Cincinnati Aims To Stay Undefeated Against New Mexico

By: Willie Bee | Wednesday, December 26, 2012

New Mexico Lobos at Cincinnati Bearcats
College Basketball Betting Preview
12/27/2012 at 9:00 p.m. (ET)
Opening Lines: Cincinnati -8, O/U 136½
(click for latest college basketball odds)
Television: ESPN2

New Mexico: Coach Steve Alford and the Lobos (12-1 straight-up, 5-6-1 against the spread) suffered their first loss of the season last Saturday with a 70-65 setback at home vs. South Dakota State. New Mexico was giving up 14½ points in the defeat that cost the Lobos a spot in the rankings after entering No. 16 and No. 17, respectively, according to the AP and Coaches Poll. South Dakota State's upset also stopped a 4-0-1 run against the spread for the Lobos, who began the campaign covering just one of their first six lined affairs. New Mexico is tied for 70th in the country, committing 12.4 turnovers per game, but in the bottom 20 percent coming up with just 5.3 steals per contest. Kendall Williams leads the Lobos in scoring, averaring nearly 15 points per game, and the junior point guard also tops the team charts with five assists each outing. Seven-foot sophomore Alex Kirk is New Mexico's leading rebounder with 7.5 per game.

Cincinnati: One of only five undefeated squads coming out of the Christmas break, the 'Cats (12-0 SU, 5-3 ATS) are ranked eighth in both polls released this past Monday. Thursday's clash with the Lobos is the last before Coach Mick Cronin's crew begins the Big East slate at Pittsburgh on New Year's Eve. Cincinnati struggled on the offensive end in its final two games before the holiday, combining to shoot just 35.6 percent (47-of-132) in victories vs. Xavier and Wright State, including 10-of-42 from outside the arc. The Bearcats rank 18th in scoring, averaging 79.8 points per game despite those shooting woes, and are second in rebounding (46.4 per game). Free-throw shooting has been an issue all season with Cincy 321st in the country, converting just over 61 percent of its charity tosses. Sean Kilpatrick leads the Bearcats with 19.2 ppg, and he is also second on the team in rebounding (6.3 per game). Cashmere Wright (14.2 ppg) and JaQuon Parker (11.6 ppg) follow Kilpatrick on the scoring list.

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