Oh how the mighty have fallen. Three of the top four seeds in all of college basketball loss yesterday in one of the craziest days of upsets in recent NCAA basketball history. No.1 Villanova fell at Marquette 74-72, No.2 Kansas got run out of West Virginia’s gym 85-69 and Tennessee handed no.4 Kentucky an 82-80 loss to keep the trend going.
More upsets seem to happen in College Basketball each and every year, and this came before any of the Madness even starts when the tournament rolls around. It goes to show you that rivalries, school spirit and a little luck play much larger factors at the college level than they do in the pros.
Last night wasn’t the rule, but the exception and it’s important to remember that the best teams still usually win. Still, with that being said las night also served as a little more inspiration for taking a few more risks on the underdog. What side will you be on Wednesday night?
#6 Florida State Seminoles at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Florida State (-8) at Georgia Tech (+8)
The Seminoles kick things off at Georgia Tech for a date with the Yellow Jackets in a season that keeps surprising people. Known for their football Florida State enters the game with an excellent 18-2 record on the season. FSU got their with a deadly combination of high scoring, and effective scoring.
The Seminoles average 85.7 points a game on 49.8 percent shooting from the field with both numbers ranking second and first respectively in their conference. Sophomore Dwayne Bacon leads the team in cool last names, but also points (17.4), free throws and three pointers.
Georgia Tech will have their hands full trying to guard him and freshman Jonathan Isaac who is fresh off NCAA player of the week honors after posting massive back to back doubles against Notre Dame and Louisville.
The Yellow Jackets are coming off a tough loss against Virginia, but actually showed signs of turning the corner. They won their meeting with the Seminoles last season but dropped ten straight prior to that meeting. Georgia Tech is 9-3 at home this season but just 3-4 overall in conference play.
Florida State has playmakers at almost every position and look poised for a deep run in the tournament this season. Georgia Tech is hardly going to stand in their way, but can they beat them by eight? We think so.
The Seminoles are 11-6-1 against the spread this season and the road team is 10-2 against the spread in their last 12 meetings. Take Florida State to Cover.
#16 Creighton Blue Jays at Georgetown Hoyas
Creighton (-2) at Georgetown (+2)
The road only gets tough for Creighton as they deal with life without Maurice Watson Jr. The veteran guard was averaging 12.9 points, 8.5 assists, 2.6 rebounds and 1.5 steals before he tore the left ligament in his knee. That injury ended his college career and will have an enormous impact on the rest of his basketball playing future.
It’s certainly had an impact on Creighton. The Blue Jays lost 102-94 to Marquette, a very good team that proved it by beating Villanova 74-72 in their next outing. In that game Creighton proved they can still compete without their leader, and their next opponent won’t be nearly as difficult.
Georgetown is struggling with one of their worst starts every as a school. The Hoyas are just 1-6 in conference play and 10-10 overall on the year. The Hoyas have little help outside of Rodney Pryor and L.J. Peak and will need to figure it out fast against a visiting Creighton team that can still get the job done.
Even without Watson the Blue Jays can score. Marcus Foster is averaging 18.7 points per contest with Justin Patton chipping in 13.7 and Khyri Thomas adding 11.9 of his own. The Hoyas will have to keep an eye on all three if they want to turn their season around.
Previous records this season can be thrown out the window for the Blue Jays, as they’re simply not the same team without Watson. Still, they have the firepower, head coaching, and unity to beat anyone on a good night, and Georgetown is surely capable of a loss.
Take the Blue Jays on the small spread and hope they rise to the occasion on the road.
Texas Tech Red Raiders at #5 Baylor Bears
Texas Tech (+9.5) at Baylor (-9.5)
There must be something in the water in the Big 12. This conference boasts the most games decided by one possession this season, and may have come in mismatches. That will be the case on Wednesday when the fifth-ranked Bears host the Red Raiders at Baylor.
Texas Tech is still trying to figure themselves out it seems. They have excellent wins at home against ranked teams West Virginia and Kansas State but also have some bad road losses against Iowa State and Oklahoma State. Now they have to enter hostile territory again when they visit a Bears team that is undefeated at home this season.
The Red Raiders have had had success recently in Waco against the Bears, but both teams are very different this season. While the Raiders have retained a lot of the same players, Baylor has taken a giant step forward this season as evidenced by their No. 5 ranking.
Neither team has particularly great records against the spread with Texas Tech just 7-8 and Baylor 9-5 and the Bears are only 5-12 against the spread in their last 17 home games. These two teams love to play each other close, and so does the rest of the Big 12. Take the Red Raiders to cover, but still absorb the loss.
#11 Butler bulldogs at Seton Hall Pirates
Butler (-2) at Seton Hall (+2)
Seton Hall may not sit in the Top 25 like their opponents the Butler Bulldogs, but their play as of late has many singing their praises. The Pirates are searching for their 11th straight win at home when they host the 11th ranked Bulldogs and won’t be scared by the number in front of their name, especially not Angel Delgado.
Delgado became the first player since 2010 to log a 20-20 game when he dropped 21 points and snagged 20 rebounds in his last game against St.John’s on Sunday. That effort propelled Delgado to second in the country at rebounds per game with 12.4 and third in double-doubles on the season.
It will be tougher on Wednesday when he goes up again the Bulldogs who have won the last four meetings against the Pirates, but Delgado is hardly one to shy away from some tough competition. The Bulldogs are the definition of tough. Their last two wins have both been unbelievable comebacks, as Butler came back to defeat Marquette after being down 18 and followed up that performance with a 20 point comeback against DePaul.
Those results are great, but the trend is troubling. You never want to be a team that falls behind early, especially by deficits that large. Butler will have to be sharp when they take on the Pirates on the road and they’ll be leaning on guard Kelan Martin. Martin is averaging 16.5 points this season and scored 18 in his last game including five in overtime.
Butler is an excellent 12-6-0 against the spread this season but just 3-3 on the road. Seton Hall has remained undefeated all season long on their home court but has struggled mightily against the Bulldogs with four straight losses.
We think Martin and the rest of his Butler teammates will hand the Pirates their first loss of the season, and the two point spread is small enough to take them to cover. It’s Butler on the spread all day.
#25 Florida Gators at LSU Tigers
Florida (-11) at LSU (+11)
Being ranked inside the top 25 is the goal of every college team, but when that ranking is exactly 25 there is obviously room for improvement. So is the case for Florida who has lost back to back games and is holding on for dear life to their status in the top 25.
The Gators lost to Vanderbilt 68-66 at home on Saturday and their defense has become a huge concern. The Gators watched as the Commodores shot over 56 percent from the field in the second half and lit up the Gators’ weak outside defense.
It may be hard for Florida to improve right away. The Gators could be without Canyon Barry after he suffered a sprained ankle in his last game and reports that he’s just “50-50” to give it a go in this contest. for all the problems the Gators are facing, its worse in LSU.
The Tigers have lost five straight games allowing a dismal 89 points per game over that stretch. That sort of defense won’t cut it against anyone in the country, let alone a team as good as the Gators. They let in 99 against Arkansas in their last game on Saturday and the defense continues to trend in the wrong direction.
At least the scoring showed signs of improving for LSU courtesy of Skylar Mays. He had a season high 22 points and also chipped in with six dimes. Those kinds of numbers can help the Tigers beat the Gators, but only if the defense improves, and fast.
LSU is just 7-9-1 against the spread this season and coming off five straight losses. The Gators ATS record isn’t much better. They’re just 9-8-0 against the spread this season and now go on the road where they own a less than intimidating record of 3-2. 11 points just seems to high for a Florida team that’s had their own struggles recently and while we still think the Gators pull off the win, we like the Tigers to cover.
#8 UCLA bruins at USC Trojans
UCLA (-6) at USC (+6)
We finish off our schedule with a big-time rivalry in the Pac-12. Its the first meeting between these two rivals this season when they tip off at the Galen Center in Los Angeles on Wednesday night.
The Bruins are 19-2 this season with both losses coming in conference play while the Trojans are 17-4 with all four of their losses coming against conference opponents. The Bruins watched their ranking drop after a tough loss to Arizona that many experts couldn’t predict. The Wildcats dismantled UCLA’s excellent defense, shooting 50 percent from the field and 43 percent from three point land.
The Bruins still scored 85 points, so the offense is just fine thanks to a complete team effort led by the playmaking of Lonzo Ball. Ball is firmly in the top ten for NBA prospects heading into next season and has one of the most complete and exciting games in all of basketball.
He’ll try and improve his defense on Wednesday to help lead his team against a very beatable Trojans club. USC is just 4-4 in conference play this season but are coming off a big win over Arizona State that saw them make a stunning 14 three pointers.
The Bruins will need to be awake on the perimeter against a team that can clearly light it up from deep. Elijah Stewart will be their biggest concern. He dropped 29 points with a ridiculous seven three pointers against Arizona State but will face a much tougher defense against the Bruins on Wednesday.
UCLA is 12-9-0 against the spread this season but after coming off a tough loss against Arizona the rest of the league may have figured out how to score on their once prominent defense. That’s what USC will try and accomplish, but it won’t be easy. The Trojans are just 9-11-0 against the spread this season.
Anytime these two meet the chances of a close game are always in the air, but the Bruins have been playing too well of late to not cover this easily. Take UCLA on the spread.
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