Ness’s Notes (January 30)
Yesterday, there were no individual 81-point efforts (Kobe) or 301-point games (Seattle / Phoenix) like last Sunday in the NBA. However, LeBron (Cavs) had 44 and Mike Bibby (Kings) 42, as the players have already recorded 55 40-point games in the current NBA season. By comparison, last year there were a total of just 67 40-point games for the entire year. Tonight’s NBA features an eight-game schedule, highlighted by the Clippers in the Heat and the Celtics in the Timberwolves.
My free game for Monday is at the university. Take Villanova over Louisville at 7:00 ET. Tonight in college basketball, I’m throwing just my THIRD 22 * play of the season. My 22 * works are my highest star picks and represent my twenty-second year in the industry. I don’t usually assign 22 * ratings as I submitted only SIX throughout the entire CFB season (4-2) and as mentioned above this is only my THIRD this year on CBB (starting 2-0!). In the NBA, I’m following my win back with the Cavs yesterday, with one of my coveted 15 * plays in the NBA tonight!
The Clippers have won five straight games (also 5-0 ATS) and will be trying to get their first six-game winning streak since March 1992, when Larry Brown was the team’s head coach. The Heat have lost major home games to both San Antonio and Phoenix in the past 10 days and could surely use a win over one of the best teams in the West. Wade is still upset with ankle problems, but he scored 32 points in yesterday’s 101-95 win over Houston. The Heat are favored by 4 1/2 points with a total of 192.
The Celtics and T-wolves completed a seven-player trade last week and will meet tonight in Minnesota. Both teams are 1-1 since the trade, which featured Szczerbiak and Olowokandi going to Boston with Davis and Blount coming to Minnesota. Boston has won FIVE in a row at the Target Center, but is just 4-17 SU and 8-12-1 ATS on the road this year. T wolves are favored by 6 1/2 points with a total of 184.
Sunday’s college basketball highlights saw Washington lose its thirteenth straight game at Maples Pavilion, 76-67 in overtime, to Stanford. Chris Hernandez hit three FTs with two tenths of a second left in regulation for the Cardinal and then outscored the Huskies 13-4 in overtime.
Minnesota posted its first Big-10 victory of the season after going 0-6, crushing No. 13 Indiana. The Gophers, who had fired less than 40% in their six conference losses, made 26 of 51 shots. Indiana, the Big-10’s best 3-point shooting team (46%), hit only 5 of 23 3-pointers!
No. 9 West Va remained the Big East’s only undefeated in conference play, as they held on to beat St John’s, 66-61. The Mountaineers made just ONE field in the final 11 minutes of the game and nearly blew a 13-point lead in the final three minutes of the game.
While there are no undefeated teams left in college basketball, a lone team remains WITHOUT WINNERS. MEAC’s Morgan State is 0-18 heading into their game tonight. Coached by former Louisville star Butch Beard, the Golden Bears have followed up last year’s 14-16 season with this year’s DISASTER! However, this could be the ‘night’. Howard (tonight’s opponent), is just 2-14 on the season and enters the contest on an eight-game losing streak, playing his fourth straight away game!
Tonight’s college basketball show features a 23-game card, but 13 of the games are of the “added” variety. ESPN begins the night with No. 22 Louisville at No. 6 Villanova (7:00 ET). The Cardinals are just 2-5 in conference games (averaging just 61.9 PPG), after going 12-1 in non-conference games. Villanova is 7-1 at home this year, losing only to West Va. The Wildcats are favored with 10 1/2 points with a total of 139 1/2. ESPN2 carries the final two games of tonight’s television tripleheader, with Texas Tech at Kansas (9:00 ET) and Hawaii at Utah State (midnight ET).
Texas Tech is just 11-9 this year (he averaged 22.5 wins per season in Knight’s first four years at Lubbock) and is just 1-7 SU and ATS on the road this season. Kansas, a very young team, is starting to come together. The Jayhawks have won 10 of their last 12, going 8-3 ATS. Kansas is favored by 13 1/2 points with a total of 140. Hawaii beat Utah State on December 17, 69-59. However, this game is in Logan, where the Aggies are 10-0, winning by an average score of 79-59. Rainbows are 0-5 SU and 1-4 ATS on the road. The state of Utah, in its first year of playing in the WAC, is favored by 10 points with a total of 129.
In my countdown to Super Bowl XL, the Steelers have a four-point favorite (still about 3 1/2 left) and the total is basically 47 (about 47 1/2). It hardly seems like 39 years ago, when the Lombardi Packers beat the Stram Chiefs in the first game. It wasn’t called the Super Bowl back then, but the NFL-AFL World Championship Game. It was played at the LA Coliseum, with CBS bringing the game to its NFL audience and NBC to its AFL audience (the former and the latter!).
The face value of the tickets was just $ 12 and the resellers were unlikely to be very ‘lucky’ as only 61,946 in attendance, about 30,000 less than capacity. More to come tomorrow.
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