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NCAA Basketball Rebound; Tourney Games Dominate the Slate

Keith Appling

Appling helped the Spartans knock of Kansas after a loss to UConn.

The college basketball season is still starting to hit its’ stride as it plays second fiddle to college and pro football still in the middle of autumn. With that said, there’s plenty to discuss and plenty to wager on as many teams are in the midst of opening and holiday tournaments. Pay close attention to where games are being played because many are at tournament sites so let that play into your thinking when placing a bet.

What we found out this week… Michigan State rebounded nicely from their opening game loss to UConn by knocking off Kansas in the Georgia Dome, site of this year’s final four. The Spartans opened this week with a very solid home-opening win over Texas-Southern 69-41. It was MSU’s 36th straight home-opening win in a row… UCLA is 3-0 and got even better news when freshman Shabazz Muhammad was re-instated by the NCAA. He is expected to play tonight against Georgetown in Brooklyn… #9 Duke opened impressively with a win over Georgia Southern and then a huge win over #3 Kentucky in the Georgia Dome. Seth Curry is averaging 19 points per game and is knocking down 50% of his three-point shots… #10 Florida moved to 2-0 and dominated #22 Wisconsin 74-56. Erik Murphy pumped in 24 points against the Badgers and is now hitting almost 2/3 of his threes.

Games coming up tonight

#1 Indiana vs Georgia – The top-ranked Hooisers are 3-0 and now head to Brooklyn where they’ll play the Bulldogs who are less than stellar. They are coming off a 62-60 loss to Southern Mississippi. The Bulldogs also lost to Youngstown State and now must face the top team in the country. Cody Zeller is averaging about 18 points a game while the Hoosiers have yet to be challenged yet against a weak schedule. I don’t see any way Georgia hangs with the Hoosiers.

Shabazz Muhammad

Muhammad should return tonight against Georgetown.

#13 UCLA vs Georgetown – Another match-up in Brooklyn pits the Bruins against Georgetown and UCLA will be happy to have freshman Shabazz Muhammad on the court as he was re-instated by the NCAA. The Hoyas are 2-0 with wins over Duquense and Liberty so like UCLA, they haven’t really been challenged yet either. While I expect this game to be close, I still expect the Bruins to get out of the Big Apple with a win.

#11 North Carolina vs. Mississippi State – The Tar Heels and the Bulldogs meet in Hawaii at the Maui Invitational tonight with a game that I fully expect the Tar Heels to win. At 3-0, UNC has yet to play anyone of significance and Mississippi State is 1-1 with a loss to Troy to their credit. The Heels are led by James Michael McAdoo who is averaging 21 points per game. UNC wins big in Maui.

#7 Kansas vs Washington State – The Jayhawks are 2-1 on the season and look to improve on that against the Cougars in a tournament game in Kansas City. Wazzu is 2-1 but coming off of an overtime loss to Pepperdine. Brock Motum lead the Coogs with 17.7 points per game. For Kansas, Ben Mclemore and Elijah Johnson lead the way with 16 and 12 points per game respectively. Playing so close to home helps too. I like the Jayhawks to win big.

Long Beach State at #13 Arizona – The Wildcats are 2-0 as they host the 1-2 49ers in Tucson. Mark Lyons leads Arizona with 17 points per game so far in the young season. While under .500 so far, the 49ers have lost to USC and North Carolina so not exactly the sisters of the poor in college basketball. I expect this game to be closer than anticipated but still see Arizona pulling away late.

Other games this week

Boise State at #21 Michigan State

Pittsburgh at #5 Michigan

#14 Missouri at Stanford

#15 Creighton vs #22 Wisconsin



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