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Jim Feist’s CBB Betting Tips (Feb. 17th)

College Hoops Takes Center Stage

Jim Feist

Jim Feist

The SEC has a bunch of teams that are loaded with talent, depth and athleticism.

Kentucky won the national championship in 1998, Florida knocked on the door in 2000 getting to the title game against Michigan State, the won it all with back-to-back titles.

Here’s a look at some of college basketball’s best teams in the SEC.

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Kentucky: There’s no vying for power between several teams in the SEC this season. The Wildcats have been the dominant team from Day 1 for coach John Calipari, with a powerful frontcourt of 6-11, 260-pound freshman DeMarcus Cousins (16.4 ppg, 10 rpg) and 6-9 junior Patrick Patterson (14.9 ppg, 7.3 rpg). Cousins already has a UK freshman record with 15 double-doubles. They are the reason Kentucky is No. 1 in the SEC in rebounds and blocks.

Throw in 6-4 freshman guard John Wall (16.4 ppg), a great playmaker and their leading scorer, and this young team is scary-good. Wall had 22 points and 10 rebounds last week in a win over Alabama. They are reminiscent of the Ohio State team that went to the finals with another pair of freshman phenoms in Greg Oden and Mike Conley.

Tennessee: The Volunteers have 6-9 senior Wayne Chism (13 ppg, 7 rpg) up front and 6-7 sophomore Scotty Hopson (13.1 ppg), but short on depth the last month. Third leading scorer senior Tyler Smith (11.7 ppg) was dismissed January 9th after his arrest with three other players on misdemeanor gun and drug charges. Tennessee is on a 5-3 SU, 2-6 ATS run since then.

They prefer the uptempo game under Coach Bruce Pearl, leading the SEC in three-point shooting (43%) and scoring (86 ppg). Despite this, they are o a 10-5 run under the total. The Vols have been prone to meltdowns, losing back-to-back games to Georgia and Vandy as 6-point favorites, plus last week’s 90-71 loss at Vanderbilt. They also lost to USC, 77-55, as 10-point chalk. They are currently in the middle of a stretch playing four of five on the road, before coming home to host Kentucky.

Vanderbilt: Vandy has used its strong home court edge and a dynamite backcourt of

senior Jermaine Beal (14.7 ppg) and 6-7 sophomore Jeffery Taylor (13.9 ppg) to stay in contention for the SEC title. They don’t dominate any one thing, but do a lot of little things well, including being one of the top shooting teams (47%) in the SEC.

They beat Tennessee 85-76 in Knoxville on Jan. 27, and they never let Tennessee get started in the Vols’ visit to Music City last week, a 90-71 rout. They improved to a perfect 12-0 at home, 17 straight dating to a Jan. 25, 2009, loss to Florida. Vanderbilt has its biggest home game of the season this Saturday, hosting Kentucky. They will try and avenge an 85-72 loss at Kentucky last month, its only SEC defeat. Note that Kentucky won the battle of the boards 39-21!

Florida: Coach Bill Donovan has been the king of the SEC in recent years, as well as the college basketball world, with back-to-back titles, but this is a bit of a rebuilding season. Freshman guard Kenny Boynton (14 ppg) leads the Gators in scoring, while 6-8 juniors Alex Tyus (13 ppg) and 6-9 Chandler Parsons work the low post.

They do not play the run-and-gun style that Donovan prefers, leading the SEC in points allowed (56.6) and three-point shooting defense. They are on a 7-3-1 run under the total. The Gators have had no trouble with the weaker teams in the conference, but have losses to Vandy, Kentucky and Tennessee.

Mississippi: Ole Miss started hot with a soft schedule and an uptempo pace behind its three-guard attack of junior Chris Warren (16.8 ppg), Terrico White and Eniel Polynice. That quick backcourt is why the Rebels are second in the conference in steals per game and third in points (82 ppg).

They took Tennessee to overtime, on the road, before losing 71-69 as a +7 dog, part of a 3-0 ATS run as a dog. They have also been on a 5-1-1 ATS run overall. In a win over Alabama last week, the Rebels made 25 of 33 free throws in the second half. However, for the season they have struggled from the line, 66% in the SEC.  The Rebels are 11-2 at home and have a big home game this weekend against Vandy.

Jim Feist is the recognized leader in the sports information and sports gaming industry.

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Comments

Comments

  1. I think Kentucky is a given to win the SEC and go the deepest in the NCAA tournament, but I like Vanderbilt’s chances to go pretty far as well. They have played everybody tough and have some quality wins to their credit.

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