WED ATS: 2-0…WITH TWO FRICKIN’ PUSHES!
ATS HOOPS Overall – CBB: 25-20 NBA: 71-74
#7 STANFORD CARDINALS (-3.5) @ ARIZONA ST. SUN DEVILS
The (20-3) Cardinals have become more dominate with each passing week as they’ve absolutely destroyed teams with the plethora of behemoths in their frontcourt. Combined with the 7-foot Twin Towers (Brook & Robin Lopez: 27 ppg, 14 rpg, & 4 bpg), the athletic 6-8 duo of Lawerence Hill & Taj Finger (16 ppg & 11 rpg) have quietly been the difference in Stanford creating unbelievable mismatches at SF, especially on the weakside offensive glass. Throw-in a veteran backcourt that passes-up open looks to find the big-men, and their 7-game win streak in the Pac-10 is not a surprise. Tonight, they face an Arizona St. squad that has lost 5 of 6, with their only win coming against the surprisingly-tiny Arizona Wildcats. The Sun Devils only start...
The Sun Devils only start one player taller than 6-5 (6-9 Jeff Pendergraph 13.6 ppg & 6.5 rpg) and only have one other frontcourt player with size coming off the bench…and he barely plays more than 11 minutes/game (6-10 sophomore Eric Boateng: 3.9 ppg & 2.5 rpg). The only way Sun Devils have a chance to keep this close is if they can catch fire from the outside, which is not their specialty as they rank 8th in the conference in 3-pt% (.292). What else you need Homeboys…Cardinals by 8-12 points
CALIFORNIA BEARS (+7.5) @ ARIZONA WILDCATS
The most surprising thing about the perennial powerhouse known as the Wildcats is that for some reason they have absolutely no size on their roster. Besides 6-9 sophomore Jordan Hill (12.6 ppg & 8 rpg), Arizona relies on 6-7 swingman Chase Budinger (5.3 rpg) & 6-4 guard Jawann McClellan (4.0 rpg) to control the glass as nobody else on the squad averages more 3 rpg or substantial minutes in frontcourt (The Wildcats rank 8th in the conference in rebounding). This glaring weakness was highlighted in their last contest, a home loss to Arizona St., where 6-9 Sun Devil Jeff Pendergraph doubled his season average on 12-16 shooting and totaling 29 points. Tonight, the Lute Olsen’less Wildcats face a California squad with a tandem up-front of 6-10 Ryan Anderson & 7-0 DeVon Hardin that combine to average (32 ppg, 18 rpg, & 55-fg%), along with the recent emergence of 6-8 sophomore Jamal Boykin (last 5 games: 10 ppg & 7 rpg). While Arizona did win at Cal in mid-January (79-75), even though they were out rebounded 31-18, they received great floor leadership from Nic Wise that night (15 pts, 7 reg, & 3 ass), and tonight, he’s sitting out the contest because of a knee injury. As a result, look for California to be even more deliberate in their exploitation of the Cats frontcourt and to take every opportunity to get Mr. Hill in some foul-trouble…Bears in a buzzer-beater
MIAIMI HEAT (+2.5) @ CHICAGO BULLS
D-Wade will do everything in his power to make sure the Heat have double-digit wins heading into the All-Star break...which means don’t be surprised when he attempts close to 20 FTs tonight. The already short-handed Bulls will be without Big-overpriced Ben tonight, and while he’s nuttin’ special, with only the rook Noah, the bad-kneed Joe Smith, the quickness-challenged Aaron Gray, and the absent-minded T-Time protecting the rim things could get ugly. With the Matrix running at Wade’s side and the Ricky Davis/Dorell Wright combo causing havoc on the fastbreak, I don’t think the home-crowd at the United Center can make that much of a difference with Gordon & Deng both out. Not to mention, you know what they say when Mark Bount’s your starting center (last 5 games: 16 ppg & 7 rpg)…time to put the women & children to bed and double-up on your ATS plays…Heat by 6-10 points