02/28/2013 09:22 AM
CBB Thursday Cliff Notes
Duke at UVA: Opening this game up at a PK is simply begging for people to take Duke, and perhaps the biggest reason is the situation. Duke's got their rematch with Miami back home on Saturday. One might think they'll be looking ahead, and clearly to some extent they are. However, they're also playing for a number one seed, so perhaps not as much as one might expect. Still doesn't mean I'd endorse UVA. It's obviously their GOY and they haven't lost at home this season, except for way back when against Delaware. We know UVA will slow it down. Duke does have the #1 rated three point defense in the Conference, but they can be beaten inside if UVA has the patience. They do. I simply really have a hard time taking road teams this time of year. That total sitting at 129 might normally be an auto-under in a UVA game, but with the way they've been scoring, it's tempting to think it goes over.
Gonzaga at BYU: Another team playing for a potential number one seed, and on the road. Gonzaga has the Conference regular season wrapped up, and BYU cannot really gain Conference Tournament seeding one way or the other. They lost by 20 at Gonzaga earlier, and except for a blip against the Dons have won all their home games this season. This is their last home game, and we will pay a premium for taking Gonzaga, so I'd have to say BYU or forget about it, because I simply cannot lay 6 or more points on the road against a team that knows it's opponent so well. BYU will simply try to run them out of the gym. Although they don't turn it over, they're simply going to have to hit their shots because they're not a great rebounding team. Since Gonzaga is so experienced, I would expect them NOT to get drawn into a track meet, and think that perhaps that total is too high. Yeah, they could score 160, but I don't think they will.
North Carolina at Clemson: Another road favorite that's lost a fair bit of value overnight, it seems. The game means everything to the Tar Heels because they're a bit of a bubble team, and also need to win to stay in at least fourth in the ACC for seeding purposes. Semi-tough spot here because they play FSU on Saturday. Not that the 'Noles are a worthy opponent, but there is some recent history. They beat FSU in Tallahassee earlier this season, which was double pay-back for FSU not only beating them in the ACC Tournament last season, but for beating them by 33 at home last year. So, I can indeed see this young 'Heels team not as focused as perhaps they should be. Tigers can be tough at home, but what I really don't like about UNC is they simply don't get to the FT line often enough (that WILL matter for MANY teams in the Tournament) and even when they do, they're well below average in FT %. Obviously Clemson will slow (or try) it down, while UNC will wanna run. Have to think this is nothing but a close game, one way or the other, and if I'd have been able to take or release the +4 last night, I probably would have. Now, it's a wait and see, although at +3 it still has some value, IMO. Highly doubt they go over the total. If they do, Clemson might be in trouble, so Clemson-under or UNC over. Lean to the former.
Detroit at Temple: Perhaps one of the more interesting games. Temple can ill-afford to lose this game, as they are currently one of the "last four in", while Detroit's only realistic hope is to win the Horizon League Championship, probably by beating Valpo. Thankfully for them there's no Butler, but the point to THIS game is that it means much more to Temple. That CAN be a bad thing since we know Detroit has some talent (seriously under achieved again) and can play relatively relaxed. Both teams are uber-experienced, and the Owls defense isn't the one we've come to expect. Since they both do an excellent job of not turning the ball over, and shoot free throws well, I'd lean to the over here. Neither team is a great rebounding team and both teams will run given the chance. And of course with the magnitude of this game and the potential for style point for the Owls, if they do get ahead they won't let up by their own accord. But, of course I don't see a total posted. Pussies. I can't take Detroit here. Although these teams don't play each other, I trust Fran Dunphy more than I trust Ray McCallum to have their respective teams ready, and Detroit's defense is not backable on the road. Perhaps using Temple ML in a parlay.