Gonzaga And BYU Close Thursday Hoops Slate

By: Adam Markowitz | Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Tuesday night on the college hardwood produced a number of relatively low-scoring games. The average final score only tallied 123.2 PPG, and there were almost as many teams that scored in the 40s (six) than teams that got into the 70s or 80s (seven).

The end result saw 'under' bettors finish the evening at 7-6, and on Thursday, there are definitely some trends that point to more low-scoring games as well.

We'll start with the final tip of the evening at 11:00 (ET), as the Gonzaga Bulldogs take on the BYU Cougars in Provo. This game is obviously huge for both teams, with each needing some big time victories to prove that they are worthy candidates for the NCAA Tournament as at-large bids, assuming that the Saint Mary's Gaels take the conference tournament title.

BYU and Gonzaga have a combined record in the totals department of 25-14 to the 'under.' The Cougars have played seven of their last nine beneath the total, while the Zags have gone 11-1-1 for 'under' bettors in their last 13.

You can catch this crucial bubble battle on ESPN2 or ESPN3.

Though the Duke Blue Devils have double the number of 'overs' as they do 'unders,' they are definitely going to be on under alert when they take on the Virginia Tech Hokies on Thursday. These two ACC foes have played four of their last five games below the total, which only bolsters the fact that Va Tech has gone 6-2 for 'under' bettors in its last eight games.

The Hokies badly need to win this game and get on a roll if they hope to have a chance of dancing this year, while the Dookies are still trying to claim a top seed in the tournament.

The action unfolds from Blacksburg at 7:00 (ET) on ESPN.

The Murray State Racers remain as the nation's only undefeated team, and they are going to put that mark on the line against arguably their toughest conference competition when they host the Southeast Missouri State Redhawks on Thursday. Even though the Racers are a Top 10 team in the AP Poll, they aren't necessarily going to even be in the top half of the bracket when the Selection Committee is said and done, and the more impressive wins that can be had, the better.

Murray State will inch closer to wrapping up the top seed in the Ohio Valley Tournament with a win on Thursday night, and will be a huge favorite on the NCAA basketball odds to do so. This 8:00 (ET) tip can be seen on ESPNU.

In the only other two games featuring ranked teams on Thursday, the Florida Gators will host the South Carolina Gamecocks at 9:00 (ET) on ESPN2 and ESPN3, while the St. Mary's Gaels will take on the San Diego Toreros at 10:00 (ET).

The Nebraska Cornhuskers and Northwestern Wildcats meet in a Big Ten battle at 7:00 (ET) on ESPN2 and ESPN3, a game that is immediately followed by the UCLA Bruins and Washington Huskies squaring off at Alaska Airlines Arena at 9:00 (ET) on the Deuce.

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