Virginia Tech vs Clemson
In what will be the ACC tournament opener for both programs, the No. 15 ranked Virginia Tech Hokies will host the Clemson Tigers this Tuesday.
With wins over Mississippi State, Purdue, SC State, Maryland and most recently Alabama, the Tigers are 5-0 to start the college basketball season.
Clemson closed out their game against Alabama with a 10-1 run to win the game 64-56. The Tigers shut down Alabama’s offense in the final six minutes, limiting the Crimson Tide to a shooting percentage of 30.4 on the night.
While on offense, 10 different Clemson players hit the score sheet as the Tigers shot 47.4 percent from the field.
After getting embarrassed by Penn State in their most recent outing, the Hokies have had almost a week off to process their recent 20-point loss, as they look to get back in the wins column in their ACC opener this Tuesday.
Aside from their 20-point drubbing at home last week, Virginia Tech have had a strong start to the season, recording wins against Radford, South Florida, VMI and most notably, defeating No. 9 ranked Villanova in late November.
Junior forward Keve Aluma is leading the way for the Hokies, putting up a team high in points (15.8.) and rebounds (7.8) per game.
— Virginia Tech Men’s Basketball (@HokiesMBB) December 11, 2020
Virginia Tech should bounce back in their first ACC match at home this season, getting back on the winner list and handing the Tigers their first loss of the season.
College basketball pick – Virginia Tech by 8.
Tennessee vs Appalachian State
No. 12 Tennessee Volunteers will host the Appalachian State Mountaineers this Tuesday.
Heading into their first match against a top 25 ranked opponent, the Mountaineers are 4-1 after recording wins against SC State, Carver, NC Wesleyan and Charlotte, with their one loss for the season coming against Bowling Greens earlier in the year.
Appalachian State will enter their sixth matchup of the season with Adrian Delph (13.6), Kendall Lewis (11.8) and Donovan Gregory (11.2) all averaging double digit points per game, with Delph shooting 51% from the field and 46.2% from behind the three-point line.
With an average winning margin of 25.6 points per game, the Mountaineers will be no pushover for the No. 12 Tennessee Volunteers.
Having played just two games his season, the Volunteers will be looking to improve to a 3-0 record when they face off against the Mountaineers on Tuesday.
Tennessee’s defense has been the cornerstone of their success so far this season, holding Colorado to just 47 points and keeping Cincinnati to 56 points. The Volunteers have also forced 40 opposition turnovers through their two games, while only allowing opponents to shoot at an average field score percentage of 35.6%
Another win and another strong defensive effort.
— Tennessee Basketball (@Vol_Hoops) December 13, 2020
Tennessee’s offense (60.5 points per game at 33.9% from the field) still needs to improve if they are going to make a run at winning the SEC, currently the +190 favourite. However, their ferocious defense will make it hard for Appalachian State to put up points on Tuesday and will be enough to ensure a Tennessee victory.
College basketball pick – Tennessee by 8.
Illinois vs Minnesota
The No. 6 ranked Illinois Fighting Illini open up their Big Ten play against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Tuesday Night.
With wins against Green Bay, North Dakota, Boston College, UMKC and two victories against LMU, the Golden Gophers are off to a dream start to their season, heading into conference play with a 6-0 record.
Junior guard Marcus Carr has had a great start to the season averaging a team high 23.8 points and a team high 6.2 assists. While Junior centre Liam Robbins is coming off a career night in the team’s 90-61 victory over UMKC. Robbins scored a game high 27 points to go along with 9 rebounds, and 5 blocks.
No. 6 ranked Illinois Fighting Illini will enter Tuesday’s game fresh off a 81-78 upset loss against Missouri in the Braggin’ Rights rivalry.
Despite a 36 point performance from Ayo Dosunmu, the Fighting Illini are now 4-2 heading into their Big Ten opener against the undefeated Golden Gophers.
The three-point shot has been a key reason behind Illinois’s top-10 ranking in the early stages of the season, however in their match against Missouri, the Fighting Illini shot at just 23% from behind the arc.
Missouri held off a late charge from No. 6 Illinois and overcame 36 points from Illini star Ayo Dosunmu for an 81-78 victory.
Dru Smith scored 17 points, Javon Pickett had 14 and the Tigers held on in the annual Braggin’ Rights rivalry game.https://t.co/Rzgl7xDCUK
— Chicago Tribune Sports (@ChicagoSports) December 13, 2020
Still the second favourites to win the Big Ten at +325, expect Illinois to bounce back in their opening conference matchup against the undefeated Minnesota Golden Gophers on Tuesday.
College basketball pick – Illinois by 12.
Florida State vs Georgia Tech
The No. 20 Florida State Seminoles will look to continue its home success when they host the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets on Tuesday night in the ACC opener for both teams.
After starting the season 0-2, the Yellow Jackets have since recorded double digit victories against Kentucky and Nebraska to improve their record to 2-2.
Moses Wright leads the Yellow Jackets with averages of 21.3 points and 9.8 rebounds, while three other Yellow Jackets average double digit points through their first four games.
In their two game win streak, Georgia Tech took much better care of the ball than earlier in the season, committing just 15 turnovers while forcing 37.
The Seminoles (3-0) have opened the season with three straight home wins to extend their winning streak at home to 26, while also improving to 68 wins from 71 games at the Donald L. Tucker Center.
In their recent 83-71 win over Florida, freshman guard Scottie Barnes scored a team high 17 points at 70% shooting to go along with five assists.
At 11.3 points per game, Barnes is one of four Seminoles averaging in double digits. M.J. Walker is leading the team with 17.7, while Balsa Koprivica (10.3) and Anthony Polite (10.0) are also contributing offensively.
— Florida State Men’s Basketball (@FSUHoops) December 12, 2020
Despite averaging 86.8 points per game as a team, Georgia Tech are allowing an average of 83 points on defense without having played a ranked opponent. In what has the potential to be a high scoring shootout, No. 20 Florida State will win their fourth straight game at home on Tuesday, handing the Yellow Jackets their third loss of the season.
College basketball pick – Florida State by 16.
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*Odds are correct at time of writing.