Tuesday's Tip Sheet
January 8, 2018
By Brian Edwards
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**Butler at Creighton**
-- Seton Hall is the only Big East team with an unbeaten record remaining in conference play. Creighton, with a 3-1 mark in league play, is in a second-place tie with Xavier, while Butler is in a fifth-place tie with a 2-2 record in Big East action.
-- Butler will make the trek West to Omaha on Tuesday night to face the Bluejays, who are undefeated in 10 home games with a 6-3 spread record at CenturyLink Center. Doug McDermott’s team won eight of its first nine home games by double-digit margins before knocking off St. John’s 78-71 as a 12-point ‘chalk’ this past Wednesday.
-- Creighton went to Capital One Arena in D.C. on Saturday and dealt out woodshed treatment to Georgetown in the form of a 90-66 clubbing as a 5.5-point road favorites. The Bluejays raced out to an 18-point halftime lead and coast into the win column. They drained 16-of-36 launches from 3-point range (44.4%) and had a 24/10 assists-to-turnovers ratio. Eleven different players scored and four were in double figures led by Toby Wegner, the senior forward who hit 5-of-8 treys in a 19-point effort. Davion Mintz buried 4-of-5 attempts from downtown and finished with 17 points and six assists without a turnover. Junior guard Khyri Thomas contributed 15 points, six rebounds and four assists, while Martin Kramelj had 12 points, 11 boards and a pair of steals.
-- As of early Monday night, most betting shop had Creighton (13-3 straight up, 9-6 against the spread) installed as a 7.5-point favorite.
-- Creighton is ranked third in the nation in scoring (90.2 points per game) and seventh in field-goal percentage (51.3%). Marcus Foster, who started his career at Kansas State before transferring, is averaging a team-best 18.8 PPG while shooting 43.3 percent from downtown. Foster is making 50.2 percent of his FG attempts and averages 3.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists per game. He had scored in double figures in his team’s first 15 games before being held to a season-low nine points Saturday at Georgetown.
-- Thomas, the homegrown Omaha native who averaged 12.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game while starting all 35 games as a sophomore last season, is averaging 14.9 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals per game this year. Krampelj, the 6’9” sophomore from Slovenia, is averaging 12.7 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. He is shooting at a team-best 65.6 percent clip from the field.
-- Creighton is No. 31 in the RPI Rankings and 25th in the latest Associated Press poll. The Bluejays are 3-1 versus the Top 50 and 5-3 against the Top 100. They own quality home scalps over Providence, St. John’s and Nebraska, in addition to a win at Northwestern and a neutral-court triumph over UCLA. McDermott’s club lost at Seton Hall, at Gonzaga and vs. Baylor on a neutral floor.
-- Butler (12-5 SU, 8-8 ATS) has lost outright in two of its three road assignments while going 0-3 ATS. The Bulldogs are unranked in the AP but have an outstanding RPI of 23. There are 2-4 versus the Top 50 and 3-5 against the Top 100. Butler handed Villanova its only loss of the season in a 101-93 victory at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Dec. 30. The Bulldogs also have a home win over Utah and a neutral-court triumph over Ohio State. Their five defeats have come at Maryland, at Xavier, vs. both Purdue and Texas on neutral courts and a home loss to Seton Hall.
-- LaVall Jordan is the new head coach after Chris Holtmann left to take the Ohio State job. Jordan is 38-years-old and played for Butler in the late 1990s. In fact, Jordan is the player who missed a pair of free throws while his team held a one-point lead vs. Florida with about eight seconds remaining. Those missed set up Mike Miller’s epic buzzer beater that allowed the Gators to advance to the Round of 32 and eventually the national-title game in the 2000 NCAA Tournament. Jordan spent time on Todd Lickliter’s staff at Butler from 2003-2007 and more recently, he served under John Beilein at Michigan before taking his first-head coaching gig at UW-Milwaukee, where he went 11-24 in one season.
-- Jordan’s team lost a 90-87 decision to Seton Hall as a three-point home favorite Saturday. Butler allowed a 65-54 lead with less than 10 minutes remaining get away. Senior forward Kelan Martin scored a team-high 27 points before fouling out in the losing effort. Sophomore guard Kamar Baldwin finished with 14 points, six rebounds and five assists, while Henry Baddley had 14 points and three blocked shots in just 22 minutes of playing time from off the bench. Nate Fower was also in double figures with 11 points in 16 minutes of action in a reserve role.
-- Martin is averaging team-highs in scoring (19.8 PPG) and rebounding (6.5 RPG), while Baldwin (15.3 PPG, 4.9 RPG) is averaging team-bests in steals (1.8) and blocked shots (0.7 BPG). Paul Jorgensen, a junior who is a transfer from George Washington, is scoring at an 11.8 PPG clip while hitting 41.8 percent from 3-point land.
-- Butler has limped to a 1-4 record both SU and ATS in five games as an underdog.
-- Creighton won both meetings against Butler last year both SU and ATS, including a 75-64 win as a 5.5-point home ‘chalk.’
-- The ‘over’ is 9-6 overall for the Bluejays, 5-4 in their home games. However, they’ve seen three consecutive ‘unders’ (regardless of the venue).
-- The ‘over’ hast hit in nine consecutive Butler games. The Bulldogs have seen the ‘over’ go 11-5 overall and 2-1 in their road contests.
-- The ‘under’ is 6-1 in the past seven head-to-head meetings between these Big East adversaries.
-- Tip-off is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Eastern on Fox Sports 1.
**Purdue at Michigan**
-- Purdue (15-2 SU, 11-5 ATS) is atop the Big Ten standings in a first-place tie with Ohio State, as both schools have all won all four league games to date. Matt Painter’s team is 2-0 both SU and ATS in a pair of road games.
-- As of Monday night, most books had Purdue listed as a two-point road favorite.
-- Purdue hasn’t tasted defeat since losing back-to-back games on consecutive days (11/22 & 11/23) at the Battle 4 Atlantis in the Bahamas. Painter’s team lost a 78-75 decision to Tennessee in overtime before falling 77-73 to Western Kentucky. Since then, however, the Boilermakers have won 11 straight games while compiling a stellar 8-3 spread record.
-- Purdue had covered the number in four consecutive games until beating Nebraska 74-62 on Saturday as a 20.5-point home favorite. Vince Edwards was the catalyst with 21 points, 10 rebounds and six assists without a turnover. Isaac Haas added 14 points, six boards and two blocked shots, while Dakota Mathias finished with 11 points, four boards and four steals.
-- Purdue has been a single-digit favorite five times, producing a 4-1 record both SU and ATS.
-- Sophomore guard Carsen Edwards leads Purdue in scoring, averaging 16.8 points and 4.1 RPG. Haas averages 14.7 points and 5.4 RPG while shooting at a 64.3 percent rate from the field. Haas is second on the Boilermaker in blocked shots with 20. Senior forward Vince Edwards averages 14.1 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.6 APG, while Mathias (13.3 PPG) averages 4.6 assists and 3.9 rebounds per game. Mathias has an outstanding 78/27 assists-to-turnover ratio and is draining 45.7 percent of his 3-balls. Redshirt freshman center Matt Haarms, a 7’3” center from Amsterdam, is averaging 5.9 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.0 blocked shots per game.
-- Purdue is ranked fifth in the latest AP rankings and 17th in the RPI. The Boilermakers are 5-1 against the Top 50 and 8-2 versus the Top 100. They own road wins at Marquette and at Maryland, in addition to neutral-court scalps of Arizona and Butler. They’ve won at home vs. Louisville, Northwestern, Lipscomb (RP #53) and Nebraska.
-- Michigan (14-3 SU, 9-6-1 ATS) is undefeated in nine home games with a 4-3 spread record.
-- Michigan has won seven games in a row since dropping its Big Ten opener at Ohio State (71-62) on Dec. 4. The Wolverines are off Saturday’s 79-69 win over Illinois as 10-point home ‘chalk.’ Moritz Wagner led a balanced offensive attack that saw five players score in double figures with 14 points. Wagner made 6-of-7 shots from the field, pulled down seven rebounds and blocked three shots. Duncan Robinson and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahim scored 13 points apiece.
-- Beilein’s squad is No. 38 in the RPI, going 1-2 against the Top 50 and 3-3 versus the Top 100. Michigan has home wins over UCLA and Indiana, in addition to a win at Texas and a victory over VCU on a neutral court. The Wolverines lost to LSU at the Maui Classic and also fell at North Carolina and at Ohio State.
-- Charles Matthews, a transfer from Kentucky, is averaging a team-high 15.6 PPG for Michigan. Wagner is averaging 14.1 points and 7.2 RPG, while Abdur-Rahim is averaging 11.0 PPG and has a dynamite 59/10 assists-to-turnovers ratio.
-- The ‘under’ is 9-6 overall the Wolverines, 5-3 in their home contests. However, they’ve seen back-to-back ‘under’ and three in their last four games.
-- The ‘over’ is 9-7 overall for the Boilermakers, 1-1 in their road outings.
-- ESPN will have the telecast at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.
**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**
-- St. John’s Marcus LoVett averaged 14.9 points and 2.1 steals per game in the Red Storm’s first eight contests. Although he’s nearing a return from a knee injury, LoVett has been ruled ‘out’ for Tuesday’s game against Georgetown. Chris Mullin’s team was favored by 6.5 points Monday night.
-- Thirteen of 14 SEC schools are in the RPI Top 100. Only Vanderbilt at No. 142 is out of the Top 100, and Bryce Drew already has a pair of five-star recruits committed to the Commodores in the 2018 class. Ole Miss (#87) is the 13th school, while nine SEC teams are in the RPI Top 50. Kentucky (#9), Tennessee (#10), Auburn (#13) and Arkansas lead the way. However, Florida is atop the SEC standings with a 3-0 record in league play. Chris ‘Cheese’ Chiozza beat the buzzer again Saturday with his steal and run-out bucket with 0.1 seconds left to lift the Gators to a 77-75 win at Missouri.
-- Auburn is also unbeaten in SEC play, but it is only 2-0 and thus is one-half game back of UF. The Tigers can pull even atop those standings with a win Tuesday vs. Ole Miss. Bruce Pearl’s team was listed as a 9.5 or 10-point home favorite Monday night. AU is undefeated in eight home games with a 4-2 spread record, while the Rebels are 0-2 both SU and ATS on the road. This game will tip at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPNU.
-- Boise State lost its first Mountain West Conference game Saturday night by a 79-78 count at Wyoming in overtime. Leon Rice’s team allowed a 16-point intermission lead to get away against the Cowboys, wasting a 27-point effort from star senior slasher Chandler Hutchison. BSU will be in bounce-back mode Tuesday night at Fresno State. As of Monday night, the Bulldogs were three-point home favorites against the Broncos, who have seen the ‘over’ go 5-0-1 in their six outings. This game will tip at 11:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPNU.
-- The CBS Sports Network will have tripleheader on Tuesday night: Rhode Island (-9) at Saint Louis (7:00 p.m. Eastern), Seton Hall (pick ‘em) at Marquette (9:00) and San Jose State at San Diego State (-22 at 11:00).
Follow Brian Edwards' sports gambling opinions on Twitter at @vegasbedwards.
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