DePaul (11-18, 2-14) at #17 Syracuse (22-7, 10-6)
The Orange face one of the weaker teams in the Big East Conference in the DePaul Blue Demons. Syracuse is coming off of a hard fought loss to Louisville at the Carrier Dome on Saturday, 58-53.
This was a game that Syracuse clawed and scratched to get even, but once Luke Hancock hit a 3 pointer with just under a minute to go, the Orange completely fell apart for their 3rd consecutive loss.
Syracuse is now a heavy 20 point betting favorite against DePaul, which is scheduled for an early 6:00 pm ET start. Opportunity is here; will Syracuse take advantage of it?
Offensively, the Cuse has a variety of offensive options to choose from, but forward, C.J. Fair, is definitely the number one option. Fair has showed good composure in finding opportunities in the last couple of games. He’s averaging 19.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.
Syracuse has quite a capable starting 5. Michael Carter Williams can take over a game at times and Rakeem Christmas does the dirty work. This is a hard-working team and DePaul might have caught Syracuse on the schedule at the wrong time.
DePaul has lost 13 out of their last 14 games, is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 games, and is 0-4 ATS in their last 4 matchups against the Orange. Look for Syracuse to beat up on the Blue Demons.
NCCAB Picks: Syracuse -20 at 5 Dimes
Connecticut (19-9, 9-7) at South Florida (11-17, 2-14)
Just like Syracuse, the Huskies have fallen on hard times lately, losing against Cincinnati and Georgetown, in their last 2 games. Connecticut will look to beat up an overmatched opponent as they look for their 20th win of the season.
This is a game that Connecticut can’t afford to lose. If they lose here, they would take a big step back in the eyes of the NCAA voting committee and would fall into the lower half of the Big East where inter-conference play is concerned.
The Huskies are a 4 point betting odds favorite and the total for the game is 124.5.
Shabazz Napier “Game-Time Decision”
Connecticut should be able to handle USF without Napier, but not having your leading scorer in the lineup can make a team a bit edgy in a spot like this. Napier’s foot has been said to still been tender, but the decision is up to him. Players want to be on the court. If Napier is even 75%, he’ll still be out there. He leads the Huskies, averaging 17.1 points, 4.6 assists, and 4.3 rebounds.
If Napier is unable to play, look for Ryan Boatright to shoulder the load for the Huskies. He was a monster against Cincinnati, getting to the free throw line 15 times and scoring almost half of the Huskies points. Fortunately for Connecticut, they’re playing a team of a much lower caliber and should have a better chance sliding by with or without Shabazz in the lineup.
I know the opponent was DePaul, but the Bulls were able to put up 83 points in a 10 point victory in their last game. USF is a weak team offensively; they shoot below 40% from the field, average just 32.3 rebounds per game, 11.3 assists per game, and average below 60 points per game. This offense is flat out anemic.
The Bulls will have a bit of confidence coming into the Connecticut game. But remember, they beat DePaul not Gonzaga.
Connecticut will have an easy time in this game regardless if Napier plays or sits. Take them for your college basketball picks.
NCAA BPick: Connecticut -4 at 5 Dimes