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Wednesday Night College Hoops Preview (Feb. 4)

Wednesday College Hoops – Number 1 Duke in Action

Former No. 1 Duke highlights the Wednesday night college basketball betting schedule when they face off with ACC rivals Clemson.

The Blue Devils’ reign atop the rankings lasted only one week after a loss to Wake Forest allowed Connecticut to steal the No. 1 slot.Just two days after being awarded the No. 1 ranking Duke was edged by the Demon Deacons (another former No. 1) 70-68 as a 1.5-point favorite on the college basketball odds. On Saturday the Blue Devils quickly bounced back with a 79-54 slaughter of Virginia to latch on to the No. 4 spot in this week’s rankings. Against the Cavaliers Gerald Henderson led Duke with 18 points, and at one point in the first half he was outscoring the entire Virginia team 12-11. The Blue Devils pulled off the massive blowout despite a season-low five points from leading scorer Kyle Singler. Against Clemson, Duke will need Singler to find his shot again quickly.

The Tigers check in at No. 10 on the latest rankings after getting past Virginia Tech 86-82 as a 1-point favorite last week. It looked like Clemson was on their way to a loss against the Hokies before they recovered from a 15-point deficit in the second half. K.C. Rivers got Clemson out of that hole with a team-high 29 points, which included seven three-pointers. Trevor Book also had a strong game with 21 points and 13 rebounds.

Last season Clemson finally beat Duke in the ACC Tournament to snap a long drought against the Blue Devils. Duke had won 22 straight versus the Tigers before that loss, stretching all the way back to 1997.

Another rivalry on the Wednesday night schedule pits UCLA against their cross-town rivals USC.

The Bruins are ranked No. 15 on the latest poll after crushing Stanford 97-63 as 11-point favorites last weekend. Alfred Aboya, Darren Collison, and freshman Jrue Holiday all scored 15 points in the win, as the Bruins shots 63 percent from the floor. UCLA also played stellar defense in the rout, limiting the Cardinals to 38 percent shooting.

The Trojans have won five of their last six games after knocking off California 73-62 as a 5-point favorite over the weekend. DeMar DeRozan shot 8-for-12 to lead USC with 19 points, and Daniel Hackett poured in 14 points.

The Bruins and Trojans met up at USC in January when UCLA recorded a 64-57 win as a 2-point favorite. Darren Collison dropped in 18 points to go along with six assists for UCLA, while DeRozan led USC with 15 points.

One team that desperately needs a win on Wednesday night is Syracuse. Despite losing their last three games Syracuse has somehow stuck in the rankings at No. 20. To be fair to Syracuse, two of those losses did come against higher-ranked opponents, Pittsburgh and Louisville. The other loss came last Wednesday, a 100-94 defeat at the hands of unranked Providence. Jonny Flynn scored a career-high 35 points and Eric Devendorf netted 27 points for Syracuse, but it still wasn’t enough to lock up a win. That’s likely because only one other Syracuse player scored in double figures (compared to six for Providence), and the Orange also turned the ball over 21 times.

Taking on Syracuse on Wednesday night will be West Virginia. The Mountaineers nearly handed Louisville their first Big East loss on Saturday before coming up short in a 69-63 loss as 6.5-point underdogs. Da’Sean Butler delivered 23 points and eight rebounds for the Mountaineers, while Alex Ruoff chipped in with 16 points.

When Syracuse and West Virginia met up last season the Mountaineers shredded the Orange 81-61 as a 9.5-point favorite. Prior to that loss Syracuse had won their last eight games versus the Mountaineers. However, Syracuse does still have an eight-game winning streak going against West Virginia at home.


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