College basketball bettors are pulling an all-nighter this Tuesday with ESPN’s annual 24-hour NCAAB marathon, starting with West Virginia at Gonzaga, which tips off at midnight Tuesday.
If you’re planning to put on the coffee and take in all the action or just picking your spots, here’s a cheat sheet for Tuesday’s college hoops marathon.12 a.m. ET – West Virginia Mountaineers at Gonzaga Bulldogs (-11, 138)
Two teams that faced each other in last season’s NCAA tournament square off late Monday night when No. 22 Gonzaga hosts West Virginia in an Old Spice Classic play-in game. The Bulldogs cruised to a 77-54 victory over the Mountaineers in the Round of 64 and have more familiar faces returning than reloading West Virginia.
2 a.m. ET – Davidson Wildcats at New Mexico Lobos (-5.5, 144)
New Mexico was one of the best bets in college basketball last season, boasting a 23-9 ATS mark. The Lobos return three starters from that team, but Davidson is the favorite to win the Southern Conference and brings eight of its top nine players back from 2011-12. 4 a.m. ET – Houston Baptists Huskies at Hawaii Warriors (-13, 148.5)
In the shadow of point shaving accusations, the Warriors posted the best over mark in the land. They topped the total in 20 of their 28 games in which a number was set. Hawaii, which lost some talented supporters this offseason and returns only two starters, leaned on its defense in a win over Arkansas-Pine Bluff Sunday. It held the Golden Lions to 54 points on 26 percent shooting, including 7-of-38 shooting in the second half.6 a.m. ET – Stony Brook Seawolves at Rider Broncs (-3)
Stony Brook knocked off Rider 79-62 last season. The Seawolves were the class of the America East in 2011-12, going 22-10 SU and 3-3 ATS in lined games. All three of those ATS losses came away from home in neutral-site conference tournament games. Rider finished 14-12-1 ATS, including a 7-5 ATS mark in lined home games. 8 a.m. ET – Northern Illinois Huskies at Valparaiso Crusaders (-18.5)
The Crusaders return all five starters for a team that took the Horizon League regular season title last year. Valparaiso defeated NIU, 59-48, on the road last season but just failed to cover as a 12-point favorite. Six-foot-7 Australian forward Ryan Broekhoff scored 19 points in that win. He’s one of six seniors back for Valpo this year. 10 a.m. ET – Harvard Crimson at UMass Minutemen (-9.5)
The Minutemen do have an up-and-coming team in the A-10, with budding stars like Chaz Williams leading a roster that returns four starters. However, UMass may be looking past their New England rivals in this early-morning matchup, with a trip to tropical Puerto Rico on this week’s itinerary. Harvard is projected to win the Ivy League again and knocked around some notable programs last season.12 p.m. ET – Temple Owls at Kent State Golden Flashes (+3.5)
Kent State has already had a tough test to start the season, slipping by Drexel 66-62 as a 7.5-point home underdog Friday. The Golden Flashes looked to seniors Chris Evans and Randal Holt down the stretch, giving a young KSU team another upset win to start a season. Last year, the Golden Flashes stunned West Virginia out of the gates.2 p.m. ET – Detroit Titans at St. John’s Red Storm (-5)
Steve Lavin is back on the sidelines for the Johnnies after missing most of last season while recovering from prostate cancer surgery. Lavin benched PG D’Angelo Harrison in an exhibition last week after some behavior issues and is still waiting to hear the fate of Orlando Sanchez and Marco Bourgault, who are waiting for the NCAA’s go-ahead.
4 p.m. ET – Butler Bulldogs at Xavier Musketeers (+4)
Xavier and Butler have split their last four meetings, going back to 2008, with the Musketeers taking the two most recent encounters. Three of those four games have played over the total. These two programs meet for the first time as conference rivals Tuesday, with Butler making the jump to the A-10. Xavier blew away shorthanded Fairleigh Dickinson in the opener, with seven players scoring in double figures.
7 p.m. - Michigan State Spartans vs. Kansas Jayhawks (-2)
Tom Izzo said his team had a “deer in the headlights” feel to them in a season-opening loss to UConn in Germany Friday. There may be more of the same when MSU faces Kansas at the Georgia Dome in one of two marquee games to wrap up the marathon. The Spartans may be a little worn down after coming back from Germany and then having to make the trip to Atlanta. They could also be without guard Travis Trice, who is doubtful after suffering a concussion versus UConn. 9 p.m. ET – Duke Blue Devils vs. Kentucky Wildcats (+3.5)
As far as names go, they don’t get any bigger than this in college hoops. These two superpowers have met just once since 2000, with Duke taking a 95-92 OT win over UK in 2001. The Blue Devils will look to their big men to dominate the glass and pick up second-chance looks. The Wildcats nearly got burned by another ACC member, escaping with a 72-69 win over Maryland as 10.5-point favorites Friday. Kentucky was out-rebounded 46-34 by the Terps and is now just 3-12-1 ATS in its last 16 games versus ACC opponents heading into Tuesday's showdown with Duke.