NCAA Odds: Unbeaten Cincinnati visits Villanova
By: Joe Freda
Saturday, January 8, 2011
Cincy’s Yancy Gates is coming off a 22-point, 14-reboound performance.
The No. 25 Cincinnati Bearcats have a 15-game win streak to start the season, with a 6-1 spread record in their last seven ‘board’ battles. Mick Cronin’s crew looks to extend its run in Sunday’s road game against the No. 7 Villanova Wildcats, who are 2-0 ATS in Big East Conference play.
Cincinnati’s latest triumph came with Thursday’s 66-46 win as a nine-point home favorite against the Xavier Musketeers. The Bearcats hit 15-of-16 free throws, while holding Xavier to 39.1 percent field shooting.
Bearcats forward Yancy Gates logged season-highs of 22 points and 14 boards, notching his first double-double in 12 games. The junior hit 10-of-16 from the field, while adding two of his squad’s six blocks.
Gates’ mate Dion Dixon finished with 16 points and a season-high nine rebounds. The Bearcats’ leading scorer (12.9 PPG) finished without an assist for the first time in nine games.
The lopsided affair’s combined 112 points plunged below the ‘total’ of 130, bringing the ‘under’ to 5-0 in Cincinnati’s last five ‘board’ games. The Bearcats outrebounded Xavier, 34-24, while both squads united to drain 6-of-26 from three-point land.
Cincinnati is 4-0 ATS in its first four games away from home, with the ‘under’ going 3-1. The Bearcats defense has smothered foes in that span, allowing a stingy 46.2 PPG.
Villanova picked up its eighth straight win in Thursday’s 83-71 victory as a 7 ½-point road favorite against the South Florida Bulls. The Wildcats connected on 58.3 percent of their field buckets, including a stellar 9-of-12 from beyond the arc.
Wildcats guard Corey Stokes notched a team-high 22 points, improving his season average to 17.3 PPG. The New Jersey native went a perfect 5-for-5 from three-point range.
Villanova’s Maalik Wayns logged 16 points and a team-high nine assists. The sophomore guard hit 10-of-12 from the foul line, while adding four boards.
The shootout’s combined 154 points flew above the ‘total’ of 128, making the ‘over’ 4-0-1 in the Wildcats’ last five ‘board’ duels. Villanova grabbed 11 steals, including five by guard Corey Fisher.
The Wildcats are 3-2-1 ATS in their first six home ‘board’ games, with the ‘over’ also going 3-2-1. Jay Wright’s troops have put up 79 PPG in that stretch.
Villanova is 3-1 ATS in its last four meetings against the Bearcats, with the ‘under’ collecting at 4-0. The Wildcats covered double-digit pointspreads in their two home contests of that span, defeating Cincy by an average margin of 18.5 PPG.
Villanova escaped with a 77-73 win as a 3 ½-point road favorite in last March’s battle between the foes. Stokes drained 3-of-6 from beyond the arc en route to finishing with 14 points for the Wildcats. Gates went a perfect 7-for-7 at the foul line for Cincy, who was held to 39.4 percent field shooting.
Sunday’s tip is scheduled for 9 a.m. (PT), with ESPN3.com providing online televised coverage.
Both squads will have two days off before resuming action as part of Wednesday’s college hoops schedule. Villanova remains home to face the No. 23 Louisville Cardinals, while Cincinnati hosts South Florida.