USC plays at a moderate pace to begin with and this is a bit of a deviation from the recent past where they were one of the fastest teams in the nation. But it's noticeable the last 5 games that the Trojans have slowed it down even more letting their opponents dictate the pace of play. The Trojans' scoring is still highly efficient but face an Oregon St team with an improving defense and one of the slowest teams in the country. We expect the Beavers to put forth the same formula as they did against UCLA and based on recent form, we see a tight lower scoring game with good defenive rebounding that doesn't have enough possessions barring overtime!
UAB should be kicking themselves for losing against Western Kentucky on Thursday as they firmly took control in the 2nd half only to completely crumble down the stretch. In any case, the Blazers are a team we rate very highly and they have the shooters to keep up with this Thundering Herd team that we believe still have a major liability on defense. UAB should dominate on the glass and perhaps will have a bit more luck with fouls and free throws this time around.
It's been very much a down year for the Seahawks but to their credit they have fought hard and made a game of it against Charleston on Thursday. The Seahawks have covered 3 in a row but face a Towson team that's been steamrolling their opponents and have really found some form of late. The Tigers have won 4 of their last 5 and their offense has really come to life shooting 50% or better in 4 of their last 6 games. Towson is a defensive team first and foremost and they are capable of covering this number based on the strength of that alone.
Jacksonville St had a tough time getting by Morehead St much as we predicted but in the end, the Gamecocks came away with the win. They have struggled a bit in their last 2 games but this presents the perfect opportunity to get back on track against a very poor Eastern Kentucky team that is actully winless at home in conference play. The Colonels don't do much of anything too well and will be at a severe advantage on the glass and defend the 3 ball extremely poorly. Visitors should win with minimal fuss.
Coastal Carolina has really struggled in conference play, losing their last 6 games after a 90-65 win over UT-Arlington back in late December. We expected as much as this Chanticleers team has been overrated by the market and face a Trojans team that's beginning to find its footing with a win over South Alabama and 3 covers in their last 4 games. Aside from their poor away record, the Chanticleers have really struggled from long range which was about the only thing that would give them a chance to make this competitive. We don't see that changing today
TCU brings one of the most dynamic offenses in the entire country and we have a hard time seeing the Wildcats keep up. The Horned Frogs got back on track with a 96-73 blasting of Iowa St to follow up 3 tough losses. The Wildcats got a huge upset over Oklahoma but they will face a Horned Frogs team that, unlike Oklahoma, can pile on the points in the interior, something the Wildcats do not defend well. We make the visitors the favorites!
Hofstra is on a bit of a run winning 3 in row and 5 of their last 6. We are not the biggest believers in the Pride as their defense has limitations but we believe the hosts are a bit overrated. Charleston has struggled against offensive teams and their defense is not up to par from previous years. We see a rebounding advantage for the Pride as well and it will take an extremely poor shooting night for the Pride to be unable to keep this within a single possession!
Detroit made shockwaves last year when they defeated Oakland on the road as 19 pt underdogs. While not quite as much an outside tonight, it will still be a mammoth task for the Titans with the absence of Jones and Hogan, who in particular had a monstrous game in the upset. Still, the Titans are a team we feel is better than perceived and the Golden Grizzlies are probably their chief rival at the moment. The Golden Grizzlies defense has shown some holes and we believe the Titans can have enough success from outside to keep this within reason.
This is a particularly bad match up for the undersized Bulldogs as Missouri State's Alize Johnson will be a handful on the inside. Drake's success generally depends on their outside shooting but this is an area that the Bears defend very well. Home court is not enough to overcome the disadvantages for the Bulldogs!
Both teams have a number of missing players, but that’s nothing new. For the record Hamburg won’t have Arp, Walace, Müller, Ekdal and Theolke for sure, while Hunt and Holtby remain doubtful. FC Köln are expecting to offload Konstantin Rausch during the current transfer window, so he won’t be playing. Long term injured Horn, Queiros, Maroh, Bittencourt, Risse and Cordoba remain sidelined, while both Özcan and Lehmann are both doubtful. Nevertheless, none of those are newly missing, and the fact is Stefan Ruthenbeck’s side won back to back without the same players. We expected Hamburg to be fighting against relegation this season, but we didn’t expect the same of the visitors. And, while Köln are bottom of the league and in desperate need of points, they are playing much better under their new coach. Away win and hope returns!
Last weekend the Mainz players were simply stupid to let a 0-2 lead become a 3-2 loss in Hannover. While the 05’ers were a little fortunate with the second goal, they were bloody naive with a couple that went against them. However, that match was on the road and Sandro Schwarz’s side are much better with a fully packed house at the Opel arena. The hosts are still without goalkeeper Rene Adler, but that’s not an issue with Robin Zentner playing well. On a positive note, Bell, Muto and Hack are all nearing return, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a few of them back today. One player sure to be included is Danny Latza, because he is now ban free. In the last round Stuttgart won their first competitive match in six against Hertha Berlin (1-0). However, they didn’t play particularly well and the only goal of the game was an unfortunate own goal. The other thing to note is Mainz recently beat the visitors (3-1) in a cup match, and that scoreline could have been bigger. Hosts look good to get the three points!
The Minutemen saw their 3 game winning streak come to a crashing halt as they suffered a humbling 73-51 defeat to Rhode Island on Wednesday. Saint Louis hasn't had the ideal start to conference play at 2-4 against A-10 opponents but the Billikens have been competitive in every game save for their conference opener against La Salle. Rhode Island by and large shut down the Minutemen guard combo of Carl Pierre and Luwane Pipkins, limiting the duo to just 18 points on 6 of 22 shooting. The Billikens aren't on the level of the Rams but they do bring one of the better defenses in the A-10 to this game and have shown their ability to guard the periemeter. Even worse Billikens teams in the past have had a tendency to do well in this match up and this year's version is much improved! Visitors to bog the game down and keep it within a single possession!