 ATS) won the Horizon League's Tournament to garner the conference's automatic bid. The Panthers won outright as underdogs in the last three games of the tourney, including a 69-63 win over Wright State in the finals. They won outright as 6.5-point 'dogs behind Kyle Kelm's 20 points and nine rebounds. Jordan Aaron added 18 points. -- Villanova, a No. 2 seed, was a 16.5-point favorite this morning, while the total was at 140. UW-Milwaukee had 14/1 money-line odds.
-- Villanova has thrived in the role of a double-digit favorite, producing an incredible 11-2 spread record.
-- UW-Milwaukee has an RPI of 127. The Panthers are 4-4 vs. RPI Top-150 foes, 2-4 vs. RPI Top-100 opponents.
-- To get you more familiar with UW-Milwaukee, I've chosen a few of its results against teams with bigger names than its Horizon rivals. The Panthers lost 78-52 at Wisconsin. They won 81-77 at Davidson and also beat No. Iowa at home.
-- UW-Milwaukee was a double-digit 'dog five times, going 3-2 both SU and ATS.
-- The 'over' has hit in back-to-back games and three of the last four for the Panthers, who have seen the 'over' go 16-15 overall.
-- The 'over' is 18-11 overall for 'Nova.
**Texas vs. Arizona State**
-- As of early this morning, most spots had Texas (23-10 SU, 14-16 ATS) as a two-point favorite for this 7/10 game in the Midwest region. The total was 142.5. This contest is in Milwaukee with the winner advancing to face the Michigan-Wofford survivor.
-- Arizona State (21-11 SU, 14-15-1 ATS) got sent packing from the Pac-12 Tournament quickly, dropping a 79-58 decision to Stanford as a 1.5-point underdog. The Sun Devils bring a three-game losing streak into the Tournament and they've lost five of their last seven while going 2-4-1 ATS.
-- ASU is led by point guard Jahii Carson, who averages 18.6 points and 4.5 assists per game. He can shoot the three and get to the rim off of dribble penetration.
-- Rick Barnes has UT back into the Tournament following a solid bounce-back campaign that was preceded by the worst season of his tenure. The Longhorns missed the NCAA Tournament in 2012-2013 after participating in each of Barnes's first 14 years in Austin. All talk of Barnes being on the hot seat subsided when he molded this young and talented team into a winner.
-- Texas didn't finish the regular season as strong as it would've liked, yet earned a No. 7 seed nonetheless. The Longhorns have lost five of their last eight games while going 2-6 ATS. They beat West Va. 66-49 to get to the Big 12 Tournament semifinals, only to get thumped 86-69 by Baylor, which had lost to UT in both regular-season meetings.
-- Texas has outstanding size in the frontcourt with Jonathan Holmes and Cameron Ridley. Holmes averages a team-best 13.0 points and 7.3 rebounds per game, while Ridley averages 11.2 PPG and 8.1 RPG.
-- The 'under' is 5-1-1 in Texas's last seven games. The Longhorns have watched the 'under' go 15-14-1 overall.
--T he 'under' is 17-11-1 overall for ASU.
**New Mexico State vs. San Diego State**
-- As of early Wednesday night, most books had San Diego State (29-4 SU, 18-12 ATS) installed as a seven-point favorite with a total of 128. The Aggies are +260 on the money line (risk $100 to win $260).
-- Steve Fisher's team saw its six-game winning streak snapped by New Mexico in the finals of the Mountain West Conference Tournament at Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas. San Diego State dropped a 66-63 decision to the Lobos as a one-point 'chalk.'
-- San Diego State is led by Xavier Thames, who averages team-highs in points (16.8 PPG), assists (3.2 APG) and steals (1.7 SPG).
-- New Mexico State (26-9 SU, 8-5 ATS) earned its 21st bid to the NCAA Tournament thanks to a 77-55 win over Idaho in the WAC Tournament finals at Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. The Aggies took the cash as 10-point favorites against the Vandals thanks to 18 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two steals from Daniel Mullings.
-- New Mexico State has the biggest player in the Tournament field. That would be Sim Buhllar, a 7-foot-5, 355-pound center from Toronto. He had 14 points and nine rebounds against Idaho. In addition, Buhllar had one blocked shot against the Vandals to bring his season total to 99.
-- Mullings averages a team-high 16.8 PPG.
-- New Mexico State's K.C. Ross-Miller will miss the NCAA Tournament due to a suspension levied after an end-of-the-game incident in the Aggies' last loss at Utah Valley. Ross-Miller was averaging 8.3 PPG and was second on the team in assists with 104. On the bright side, NMS has won five in a row since he was suspended.
-- The 'under' has cashed in four straight games for the Aztecs to improve to 22-7 overall.
-- The 'under' is 7-3 overall for the Aggies.
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