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Saturday's Top 25 NCAAB cheat sheet: Late games

Here's a quick look at the marquee late games on Saturday's NCAA basketball schedule:

Michigan Wolverines at Wisconsin Badgers (-7.5)


Nik Stauskas leads the Wolverines and is third in the Big Ten in scoring (17.7) while shooting almost 50 percent – 45.1 from 3-point range. Others have stepped up since the loss of center Mitch McGary to back surgery, led by Glenn Robinson III (13.9 points), while 6-8 Jordan Morgan scored 31 combined the last three games with increased playing time. Guard Caris LeVert is third on the team at 11.5 points per game.

Guard Traevon Jackson poured in a career-high 21 points against Indiana, making nine of his 11 shots, and is one of four players averaging at least 11 points. Sam Dekker scores 14 points per contest and 7-0 Frank Kaminsky is next at 13.5 while making 56.2 percent from the field and 21-of-44 from 3-point range. Brust (13.1) is third on the team in scoring and has made 42.3 percent from behind the arc.

TRENDS:

* Wolverines are 4-1-1 ATS in their last six Saturday games.
* Badgers are 4-1 ATS in their last five home games.
* Over is 15-6-1 in Michigan's last 22 road games.
* Under is 9-3 in the last 12 meetings.


Michigan State Spartans at Illinois Fighting Illini (+4.5, 130.5)


The Spartans’ 54-40 win over Northwestern on Wednesday marked their lowest offensive and defensive totals of the season. Senior forward Adreian Payne, who averages 16.2 points and 7.7 rebounds, didn't play for the second game in a row due to a foot injury and is considered questionable Saturday. Sophomore guard Gary Harris leads the team in scoring (17.2) but is 1-for-14 from 3-point range over the last two games.

Leading scorer Rayvonte Rice (17.7 points, 5.9 rebounds) strained his abductor muscle in last weekend’s loss to Northwestern and he’s scored a total of 19 points on 5-of-20 shooting the past two games. Coach John Groce was furious with his team’s effort in the loss to Purdue, saying his team got tossed around like “rag dolls.” The Illini’s slump comes at the worst possible time, as the team enters a stretch of four ranked opponents in five games.

TRENDS:

* Spartans are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games following a victory.
* Illini are 11-27-1 ATS in their last 39 games vs. Big Ten foes.
* Under is 8-1 in Michigan State's last nine road games.
* Under is 18-8 in Illinois' last 26 games.


UNLV Runnin' Rebels at San Diego State Aztecs (-8.5)


Bryce Dejean-Jones missed his only two attempts from beyond the arc versus New Mexico but his teammates combined to go 7-for-11 from long distance. That represents a vast improvement from an early issue in conference play, as the Runnin' Rebels had made just 10-of-52 3-pointers in their first three Mountain West games. Leading sharpshooter Kevin Olekaibe was 4-for-5 on Wednesday after being held without a 3-pointer the previous game.

The Aztecs are 9-1 overall in games decided by 10 points or fewer, the lone blemish being a nine-point defeat at the hands of top-ranked Arizona more than two months ago. The ability to close out games bodes well for the long-term aspirations of head coach Steve Fisher's squad, which might avoid some of those tight finishes if it can improve upon its foul shooting.

TRENDS:

* Runnin' Rebels are 10-2-1 ATS in their last 13 games.
* Aztecs are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games vs. the Mountain West.
* Over is 7-1 in UNLV's last eight games.
* Underdog is 4-0 ATS in the last four games.


Massachusetts Minutemen at Elon Phoenix (+4.5)


Point guard Chaz Williams spent much of this week in a walking boot, but his left ankle appeared to be fine as he racked up 26 points and eight assists on Wednesday against George Mason. Williams is sixth in the league in scoring at 16.1 points per game and ranks second nationally with 7.6 assists per game. The Phoenix did take the Minutemen to overtime last season in Springfield, Mass.

Forward Lucas Troutman has been a huge part of Elon’s latest three-game win streak, averaging 20 points per game including a season-high 28-point outburst against Davidson. Troutman’s biggest improvement from last season has been at the free-throw line, where he is up to 73 percent on nearly five trips per game.
Saturday is the first time Elon has hosted a ranked team at Alumni Gym.

TRENDS:

* Minutemen are 8-3 ATS in their last 11 road games.
* Phoenix are 6-19-1 ATS in their last 26 Saturday games.
* Under is 5-1 in Massachusetts' last six games.
* Over is 9-2 in Elon's last 11 home games vs. teams with winning road records.


Louisville Cardinals at Connecticut Huskies (+1.5, 139)


The Cardinals haven't had much success against ranked teams - going 0-3 in those matchups - but remains perfect against everyone else. That includes a 4-1 mark in American Athletic Conference play, including consecutive victories over Southern Methodist and Houston. Russ Smith paces the Louisville offense with 18.1 points per game, while Montrezl Harrell averages 11.7 points (on 62.2 percent from the field) and a team-best 8.2 rebounds.

The Huskies began conference play with consecutive losses to Houston and SMU, but bounced back nicely with a win over Central Florida and a stunning defeat of nationally-ranked Memphis. Shabazz Napier remains one of the most versatile players in Division I, leading Connecticut in points (16.1), rebounds (6.2), assists (6.2) and steals (2.1) while shooting 86.6 percent from the line and 42.9 percent from 3-point range.

TRENDS:

* Cardinals are 1-6 ATS in their last seven games following an ATS win.
* Huskies are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 Saturday games.
* Over is 17-4 in Louisville's last 21 games following a victory.
* Under is 7-1 in Connecticut's last eight home games.


Cincinnati Bearcats at South Florida Bulls (+8)


The Bearcats are off to their best conference start since 2002-03 when they opened 6-0 in Conference USA play. In addition to Kilpatrick, Forward Justin Jackson is scoring in double digits, averaging 11.7 points and a team-high 7.7 rebounds for Cincinnati, which has the stingiest defense in the AAC, allowing opponents an average of 56.3 points a game. The Bearcats have gone 25 straight games in holding opponents under 70 points.

Coming off of its first road loss of the season, the Bulls return home where they are 6-4. South Florida is led by forward Victor Rudd (15.5) and guard Corey Allen Jr. (11.8) with Rudd also topping the Bulls in rebounding at seven per game. Rudd topped 1,000 career points in the loss to SMU, which held the senior to a season-low five points, but the Arizona transfer still needs 34 points to reach the milestone at South Florida.

TRENDS:

* Bearcats are 4-0 ATS in their last four Saturday games.
* Bulls are 2-6 ATS in their last eight games.
* Under is 44-12 in Cincinnati's last 56 games.
* Under is 10-1 in South Florida's last 11 Saturday games.


Creighton Bluejays at Providence Friars (+4, 138.5)


The 19th-ranked Bluejays have won their two league road tests by an average of 16 points, paced by the nation’s second-leading scorer in Doug McDermott, and boast the most 3-pointers in the country with 191. McDermott averages 25.2 points and a team-high 7.2 rebounds, making 49.5 percent of his shots, as Creighton leads the league at 82.6 points a contest. Ethan Wragge is the only other Bluejay averaging in double figures scoring at 11.9.

Bryce Cotton averages 20.2 points and a league-best 5.8 assists while being forced to take over the point guard duties after Kris Dunn was lost for the season with an injury. Three other players average in double figures scoring the Friars, who have only six active players averaging more than 7 1/2 minutes of playing time. Tyler Harris scores 13.4 points per game, Kadeem Batts chips in with 12.8 and LaDontae Henton averages a team-best 7.4 rebounds.

TRENDS:

* Bluejays are 8-1 ATS in their last nine games following an ATS win.
* Friars are 1-4 ATS in their last five home games.
* Under is 16-5-1 in Creighton's last 22 road games.
* Under is 9-2 in Providence's last 11 games following a victory.

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