Date and Time: Saturday, February 15th, 2014 12:00 PM EST on ESPN

Game Line: UConn -5 Game Total (Over/Under): 141 (from BetOnline)

Saturday NCAABB analysis: The Memphis Tigers travel to Hartford to take on the Connecticut Huskies in a key American Athletic Conference matchup.

UConn (19-5) is playing a solid brand of basketball as of late as they are winners of 5 out of their last 6 games. They have had somewhat of a tough time in conference play this year, losing at Houston and SMU in back-to-back losses, losing at home against Louisville, and at Cincinnati. They have had some signature wins this year against Florida back in early December and at Memphis. The Huskies have taken care of business in their last two games, defeating Central Florida by 20, and South Florida by 43. Senior guard Shabazz Napier leads the team in scoring averaging 17.3 ppg along with 5.5 assists and 5.9 rebounds per game. UConn is averaging 75.6 ppg while shooting 46.5% from the field and hitting 40% of the 3 point attempts. They are allowing 63.4 ppg while limiting opponents to an impressive 38.3% from the field.

The Memphis Tigers (19-5) have won 7 of their last 8 since being beaten at home by the Huskies a month ago. They have quite a few impressive wins on the resume’, with victories over then ranked Oklahoma State in early December, a 6 point road win at Louisville, and a 6 point win against Gonzaga last Saturday. Their only road loss was at the beginning of February at SMU, a place that’s pretty hard to win these days. The Tigers are averaging 79.7 ppg while shooting 48.1% from the field. They are aggressive on the glass averaging 38.2 rpg, tops in the conference. While they aren’t the best defensive team allowing 43.5% shooting by their opponents, they do defend the perimeter well limiting opponents to 29% shooting from 3 point land.

I’m taking the points with the Memphis Tigers on Saturday. The Huskies have been impressive in their last two outings, but I think they are in for a rude awakening on Saturday. UConn is 7-4 in conference play, yet their only signature win in the conference was on the road against Memphis. It was a contest that saw the Tigers choke down the stretch. The teams were tied with 5 minutes remaining, but the result was an 83-73 UConn victory. Memphis guard Joe Johnson made it abundantly clear that the Tigers really take it personal losing at home. I believe the Tigers get the job done here, they are the better rebounding team, and they have the better assist to turnover ratio. They defend the 3 well which is UConn’s strength, and will have the extra motivation from the loss at the hands of the Huskies a month ago. The Tigers didn’t look to impressive in their last outing, sleepwalking in a win at home against Central Florida. There’s no doubt they were looking ahead to this matchup, which would lead me to believe that we will see one of the better efforts this season from this Memphis squad.

Memphis Tigers at Connecticut Huskies Free NCAABB pick: Memphis +5 Over 141

Memphis Tigers at Connecticut Huskies Game Prediction: Memphis 74 UConn 71

 

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