With only one college football game on Saturday's schedule, the
attention swings to NCAA hoops. Saturday's slate is backed with marquee
matchups, including some big-name showdowns between Top 25 programs.
Here's a look at all the Top 25 betting action Saturday evening:Kentucky Wildcats at North Carolina Tar Heels (-4)
young team fell in both of its previous chances against a more
experienced, ranked opponent. The No. 10 Wildcats will get another
chance when they visit No. 21 North Carolina on Saturday in a battle
between two of the most storied programs in college basketball. The Tar
Heels own a pair of losses, but have plenty of experience knocking off
top-10 teams with triumphs over Louisville and then-No. 1 Michigan State
already on the resume.
Kentucky’s fabulous freshmen are maturing
at different speeds, with Julius Randle and James Young the most
consistent through the early schedule. “The mental aspect of getting
yourself ready every day,” Randle said about the college experience
being more difficult. “It’s not high school or AAU where you can take
days off. You have to be ready to compete every day.” North Carolina is
surging behind sophomore guard Marcus Paige, who will be dueling with
the Wildcats’ Harrison twins on the perimeter.TRENDS:
* Under is 4-0-1 in the last five meetings.
* Wildcats are 1-4 ATS in the last five meetings in North Carolina.
* Wildcats are 1-8-1 ATS in the last 10 meetings.
New Mexico Lobos at Kansas Jayhawks (-5.5)
teams that haven’t played to preseason expectations will collide
Saturday night when No. 13 Kansas meets New Mexico as part of the Kansas
City Shootout at the Sprint Center. The Jayhawks fell six spots in the
rankings after losing Saturday to unranked Colorado and figure to drop a
couple more after falling Tuesday to No. 19 Florida. New Mexico opened
the season ranked No. 20 but needed two overtimes to beat
Alabama-Birmingham and lost to Massachusetts.
Most eyes will be
on Kansas freshman Andrew Wiggins, a 6-9 guard who is coming off season
highs of 26 points and 11 rebounds against Florida. He also made four
3-pointers and blocked two shots for the first time in his college
career, even making all eight of his free throws. The Lobos have a
guard, a forward and a center each averaging better than 18 points,
giving them a variety of methods to sting opponents.
* Lobos are 5-1 ATS in their last six vs. Big 12.
* Jayhawks are 0-5 ATS in their last five games overall.
* Under is 5-2 in Jayhawks' last seven overall.Prairie View A&M Panthers at UCLA Bruins (N/A)
Adams played in the shadow of Shabazz Muhammad for much of last season
and now the UCLA guard is taking advantage of his opportunity to shine
as UCLA’s No. 1 scoring option heading into its game Saturday evening
against visiting Prairie View A&M. Adams is averaging 21.6 points
while shooting 51.8 percent from the field, better than the 17.9 points
and 44.3 percent shooting Muhammad notched before he was drafted 14th
overall by the Utah Jazz last June and then promptly traded to the
Minnesota Timberwolves. Adams has also been consistent, scoring at least
16 points in every game, including four games with 22.
player that has NBA scouts especially interested is 6-9 sophomore
swingman Kyle Anderson, who already has one triple-double this season
and has brushed up against a couple others. Anderson entered the week as
the only player in the nation averaging at least 10 points, seven
rebounds and seven assists. His playmaking was stifled in Saturday’s
loss at Missouri, however, finishing with 13 points, six rebounds and
two assists. TRENDS:
* Panthers are 5-0 ATS in their last five non-conference games.
* Bruins are 4-0 ATS in their last four home games.
* Over is 4-0 in Bruins' last four home games.North Dakota State Bison at Ohio State Buckeyes (-14)
2 Ohio State might have more than it bargained for when red-hot North
Dakota State pays a visit Saturday night as part of the Blackrock Gotham
Classic. The Bison are riding a five-game winning streak and pulled off
a big-time upset at Notre Dame on Wednesday behind 26 points from
Marshall Bjorklund. Notre Dame coach Mike Brey told the Chicago Tribune
that the Bison are “very good — an old, experienced team” and referred
to Bjorklund as a “bear.”
The Buckeyes have relied on their
traditional lock-down defense, entering the week ranked third in the
NCAA in scoring defense (54.5 points allowed per game). After getting
blown out by the Buckeyes 86-48 on Dec. 11, Bryant coach Tim O’Shea told
the Columbus Dispatch, “There are a few teams in the country that will
contend for the national championship legitimately, and clearly Ohio
State is one of them. … They play national championship-caliber
* Bison are 19-7 ATS in their last 26 non-conference games.
* Buckeyes are 3-7 ATS in their last 10 home games.
* Under is 5-1-1 in Buckeyes' last seven overall.
Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Oregon Ducks (-7)
Moser’s college career has taken a long and winding road, but Oregon’s
second-leading scorer will finally get a chance to play in his hometown
of Portland on Saturday night when the No. 11 Ducks host Illinois. Moser
appeared in just 15 games as a freshman at UCLA, transferred to
Nevada-Las Vegas in search of more playing time and produced one solid
season and another injury-filled year. Moser went searching for greener
pastures again after graduating from UNLV last spring and found it at
Oregon, where he’s averaging 15 points and 7.4 rebounds.
Ducks are benefiting from the arrival of another transfer, junior guard
Joseph Young, who averages a team-high 20.1 points on 53.9 percent
shooting. The Illini, meanwhile, are also led by a junior guard in his
first season with the program. Drake transfer Rayvonte Rice has filled
in nicely after the departure of leading scorers Brandon Paul and D.J.
Richardson, reaching double figures in scoring in every game this season
while also contributing 5.7 rebounds.TRENDS:
* Fighting Illini are 1-3-1 ATS in their last five games overall.
* Ducks are 13-3-1 ATS in their last 17 games overall.
* Over is 13-3 in Ducks' last 16 overall.
Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. South Alabama Jaguars (+17)
will try to exploit its mismatch known as 7-1 sophomore Przemek
Karnowski for a second straight game when it meets undersized South
Alabama on Saturday in the Battle In Seattle. The No. 17 Bulldogs are
known more for their guard play led by Kevin Pangos, but they will be a
much tougher out come NCAA Tournament time if Karnowski continues to
develop and center Sam Dower remains effective. Gonzaga has won five
straight since its only loss - 84-79 to Dayton in the Maui Invitational.
was humble in his assessment of Gonzaga's 80-76 victory at West
Virginia on Tuesday, when he scored a season-high 19 points and matched a
career best with 13 rebounds while recording the second double-double
of his career. ''The guys were finding me,'' Karnowski said. ''I had
great passes, I just had to finish them.'' The Jaguars lost 96-93 at the
buzzer in triple overtime at Rice on Dec. 7 to fall to 0-3 on the road
and do not have a player in the regular rotation taller than 6-7.
* Bulldogs are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 Saturday games.
* Jaguars are 2-5 ATS in their last seven neutral-site games.
* Over is 5-1 in Bulldogs' last six overall.