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Rutgers at Miami
When and Where: Wednesday, Nov. 28, Watsco Center, Coral Gables, Fla., 7 p.m. EST.
Looking to bounce back from a tough loss on the West Coast, Miami tries to right itself Wednesday night when it hosts Rutgers as part of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
Scarlet Knights take to road for the first time
Rutgers (4-1) wrapped up its season-opening homestand on a positive note with back-to-back wins, but the lone loss came in its lone game against a high-major opponent — an 84-65 setback to St. John’s as part of the Gavitt Games.
The Scarlet Knights dug in defensively in their last two wins, limiting Eastern Michigan to four first-half points and then stifling Boston University in a 54-44 victory Saturday. Rutgers only shot 32.1 percent itself but limited the Terriers to 3 for 23 from 3-point range and 33.3 percent overall.
Wheels Down in M.I.A❗️
S/O to @RUBballManagers for, as usual, making sure the trip was a smooth one.
— Rutgers Basketball (@RutgersMBB) November 28, 2018
This game starts a challenging three-game, six-day stretch for Steve Pikiell’s team, which will open Big Ten play Friday against No. 9 Michigan State and then face 22nd-ranked Wisconsin on the road Monday.
“Brutal,” Pikiell told The Asbury Park Press. “We’ve got a tough stretch coming, but that’s the schedule they gave us, and we are going to play it. Miami has three pros, and then we play the No. 1 team in our league, Michigan State (Friday), and arguably the No. 2 team in our league, Wisconsin, on the road (Monday). Tough games.”
The Scarlet Knights have held teams to 57.0 points per game and 37.6 percent shooting, ranking tied for ninth and 26th nationally in those respective categories. In their lone loss, the Red Storm hit 16 of 32 from 3-point range, which is a concern since Miami is shooting 38.7 percent from deep and averaging 9.2 3-pointers made.
Eugene Omoruyi is averaging team highs of 15.8 points and 9.8 rebounds for Rutgers and has posted three double-doubles. Geo Baker and Issa Thiam are also averaging in double figures at 15.2 and 10.2 points, and the pair has combined to go 26 of 54 from beyond the arc.
“Definitely going to have some tired legs,” Baker added. “But at the end of the day, that’s why we came here. We want to play the biggest schools, the best schools.”
Rutgers is 1-3 all-time in the series since joining the Big Ten in 2015 but has lost the last three after a 78-73 defeat to Florida State last season.
‘Canes back home after coming up short in Wooden Legacy final
Miami (5-1) missed out on a chance to crack the AP Top 25 for this week after its 83-81 loss to Seton Hall in the championship game of the Wooden Legacy in California on Sunday.
Backcourt Ballers. pic.twitter.com/ItYsYldKcc
— Canes Hoops (@CanesHoops) November 27, 2018
Chris Lykes and Zach Johnson scored 18 points apiece and Anthony Lawrence added 17 as the Hurricanes shot 54.5 percent, but Ebuka Izundu missed the second of two free throws with 40 seconds to play that would have tied the game before Lawrence missed a potential go-ahead 3-pointer after Miami forced a turnover.
Turnovers on its own end caused problems as Miami committed 16 that led to 19 points, but the Hurricanes were also manhandled in the paint — the Pirates rolled up a 56-34 edge in scoring there.
but 16 turnovers led to 19 points and Miami got manhandled in the paint as the Pirates amassed a 56-34 edge in scoring there. The Hurricanes continue to play without center Dewan Hernandez, who is bhasout as the NCAA has yet to rule on his eligibility after his name came up in an e-mail as part of the FBI investigation into shoe companies who may have funneled money and athletes to certain schools.
Hernandez averaged 11.4 points and 6.7 rebounds last season in helping Miami reach the NCAA Tournament for the third straight year.
“We don’t know anything. I don’t think there is a timetable,” coach Jim Larranaga told the Miami Herald. “I don’t think the NCAA works that way…you just wait until you hear back from them.”
The Hurricanes, though, still have plenty of scoring as Lykes leads five players in double figures at 19.3 points per game. Dejan Vasiljevic has hit 21 of 40 from 3-point range and is averaging 14.7 points.
Miami is looking for its fifth straight win in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge and owns a 4-1 mark at home in the series. It is hosting Rutgers for the second time in three seasons after posting a 73-61 victory in 2016.
- No trends of note.
- The under is 6-1 in its last seven home games.
- The under is 5-1 in its last six games as a home favorite.
- The under is 5-2 in its last seven games as a favorite between 7 and 12.5 points.
- 1-4-1 ATS in its last six games after allowing fewer than 50 points in the previous game.
- 2-5 ATS in its last seven road games as an underdog between 7 and 12.5 points.
- The under is 19-9 in its last 28 non-conference games.
- The under is 11-4 in its last 15 games vs. above-.600 teams.
- The under is 5-1 in its last six games as an underdog between 7 and 12.5 points.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Rutgers showed it wasn’t really ready for prime time with that loss to St. John’s, and playing one of the nation’s top backcourts in a first true road game is also not a winning formula. The Hurricanes also can take away the one thing the Scarlet Knights do well offensively, which is take away the 3-pointer as they have held opponents to 28.5 percent shooting from deep and 5.8 3-pointers made per game.
Prediction: Pick: Miami -11
Full-Game Total Pick
While the Hurricanes may have issues along the defensive interior, they will be able to key on Baker to prevent him from a huge night. Rutgers is also sticky enough defensively it will likely be able to keep Miami around 70 points — it will be the Hurricanes defense that will help the under hit here.
Prediction: Pick: UNDER 139 points
Half-Time Side Pick
This is a confidence pick in Miami, expecting Larranaga’s team to come out aggressive after its first loss and take the fight to a young Rutgers team in its first road game. Lykes and his backcourt teammates should be able to stake the Hurricanes to a double-digit lead after 20 minutes.
Prediction: Pick: Miami -6.5
Half-Time Total Bet
There is some risk with this pick, that the Scarlet Knights might not do enough to carry the over here. But the belief is Miami will get to 40 points in the first half — the Hurricanes have scored 37 or more in the opening 20 minutes in five of their six games — to do most of the heavy lifting.
Prediction: Pick: OVER 65 points