There’s a small slate of NCAA Basketball games for this Friday, but sufficient enough to pull out two wins as we enter the weekend. Tomorrow is another story as there are 119 games in total in comparison to 14 today, but regardless; let’s make these count.

Manhattan (4-2) at Marist (0-8)

Insta-fade

We have found our fade as the Marist Red Foxes are still looking for their 1st win of the season and have very little to offer as a team thus far. Marist also play’s a Manhattan team which has played relatively well, so well that the Jaspers are a 10 point betting favorite on the road in the NCAA basketball odds.

Why would anyone have a betting interest in Marist? Rik Smits is long gone and the Red Foxes are a team that can’t do anything well. They average near the bottom of all NCAA teams in most offensive statistical categories. Marist averages less than 60 points per game on a pathetic 35.2% shooting from the field and they’re equally a poor passing and rebounding team with under 10 assists per game and just 33.8 rebounds per game; this team is awful with a capital “A”.

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The only positive thing that can be said for Marist is that they’re coming off of a decent performance, an 83-74 loss against a good Iona team. Chavaughn Lewis is coming off of a 20 point effort and leads the Red Foxes in scoring, but he’s far from an efficient shooter, and the rest of the Marist starters will need to play a similar game to the one that they played against Iona. Don’t expect the bench to be a factor as the Marist starters play practically the entire game.

The George Beamen Show

Manhattan is near equal to Iona in talent, but this is a team that is very deep and that keeps them fresh and a relative winner. That said, senior George Beamen accounts for over 1/3 of Manhattan’s offense at 22.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per contest. Beamen has been flatout dominant in point production and protecting the glass at just 6 foot 4, but is coming off of his worst performance of the season against Hofstra. Look for Beamen to bounce back as this is the weakest opponent that he’ll face all season long.

Pick- Manhattan -10 at Bet 365


#3 Kentucky (7-1) at #20 Baylor

Planning Ahead

The Kentucky Wildcats face the Baylor Bears at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas and Kentucky head coach, John Calipari is thrilled about it. This is the site where the 2014 Final Four will be played and Calipari expects to be there in March; talk about confidence…

Tonight, the Wildcats and Bears meet in the inaugural game of the Big 12-SEC Challenge. Kentucky comes into this game fresh off of a 79-65 victory over the Providence Friars. Kentucky played superb, outshooting Providence 64.3% to 31.1% from the field. The only thing negative that can be taken away from this game from a Wildcat perspective is that Julius Randle’s double-double streak ended at 7 games and the freshman had a bit of an off night. This is a team loaded with talent. Look for Randle to bounce back against Baylor as the bigger the challenge, the more that he steps up.

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No Pushovers

The Bears will be a legitimate test as this is a well- rounded basketball team. They have a 3-point marksmen in Brady Heslip. The senior averages slightly under 13 points per game, but shoots 52 % from beyond the arc. An incredible 26 of 31 of Heslip’s makes have come from 3 point territory.

Baylor is also strong on the inside defensively with 7 foot 1 Isaiah Austin. Austin isn’t a huge rebounder, but he seems to reject everything that comes his way and that can be a nuisance to the Wildcats offense.

Lastly, forward Cory Jefferson provides leadership and extra size in the middle. Jefferson is coming off of an easy double -double in a victory over a weak opponent, but has also matched up very well against the likes of Syracuse, shooting 7 of 8 from the field.

Expect Baylor to give Kentucky a run for their money, but to come up a bit short. Take the Cats and lay the points for your NCAA basketball pick.

Pick- Kentucky -4 at Bet 365