Moving along in the college basketball calendar, month one is officially in the books and some contenders are emerging from the pack. San Diego State (6-2) continues its homestand this week and squares up against Troy who is coming off two hard-fought losses. Including one to the Arkansas Razorbacks. Elsewhere on the west coast, Kent State visits the No.14 ranked Gonzaga Bulldogs in the always tough atmosphere of the McCarthy Athletic Center in Spokane. With both matchups featuring a ranked team vs. a plucky underdog, this Monday night’s contests should have some solid intrigue to them.
In this report, SBS will be going over what to look for from each squad, who will win in each matchup, and also some more thoughts about NCAA basketball wagering.
|NCAA Basketball Week Five Games||The Pick|
|San Diego State vs. Troy||SDSU ML||-110||-110||-110|
|Kent State vs. Gonzaga||Gonzaga -6.5||-105||-105||-105|
Team Spotlight: Troy Trojans
As mentioned above, the Trojans are reeling a bit after back-to-back road losses, one to Arkansas by 13 and then to SIU-Edwardsville by six on Saturday. Nonetheless, Troy is marching on and continuing their road trip and looking to bolster their 2-2 record away from home. Duke Miles paces the Trojans with 14 points per game while his two backcourt mates, Nelson Phillips (6.3 rebounds per game) and Aamer Muhammad (3.3 assists per game) are the main fulcra of the Troy offensive attack. While SDSU is the main favorite in this one, the Trojans have shown they can hang with tough competition (a win at Florida State) and are currently first in the Sun Belt Conference standings.
Team Spotlight: San Diego State Aztecs
While Troy has lost two in a row, San Diego State is on a bit of a roll with a two-game winning streak and a perfect record of 4-0 at home. The Aztecs are coming off a blowout victory over the Occidental Tigers and a dramatic win over UC Riverside at home. The Aztecs and Trojans do have a common foe in the Razorbacks, but SDSU did have the better performance, nearly knocking off Eric Musselman’s squad, a 78-74 loss in overtime. Known as one of the best defensive teams in the nation, the Aztecs are most likely going to buckle down against Troy. Guard Darion Trammell is one to watch here with 13.1 ppg and 3.4 apg, both tops for SDSU.
Prediction: For Troy, the hard times will continue as this blistering road swing will include a loss to SDSU at the Viejas Arena.
Team Spotlight: Gonzaga Bulldogs
One of the most exciting squads year in and year out in the country, Gonzaga has had a tougher start to the season with losses against Baylor and Purdue in their last three games. Still the cream of the crop in the West Coast Conference, the Bulldogs have not been as dominant as they have been in years past but are still a menacing threat at home. Forward Drew Timme (18.6 ppg) is looking to bolster his player-of-the-year candidacy with another stellar performance and help Gonzaga stay undefeated at home. Guard Julian Strawther is another player to watch with 8.6 rpg, near the top of the WCC leaderboards.
Team Spotlight: Kent State Golden Flashes
Our final team to check out today, Kent State has had a great start to the year with a record of 6-2 through eight games. The Golden Flashes are buoyed by guard Sincere Carry who has been an offensive nightmare for defenses with 18.9 ppg to go along with a team-leading 5.0 apg. Though Gonzaga is the clear favorite here, Kent State was able to hang with Houston on the road last month, losing only by five points to the Cougars. With a record of 1-2 on the road though, the Golden Flashes will be facing the toughest test of their young season thus far on Monday night.
Prediction: Another game that features an NCAA Tournament mainstay versus an up-and-coming squad, the Zags should still triumph here thanks to their dominance at home.
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