Sunday, March 10
-- VCU won eight of last nine games, with only loss by 14 at St Louis; Rams are 5-2 on A-16 road (other loss was in OT at Richmond), 1-5 as road favorites. Temple won last six games; they're 3-1 as A-16 dog, with last three such games all decided by a point. A-16 home underdogs of 4 or less points are 8-12 vs spread. Owls are 5-2 SU in A-16 home games, losing as double digit favorites to St Bonaventure and Duquesne.
-- Illinois (+3) shot 65% inside arc, beat Ohio State 74-55 at home Jan 5, game they led by 25 at one point. Illini are 3-5 on Big Dozen road, 2-3 as road underdog, losing away games by 7-23-5-13-8 points. Buckeyes are off big win at Indiana, their fourth win in row; OSU is 5-3 as home fave in league play. Six of last eight Illinois games, last four OSU games went under total. Big Dozen home favorites of 8+ points are 17-19.
-- Michigan won four of last five games, with last three all decided by 6 or less points; Wolverines (+5.5) lost 81-73 at Indiana Feb 2, as Indiana shot 59% inside arc, outscored Michigan 22-6 from foul line. Six of last nine Michigan games went over total. Big Dozen home teams are 17-12 when spread is 4 or less points. Hoosiers lost two of last three, are 2-2 in last four road games- they're 2-0 as a Big Dozen underdog this year.
-- Virginia (+2) made 11-19 from arc, won 80-69 at Maryland Feb 10, as Harris scored 22 points while taking only eight shots; Cavaliers just lost at BC/Florida State, after beating Duke, so they're on bubble, are 8-0 vs spread in ACC home games (6-0 as home favorite)- six of seven wins are by 9+ points. Maryland is 2-4 as road underdog, losing away games by 7-10-20-2-11-10. ACC home favorites of 8 or less points are 14-21.
-- Wichita State/Creighton split two games this year; Bluejays had an eFG% of 81.9% last Saturday in 91-79 win, making 22-26 inside arc, 11 of 21 outside it, unheard of numbers- they lost by 3 at Wichita in first meeting. Shockers haven't won MVC tourney since 1987, so this would be bigger for them; think both teams are in NCAAs. Creighton won this event LY, 4th time in 10 years; they've won six of last seven games.
-- Northeastern had bye yesterday, George Mason struggled with 60-54 win over Drexel, making them 4-4 in last eight games; Mason had three guys play 31+ minutes, only two subs play more than six. Huskies beat Mason twice this year, by 10-20 points, but they're 2-3 last five games after starting out 12-1 in CAA- they shot 51%+ inside arc both games vs George Mason. Four of Northeastern's last six CAA tourney games were decided by 4 or less points.
-- James Madison is 4-2 in last six games, with all six decided by five or less points. Last six times Delaware won CAA tourney game, they lost next game, all by 9+ points; Hens are 11-2 in last 13 games after starting year 8-11- they've won five in row since 72-71 home loss to JMU Feb 17, game Hens led by 11 in second half. Dukes beat Delaware by 14 Jan 23. JMU played 7 guys yesterday, two 39 minutes each. Hens also had 7-man rotation, with three guys playing 34+ minutes.
-- Richard Pitino has FIU 17-13 after being 8-21 for Isiah Thomas LY; Panthers lost twice to top-seed Middle Tennessee this year, with 66-64 home loss (+8.5) after FIU led by 20 in first half. Immense pressure on Middle to win this event; they're 20-1 in league, won last 17 games, are 58-29 in league last five years, but haven't gone to NCAAs. FIU played four guys 30+ minutes Saturday, used two subs for 22+ minutes.
-- Arkansas State survived OT game with Troy last nite, with 22-8 edge on foul line; State beat Western Kentucky twice this year, by 18-14, so they've got to be expecting to beat WKU squad that is playing for third night in row, while State is playing second. ASU had four guys play 30+ minutes last nite, two play 40+- they won last seven games they held foe under 70 points. WKU had only two guys play 29+ min. last nite.
-- Iona won MAAC tourney in '06, Niagara in '07; neither team won it since, but winner here will be favored in final Monday. Iona won its last three games, scoring 86.3 ppg; eight of their last ten games were decided by 4 or less points, or in OT. Gaels beat Niagara by 11 at home, lost by 3 in OT in rematch; they outscored Canisius 34-12 on foul line in 89-85 win last nite, playing four guys 31+ minutes. Niagara forced 20 miscues in win over Siena last night- three kids played 34+ minutes.
-- Manhattan beat Fairfield twice this year, 62-40/34-31, second game being worst D-I game I've seen, ever. Stags survived Rider 43-42, using three kids 32+ minutes in brickfest where Broncs were 0-6 from arc for whole game. Jaspers sent Loyola out of MAAC for good with upset last nite, playing seven guys, but only one more than 28 minutes. Fairfield is playing third night in row, Manhattan only second night in row.
-- Davidson is 14-3 in SoCon tourney last 7+ years, winning four times; Wildcats pounded Appalachian State twice this year, by 23-35 points in games played two weeks apart. ASU played three guys 31+ minutes last night but used three subs 12+ minutes. Davidson made 13-28 from arc in easy win last night. ASU is 1-3 in second conference tourney game last four years, with losses by 16-13-10 points.
-- Elon is 1-7 in its second SoCon tourney game last nine years (are 8-1 in first game); they lost 56-54 at home to Charleston in December, when Elon was just 5-3 (they're on 13-3 run now). Cougars are 10-6 in SoCon tourney last six years but haven't won it during that time- they had 29-9 edge in foul line last night, their 11th win in last 13 games. Elon played four guys 29+ minutes last nite, but used three subs 10+.
-- Oakland won eight of its last ten games, but both losses were against Fort Wayne, by 6-2 points; sharpshooter Bader (38.9% from arc for the year) is just 3-21 from arc in two games vs Mastadons, who've won five games in row, scoring 79.7 ppg last three, after 8-16 start vs D-1 teams. Fort Wayne lost first game in Summit tourney last two years; Six of last seven Oakland games were decided by six or less points.
-- North Dakota State's Braun scored 22 points in 29 minutes last game, after missing 10 of previous 11 games; Bison pounded on UMKC twice this season by 65-44/71-34 scores- they're just 6-5 in last eleven games, after starting season 16-3. Kangaroos shot 16-49 (32.7%) inside arc in two losses to Bison this year. Not big fan of laying double digit spreads in conference tournaments, but hard to back UMKC here.