The COVID issues ravaging the United States haven’t been limited to professional sports. Duke was supposed to play Cleveland State in men’s basketball on Saturday, but Cleveland State had to cancel due to its COVID problems. That won’t be the last game canceled. Here’s a look at two intriguing matchups this weekend with NCAAB odds TBA.
College Basketball Best Bets for the Weekend
Saint Mary’s vs. San Diego State
A matchup from the Jerry Colangelo Classic on Friday at 10 PM ET from Phoenix. Two excellent teams who will be in the NCAA Tournament come March but aren’t currently ranked – Saint Mary’s probably should be at 10-2 and San Diego State’s three losses are to excellent schools BYU, USC and Michigan.
The Aztecs come off a 66-56 win over Cal State Fullerton on Dec. 8. Three SDSU players scored in double figures and the San Diego State men’s basketball team hit a season-best eight three pointers. Matt Bradley led the offensive charge with his second consecutive game with 22 points. Trey Pulliam finished with 15 points, career-bests with seven boards and four steals as well as three assists and a block. Adam Seiko with 11 points, his first double digit scoring effort of the year and chipped in with three rebounds, two steals and an assist.
The Aztecs are 11-1 in its last 12 games immediately following a loss. When a loss is immediately followed by a home game, San Diego State has won 18 straight games. SDSU is 54-3 in the Brian Dutcher era when holding the opponent to less to less than 60 points. It was the seventh time in nine games this season that SDSU has held its opponent to 40 percent or less shooting from the field. In addition, SDSU is 46-2 the last 48 times it has held its opponent to 40 percent or less shooting and has won 23 straight games when outrebounding its opponent.
San Diego State will be without sophomore guard Lamont Butler for the third consecutive game. Butler is dealing with a wrist injury and missed both the Michigan and Cal State Fullerton contests. For the season, the sophomore is averaging 9.7 points (3rd on the team), 2.1 rebounds and 2.0 assists.
Since the beginning of the 2009-10 campaign, San Diego State’s 25-9 regular season neutral court record is ninth nationally. San Diego State also has won 8 of its last 11 games against the West Coast Conference and is 2-0 during that span in neutral site games, including last year’s 74-49 victory over the Gaels at Cal Poly.
Saint Mary’s routed something called Stanislaus State on Tuesday, 76-39. The Gaels outscored the Warriors 49-11 in the second half. In 12 games this year, Saint Mary’s is +89 in point differential in the second half, and they’ve had three second halves where they’ve been +15 or better.
The Gaels are No. 40 in the NET Rankings. Saint Mary’s is 1-2 in Quad 1 games, and unbeaten everywhere else. Gonzaga (No. 7), San Francisco (No. 27), and BYU (No. 29) are the only teams in the WCC above the Gaels. The WCC is one of six conferences in the country with four teams inside the top-40 in NET.
The Gaels are 6-6 all-time against San Diego State, but have not beaten the Aztecs since the 2009 season.
Butler vs. No. 3 Purdue
Saturday tipoff at noon ET from Indianapolis in the Crossroads Classic. That event features Indiana’s four most accomplished men’s NCAA Division I basketball schools each year – Butler, Indiana, Notre Dame and Purdue. In odd numbered years, Notre Dame plays Indiana while Butler plays Purdue. In even numbered years, Notre Dame plays Purdue while Butler plays Indiana. Purdue and Indiana do not play each other in the Classic, as they are Big Ten conference rivals.
Butler (7-3) most recently played last Saturday and beat Eastern Illinois 66-54. Aaron Thompson posted the fourth double-double of his career with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Both those are season-highs for the graduate student. Bryce Golden matched his career-high with 20 points in the win. He went 8-for-10 from the field.
Butler shot 43 percent from the field, but went only 6-of-22 from behind the arc. The Bulldogs were able to utilize a 32-20 advantage in the paint and committed a season-low eight turnovers.
Purdue, which was No. 1 in the nation for a week, was last in action on Dec. 12 and bounced back from its first loss with an 82-72 OT win over NC State. Purdue trailed 54-41 with just over nine minutes to play, but outscored Rutgers 41-18 over the last 14 minutes (including overtime) to earn the victory. The 13-point, second-half comeback in the last 10 minutes was the largest since overcoming a 13-point deficit against Georgia State with 8:13 to play on Nov. 18, 2016.
Purdue started the game 3-of-14 from the field, but finished the contest by making 27 of its last 46 shots (.587). The Boilermakers were 15-of-26 (.577) in the second half. Trevion Williams became the first player in college basketball since at least 2009-10 to have at least 22 points, 12 rebounds, 9 assists, 4 blocks and 2 steals in the same game. Just one player has had at least 3 blocks with the above numbers. Williams had 16 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocks in the second half and overtime.
- Saint Mary’s and Purdue