Old Style Big East basketball is front and center this afternoon when the Connecticut Huskies and the Temple Owls take the Amway Center hardwood in Orlando, Florida, in the first semifinals event of the American Athletic Conference tournament.
Connecticut Huskies (-2, 128) vs Temple Owls
Time: 3:00 PM ET, Saturday, March 12, 2016
Venue: Amway Center, Orlando, Florida
TV Coverage: ESPN2
I’m recommending a play on UConn minus the points on Saturday. The Huskies had to play four OT periods to get by Cincinnati last night, while the Owls cruised passed South Florida, 79-62. Public perception will say Temple is fresh and UConn is worn out. But I believe perception has been baked into the opening number. UConn lost both regular season meetings, falling 55-53 on a last-second shot in the first meeting, then blowing a 54-42 lead with just over five minutes to go, getting outscored 21-4 down the stretch in a 63-58 loss on February 11. In fact, UConn scored two points on two FTs and no FGs over the final 5:11. But the Huskies were a 10-point favorite at home and a 5-point favorite on the road. Both teams have played well on the defensive end away from home this season, but UConn is a little better in the categories that matter to me the most, including allowing just 20.5 made FGs per contest on 37.4% shooting. Temple ranks 315th in the nation, making just 40.7% of their FGA, while the Huskies have nailed nearly 46% of their shots. Despite the 4-OT game last night, I suspect UConn’s adrenaline and youth to carry them in this one. Last night’s game reminded me of the 2009 UConn-Syracuse clash in the old Big East. Syracuse beat the Huskies 127-117 in 6 OT’s. Many played against the Orange the next day, but Jim Boeheim’s “tired” team beat West Virginia 74-69, outright as a 6 1/2 point underdog. I expect the “tired” UConn Huskies to win and cover here.
I’m recommending a play on Connecticut minus the points.
FREE PICK: UCONN HUSKIES -2
Join Scott today for his Saturday afternoon 4% CBB BIG-10 BEATDOWN! Riding a 6-2, 75% L4 DAYS of CBB fun and a stellar 48-28 overall Campus record you don’t want to miss this Saturday Conference Beatdown as Scott looks to extend his CBB runs to 7-2 & 49-28 and overall run to 96-64!