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Friday's Tip Sheet
Editor's note: Since Dec. 13, Brian Edwards is on a 27-19-1 run (58.7%, +7.15 units) in college hoops. After hitting with Western Kentucky +3 last night in its outright win at ODU, Brian’s guaranteed plays have cashed at a 17-9 clip (65.4%, +7.31 Units) since Dec. 8, so don't miss out on tonight's pay-if-it-wins-only selection!

**Marquette at Butler**

-- As of Thursday night, most books had Butler (12-6 straight up, 8-9 against the spread) installed as a 4.5-point favorite with a total of 158.

-- Butler is No. 29 in the RPI Rankings, posting a 2-6 record against the Top 50 and a 3-6 mark versus the Top 100. The Bulldogs have the monster win over top-ranked Villanova (#3 RPI), in addition to a home win over Utah and a neutral-court scalp of Ohio State.

-- LaVall Jordan’s club has won nine of its 10 home games while going 7-2 ATS.

-- Butler fell to 2-3 in the Big East play with its third consecutive loss Wednesday at Creighton, 85-74. The Bulldogs, who are in a seventh-place tie in the league and 2.5 games behind the first-place Bluejays, failed to cover the number as six-point underdogs, falling to 2-6 ATS in their previous eight outings. Paul Jorgensen scored a team-best 18 points in Omaha. Kamar Baldwin finished with 15 points, eight rebounds, two assists, one steal and one blocked shots, while Aaron Thompson had 12 points, two rebounds, two steals and three assists without a turnover. Senior forward Kelan Martin had 10 points, 11 rebounds and three assists, but he committed six turnovers.

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-- Butler has gone 2-2 ATS in four games as a single-digit favorite.

-- Martin is averaging 19.2 points, 6.8 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.1 steals per game, improving his averages from last year in every category. The Louisville native who has been a four-year stalwart for this program is also shooting at a career-best 87.7 percent clip from the free-throw line. Baldwin is averaging 15.3 points, 5.1 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 1.8 steals per game. The sophomore guard scored 31 points in a double-overtime win at Georgetown on Dec. 27. Baldwin also dropped 28 on Xavier in an 86-79 road loss on Jan. 2. Jorgensen, the transfer from George Washington, is scoring at a 12.1 clip and has dished out 40 assists compared to merely 12 turnovers. The junior guard has made 41.2 percent of his 3-balls.

-- Butler owns a 7-1-2 spread record in the past 10 games of this rivalry. The Bulldogs have won three straight over Marquette both SU and ATS, including an 88-80 win as a 7.5-point home favorite at Hinkle Fieldhouse last Jan. 16. It was a miraculous cover for Butler, which trailed the Golden Eagles 41-25 at intermission. Martin led the way with 22 points, while Baldwin scored 18 points and handed out two assists without committing a turnover.

-- Marquette (12-5 SU, 8-8 ATS) is No. 32 in the RPI, compiling a 2-5 record against the Top 50 and a 5-5 mark versus the Top 100. The Golden Eagles have neutral-court wins over VCU and LSU, road wins at Providence and at Wisconsin, in addition to a home triumph over Seton Hall. Four of their five defeats have come against foes in the RPI’s Top 19.

-- Marquette has won three of its past four games, including Wednesday’s 84-64 blowout victory over Seton Hall in a pick ‘em affair. Senior guard Andrew Rowsey erupted for 31 points on 10-of-18 shooting from the field and 4-of-8 marksmanship from 3-point land. He also had five rebounds, three assists and a steal. Sam Hauser produced 14 points and eight boards, draining 4-of-9 attempts from downtown. Markus Howard was also in double figures with 12 points. The Golden Eagles made all 13 of their FTs and hit 11-of-27 (40.7%) shots from long distance.

-- Marquette has been an underdog five times, producing a 2-3 spread record with one outright victory at Wisconsin in blowout fashion (82-63).

-- Marquette is a perfect 3-0 ATS on the road with a pair of outright wins.

-- Howard leads Marquette in scoring with a 22.8 PPG average, while Rowsey averages 21.6 points, 3.9 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.0 steals per game. Rowsey has made 43.6 percent of his 3-balls and 90.6 percent of his FTs. Hauser (14.0 PPG) averages team-bests in rebounding (5.8 RPG), FG percentage (49.4%), 3-point percentage (48.0%) and steals (1.2 SPG).

-- Marquette is ranked fourth in the nation in FT percentage (79.1%), 18th in 3-point shooting (40.8%) and 27th in scoring with an 83.9 PPG average.

-- The ‘over’ is 9-7 overall for Marquette, 3-0 in a trio of road contests.

-- The ‘over’ is 11-6 overall for Butler, 8-1 in its home games. The Bulldogs had seen nine consecutive ‘overs’ until Wednesday’s loss at Creighton saw the 159 combined points slither ‘under’ the 159.5-point total.

-- Tip-off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Eastern on Fox Sports 1.

**Virginia Commonwealth at Dayton**

-- As of Thursday night, most spots had Dayton listed as a 2.5-point home ‘chalk.’

-- VCU (11-6 SU, 7-6 ATS) is in a three-way tie for second place in the Atlantic 10, trailing loop-leading Rhode Island by one game. The Rams are 1-2 both SU and ATS in three previous road assignments.

-- VCU has won back-to-back games and six of its last seven. The only loss during this span was an 87-81 setback at St. Joseph’s in overtime. The Rams are off a 78-67 win over Duquesne as 8.5-point home ‘chalk.’ They overcame an eight-point halftime deficit thanks to the play of Jonathan Williams, who produced 21 points, four assists, three rebounds and a pair of steals. Justin Tillman added 10 points and 17 boards, while Issac Vann finished with 15 points and five rebounds. De’Riante Jenkins contributed 12 points and nine boards.

-- VCU owns a 2-4 spread record with one outright win (at La Salle) in six games as an underdog.

-- Tillman paces VCU in scoring (17.1 PPG), rebounding (9.5 RPG) and blocked shots (0.8 BPG). Jenkins (13.5 PPG) is burying 43.8 percent of his 3-pointers.

-- VCU is in its first season under new head coach Mike Rhoades, who replaced Will Wade after he went to LSU following two NCAA Tourney appearances with the Rams. Rhoades was previously at Rice, where he took the Owls to the CBI quarterfinals last season in his third year at the helm.

-- Dayton (8-8 SU, 7-9 ATS) is in the midst of a transition season after losing Archie Miller to Indiana after a wildly successful six-year tenure that saw the Flyers go to the NCAA Tournament in each of his last four seasons. Miller guided UD to the 2014 South Region finals before losing to Florida at FedEx Forum in the last Gator game I ever watched with my Dad (second row midcourt right behind the CBS broadcast team). Miller would lead the Flyers to a First Four comeback win over Boise State in the 2015 Tourney, ending the brilliant career of BSU’s Derrick Marks. They would win another game before falling in the Round of 32. Miller had at least 24 wins in each of his last four years and also took UD to an NIT in 2012.

-- Anthony Grant is in his first year as the head coach at his alma mater, where he played from 1983-87. As a freshman, Grant helped UD advance to the Elite Eight before losing to the eventual national champs, Georgetown. Grant was a team captain as a senior and his playing career ended with two trips to the NCAA Tournament and one invite to the NIT. After his playing career, he joined legendary prep coach ‘Shaky’ Rodriguez at the storied Dade County powerhouse program, Miami Senior High School, where Grant was a star player in the early 1980s. Never heard of this prep program? I bet you’ve heard of some if its former players like Doug Edwards (FSU), Gimel Martinez (Kentucky), Steve Edwards (Miami), Udonis Haslem (Florida), Allen Edwards (Kentucky), Steve Blake (Maryland) and Brent Wright (Florida). Other alums include former Florida governor Bob Graham, former owner of VI and Sportsline.com Mike Levy, South Carolina head coach Frank Martin and former NFL head coach Lindy Infante.

-- Grant’s coaching career got its big break when he joined Billy Donovan as an assistant at Marshall in 1994. He would follow Billy the Kid to Florida, where he would spend a decade before taking the VCU job. Many will remember Eric Maynor’s last-second shot for VCU that beat Duke in the Round of 64 in Grant’s first season. The Rams would go to the NIT the next year and in Grant’s third season, they lost by one to UCLA. After a 76-25 three-year run at VCU, Grant landed the Alabama job. He led the Tide to season-win totals of 25, 21 and 23, respectively, in his first three seasons, but they finished runner-up in the NIT finals, were beaten by BYU in a one-possession game in the 2012 NCAA Tournament and lost in the quarter finals of the 2013 NIT. After a year without a postseason invite, ‘Bama made the NIT’s second round but Grant was let go. He initially joined Donovan’s staff again at Florida, but Billy D would take the Oklahoma City job weeks later. Grant spent two years at OKC with Donovan before accepting the gig at UD.

-- Dayton is 6-3 SU and 4-5 ATS at home so far this year.

-- Grant’s team is 2-2 both SU and ATS in conference play. The Flyers are off of Tuesday’s 87-81 win at Richmond as 2.5-point road favorites. Josh Cunningham was the catalyst with 20 points on 8-of-8 shooting from the field. Trey Lander added 18 points and nine rebounds, while Darrell Davis finished with 17 points, four boards and four assists compared to merely one turnover.

-- Davis, a senior guard from Detroit, is averaging 17.0 points and 4.1 RPG. Cunningham is averaging 15.8 points and 9.2 RPG while shooting at a team-high 69.1 percent clip from the floor.

-- These A-10 adversaries split a pair of meetings last year, but Dayton covered the spread in both encounters. The ‘over’ hit in both meetings as well and has been a winner in three of the last four games in this rivalry.

-- The ‘under’ is 7-6 overall for VCU, but the ‘over’ has hit in all three of its road contests.

-- The ‘over’ is 8-7-2 overall for Dayton, 5-3-1 in its home outings. The ‘over’ is on a 6-3 run in UD’s past nine games (regardless of the venue).

-- ESPN2 will have the telecast at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

-- Former Louisville 5-star recruit Brian Bowen, who was a key part of the federal probe into corruption in college basketball that led to Rick Pitino’s dismissal at U of L, has joined Frank Martin’s South Carolina program and is expected to be eligible to play in the 2018-19 season.

-- The ‘under’ is 8-1 overall for Duquesne.

-- The best ATS team in the nation are South Alabama (11-2 ATS), Portland State (11-2), William & Mary (9-1), East Tennessee State (9-2-1) and Northern Kentucky (10-3).

-- The worst ATS teams are Vanderbilt (1-12), UNC-Wilmington (1-11), Santa Clara (3-11), Denver (3-10) and Providence (4-11).

-- Auburn’s Austin Wiley has been ruled ineligible for the rest of the season by the NCAA. He can play in 2018-19, but it remains to be seen if he’ll stick around. Like Bowen, Wiley and his relationship with Chuck ‘The Rifleman’ Person have been a part of the FBI’s investigation into college hoops. Person was one of the men arrested by the feds several months ago.

-- Like Wiley, USC’s De’Anthony Melton was issued the same result Thursday (he’s done for this year).

-- There was the gut-wrenching news about sophomore guard Andrew Jones (out for the season as he begins treatment for his leukemia diagnosis) on Wednesday, and now Texas will be missing junior guard Kerwin Roach for an indefinite period of time. Roach, who is averaging 10.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game, has a fractured left hand. Nevertheless, the Longhorns won a 99-98 double-overtime thriller over TCU on Wednesday in Austin.

Follow Brian Edwards' sports gambling opinions on Twitter at @vegasbedwards.

  
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