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KENTUCKY WILDCATS (25-0) at TENNESSEE VOLUNTEERS (14-10)
2015-02-18

No. 1 Kentucky looks to stay perfect with a win in Knoxville over Tennessee Tuesday.



No. 1 Kentucky is coming off of a dominant home performance over South Carolina, winning 77-43 as an 18.5-point favorite. The Wildcats held the Gamecocks to 23.6percent shooting in that game and they needed it as they had been slipping lately, allowing their previous two opponents to shoot over 45percent. Tennessee, meanwhile, lost 73-55 as a 2.5-point favorite at home against LSU on Saturday and the team has now lost three of its past four games SU. Offensively, the Volunteers have shot under 40percent from the field in two of their past three games and theyve also allowed opponents to shoot at least 49percent from the field in each of their past four games on the defensive end. These issues must be patched up or they will get blown out by the Wildcats. Kentucky has dominated this head-to-head series in recent years, winning-and-covering 74-66 in Kentucky a year ago and also winning seven of the past eight games SU. The Wildcats have covered in five of those eight games, but the Volunteers did win-and-cover the last time they played Kentucky in Thompson-Boling Arena. Tennessee is 9-4 SU at home this season, but the team is a miserable 2-11 ATS in those games. The Vols are, however, 7-5 ATS versus SEC opponents and 2-0 ATS as a home underdog this season. The Wildcats are undefeated SU this season, but they have struggled ATS with just 12 covers in their 25 games. They are also just 4-8 ATS versus SEC opponents. F Alex Poythress (Knee) is out for the season for Kentucky and Tennessee is without F Jabari McGhee (Foot) indefinitely and Gs Braxton Bonds (Eligibility) and Ian Chiles (Shoudler) for the season.



The Wildcats offense has been great this season, averaging 73.6 PPG (44th in NCAA) on 46.3percent shooting (59th in NCAA). The team is averaging 15.2 APG (34th in NCAA) and 38.6 RPG (21st in NCAA), but where it wins games is on the defensive end. Kentucky is allowing just 51.8 PPG (2nd in NCAA) thanks to 7.0 BPG (2nd in NCAA). F Karl-Anthony Towns (9.1 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 2.2 BPG) and C Willie Cauley-Stein (9.4 PPG, 6.4 RPG, 1.6 BPG) are two of the best two-way players in the country. Towns has come on strong offensively lately for this team. He had just nine points in the blowout victory over South Carolina, but he had scored 12+ points in each of the previous four Kentucky games. He is a smooth scorer with a solid jumper and he protects the rim with the best of them. Cauley-Stein is also a dominant rim protector and was huge in the Wildcats victory over LSU just two games ago. He had 15 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in that game and followed it up with 14 points and seven boards against South Carolina. Hell need to provide the same energy against Tennessee on Tuesday. G Aaron Harrison (11.1 PPG) continues his up-and-down season, scoring 11 points against South Carolina after a two-point performance against LSU the game before. Harrison is relied on to be this teams best wing scoring option and he must start to string together a few good games in a row, as he is lacking in confidence lately. His brother G Andrew Harrison (8.2 PPG, 4.0 APG) has also struggled with consistency this season, but has performed better recently. He had nine points, six assists and four rebounds against South Carolina and 13 points and four assists in a win over LSU the game before. The Kentucky point guard must stay poised and knock down shots when called upon. As long as he is not turning the ball over though, he is doing his job for a team with a number of scoring options. F Trey Lyles (7.3 PPG, 5.1 RPG) had eight points and four rebounds against South Carolina. He had been injured recently and his ability to hit the glass and score has been missed for this team.



Tennessee is coming off of a bad loss at home against LSU and the team has been miserable offensively this season, averaging just 64.2 PPG (257th in NCAA) on 43.2percent shooting (198th in NCAA). Defensively its been a little better, allowing just 63.6 PPG (108th in NCAA). If the Volunteers are going to have any chance of pulling off this monumental upset, G Josh Richardson (16.0 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 3.7 APG) will need to have one of his best games this season. Richardson had 15 points in a loss to LSU last game and 27 points in a win over Vanderbilt the game before. He is a tremendous scorer and can also make plays for his teammates, but hell need to play a flawless game in this one in order for Tennessee to win. F Armani Moore (10.7 PPG, 6.8 RPG, 1.5 SPG, 1.3 BPG) is one of the best two-way players in the SEC and will need to bring his usually high motor into this game on Tuesday. Moore is averaging 15.0 PPG over the past three contests and will need to be able to score in this game as well. This Volunteers team struggles offensively and will need contributions from everybody, including F Derek Reese (5.9 PPG, 5.3 RPG). Reese is one of the teams best rebounders and is also averaging 11.5 PPG over the past two games. He is not known for his scoring, but if he can get to double-digits in this game then Tennessee could hang around and keep itself in position to win this game. F Willie Carmichael III (3.3 PPG, 2.4 RPG) has seen some increased minutes lately, as this team is dealing with a number of injuries to its frontcourt. Hes going to need to come in and play some tough minutes for this team, as the Kentucky frontcourt can be dominant on any given night. Hes gotten himself in foul trouble in the past three games, but using his fouls could actually help the team in this game. Giving up easy buckets inside will be a huge momentum killer and the Volunteers cant afford to let that happen.




March Madness HowTo
2013-03-10

5 simple rules To fill out your March Madness bracket

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NCAA Sellout?
2010-06-25

In the years to come we will all look back on this era as a time of change. A time when we inaugurated our first black president, a period that saw our economy turn upside down, and an entire nation affected…even the NCAA, and NCAA betting

The media has been in a frenzy over the expansion of the Pac-10 conference and the possibility of a completely dismantled Big 12. On Thursday, Commissioner Larry Scott announced the dawning of a new day for the Pac-10, as Colorado’s president graciously accepted the invitation to join the ten other West Coast schools. This news may come as a shock from a geographical standpoint. But UCLA head football coach Rick Neuheisel thinks that Colorado will be a perfect fit, “From a proximity standpoint, its closer to Los Angeles than Seattle is,” he said, NCAA betting is not so sure.

Nice one Rick, but the difference is not that great, only about 100 miles, especially considering that the distance from LA to Seattle is over a 900 mile long journey. Make no mistake that Larry Scott is getting his kicks in Denver dollar signs. Why else would anyone want to alter a conference that has been at the pinnacle of college athletic success for the past 30 years? The addition of Colorado is the first to take place since the addition of the two Arizona schools in 1978.

Mama always said, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. As if the expansion of the NCAA tournament wasn’t bad enough? No, yet again college sports fans everywhere will fall victim to the power of the almighty dollar, their opinions ignored and their input invalid.

Is their no sense of tradition, no sense of pride? I for one, admire Texas’ determination to preserve what is left of the Big-12, as they denied their invitation into the Pac-10 late Wednesday. The Big 12 is back, and the Texas rivalries intact, for now. But the additional departure of Nebraska to the Big 10 leaves the conference with ten teams, which would make playing a conference championship game impossible due to NCAA regulations that require a minimum of twelve teams to be present. This will only add to the mess and controversy that surrounds the BCS each year.

To me it seems like a lot of nonsense for nothing. The Pac-10 and Big 12 have acquired two middle of the road teams at best. Colorado adds no competitive value to either football or basketball, and both of those teams will face a challenge as mountainous as the Flat Irons in the near future, as they face a Pac-10 that will be revamped with even more talent for the upcoming 2011 and 2012 seasons. Perhaps now is the time to take advantage of the proximity to LA, and start recruiting some transfers from USC.

As for the Big 10, Nebraska has been a bottom tier team in the Big 12 in recent years, and that will not change. Their addition will hardly be noticeable. As a matter of fact, I thought Nebraska was already in the Big 10.

In all seriousness, this has been much ado over nothing; except for the Denver TV market that Larry Scott finally got his hands on. When it’s all said and done, when you are dealing with cash, you usually get change. Where do you do your NCAA betting? Head over to www.sportsbook.com where everybody bets.


CBB: Big Men to play big roles in South Region
2010-03-26

This time of year the mantra of winning college basketball is having great guard play. Every team reportedly needs a player that can control the tempo, knock down shots and defend the perimeter. But what about a big fella in the middle? All four teams tonight have individual or collective key big players that could be the reason they move on to Sunday’s Elite Eight.

Omar Samhan vs. the Waco Gang

Tenth-seeded St. Mary’s has much the same feel as the conference partner Gonzaga had back in 1999. That Gonzaga team went to the Elite 8, with three consecutive upsets, led by guards Matt Santangelo and Richie Frahm. Watching that team play, you were struck by the fact they looked like a collection of guys that would be playing at the health club in the not too distant future, not being Mickey D’s All-Americans with a professional career in their future.

Taking a gander at St. Mary’s (28-5, 22-9 ATS), their team has many of those same qualities except for one person, Omar Samhan. The Gaels big man is one of the finest centers in the country and a terrific example of someone who benefitted from four years of collegiate ball. He has an assortment of moves around the basket and always works to make himself available for passes to the post, which is how he’s scored 61 points in two games. Samhan this season has become a more skilled passer, able to find open shooters on the weak side as double-teams are about to arrive. He’s a very big reason why St. Mary’s is 16-6 ATS facing defensive teams forcing 14 or fewer turnovers game this season.

He and 6’11 Ben Allen will be dueling with Baylor’s big men.

The Bears (27-7, 17-10 ATS) have the size and quickness edge in the paint with 7’0 Josh Lomers and 6’10 Ekpe Udoh. It appears Udoh will probably draw Samhan on defense and he has the quickness and arm length to play denial defense and shot-blocking skill to make him hesitant. Lomers also will undoubtedly take a few turns and he has the bulk to match strength with St. Mary’s big men.

Udoh is also a rim-runner, able to play at accelerated pace, which makes him devastating dunker and exceptional offensive rebounder. Baylor’s length at several positions on the floor allows them to be 7-0 ATS vs. excellent three point shooting teams converting 41 or better of their attempts.

Baylor is a 4.5-point favorite, with total having dipped to 142.5 at Sportsbook.com. Though Waco is a long way from Houston (where this game is being played), Texans tend to stick together and the Bears will have partisan fan-base. The Bears are 11-2 ATS having won four of their last five games and are 14-3 OVER after playing a game as favorite this season. Don’t expect St. Mary’s to be intimidated, with the gregarious Samhan always having something to say.

The Gaels are 8-1 ATS in any tournament game this year and 10-seeds are 4-7 SU against three seeds in this round. One bad note for St. Mary’s, if this 10-seed didn’t make the tournament last year (which the Gaels did not), they are 0-7 SU.
JaJuan Johnson takes on Duke brigade

Purdue (29-5, 15-18 ATS) lacked size before Robbie Hummel went down, now they have to find other ways to win. Coach Matt Painter has dug into the old Southern Illinois playbook (his last stop), where he made size not matter. To upset Duke as 8.5-point underdogs, the Boilermakers are going to have to win the battle on the perimeter and have Johnson create a stalemate inside.

Johnson has good moves around the basket, however, as he exhibited against the stronger Texas A&M big men, he can go outside and bank 15-footers and comfortably make 18-footers, which opens the middle for cutters. Much like the win over the Aggies, Purdue has to manufacture points and have a high number of points per possession. The Boilers have cashed eight of previous 11 tickets as neutral site pooches.

Duke (31-5, 20-14 ATS) can bring tall, strong players in waves. Center Brian Zoubek and Lance Thomas start things off with solid defense and score enough to have to be guarded by opponent. Next comes the Plumlee brothers, both are aggressive rebounders on each of the floor and what they lack in quicks, they make-up for by using bodies to stay fundamentally sound. Like Purdue, the Blue Devils permit 61 points per game and their opponents only convert 40.1 percent of the time. With Duke’s defense, they are 8-2 ATS after allowing 25 points or less in the first half last game this year.

The oddsmakers believe Purdue will control the tempo, with 127 the listed total. The Boilermakers can’t allow many short Duke runs of 6-0 or 8-2, since they lack the firepower to run with the Blue Devils and are 6-13-1 ATS after a cover dating back to last season. Jon Scheyer and teammates only committed five turnovers against California last Sunday and are 8-1 ATS after a game committing eight or less miscues.

This was the only region to have the expected 1 vs. 4 matchup. The top seeds are 26-10 SU, winning by 8.6 points per game. A key number for the lower seed is score differential to pull the upset. Four seeds that win by 10 or more points are 7-6 when these seeds collide; all others are 3-18 SU. (Purdue is +9.9)
The StatFox Power Lines show Baylor by 4, Duke by 8