#10 Connecticut (9-1) at Washington (6-4)
Bounce Back Performance
UConn has had a history of being dominant against Pac-12 teams in the past and has had a stellar season, but fell asleep in the 2nd half of their last game against Stanford in Hartford and it resulted in their first loss of the season. The Huskies managed a dismal 13 points in the 2nd half and look to forget about the Stanford game and are in search of a new winning streak when they play another team in the Pac-12 in the Washington Huskies.
The Real Deal?
People including myself, have been raving about the ability of Shabazz Napier (15 ppg., 6.8 rpg., 6.1 apg., 2.1 spg. ) to be a multi-dimensional player. Napier started off this season like a ball of fire, but has calmed down since with very inconsistent play.
Napier seems to get up for the big games as he poured in 27 and 26 points respectively against Indiana and Florida and then gave single digit performances against weaker opponents such as Loyola (MD) and Maine. Which Shabazz Napier will show up is the question today? The road to March Madness and a possible National Championship goes through Napier for Connecticut. He didn’t give his best effort against Stanford and it resulted in a loss.
The Washington Huskies might look appealing as a 5 point favorite in the NCAA basketball odds at home tonight. They’ve won 4 out of their last 5 games with the one loss being a hard fought 70-63 battle against San Diego State. This is a team that can put up the points and will rely on senior guard C.J. Wilcox to lead the way. Wilcox averages 20.9 points per game and his shooting has been kind of spotty as of late. That said, he played fairly well against SDSU in the Huskies recent 7 point loss. As long as Wilcox gives a respectable performance, the Huskies will be fine. There’s plenty of depth here and if the game goes down to the final minutes like it should, Washington is a good free throw shooting team.
I think Washington caught Connecticut at an opportune time and it’s a long ride back to Storrs. Take Washington with the points at home.
Pick- Washington +5 at Bet 365
Is the Spread Correct?
I find it difficult to believe that St. Mary’s is just a 10 point betting favorite in this game. Just because South Carolina has played 2 - top 25 teams and lost and St. Mary’s has won all 10 of their games against teams that aren’t elite, shouldn’t keep this line so low.
The Gaels have taken on all comers and have played consistently well in their first 10 games. There should be no reason why they shouldn’t steam roll the Gamecocks here; this isn’t NCAA Football.
St. Mary’s is led by power forward, Brad Waldow, and this is a player that’s not going to stray from the paint. In doing so, Waldow has averaged 60% shooting throughout his 3 year career with the Gaels and is a very solid rebounder. Look for Waldow’s pure size and strength to give the Gamecocks problems on the offensive end. South Carolina is a poor offensive team with average rebounding; don’t expect many 2nd opportunities from the Gamecocks tonight.
No Pure Scorers
While South Carolina is a team with great depth offensively, their shooting is abysmal. The Gamecocks 4 leading scorers all shoot under 39% from the field. That’s about as bad as it gets. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Gaels have players like Stephen Holt, who can consistently knock down the 3-ball. I feel a blowout coming and 10 point are plenty for St Mary’s to put the Gamecocks out of their misery as they go for 11 straight wins to start off the 2013-2014 NCAA Basketball season. Add St. Mary's to your NCAA basketball picks for tonight.
Pick- St. Mary’s -10 at Bet 365