As we come off of a winning night, let’s take a look at tonight’s slate to see if we can find some similar results for our daily NCAA Basketball picks.
Kentucky Wildcats (9-4) at Vanderbilt Commodores (6-6)
Coming off a tough 80-77 loss to the 4th ranked Louisville Cardinals, the Wildcats aren’t what they were last season, but this is still a team that will be a threat come NCAA Tournament time. The Wildcats responded to the Louisville loss by laying a beating on the Eastern Michigan Eagles 90-38. Kentucky was looking to make a statement, as they held the Eagles to a laughable 15 of 62 shooting from the field.
The Emergence of Harrow
Suddenly, sophomore Ryan Harrow has come out of nowhere, and is now the most consistent player on the UK basketball squad. After a deathly slow start to the season, Harrow has become a vital part of the Kentucky offense, and in his last 4 games, he’s averaging 16.7 points, 4.3 assists, and 3 rebounds per game. He’s also been a dead-eye shooter, hitting just over 50% from the field in his last 54 shot attempts. With this newfound production, the Wildcats are certain to leap back in to the AP top 25.
Kentucky will always be a freshman oriented team, as recruits look to get the exposure and jump right into the NBA. They’re led by freshman Archie Goodwin (15.8 ppg, 5.2 rpg, 3.8 apg) and Alex Poythress (14 points, 6.3, 64.2% fg shooting). With the help of a hot Kyle Wiltjer, if the top two freshman can limit their turnovers, this can be a long night for Vanderbilt.
Vandy is a team that lost most of its seniors to the NBA, and they are busy rebuilding this season. This is a team that averages less than 60 points per game and 42%s shooting from the field. They’re coming off of a victory over William & Mary, but the Wildcats are a major step up from the Tribe in this SEC battle.
Sophomore guard Kedren Johnson leads the Commodores into this game, but he’s had a rough time of it as of late, averaging 10.5 points in his last 2 games on just 8 of 22 shooting from the field. Although at home, Vandy could be in for a long night.
NCAA Basketball Picks: Kentucky -12.5 at 5 Dimes
Let’s face it, how often have you ever seen the Tarheels out of the AP top 25 and coming into an inter-conference matchup with a losing record? Okay, they’ve only played 1 inter-conference game, a 61-52 loss at Virginia, but now the Heels have to face another tough ACC team in the Miami Hurricanes.
The Canes come into this game with momentum after a 62-49 victory over a good Georgia Tech team and on the road. This game is a virtual tossup, and the NCAA Basketball odds slightly favor the Tarheels because they’re playing at home.
The Hurricanes got a surprising contribution from junior guard, Rion Brown, against Georgia Tech. Brown poured in 22 points in 23 minutes, shooting 9 of 11 from the field and 4 of 6 from 3 point territory to give the Canes the lift. I wouldn’t look for a similar effort against UNC, but look for Brown to come into this game with a newly found confidence.
This is a Miami team with a lot of size, and they should give James Michael McCadoo and company, a run for their money.
McCadoo didn’t have a big game in his first ACC matchup of the season, as it was veteran Reggie Bullock that stepped up and had 22 points and 5 rebound on 4 of 6 shooting from 3 point-range. Bullock’s experience helps in a game like this, but McCadoo will need to be more effective and avoid turnovers. For the Tarheels to win, James Michael McCadoo needs to have a respectable outing and then some.
This will be a tight matchup. Miami (FL) has to be feeling good about themselves coming into the Dean E. Smith Center on national television (ESPN) against a North Carolina team that has proven to be vulnerable. That being said, I am adding the Canes' to my free picks for the evening, as I expect them to get the job done.
NCAA Basketball Picks: Miami (FL) +5[gameodds]14/211688/43/us[/gameodds]