COLLEGE B-BALL’S BIG WINTER WEEKEND – WE CHECK OUT THE SATURDAY / SUNDAY LANDSCAPE FOR A BATCH OF RANKED TEAMS …
SUPER BOWL 54 QUICK-HITTERS
As we said at this very time a year ago on these Jim Sez web pages … It’s the weekend before Super Bowl LIV – so that means it is time to hunker down with a whole lot of college hoops. So, let’s check out what a batch of ranked teams are up to this weekend:
THE COLLEGE BASKETBALL WEEKEND REPORT
On Saturday, it’s …
#1 BAYLOR (16-1) at FLORIDA (12-6) – 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
The Big 12 / SEC Challenge has some hot-hot-hot matchups on tap this weekend but let’s concentrate here on the top team in the land … the Baylor Bears are the seventh different team to sit atop the Associated Press Top 25 poll this year and now Scott Drew’s squad heads into Gainesville for a monster hoops matchup. True, the Gators historically are only 2-16 SU (straight-up) all time against No. 1 teams but 6-foot-10 Kerry Blackshear, Jr. – who is averaging 14.8 ppg and 8.7 rebs a game – is quite capable of taking over a game but will he be effective when going up against Baylor’s unique four-guard attack? The Bears’ Jared Butler (16.1 ppg) is the main spark to this offense, one that’s helped Baylor go 11-6 against the odds so far in 2019-20. The Gators are 8-10 vig-wise this season so far.
TENNESSEE (12-6) at #3 KANSAS (15-3) – 4 p.m. ET, ESPN
This one’s also part of the SEC vs. Big 12 challenge but the looming question here is what will this Kansas Jayhawks team look like following the suspensions laid down following that ugly win against Kansas State the other night? Reserve F Silvio DeSousa (12 game-suspension) and starting F David McCormack (two-game suspension) are both out here and so coach Bill Self’s counting on frosh G Christian Braun (game-high 20 points against K-State). The Jayhawks – who have covered 10 of their last 13 games overall — are 11-7 against the odds this year and that includes a current three-game spread winning streak; Tennessee’s covered just five of its last 14 games since late November.
#9 VILLANOVA (15-3, 5-1) at PROVIDENCE (11-9, 4-3) – 1 p.m. ET, CBS
The recent two-time NCAA champion ‘Nova Wildcats (see 2016 and ’18) – who happen to be just 8-10 ATS (against the spread) this year – have been a bit too up-and-down for head coach Jay Wright’s liking despite the current five-game SU winning streak. Note the ‘Cats are a money-toasting 5-9 versus the vig since mid-November and they’ve been bogged down by slow starts in many of their games this year. The flip side is a Providence club that’s a shaky 7-11-1 ATS this year and note the Friars are dead-last in the Big East in shooting percentage at just 40.5 pct … ugh!
Jim Hurley’s Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will finish off this NFL Season with a real bang come Super Bowl LIV on Sunday, Feb. 2nd as we get you the Side & Totals winners of the San Francisco 49ers versus the Kansas City Chiefs. No doubt you know that Jim’s had a monster playoff season in the NFL this year and so go ahead and keep on piling up the profits when we get to Super Bowl 54 … and all this weekend with NBA and NCAA Basketball action. Just call us on game days at 1-800-323-4453 or go online right here
On Sunday, it’s …
#4 SAN DIEGO STATE (20-0, 9-0) at UNLV (11-10, 6-2) – 4 p.m. ET, CBS Sports Network
Everything’s clicking for the SDSU Aztecs these days: Head coach Brian Dutcher’s squad is trying to impress upon voters they deserve a #1 seed in this year’s NCAA Tournament, thanks in large part to the fourth-best scoring defense in Division 1 (allowing just 56.7 ppg). Now, the Mountain West Conference leaders – a snazzy 12-5-1 ATS this hoops season – goes into Las Vegas for a showdown against the league’s second-best team and gotta believe State guards Malachi Flynn and Jordan Schakel (a combined 85 triples made) are gonna have to heat up from deep to cover this road bash.
#11 MICHIGAN STATE (14-5, 6-2) at MINNESOTA (11-8, 5-4) – 3 p.m. ET, Fox
This Big 10 battle in the Twin Cities is a key clash for the visiting Spartans who are just 9-10 against the odds and comin’ off that 67-63 loss at Indiana on Thursday night. If Tom Izzo’s team has any designs on getting a top four seed in this year’s NCAA Tourney, then winning conference road games is a must. P.S., Minnesota is 12-7 ATS this hoops season.
SUPER BOWL LIV QUICK HITTERS
Here’s a few numbers / stats you might not have been aware of as we head towards Super Bowl 54 in Miami on Sunday, February 2nd:
The Kansas City Chiefs are 11-1-1 ATS when holding opponents below 30 points a game this year and KC’s averaged 32.7 ppg ever since that Week 12 bye;
The San Francisco 49ers, meanwhile, covered three of their four games against the AFC North this year and overall the Niners are 8-3 ATS against AFC foes since midway of the 2017 season.
NOTE: There’s more Super Bowl LIV News / Notes in the next edition of Jim Sez.