Now down to 11th in the national rankings, the Virginia Cavaliers will look to avoid another huge upset when they take on the Kent State Golden Flashes for just the second time. With Kent State looking to record consecutive victories after winning its opener, let’s find out what’s going to go down when these teams meet for the first time since 1974. Let’s jump right into action so you can place your bets against their College Basketball odds.
NCAA Basketball Predictions – Kent State at No. 11 Virginia
Kent State Golden Flashes (1-0) Vs Virginia Cavaliers (2-1)
- When: Friday, Dec. 4, 2020 at 6:00 PM ET
- Where: John Paul Jones Arena
- NCAAB Odds: TBD
Why Bet On Kent State
The Flashes kicked off the 2020-21 campaign on Wednesday with a 90-41 victory against visiting Point Park in Kent, Ohio. Kent State’s first two scheduled games against Alcorn State and Purdue Fort Wayne were either canceled or postponed due to COVID-19 issues. In Wednesday’s win against the Pioneers, Portland State transfer Mike Nuga scored a game-high 17 points and Gabe O’Neal had 15 points while Pippen and Jeremiah Hernandez each added 13 points. The Flashes won the rebounding matchup 55-28 and outscored the Pioneers 62-12 in the paint.
The Golden Flashes finished 20-12 last season, including a 9-9 mark in the Mid-American Conference. It was the sixth 20-win campaign in coach Rob Senderoff’s first nine seasons with the program. Senior forward Danny Pippen, who averaged 14.3 points and 7.1 boards in 2019-20, was named to the preseason All-MAC second team. He is the only returning starter on a team without much experience.
Pippen played 24 minutes in his first game since undergoing knee surgery last March.
“We all know that Danny’s going to play with passion, he’s going to compete, he’s going to give it his all,” Senderoff told the Record-Courier before the game. “That’s how he needs to lead as well.”
Why Bet On Virginia
Virginia spanked St. Francis (Pa.) 76-51 on Tuesday, one game after suffering a stunning 61-60 upset loss against San Francisco on Nov. 27. Four players scored in double figures, led by senior center Jeff Huff’s team-high 13 points.
“I don’t think I’ve ever been on a team with this many (quality) players,” said Huff.
The Cavaliers dominated so much that head coach Tony Bennett said he “kind of did the hockey shifts” to rotate players in and out of the lineup. 6-11 redshirt freshman Kadin Shedrick added 12 points and a game-high eight rebounds, and transfers Sam Hauser (11) and Trey Murphy III (10) also reached double digits in the win.
“That’s really cool because we get to see a lot of guys, a lot of combinations,” Huff said. “We just get to see how different guys work. Learning to play with everybody is something that we’re going to have to figure out, and I think we’re learning how to do that. We have a really young team. We have a lot of young guys that haven’t necessarily been here as long as an old man like me.”
Expert Analysis and Prediction
This is a matchup that looks eerily identical to Virginia’s most recent contest against St. Francis. The Cavaliers are the much bigger and deeper team in this affair and you can believe the Cavaliers will be lock-in and focused after getting upset by San Francisco. Virginia has one of the best defenses in the nation each and every year and are already limiting the opposition to just 55.3 points per game to rank 24th nationally in points allowed.
Kent State has gone 1-4 SU in its last five road games and 1-4 ATS in their last five Friday games. Virginia has gone a bankroll-boosting 8-2 ATS in their last 10 games and 13-2 SU in their last 15 games in the month of December. The Cavs will win this one going away to build their confidence up before ACC conference play begins!
Pick: Virginia 77 Kent State 58
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