Georgia Bulldogs (7-1; 2-3 ATS; 3-2 O/U) vs. Massachusetts Minutemen (5-5; 5-3 ATS; 3-5 O/U)
The Massachusetts Minutemen will host the red-hot Georgia Bulldogs as non-conference play continues Saturday afternoon from the William D. Mullins Center. The Bulldogs are coming off a 87-82 home win over Winthrop, and the Minutemen notched a 72-63 home win against Providence in their latest action. There is no previous meeting between these two schools.
Bulldogs Squeak Out Win Against Winthrop
The Georgia Bulldogs continued their winning ways with an 87-82 home win against Winthrop in their latest contest on December 7th. The Bulldogs shot an excellent 52.8% from the field, however they were not at their best defensively as Winthrop was able to shoot 50% on the day. Bulldogs’ top scorer Yante Maten had another big game in the win, recording 25 points on a 9 for 17 mark from the field and collected 11 rebounds. The senior forward is having an outstanding season, notching four double-doubles, and is averaging 18.5 points along with 9.4 rebounds per game. William Jackson II chipped in with a solid 14 point effort on 4 for 6 shooting in the win against Winthrop. The junior guard has scored at least 14 points in four out of his last five games and is now up to 12.5 points per game on 45.7% shooting.
The Bulldogs have now won three straight and their only loss this season came to a strong San Diego State team. They have defeated Marquette and 21st ranked St. Mary’s this season, and are ranked at 71st overall in Ken Pomeroy’s College Basketball Rankings. Georgia is scoring an average of 74.5 points per game, ranking them 198th overall. They are a tremendous defensive team, holding opponents to an average of 68.1 points, placing them 98th overall.
UMass Stuns Providence
The Massachusetts Minutemen enter this one full of confidence after defeating a strong Providence team by a 72-63 score in their latest contest. The Minutemen went on a 21-3 run in the second half and finished with a 56% clip from the field while holding the Friars to 40% shooting. Luwane Pipkens was tremendous in the winning effort, sinking 31 points on a dazzling 12 for 16 performance from the field. The sophomore guard is having a breakout season, reaching the 20-point mark five times this season, and is now posting 18.9 points per game on 42% shooting. C.J. Anderson added ten points with six rebounds in the win against the Friars. The senior guard is a complete player, now up to 9.4 points along with five rebounds and 5.1 assists per game.
The Minutemen have responded nicely from a four game losing streak by reeling off two straight wins. They have been accurate from the free-throw line, shooting over 76% on the season, good for 30th in the Country. They are ranked at 148th in the Country in Ken Pomeroy’s College Basketball Rankings. UMass is not a high-scoring team, averaging 71.6 points per game, ranking them 247th overall. They are playing well defensively, allowing an average of 68.5 points, placing them 107th overall.
The Georgia Bulldogs are:
- No Key Trends
The Massachusetts Minutemen are:
- 4-11 ATS in their last 15 games against SEC opponents.
- 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games following a straight up win.
I am taking Georgia in this matchup. Georgia is playing stifling defense, holding opponents to 39% shooting, and they recently limited a powerful Marquette offense to only 66 points on the road, so they should be able to neutralize the Minutemen. Furthermore, UMass is a low-scoring team and they only feature one player averaging double-digits in points, plus three of their top four scorers are shooting at or below 42% on the season. Georgia also has the rebounding advantage as they are averaging nearly 42 rebounds per game led by the dangerous Yante Maten.