#22 Michigan (5-2) at #10 Duke (6-2)
Is Duke’s Streak In Jeopardy?
We all know the rivalry that these teams have going back more than 20 years ago with Michigan’s Fab 5 and Duke’s Championship teams, but now Michigan has a major opportunity to hurt their nemesis as Duke’s streak of 106 wins against non-conference opponents hangs in the balance. This is a streak that goes back 13 years and although Michigan isn’t the same team of last year with Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway Jr. , this is a team with a deadly defense led by leading scorer Nik Stauskas (20.3 ppg.).
Big man, Mitch McGary made a huge impact on last season’s NCAA Tournament run for the Wolverines and so much was expected out of the sophomore. Thus far, he missed a couple of early season games due to a back injury and hasn’t lived up to the hype.
McGary is averaging 8.2 points and 7.8 rebounds per game this season. Even though he’s been a disappointment, he plays great defense, is a very active player, and has the potential to single-handedly break Duke’s streak if we see anything close to what we saw in March Madness last season; this is a player to watch closely.
The ACC/Big Ten Challenge is a challenge that Duke has met head on as they sport the best record of any team with a 12-2 mark while Michigan is just 5-7. The question is “can Duke pull it together after a disappointing loss at MSG in the NIT-Tip-off?” This was the first game the freshman sensation, Jabari Parker, didn’t hit the 20 point plateau and Parker shot just 7 for 21 from the field in a 6 point loss to Arizona.
Duke is a 7.5 point betting favorite in the NCAA basketball odds, and on talent alone they should cover the betting spread in the friendly confines of Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Pick- Duke -7.5 at Bet 365
Notre Dame (5-1) at #23 Iowa (7-1)
Time To Think
The last thing that Iowa wants is time off. The Hawkeyes will be looking to get right back on the court after a devastating loss in the finals of the Battle 4 Atlantis against Villanova. The Hawkeyes had a 12 point lead with 11 minutes left in the game and squandered it as the Wildcats went on a 21-2 run and eventually took the title game in overtime, 88-83.
Now, Iowa has the unenviable task of dealing with the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the BigTen/ACC Challenge at home. After a loss to Indiana State, Notre Dame has won their last 3 consecutive games by a margin of 27.4 point per game. That said, these opponents weren’t nearly in the class of a top 25 squad such as the Iowa Hawkeyes.
The Irish are coming off an easy 101-67 victory over Cornell in which all 5 starters scored in double figures led by leading scorer Jerian Grant. The senior has shot the lights out as of late, shooting an impressive 23 for 35 in his last 3 games. In order to deal with the likes of Roy Devyn Marble (16.8 ppg, 4 apg., 3.5 rpg., 2.6 spg.) and an Iowa team which features 9 players that score 5.9 points per game or more and at Carver-Hawkeye Arena, Grant and Notre Dame will have to put forth one of their best efforts of the season. They’re a basketball team that knows how to work as a cohesive unit as they excel at both rebounding and passing the basketball.
Take Notre Dame and the points for your NCAA basketball pick.
Pick- Notre Dame +8 at Bet 365