Tuesday's Tip Sheet
December 9, 2013
It will be a relatively quiet week in college basketball but there is a trio of intriguing matchups on Tuesday night’s schedule of games including No. 13 Kansas on the road against No. 19 Florida as part of the ongoing Big 12- SEC Challenge.
This 10-game series started in mid-November with Alabama’s 76-64 victory over Texas Tech to give the SEC an early edge, but since then the Big 12 has dominated this Challenge with six straight-up victories in the first eight games. The finale will be on Saturday, Dec. 21 with Oklahoma taking on Texas A&M.
No. 13 Kansas Jayhawks at No. 19 Florida Gators (ESPN, 7:00 p.m.)
Kansas took a tumble in the rankings after climbing all the way to No. 2 in the AP’s Week 4 Poll with losses to Villanova on Nov. 29 and Colorado this past Saturday. It fell to the Wildcats 63-59 as a 4 ½-point favorite and then dropped a 75-72 decision to the Buffaloes as a one-point road underdog. The Jayhawks are now 6-2 SU on the year but just 3-5 against the spread. The total has stayed UNDER in three of their last five games.
This team is still playing at a high level with 79.1 points a game while shooting 50.5 percent from the field. Freshman sensation Andrew Wiggins leads Kansas in scoring with 15.3 points a game while hitting 51.2 percent of his shots from the floor. Perry Ellis is a close second with 14.5 points and he leads the team in rebounds with 6.8 a game.
The Gators dropped a few spots in the rankings after last Monday’s 65-64 loss to No. 9 Connecticut as four-point road underdogs. This was their second SU loss against six previous victories after falling to then-No. 20 Wisconsin 59-53 in mid-November as six-point underdogs on the road. Florida is 3-1-1 ATS and the total has stayed UNDER in four of the five games.
Florida has six different players scoring in double figures as part of a 72-point team average. Casey Prather has led the way with 19.1 points while converting on 63.6 percent of his shots. Michael Frazier is the team’s best outside scoring threat with a 52.3 shooting percentage from three-point range. The Gators are shooting 46.5 percent from the field and 36 percent from beyond the arc with a 68.9 percentage from the free throw line.
Florida has been opened as a slight two-point home favorite over the Jayhawks for this Big 12-SEC Challenge showdown.
These two last met in 2006 with Kansas coming away with a tight 82-80 victory as a six-point road underdog. The Jayhawks are 3-6 ATS in their last nine road games and the total has gone OVER in four of their last five games on the road.
Boise State Broncos at No. 11 Kentucky Wildcats (ESPN, 9:00 p.m.)
The Broncos have yet to lose SU this season in eight previous contests and they are poised to make their debut in the rankings with an upset on Tuesday night. They are just 1-2 ATS in games with a posted line so you still have to question the level of talent they have faced so far. Boise State did fail to cover as 10-point home favorites in last Tuesday’s 69-67 squeaker over Utah.
The one thing we do know about this team is that it can score. The Broncos are currently ranked first in the nation in points per game with 91.9 and they are hitting 50.1 percent of their shots from the field. They have five players scoring in double figures led by Anthony Drmic’s 20.4 points a game.
It has been a roller coaster ride for Kentucky so far. It started the season at No. 1 but dropped down a few spots with an early season 78-74 loss to then-No.2 Michigan State as a four-point underdog. The climb back to the top was interrupted again in last Friday’s 67-62 loss to No. 14 Baylor as a five-point favorite. The Wildcats are 7-2 SU with a 3-3-1 record ATS.
Julius Randle has lived up to the reputation of being one of the top freshmen players in the country with a team-high 17.9 points and 12.1 rebounds a game. The team is scoring 82 points a game while shooting 47.7 percent from the floor and it is ranked seventh in the nation in rebounds with 44.4 a game.
The Wildcats are favored by 12 ½-points at home against Boise State.
This will be the first meeting between these two teams. The Broncos are 2-5 ATS in their last seven road game against a team with a SU winning record at home and the Wildcats are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games following a SU loss.
No. 20 Gonzaga Bulldogs at West Virginia Mountaineers (ESPN2, 9:00 p.m.)
The Bulldogs are 8-1 SU this season with a 3-3-1 record ATS. They are coming off an 80-68 victory over New Mexico State this past Saturday, but they could not cover as 13 ½-point home favorites. The total stayed UNDER the 154-point closing line after going OVER in five of their previous six games.
This is another team that knows how to put the ball in the hoop with an average of 90.4 points a game while shooting an incredible 54.9 percent from the field. This is the best shooting percentage in the nation. Kevin Pangos leads the team in scoring with 19.8 points, but the best pure shooter on the team is Gary Bell Jr. He is averaging 13.8 points a game while hitting 56.4 percent of his shots from the floor and 54.2 percent from three-point range.
West Virginia is 6-3 SU on the year with a 2-4 record ATS. The total has stayed UNDER in three of five games with a posted line. The Mountaineers have lost two of their last three outings with a 70-63 setback to No. 4 Wisconsin on Nov. 27 and an 80-71 loss to Missouri last Thursday. They closed as 6 ½-point underdogs in both games.
This team can light it up as well with an average of 83.6 points a game while shooting a respectable 48.3 percent from the field and 44 percent from three-point range. Eron Harris and Juwan Staten have combined to score 35.2 points a game with Harris shooting 51 percent from beyond the arc and Staten leading the team in assists with 7.2 a game.
In what could be the closest matchup on Tuesday’s slate, this game has been opened as a PICK.
These two have met twice in the last two seasons. Gonzaga came away with a 77-54 victory as a one-point favorite to eliminate the Mountaineers in the opening round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament. In the regular season last year, the Bulldogs hammered them again 84-50 as 10.5-point home favorites. The total stayed under in both contests.