There will be a new No. 1 team in the college basketball polls on Monday because current No. 1 Purdue lost last week at Rutgers. Who will that No. 1 team be? Almost surely unbeaten Baylor, the defending national champion. Here’s a look at two games to parlay on Monday.
Cleveland State at Oklahoma State (-12.5)
It’s an 8 p.m. ET tip available via Big 12 Now on ESPN+. This game will mark just the second meeting between the two teams, with Oklahoma State picking up a 92-66 victory during the 1981-82 campaign.
Cleveland State (6-2) has won six in a row, coming off a Saturday 85-75 win over Wright State. For the first time this season, five Vikings finished the game with double-figure points, led by Jayson Woodrich with 17. Cleveland State recorded 22 assists on 32 made field goals, and shot 55 percent from the field. On the defensive end, the Vikings recorded 10 steals and forced WSU into 15 turnovers.
This marks just the second time that the Vikings have won six straight games during head coach Dennis Gates’ tenure, while the six-game win streak is a Horizon League-high so far this year. Cleveland State has recorded 134 total assists on the season – the only Horizon League team to eclipse the 130-assist mark so far this season. The Vikings have posted 10 or more assists in all eight games so far this season, including 22 assists in back-to-back games against Northern Kentucky and Wright State last time out.
Oklahoma State (6-3) has been off since a 77-71 win over Xavier on Dec. 5. The Musketeers won despite making one field goal in the final 6:45, a period in which they made 10 of 12 free throws. Avery Anderson scored 26 points for Oklahoma State, which shot 42% for the game and made only 7 of 26 3-pointers.
In its six wins, OSU has dominated on the defensive side. It has held its foes to 35.6 percent from the field while forcing 21 turnovers per game. Along with the turnovers, its recorded 8.2 blocks per game in the victories, as well as 12.3 steals. For comparison, in the three losses teams are shooting 41 percent and turning the ball over 16.7 times per game while OSU has recorded 3.7 blocks per contest.
It’s been Bryce Williams and Kalib Boone leading the charge in the six wins as the pair has averaged 10.2 and 10.4 points per game, respectively. On the boards it has been Moussa Cisse, as he’s averaged 6.7 rebounds in those contests.
Oklahoma State has allowed just two of its nine foes to score more than 70 points in a game and has delivered the 12th-best adjusted defensive efficiency.
Albany at Boston College (-16)
This tips at 8 p.m. ET on the ACC Network. BC won the lone previous meeting – 72-51 – on Dec. 10, 2019. Boston College is 63-16 versus America East opponents.
Albany (2-7) beat Columbia 60-59 on Saturday. Down one, De’Vondre Perry went to the free throw line with three seconds on the clock. He sank both. Perry led the Great Danes with 17 points in 34 minutes of action. He shot 7-15 from the field, also leading the team with seven rebounds while collecting three blocks and two steals.
The Great Danes are averaging 57.4 ppg, with opponents averaging 70.0 ppg. The team is shooting 38.0% from the field, 27.9% from three, and 66.4% from the charity stripe. Albany has more steals than its opponents, with 68 in favor of UAlbany and 55 in favor of their opposition.
Perry leads the team in scoring, averaging 12.1 ppg and shooting 45.3% from the field. He’s shot 29.6% from three-point range and has pulled in 5.6 rebounds per game. Matt Cerruti leads the team shooting from beyond the arc, shooting at a clip of 44.4% from three and averaging 4.0 attempts from deep per game. He is second on the team with 9.6 ppg, shooting 42.3% from the field. Jamel Horton leads the team in assists per game, averaging 4.2. The Great Danes were picked to finish seventh in this year’s America East Preseason Coaches’ Poll.
Boston College (6-4) lost at Saint Louis 79-68 on Saturday. Makai Ashton-Langford scored 18 points, DeMarr Langford Jr. 14 and Jaeden Zackery 12 for the Eagles, who had a three-game win streak snapped. After a 19-point first half, the Eagles rebounded to shoot 53% in the second half but ended just 3 of 17 from the arc. The Billikens’ 79 points are the most given up by Boston College this season, which came in with a 59.8 points per game defensive average.
Over the last five games. James Karnik is averaging 10.8 points and 8.6 rebounds, shooting 60.5% (23-38) from the floor. The 6-9 post player is also connecting on 4-of-8 from the perimeter during that stretch. He has 14 career double-doubles, dating back to him three seasons at Lehigh (2017-20).
In six home games, Boston College is averaging 73.3 points per game while shooting 48.9% from the floor. In two true road games, the Eagles are posting 58.5 points and a 33.9% shooting percentage. In four road/neutral contests, BC is scoring at a 63.0 points per game clip and a 38.1% field goal rate.
- Back Cleveland State and Boston College