NCAA Notes: Sycamores on the rise
Published on Thursday, 2/7/13, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern.
Updated on Thursday at 2:35 p.m. Eastern
By Brian Edwards
–Indiana St. captured a monster win for its at-large hopes last night, blasting Creighton 76-57 as a five-point home underdog. The Sycamores, who hooked up their money-line backers with a payout in the plus-190 range, now have neutral-court wins over Miami and Ole Miss, in addition to a win at Wichita St. (by double digits!) and last night’s triumph over the Bluejays. They also took New Mexico to overtime.
–How did Greg Lansing’s team dominate Creighton in such impressive fashion? For starters, it held Doug McDermott to eight points on 3-of-10 shooting from the field. McDermott had scored at least 15 points in 21 consecutive games. The only other time he had been held under 15 all season was against UAB on Nov. 14 when he scored only five in limited playing time due to foul trouble. Most of all, though, the Sycamores’ Jake Odum was simply the best player on the floor on this night. Odum, who leads Indiana St. in points, assists, steals and field-goal percentage, needed only 10 shots to score 22 points. He also had five assists, four rebounds and two steals compared to just one turnover.
–TCU pulled one of the biggest upsets we’ve seen all season Wednesday night, stunning Kansas 62-55 as a 17-point home underdog. Vegas books didn’t even bother to post a money line and only a few offshore books did so. 5Dimes had the Horned Frogs with 25/1 odds to win outright.
–Yes, the SEC is horrible this year but that can be a good thing for sharp bettors. Without many elite scorers, especially among the bottom rung of the conference, ‘unders’ galore have been cashing. Three teams in particular are among the nation’s best ‘under’ squads: Alabama (13-3), Texas A&M (11-3) and Vanderbilt (13-4).
–If Iowa comes up short in its bid to get to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006, it will look back on this week as its demise. The Hawkeyes had great chances to win in back-to-back losses at Minnesota and at Wisconsin. The Badgers slipped past the Hawks last night in double overtime.
–Florida power forward Will Yeguete tweeted late last night: “I can’t believe this is happening. This must be a nightmare.” Yeguete had an MRI on his injured knee Wednesday. If Yeguete is indeed out for a significant period of time, this will be a crushing blow to Florida’s national-title hopes. As of early Thursday afternoon, there was no word on the results of the MRI. UPDATE: Yeguete will have knee surgery and miss the next 4-6 weeks. He might be able to return for the NCAA Tournament.
–Keith Appling suffered an injured shoulder for Michigan St. in its home win over Minnesota last night. Again, no word on if (or how long) Appling could be out of action.
–Speaking of the Gophers, they are sliding fast. Tubby Smith’s squad has lost five of its last seven games.
–Georgia has won five of its last six games with the only loss coming against Florida. The Bulldogs won at Tennessee last night as seven-point underdogs, hooking up money-line backers with a plus-260 return (risk $100 to win $260). Mark Fox clearly doesn’t want to lose his job in Athens.
–For a few notes on tonight’s games between N.C. St.-Duke and Oregon-Colorado, check out this link at VegasInsider.com.
—Coach of the Year Candidates:
1-Jim Larranaga (Miami)
2-Brad Stevens (Butler)
3-Dana Altman (Oregon)
4-Shaka Smart (VCU)
5-Greg Lansing (Indiana St.)