After the night that most college basketball fans had last night, tonight should be a great cool-down to get ready for this weekend. There are a few key games to watch but for the most part it is a pretty mild night. Nonetheless, let’s get to tonight’s three key match-ups.
Wednesday’s Performance: @coach_fritz: Overall- 2-2 ATS- 1-2
@catteberry33: Overall- 3-1 ATS- 2-1
Overall Performance: @coach_fritz: Overall- 14-11 ATS- 7-16
@catteberry33: Overall- 16-9 ATS- 8-15
1. #16 Maryland (18-3, 6-2 Big 10) at Ohio State (16-5, 5-3 Big 10) Favorite: Ohio State -7.5
For the 7th time in history, Maryland and Ohio State will meet tonight in the Value City Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The match-up that is being hyped is Dez Wells vs D’Angelo Russell. They both run the point for their respective teams and the offenses flow through them. If Russell is hitting tonight, the Terps are going to have problems. Russell already looks NBA-ready as a freshman and, when things get rough for Ohio State, he can shoulder the load. Maryland has had a rough last couple of games. They’re coming off a brutally tough win over Northwestern and before that they were blown out by Indiana. Maryland needs this one tonight to gain some momentum back but Ohio State needs a resume-building win. This is a big one tonight in Big Ten country.
@coach_fritz: Ohio State (Win)- D’Angelo is the best freshman that nobody is talking about and will lead his team to victory. Maryland will keep it close and have a shot to win at the end though.
@catteberry33: Ohio State (Win)- I agree with my counter-part wholeheartedly on this one. Ohio State has been playing well but Maryland is loaded this year. Wells and Russell will have big nights tonight, Buckeyes win, but Maryland keeps it within five.
2. Western Kentucky (14-5, 7-0 C-USA) at Louisiana Tech (15-5, 6-1 C-USA) Favorite: Louisiana Tech -7.0
Western Kentucky could make a bid for the hottest team in America right now. The Hilltoppers have won 9 in a row (Nevermind two wins were against D2 teams) since losing to Louisville on December 20th. WKU is led by senior G T.J. Price. Price is one of the few Hilltoppers that has NCAA Tournament experience. He’s been a Hilltopper all four years and has played significant minutes all four years. WKU may lean on him down the stretch and Price is good enough that he can withstand the pressure. Louisiana Tech, meanwhile, has won 7 out of their last 8 games. The scoring duo of Alex Hamilton and Raheem Appleby has been tremendous this year. Both guards are averaging over 16 ppg. This is the only time these two teams will see each other in the regular season this year, so there is a lot on the line at the Thomas Assembly Center.
@coach_fritz: Louisiana Tech (Win)- Raheem Appelby will have a good game and LT will hang on late to beat WKU tonight.
@catteberry33: Louisiana Tech (Win & Cover)- Appelby and Hamilton will turn up the intensity and be en fuego. Bulldogs cover the spread also.
3. UConn (11-7, 4-2 AAC) at Cincinnati (14-5, 5-2 AAC) Favorite: Cincinnati -4.5
The defending champs have been less than impressive this year. They’ve beaten the teams they were supposed to (One exception: Yale) but they haven’t really knocked off anyone that they weren’t supposed to. The Huskies are hanging onto the bubble by a thread and if they want to stay there, Boatright will need to start getting his name mentioned in the SOTN consideration. It’s hard to count UConn out though because during both recent national championship runs they weren’t even in the conversation for most of the season. Cincinnati, on the other side, is about as defensive-minded as it gets. They are 5th in the nation in points allowed and they do not have a player averaging double-digit points. They lost Mick Cronin at the start of this month but they’ve since shown perseverance to stay in the AAC mix. Their player to watch is Octavius Ellis, who may or may not have the coolest name in college hoops. UConn won the first meeting in Storrs and they will want the same result tonight as they badly need this one.
@coach_fritz: UConn (Win)- Boatright will play well tonight and the Huskies will complete the sweep of Cincinnati.
@catteberry33: Cincinnati (Win & Cover)- The Bearcats play outstanding defense and team basketball. I think Boatright has a tough night tonight.