Bama's 3-on-5 game almost worked out; Arizona set for UNLV
November 28, 2017 3:08 AM
by Ramon Scott
The Alabama Crimson Tide literally emptied the bench Saturday against the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
More like the bench emptied itself right on to the court during a shoving match, then officials emptied them right into the locker room after ejecting five members of the team for leaving the bench during the altercation.
The Tide had enough players to continue, but then another player fouled out, leaving Alabama, still down nine points, with just four members to compete. Then another turned an ankle, putting the Tide in a three-on-five against the Gophers in a game played at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Not the best of scenarios when facing a fellow top-25 opponent, but the rule is clear – leaving the bench results in an immediate ejection.
But that’s when Alabama freshman Collin Sexton became somewhat of a world-beater, going on to become the first Crimson Tide player to score 40 points in a game since 1978 as Alabama actually outscored Minnesota, 30-24, after being reduced to a Gus Mackey-style trio.
The Golden Gophers led by double-digits but ended up holding on for an 89-84 win. For some reason, Minnesota passed around the spaced defenders – utilizing a 1-2 zone – and opted for wide-open three-pointers, rather than attacking, then dishing, at the basket.
Sexton, meanwhile, solidified his shot at being a lottery choice in next year’s NBA Draft.
Clemson (+2.5, 143.5) at Ohio State (Wed., 4:15, ESPN2): Five-straight UNDER for the Bucks after Sunday’s one-point OT loss to Butler in their PK80 consolation. OSU has two tough conference games next against Wisconsin (A) and Michigan (H). The Tigers (5-1) lost their toughest test so far, dropping a 67-60 decision to Temple, and are 2-2 ATS.
Michigan (+8, 150) at North Carolina (Wed., 4:30, ESPN): Wolverines are 6-1 SU, covering three-straight and gone under in four of six so far. The Heels ran out of gas on Sunday at the PK80, scoring just 45 points in an 18-point loss to Michigan State in a matchup of Top 10 teams. Eleventh-ranked UNC was 1-of-18 from three-point range against Sparty.
Miami, Fla. (+2.5, 144.5) at Minnesota (Wed., 6:15, ESPN2): Gophers come in 7-0 SU, while tall and deep Hurricanes are 5-0 SU. Minnesota is 5-1 in their five board games and have gone OVER in five of those six contests, while Miami has just one lined game so far, a 57-46 cover as a 10.5-point choice against La Salle, although some pushed at -11.
Duke (-9.5, 169) at Indiana (Wed., 6:30, ESPN2): No. 1 Duke had no problem running down fast-starting, but tiring Florida in its PK80 final on Sunday thanks to Marvin Bagley III. Bagley put his early stamp on the POY race with his 30-point barrage as the Blue Devils won their eighth-straight out of the gate (5-1 ATS, 6-0 OVER). Hoosiers (4-2) started 0-4 ATS, but have covered two straight and are 5-1 to the OVER.
Notre Dame (+2.5, 141) at Michigan State (Thu., 4, ESPN): The Player-of-the-Year candidate in this one is the Irish’s Bonzie Colson and not necessarily the Spartans’ Miles Bridges. Notre Dame is out to a 6-0 SU start and covered all three games against major competition, though they failed at -29 against Chaminade. Third-ranked MSU has covered and gone UNDER in each of its last three games.
Temple (+5.5, 140.5) vs. South Carolina (at MSG, Thu., 6, ESPNU): Final Four participant South Carolina is featured in the second game at the Under Armour Reunion in New York after a matchup between a top-25ers Texas Tech and Seton Hall. The Gamecocks already has a blip so far with a loss to Illinois State, but are 4-1 ATS with a 4-1 mark to the UNDER. The Owls were 3-0 out of the gate against similar opposition, then lost to La Salle on the road.
Purdue (-1.5, 145.5) at Maryland (Fri., 4, BTN): The Terps had a loss to St. Bonaventure last Friday as a 10-point favorite in a tournament in Florida, as they entered the week with a 2-3 spread mark, but have gone UNDER in all four lined totals contests. The Boilers stumbled to a pair of losses in the Bahamas over the weekend.
Boise State (+10.5, 144.5) at Oregon (Fri., 6:30, P12): The Ducks lost two of three at the PK80, falling to UConn and Oklahoma, and survived an OT game with DePaul in between. The Broncos have beaten all their lesser competition to-date but lost a tournament game to higher-ranked Iowa State.
Creighton (+7, 156) at Gonzaga (Fri., 7, ESPN2): The Bulldogs played a pair of OT games at the PK80 while winning two of three games overall, losing a 111-105 double-OT game to Florida. The Blue Jays lost to a tougher opponent in Baylor in a game played in Kansas City, but Creighton is 4-1 ATS and 4-1 to the OVER so far, scoring over 90 points in each of its five wins.
Cincinnati (PK, 144.5) at Xavier, (Sat., 9 a.m., FS1): XU got off to a 5-0 start SU and ATS before dropping its finale here in Vegas on Friday against Arizona State. The Musketeers are also 5-1 to the OVER so far having scored at least 80 points in each of their first six games.
Wichita State (+1, 139) at Baylor (Sat., 11, ESPNU): Fifth-ranked Wichita State and 15th-ranked Baylor meet in one of the week’s marquee contests. The Bears started 5-0 and won a pair of lined contests last week including a 5-point win in a near pick’em matchup with Wisconsin at the Hall of Fame event in K.C. The Shockers were upset by Notre Dame to fall to 4-1, but were just 2-2 ATS so far.
Kansas (-9.5, 146.5) vs. Syracuse (at Miami, Sat., 2:30, ESPN): Second-ranked Kansas won its first five (3-1 ATS) and beat Kentucky in its only major challenge so far, but failed to cover 4.5 in a 65-61 win in the second game of the season. SU came into the week undefeated but had a closely-rated matchup on Monday at home against Maryland.
Arizona (-6.5, 153.5) at UNLV (Sat., 7, CBSSN): Seven-footer Brandon McCoy has Vegas jumping after a 6-0 SU start, but the Rebels are coming off a tough road test last Wed. when they were expected to be a short ‘dog at Northern Iowa. UNLV opened with five-straight covers until failing a big number in a blowout of Southern Utah and have gone over in 5 of 6. Arizona lost all three games in the Bahamas.
USC (+4, 141) at SMU (Sat., 7, ESPNU): The Mustangs were also a loser in Nassau, but did grab a win from U of A in between defeats to Northern Iowa and Western Kentucky. SMU went UNDER in all three games in the Bahamas. The Trojans lost at home on Sunday as a four-point choice against undefeated rapid-riser Texas A&M.
Seton Hall (+5, 143) at Louisville (Sun., 1, ESPN2): The Cards opened with four patsies, but its pretty much all toughies from here on out, including a matchup earlier this week at Purdue. Seton Hall has wins over Indiana and Vanderbilt for their only two covers (2-4 ATS).
Tennessee (PK, 133) at Georgia Tech (Sun., 3, ESPNU): The Yellow Jackets have played UCLA and Northwestern, but other than that, have played four teams ranked 275th or lower. Both of their lined games have gone UNDER. The Vols upset Purdue in OT before losing to Villanova in the Bahamas.