We’ve got some noteworthy college basketball rematches tonight. That has been a talking point for me and one I mentioned on Prime Time Action yesterday with a winner on Missouri State laying a short number. See what happened in that first game and carry it over into the second game to see if you can find a better angle. (My original thoughts on rematches here.)
Let’s look at some rematches tonight.
UCLA at Arizona (-7, 149) – This is obviously the biggest and most notable one of the night. UCLA rolled to a 75-59 win in the first meeting on Jan. 25, despite 21 offensive rebounds from Arizona. The Wildcats were just 14-of-31 at the rim, 2-of-16 in the midrange and 7-of-28 from 3. It was a horrific shooting performance for the ‘Cats, who had a season low .822 points per possession. Some may wonder why Arizona is this big of a favorite in the rematch after how the last game went, but it certainly was an offensive outlier for Arizona. UCLA’s 1.045 PPP were also the second-most allowed by Arizona this season (Illinois 1.052).
San Francisco at BYU (-2, 144) – Back on Jan. 15, BYU beat San Francisco 71-69 for an outright upset as a 4-point dog. BYU is favored for the rematch by a bucket, but it is worth noting that USF was 3-of-23 from 3 in that first game and still only lost by a deuce. The Dons are a 34.6 percent team from 3 and are top 40 in Effective Field Goal Percentage on offense. BYU is a top-20 team at defending 3s, but the Dons should have a more efficient offensive showing here.
Montana at Weber State (-7, 143.5) – These teams played back on Jan. 1 and Montana closed a 3.5-point favorite in a 74-72 win. Montana was 10-of-19 from 3 and Weber State was 5-of-17, accounting for the difference in the game. Otherwise, Weber State forced more turnovers, had more offensive rebounds and made more free throws. This looks like a big number based on the -3.5 from the first game, as Weber State had a season-high in Offensive Rebounding Percentage in that game and doesn’t defend the 3 well.
USF at UCF (-11.5, 130) – The lone conference win for USF came back on Jan. 15 when the Bulls routed the Knights 75-51. UCF closed an 8-point road favorite in that one and lost by 24. USF had 21 offensive rebounds and UCF was just 2-of-20 on 3s and 19-of-57 from the floor overall. It may surprise some people to see UCF laying double digits here given the first game. I’m not sure I could back them.
Portland State at Northern Colorado (-8.5, 150.5) – I was on Northern Colorado on Monday and the trailed by 21 at halftime after allowing 51 first-half points to a pathetic Portland State offense. The Bears roared all the way back, holding the Vikings to 28 points in the second half, and a non-call prevented the Bears from having a chance to tie with three late free throws. The officiating was suspect throughout the game. Northern Colorado closed -3 on Jan. 31 and is propped up as a big favorite here. Portland State was 11-of-25 from 3 last game. Not bad for a team shooting 28.8 percent against Division I opponents.