Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:59 AM
Saturday's Tip Sheet
Editor's Note: Don't miss out on College Basketball winners from Brian Edwards on VegasInsider.com. Click to win!
Saturday’s card for college basketball is stacked, including a huge ACC showdown and a crucial Big 12 clash.
Let’s break down Duke at Syracuse and Kansas at Texas Tech before getting into some national notes in Bonus Nuggets.
Duke at Syracuse
-- After Wednesday night’s events, there’s certainly a different tone surrounding this rematch game at the Carrier Dome. After Syracuse (18-8 straight up, 15-11 against the spread) thumped Louisville 69-49, 74-year-old head coach Jim Boeheim encountered an accident while driving down I-690 on his way home around midnight. Boeheim attempted to avoid the car that had hit a guard rail and landed sideways in the middle of the interstate blocking the middle and left lanes. The passengers were nearly struck by an oncoming vehicle upon coming to a stop, so they knew they needed to get out of the car immediately. As 51-year-old Jorge Jimenez made a mad dash to get out of traffic, Boeheim was moving to the right lane to avoid the wrecked car and tragically hit Jimenez, who was later pronounced dead at the hospital. Another one of the passengers was struck by Boeheim’s car but suffered only minor injuries. Boeheim reportedly emerged from his car and used his flashlight app to alert other oncoming vehicles of the accident. He and the passengers passed blood-alcohol tests. Boeheim met with his team on Thursday but didn’t attend practice. He's expected to be on the sidelines Saturday.
-- The other development – albeit of much less importance than the tragedy in Syracuse – on Wednesday was the mild knee sprain sustained by Duke star freshman and National Player of the Year candidate Zion Williamson, who had his Nike shoe bust on him in the first minute of his team’s home game vs. North Carolina. Williamson was unable to return and the Tar Heels smashed the Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium. As of late Friday afternoon, Williamson was officially listed as ‘doubtful’ at Syracuse.
-- When these teams met back on Jan. 14, Duke was off a buzzer-beating win over FSU on Cam Reddish’s jumper. Williamson had left the FSU game after being poked in the eye and was listed as ‘questionable,’ but he ended up playing. However, Reddish was unable to make it to the arena after getting sick and Tre Jones left the game with an injured shoulder less than 10 minutes into the first half. Syracuse took advantage and behind a 32-point effort from Tyus Battle, pulled the upset in overtime. The Orange won 95-91 as a 17-point underdog, hooking up money-line supporters with a payout of at least 12/1 odds. Elijah Hughes played all 45 minutes, draining 4-of-9 jumpers from 3-point territory while producing 20 points, five rebounds and two assists without a turnover. Frank Howard scored all 16 of his points in the second half and had six rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals. Paschal Chukwu finished with 10 points, 18 rebounds and three blocked shots. Williamson had 35 points, 10 boards and four blocks in the losing effort. R.J. Barrett contributed 23 points, 16 rebounds, one block and nine assists compared to merely one turnover. Alex O’Connell buried 4-of-8 attempts from long distance in a 16-point effort for the Blue Devils.
-- Syracuse beat up on U of L 69-49 as a two-point home favorite on Wednesday night. Hughes led the way with 18 points, six rebounds, two steals and two blocked shots. Oshae Brissett added 16 points and eight rebounds, while Buddy Boeheim drained 4-of-9 launches from 3-point land in a 14-point effort. Battle had 11 points, four boards and seven assists compared to just one turnover.
-- The ‘Cuse is 11-4 both SU and ATS in its past 15 games. The Orange owns a 13-4 SU record and a 10-7 ATS mark at home this season.
-- Syracuse is ranked No. 38 at KenPom.com. Boeheim’s bunch owns a 4-4 record against K-Pom Top-50 foes and a 9-7 mark vs. the Top 100. The Orange’s worst L’s are home defeats to Old Dominion and Ga. Tech, in addition to neutral-court losses vs. UConn (before the Huskies’ team was ravaged by injuries, however) and vs. Oregon (when star freshman Bol Bol was still healthy, though). They own solid wins at Ohio State and at Duke, in addition to home victories over U of L, Clemson and Georgetown.
-- Battle leads the Orange in scoring with his 17.2 points-per-game average. Hughes averages 13.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game, while Brissett averages 13.2 points and 7.9 RPG. Chukwu is the team’s rim protector with a team-best 42 blocked shots.
-- As of late Friday afternoon, most books had Duke (23-3 SU, 15-11 ATS) installed as a 4.5-point favorite with a total of 143.
-- This is Syracuse’s first game as a home underdog this year.
-- Mike Krzyzewski’s team saw its nine-game winning streak snapped in Wednesday’s 88-72 loss to UNC as a 10-point home favorite. The 160 combined points dipped ‘under’ the 165.5-point total. Barrett did his part to make up for Zion’s absence by producing 33 points, 13 rebounds and four assists. Reddish finished with 27 points, but Jones went 1-of-11 on field-goal attempts and had only three points. Jones did dish out eight assists and pull down five boards in the losing effort.
-- Duke is unbeaten in six road assignments with a 4-2 spread record.
-- Duke is ranked third in the nation at KenPom.com. The Blue Devils are 10-3 against K-Pom Top 100 opponents. Their only other defeat this year came against Gonzaga (89-87) in the finals of the Maui Classic back in November. Duke’s best wins include neutral-court scalps of Kentucky (118-84!), Texas Tech and Auburn, in addition to a home-and-home sweep of Virginia, which now occupies the No. 1 slot at K-Pom. Other impressive victories include at Louisville, at FSU, vs. Clemson and vs. St. John’s (91-61).
-- Duke is ranked fifth in the nation in scoring with its 85.9 points-per-game average. The Blue Devils are 28th nationally in field-goal percentage (48.0%), but they are a terrible 3-point shooting team that’s ranked No. 328 out of 351 Division-1 schools (30.6%). Duke does a solid job of defending the 3-point line, however, ranking eighth in the country (29.0%). The Blue Devils are No. 21 in the nation in FG-percentage defense (39.7%).
-- Barrett averages a team-high 23.1 PPG and the freshman also averages 7.6 rebounds and 4.0 APG. With Williamson (21.6 PPG) out of the lineup, Duke will be missing its top rebounder (8.8 RPG), steals leader (2.2 SPG) and best shooter from the field (68.3%). Reddish scores at a 14.3 PPG clip, while Jones (8.5 PPG) has a stellar 129/30 assist-to-turnover ratio.
-- Duke remains the +180 favorite to win the national championship. Syracuse’s current future number is 85/1.
-- Since Syracuse joined the ACC, Duke is winless and 1-2 ATS in three games at the Carrier Dome. The ‘over’ is 3-1 in the past four head-to-head meetings. When these teams met at Duke last season, the Blue Devils won 60-44 as 13.5-point home ‘chalk.’ They met again in the Sweet 16 with Krzyzewski’s team winning a 69-65 decision to advance, but the Orange covered the number as an 11-point underdog.
-- The ‘under’ is 16-10 overall for the Orange, 12-5 in its home games.
-- The ‘under’ is 17-7-2 overall for the Blue Devils, 4-1-1 in their road assignments. They’ve seen the ‘under’ cash at a 7-2 clip in their last nine contests.
-- ESPN will provide television coverage at 6:00 p.m. Eastern.
Kansas at Texas Tech
-- Texas Tech and Kansas are both 9-4 in Big 12 play, one game back of conference-leading Kansas State and its 10-3 league ledger. Therefore, this a key game in the conference race that’s been won by the Jayhawks 14 consecutive seasons. As of late Friday afternoon, most books had Texas Tech (21-5 SU, 11-14 ATS) listed as a 5.5-point home ‘chalk’ with a total of 135.
-- Texas Tech has won 14 of 15 home games with a 6-8 spread record. Since losing 79-63 at Kansas on Feb. 2, Chris Beard’s team has won four games in a row both SU and ATS, including an 86-61 win over a Baylor team that was missing three starters this past Saturday. The Red Raiders easily took the cash as nine-point home ‘chalk.’
-- Jarrett Culver produced 18 points, eight rebounds and four assists against the Bears, who dressed out only eight scholarship players due to injuries to Makai Mason and King McClure. Davide Moretti buried 4-of-8 attempts from 3-point range in a 17-point effort. Tariq Owens finished with 11 points and a pair of blocked shots.
-- Beard preaches hard-core defense and that’s reflected in the stats. Texas Tech is ranked second in the nation in scoring defense, giving up only 57.2 PPG. The Red Raiders are tops in the country in FG-percentage ‘D’ (36.1%) and fourth at defending the 3-point line (27.6%).
-- Culver leads the Red Raiders in scoring (17.7 PPG), assists (3.6 APG) and rebounding (6.3 RPG). Owens (8.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG) paces Texas Tech in FG percentage (56.7%) and blocked shots (2.4 BPG). Moretti averages 10.9 PPG, has a 53/30 assist-to-turnover ratio, makes 43.5 percent of his 3-balls and 91.4 percent of his FTAs. Mooney (10.7 PPG) also averages in double figures and can shoot in from long distance (37.7%).
-- Texas Tech is ranked ninth at K-Pom with a 7-5 record against the Top 50 and an 11-5 mark versus the Top 100. The Red Raiders don’t have any bad losses (at No. 32 Baylor would be the worst) and their best wins include at Oklahoma, at Texas, vs. OU, vs. K-State, vs. Baylor, vs. TCU and vs. Arkansas. They also have neutral-court triumphs over USC, Nebraska (before Isaac Copeland’s injury) and Memphis.
-- Kansas is an abysmal 2-6 both SU and ATS in eight road assignments. However, Bill Self’s club won 82-77 at TCU in overtime in its last road outing on Feb. 11. Since losing three of four games outright to seemingly fall out of the Big 12 race, KU has responded with four wins in its past five contests both SU and ATS, including a 78-53 victory over West Va. 78-53 as a 15-point home ‘chalk’ this past Saturday.
-- The Jayhawks darted out to a 43-16 halftime lead over a depleted WVU team. Devon Dotson was the catalyst with 15 points, eight assists and five rebounds, and K.J. Lawson shared team-high scoring honors with 15 points. Dedric Lawson finished with 14 points, while David McCormack and Ochai Agbaji were also in double figures with 10 points apiece.
-- Dedric Lawson leads KU in scoring (19.2 PPG), rebounding (10.3 RPG), FG percentage (50.6%) and blocked shots (1.1 BPG).
-- Kansas is ranked No. 15 at K-Pom with a 12-4 record against the Top 50. KU owns outstanding neutral-court victories over Michigan State, Marquette and Tennessee. The Jayhawks have road wins at TCU and at Baylor, in addition to home triumphs over the likes of Texas Tech, Iowa State, Texas, TCU, Oklahoma, Villanova and Wofford.
-- The ‘under’ is 3-1 for the Red Raiders in their past four games to improve to 16-9 overall and 9-5 in their home outings.
-- The ‘over’ on a 4-1 run for the Jayhawks to improve to 15-10-1 overall and 4-4 in their road contests.
-- Tip-off is slated for 8:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.
B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets
-- Texas has suspended senior guard and leading scorer Kerwin Roach indefinitely for a violation of team rules, his third such suspension during his collegiate career. Roach is averaging 15.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.3 steals per game for the Longhorns, who play Saturday at Oklahoma.
-- LSU will play host to Tennessee on ESPN at noon Eastern in a crucial SEC showdown. The Volunteers remain atop the SEC standings with their 12-1 record in league play, but Kentucky and LSU are only one game back with 11-2 conference ledgers. As of late Friday afternoon, several shops had the Tigers favored by one with a total of 158 points. Rick Barnes’s club is 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS in seven road games. Meanwhile, LSU is 12-2 SU but only 6-8 ATS at home. Since getting embarrassed last Saturday night at Kentucky, UT won but failed to cover a huge double-digit number in a home win over Vandy. Will Wade’s bunch is in bounce-back mode after falling to Florida 82-77 in overtime as a 7.5-point home ‘chalk’ on Wednesday.
-- FSU will bring an eight-game winning streak into Chapel Hill to face North Carolina at 3:45 p.m. Eastern on CBS. The Seminoles are 7-1 ATS during this stretch, winning six of those games by double-digit margins and seven by at least nine points. Leonard Hamilton’s club is 5-3 SU and 4-4 ATS in eight road assignments. UNC is 9-1 SU and 7-3 ATS in its last 10 contests. Most spots had the Tar Heels favored by seven points late Friday afternoon.
-- Even without Davidson, the Southern Conference is loaded this year with four teams who have at least 22 wins to their credit. Wofford (23-4 SU, 13-11 ATS) will take a 14-game winning streak to Furman on Saturday for a critical battle between these mid-major schools who are in contention for an NCAA at-large bid. The Terriers are 5-1 ATS in their past six games and they’re off an 80-50 win over UNC Greensboro, another potential at-large candidate with a 23-5 SU record, as six-point home favorites last Saturday. Fletcher Magee is the catalyst for Wofford, averaging 20.1 PPG while hitting 41.6 percent of his treys and 92.3 percent of his FTAs. When these conference rivals met in Spartanburg on Jan. 19, the Terriers captured a 59-54 victory as eight-point home favorites. Magee scored a team-best 22 points. Furman (22-5 SU, 16-8 ATS) has won 13 of its 14 home games while posting a 7-4 spread record. Meanwhile, Wofford is 8-3 SU and 7-4 ATS on the road. The Paladins have won six games in a row by double-digit margins, covering the number in each spot. They are led by senior forward Matt Rafferty, who averages team-highs in scoring (17.1 PPG), assists (4.2 APG), rebounding (9.0 RPG), FG percentage (63.5%), steals (2.7 SPG) and blocked shots (1.1 BPG).
Follow Brian Edwards' sports gambling opinions on Twitter at @vegasbedwards