NCAA Basketball Picks: Georgia Tech vs. Clemson -3.5

Joe Catalano

Thursday, March 13, 2014 2:27 PM GMT

Thursday, Mar. 13, 2014 2:27 PM GMT

At 19-11, 10-8, the Clemson Tigers are on the bubble for making the NCAA Tournament and have a huge game in the 2nd round of the ACC Tournament against a beatable foe in Georgia Tech (16-16, 6-12). This is a must win situation for the Tigers.

Tip-off is scheduled for 9:00 pm ET and can be seen on ESPN.

Surprisingly, the Tigers are a mere 3.5 point betting favorite and the total is listed at 115. We’re expecting a low scoring game with 2 weak offenses, but I expected the spread to be larger.

Nevertheless, Clemson needs to get to that magical 20 win mark to have a good shot at making the NCAA Tournament and a loss against a .500 Yellow Jacket team would greatly damage their chances.

K.J. McDaniels + Good Defense = A Tigers Victory

The Tigers rely heavily on the junior forward and he’s come up big against top ranked opponents. McDaniels is coming off of a 24 point, 4 rebound, and 4 assist effort in an overtime loss to Pittsburgh. He’s also scored 20 or more points in 2 of his last 3 games. The other 20 point game was against a respectable Maryland team in a double overtime victory on March 2nd in which McDaniels had the game of his life. He had 26 points, 14 rebounds, and 6 blocks.

The opposition is somewhat weaker in this game, but McDaniels can’t let his guard down as he’s the most consistent source of offense on the Tigers team. He’s the only player to average in double digit scoring at 17.2 points per game.

Guard, Rod Hall, has also been a nice complimentary player for Clemson. He’s been hot as of late, scoring in double digits in each of his last 4 games. Hall has also gotten other players involved and is just as important to this team as McDaniels. Look for both players to play well, being aware of the urgency for a win tonight.

Yellow Jackets Must Run the Table

Georgia Tech has actually played well as of late, winning 3 straight games, but we must remember that some of their opponents have been suspect such a Boston College Eagles squad with just 8 wins on the season. Tech knows what they need to do; win the ACC Tournament and they advance to the NCAA Tournament; seems like a tall order at the moment.

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Robert Carter Jr.

While leading scorer, Trae Golden, continues to shoot poorly, sophomore, Robert Carter Jr., has taken the leadership role of this team and has come up big as late. Carter Jr.  has great size at nearly 250 pound and has used it well. In his last 4 games, he’s averaged 17.4 points  and 8.4 rebounds in his last 5 games.

Along with Carter Jr., look for Marcus Georges-Hunt to have a solid game. He’s been shooting poorly like Golden, but came back strong over Boston College with an 18 point, 5 rebound, and 2 steal effort. That said, the shooting efficiency for the Yellow Jackets must improve for them to have a chance tonight. They shot just 40% from the field as a team against B.C.

Outcome

The point spread is way too low as Georgia Tech has defeated weak opponents lately. Look for Clemson to administer a beating to Georgia Tech as they look for that coveted 20th win of the season.

Pick- Clemson- 3.5 at Bet 365

[gameodds]14/261675/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

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