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Monday NCAAB Hoops Preview

NCAAB: TOP 25 MATCHUPS HIGHLIGHT MONDAY

A televised Top 25 college hoops doubleheader highlights the Monday sports schedule.

With college football out of the way, the NCAA Basketball season takes center stage and ESPN has a big night planned Texas at Oklahoma in the Big 12 and Notre Dame at Louisville in the Big East.

All four teams entered the weekend in the Top 25, meaning the game’s on Monday should be quality matchups. Visit our Live Odds page for the latest lines on both of these games.  

We begin in the Big 12 as these schools might have the fiercest rivalry in college sports after Oklahoma edged out Texas to play in football’s national championship game.

The basketball rivalry is not quite as intense, but Oklahoma is ranked 6th in the national polls and Texas is 7th.

The Sooners are coming off their first Big 12 conference game on Saturday, playing at Kansas State. Any discussion about Oklahoma has to center around forward Blake Griffin. The sensational sophomore is averaging 22 points and 14 rebounds per game and will be a top pick in the NBA Draft next year.

Griffin does get some scoring help from guards Willie Warren and Tony Crocker, and some inside help from his brother Taylor, but their depth really pales in comparison to a team like Texas.

The Longhorns have great size up front with Connor Atchley, Dexter Pittman and Gary Johnson all able to bang down low. Damion James (14.6 PPG) has NBA small forward written all over him, and guard A.J. Abrams is one of the best shooters in college basketball.

Throw in solid all-around guard, Justin Mason and you can see why the Longhorns have the talent to beat anyone in the country, even a good team like Oklahoma on the road.

However, Texas won all three meetings between the teams last year (2-0 ATS) and the Sooners are looking for payback in a big way.

The other Monday night game is almost as intriguing with Rick Pitino’s #23 Louisville squad hosting #13 Notre Dame. The Big East is absolutely amazing with nine teams ranked in the Top 25 including Pittsburgh at number one.

The big question with any Big East team is how well will they hold up on the road against other good squads?

Notre Dame already lost once on the road to St. Johns and they were solid favorites in that game. The Irish returned home to beat a very good Georgetown team behind Luke Harangody’s 31 points.

The Irish lead the conference in three-point shooting at over 40%, led by sharpshooters Kyle McAlarney and Ryan Ayers.

Long-range shooting is supposed to be the hallmark of a Pitino team, but they are only at 35.5% from behind the arc.

What the Cardinals do rely on is a solid contribution every night from seven key players including junior forward Earl Clark. Clark leads the team in scoring (13.5) and rebounding (8.6) and is helped underneath by freshman standout Samardo Samuels.

Louisville does have some depth issues up front and is trying to get more minutes for freshman reserve Terrence Jennings, but he may be too raw to contribute a lot.

Fortunately for the Cards, Notre Dame doesn’t have much depth up front either, or in the backcourt for that matter, and that makes Louisville the solid favorite at home.

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