thursday ncaa hoops helpful information
6 Replies | 286 ViewsOn 02/14/2013 09:29 AM in NCAA Basketball
Thursday Cliff Notes
Gonzaga at St. Mary's: Obviously Gonzaga with the name recognition and undefeated in Conference play. What's new there. St. Mary's one conference loss was to Gonzaga by five, in a game they were down big in the first half. I would think that would give them some confidence, no matter what, in this game. Both teams made well over 60% of their two-point shots, and both sucked from deep, while St. Mary's did dominate their offensive glass. Having said that, I may lean in that direction simply because they did everything BUT win that last game. Last year these guys both covered their home court easily, and St. Marys' won the Conference Tournament in OT. St. Mary's a bit more experienced and Gonzaga considerably bigger which made me wonder how the got hammered on the boards last game. Clearly that will be a point of emphasis for them in this game. To me, at this point, this is a total coin flip. Honestly, if you made me bet this game, I'd follow the money if I could find it. The total has already come down a point, but I tend to think it may go over since St.Mary's may want to push the pace a bit. Probably all depends on the last minute and the score.
Arizona at Colorado: Rematch of an overtime game that Colorado lost earlier this season. Colorado's only home loss was by three to UCLA, and they've got six of the last eight games at home, so they may be one of the better bets going forward. They are young, but they did play a brutal non conference schedule, so they're not going to be intimidated at home. 'Cats have all the pieces to make a deep run in the post season, but this is just one game. If Arizona has a weakness it's defensively defending the perimeter, but as fate would have it Colorado is far more of an inside team. 'Zona will shoot from anywhere, and Colorado's three point defense is third in the Pac-10 and their 2-point defense is numero uno. Because Colorado knows they probably won't win a track meet, I do lean to the under in this one.
Wisconsin at Minnesota: Badgers are only one game back of Indiana and Michigan State in the loss column, beat Indiana, and do have a game left with Michigan State. Minnesota may be another team with a bunch of losses not to be taken too lightly, although I still remember taking them against Michigan. FML on that one. Badgers beat Minnesota in a 45-44 thriller a few weeks back. Badgers come back home to face Ohio State Sunday, so the spot says Gophers here, perhaps since Wisconsin had played and won two straight overtime games. Tough to sustain that emotion again on the road. However, Gophers three point defense is 12th in the Conference and Badgers have the #1 defense in terms of efficiency in the Big Ten. SOME of that is due to their slow pace and a lot of home games. Stats have deeper meaning. Have to revert back to the emotion of the Badgers and can they sustain it, and have to lean Gophers to even this year's score.
UCLA at Cal: Bruins are playing up to their preseason potential/hype and Cal is really not. However, Cal has played a great schedule and at home have only lost in Conference to Washington and have won three of the last four, including Oregon at home and then most recently at Arizona. Bruins fairly soft early season schedule and their youth, which may be catching up to them. Not unlike Michigan and some of these other hyped teams with tons of Freshmen that simply are playing way more basketball than a year ago, and obviously at a higher level with even more pressure. Cal will try ot slow this game down and simply pound away inside with their length, plus they've got a short bench so they don't really want a run 'n shoot game. I like Cal in this spot. They're more well rounded on defense, and if they can stop the penetration (hence free throws) then they win the game, inside, and perhaps under the number.
Denver at Utah State: I think I will not touch a USU game this season. We keep waiting for them to fall apart without Medlen and Reed and they rattle off three straight road wins. Granted those wins were against lousy teams, but they were impressive wins. They lost at Denver, the first game those two did not play. Denver is simply going to walk up the floor and shoot at three pointer when it's available to be shot. It's what they do. USU is also going to walk up the floor, but has a bit more diverse offense. Denver is at a huge size disadvantage (against almost everyone) but they can create some turnover, and that could eventually be the undoing of USU one day. I wouldn't touch a side here with someone else's money at this point, and lean under.
Davidson at CoC: Neither team is what people are used to seeing on the floor, and they are walking through the SoCon almost by default. This is a CoC team that actually lost at home, by 16 points, to NR Anderson. This is a Davidson team that lost AT Georgia Southern by thirteen. I suppose that loss isn't quite as bad. Davidson won the earlier meeting and may well be slight favorites here as well, and I could not fade them. The get to the line a ton and shoot 81% as a team in Conference this season. That's hard not to take almost anywhere. CoC can be turnover prone at times, and with nobody (OK at Elon) left on their schedule this game probably means more long term to Davidson. They can separate themselves from everyone in the SoCon.