What Happened Last Night
Strangely, #SECbasketballfever seems not to be striking much early this season. Okay, okay, an SEC team got their doors blown off by an AAC team, but the SEC’s presumptive worst team competed with a top 25 team and the three teams playing mid-majors all won.
Also, Auburn is off to a good start.
- Xavier 83, Missouri 82 (OT): So Missouri might be decent. Aside from being able to compete with a top 10-ish team on a neutral court, the stat line doesn’t look fluky at all: Mizzou shot 27-for-65 from the floor, so they weren’t playing over their heads. Frankie Hughes had 24 points to lead Mizzou; Kevin Puryear had 22 points and 10 boards and Terrence Phillips had 21 points, 7 boards, and 5 assists.
- UCF 86, Mississippi State 61: Ummmm... ouch. We figured there would be some growing pains for Mississippi State, but a 25-point loss to a lower-division AAC team? The Bulldogs shot 32 percent from the floor and got hammered on the glass, and you’re not going to win many games that way. Quinndary Weatherspoon had 19 points — albeit on 6-of-18 shooting.
- Georgia 84, Furman 78: Furman hung around in this one mostly by shooting the crap out of the ball (10-of-21 from three). That happens, but Georgia prevailed thanks to 28 from J.J. Frazier and 27 from Yante Maten... and no other Bulldog even hit double figures.
- Florida 73, St. Bonaventure 66: Playing on a bizarrely-colored floor, Florida survived a scare from St. Bonaventure but the Gators’ shooting issues from last year reared their ugly head: Florida shot 41 percent from the floor and 15-of-39 inside the arc, but survived thanks to a strong effort on the offensive glass. KeVaughn Allen and Canyon Barry had 16 apiece for the Gators; Barry interestingly hasn’t committed a foul through three games.
- Auburn 85, Eastern Kentucky 64: This was a competitive game for about 30 minutes, but then Auburn put the game away with a 35-16 run to close the game. Mustapha Heron had a double-double with 24 points and 10 boards. Auburn improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2011-12.
|Missouri vs. Davidson||11:30 AM||ESPNU/WatchESPN|
|Ole Miss vs. Oral Roberts||3:00 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|South Carolina State at South Carolina||6:30 PM||SEC Network+/WatchESPN|
|Southern Cal at Texas A&M||7:00 PM||SEC Network/WatchESPN|
|Mississippi State vs. Boise State||7:00 PM||ESPN3/WatchESPN|
|Texas-Arlington at Arkansas||8:00 PM||SEC Network+/WatchESPN|
|North Florida at LSU||8:00 PM||SEC Network+/WatchESPN|
|Norfolk State at Vanderbilt||8:00 PM||SEC Network+/WatchESPN|
|Ball State at Alabama||9:00 PM||SEC Network/WatchESPN|
While there are a couple of games that figure to be typical November buy games — specifically, South Carolina and Vanderbilt facing MEAC teams — there are also some fairly appetizing games on the slate. Mizzou, after learning that they can play with anybody, gets a shot at a decent Davidson team in the consolation bracket of the Tire Pros Invitational in Orlando. Ole Miss opens the Paradise Jam against Oral Roberts in a game that’s appealing if you happen to be home Friday afternoon. Texas A&M draws a USC team that made the tournament last year; Arkansas and Alabama face potentially salty mid-majors (UT-Arlington is a top 100 team in KenPom and Ball State is one of the better teams in the MAC.) You could do worse on a Friday in November.
Odds and Picks
Yesterday: 3-2 ATS; Season to Date: 6-7
- Oral Roberts (+7) vs. Ole Miss: The Rebels are 2-0, but won their first two games by a combined total of five points and needed a late comeback to beat UMass on Monday. Oral Roberts managed to play Baylor tough last Friday and should keep this one reasonably close.
- Missouri (+3) vs Davidson: Essentially this comes down to Mizzou’s mindset. If they shot their wad in the Xavier game this could be a blowout, but if they took away positives — which I predict they will — they can win this game.
- Southern Cal at TEXAS A&M (-7.5): Southern Cal has had problems shooting the ball in their first two games; the Aggies have smothered their first two opponents. It’s hard to imagine USC scoring enough to keep this one in single digits. The Aggies should cover a relatively low number.
- Texas-Arlington at ARKANSAS (-11): Texas-Arlington has struggled to defend in their first three games this season, dropping games at Minnesota and Florida Gulf Coast by double digits. Arkansas is a better team than either of those two and might score 100 here.
- Ball State (+8) at ALABAMA: Ball State’s a decent team that shoots the three well, which is a really good quality if you want to hang around with a superior team. I expect Ball State to keep this one fairly close and taking 8 points is the smart play here.
- Mississippi State vs. Boise State (-1): The growing pains look to be pretty bad right now for the Bulldogs. Expect another loss, albeit closer than yesterday.
- No line: South Carolina State at South Carolina; Norfolk State at Vanderbilt; North Florida at LSU