DePAUL BLUE DEMONS (11-20)
vs. GEORGETOWN HOYAS (17-13)
Big East Conference Tournament - First Round
Madison Square Garden - New York, NY
Tip-off: Wednesday, 9:30 p.m. ET
Line: Georgetown -11
Georgetown will hope to atone for a disappointing regular season with a run in the Big East Tournament, which begins Wednesday night against DePaul.
The Blue Demons were brutal in conference play this year, going 3-15 SU and 9-9 ATS. They finished the year 14-16 ATS overall, while going 0-2 ATS at neutral sites and losing those contests by 180 PPG. They also lost both meetings to Georgetown, covering a 13-point spread on the road in a 61-54 defeat on New Year's Eve while the Hoyas easily won ATS the second time around, 71-59 as 5.5-point favorites at DePaul on Feb. 3. That gave them a perfect 11-0 SU mark (7-4 ATS) in this series since 1998. The Blue Demons finished the season losing 12 of their last 13 games (5-8 ATS). Georgetown went 15-14 ATS overall (9-9 ATS in the Big East) and 3-2 ATS at neutral sites. Its stingy defense held the DePaul to 34.9% shooting (25.0% threes) in the first two meetings this season, though the Blue Demons held a +7 rebounding margin in the two games. DePaul turned it over 31 times in the two contests, compared to just 23 for Georgetown. Although the Blue Demons are 7-14 ATS (33%) when playing only their second game in a week this season, the Hoyas are just 1-7 ATS (13%) on the road this season after going Over the total.
Can the Hoyas keep their series win streak alive with another lopsided win over lowly DePaul? For the latest college basketball picks, check out The Platinum Sheet for all the StatFox Experts selections every week throughout the entire 2013-14 season. The StatFox Experts have been rolling in college basketball Best Bets this season with a stellar 59% ATS (256-175-16) mark, including a hefty 61% ATS (224-141-10) record since Nov. 23. StatFox Brian is on an amazing Best Bets run of 19-1-2 (95% ATS) since Feb. 6, 28-4-3 (88% ATS) since Jan. 17, and 75% ATS (53-18-3) since Nov. 26 to give him a robust 71% ATS (60-25-4) record in Best Bets for the season. StatFox Dave is 66% ATS (37-19-1) since in Best Bets Dec. 18 and 61% ATS (54-34-2) this season, while StatFox Scott is 64% ATS (9-5-2) since Feb. 16 and 57% ATS (49-37-4) for the season. StatFox Gary is 60% ATS (45-30) on Best Bets since Nov. 22 and 56% ATS (49-38-2) for the season.
DePaulís subpar offense averages 69.9 PPG (209th in Div. I) on 42.5% shooting (268th in nation) with a paltry 11.2 APG (286th in Div. I). The club struggles even more on the defensive end, giving up a whopping 75.7 PPG (305th in nation) on 47.9% FG (36.6% threes). In the meeting that the Blue Devils covered, they still had top scorer PF Cleveland Melvin (16.7 PPG), who has since been dismissed from the teamóhe did not play in the second contest when Georgetown won by a dozen points. Now DePaulís biggest offensive weapon is senior SG Brandon Young (16.2 PPG, 4.1 RPG, 3.6 APG), who is averaging 23.8 PPG on 49% FG over the teamís past four contests. Although Young has a solid 14.0 PPG and 6.0 RPG versus Georgetown this season, he has made just 9-of-26 shots (35%). The teamís only other double-digit scorer is freshman guard Billy Garrett Jr. (12.4 PPG, 3.1 APG), who helps share the ball-handling duties while shooting a poor 37% from the field. But Garrett has at least a dozen points in five straight games, averaging 16.4 PPG on 46% FG (10-of-19 threes) during this stretch, and has 14.5 PPG on 7-of-13 FG versus Georgetown this season. Freshman C Tommy Hamilton IV (7.6 PPG, 5.0 RPG) is the teamís top rebounder, though his minutes fluctuate a lot because he has a paltry seven points and 12 personal fouls over his past four contests. Senior PF Sandi Marcius (5.1 PPG, 4.8 RPG) must make big contributions on the glass, because he's sure not providing any scoring with zero points in the past two games in a combined 45 minutes.
Georgetown plays a slow brand of basketball, putting up 70.7 PPG (198th in Div. I) on a respectable 46.2% shooting (78th in nation), but a poor 32.8% clip from three-point range. Their defense isnít as stingy like in years' past, allowing opponents to score 67.6 PPG (110th in Div. I), but it does hold opponents to a mere 41.2% FG and 32.7% threes. As is the case most of the time this season, PG Markel Starks (17.1 PPG, 4.1 APG) led Georgetown in both wins against DePaul, averaging 23.5 PPG (19-of-22 FT) in the two meetings. He and SG DíVauntes Smith-Rivera (16.8 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 2.7 APG) both play more than 35 MPG for head coach John Thompson III, with Smith-Rivera averaging 14.5 PPG and 6.5 RPG versus the Blue Demons this season. While these two comprise a dynamic backcourt duo, the frontcourt lacks a big scoring weapon. SF Mikael Hopkins (6.4 PPG, 5.3 RPG, 1.6 BPG) can be a force defensively, but was scoreless in Saturday's loss to Villanova, fouling out for the sixth time this season. Senior PF Nate Lubick (5.2 PPG, 5.6 RPG) usually battles on the boards with 8.5 RPG versus DePaul this season, but has more fouls (9) than rebounds (7) over the his past three contests.