College basketball’s celebratory week brings the goods on Tuesday night.
The semifinals of the Maui Invitational feature two top-10 matchups: No. 2 Purdue faces No. 7 Tennessee and No. 1 Kansas faces No. 4 Marquette.
Purdue, with reigning National Player of the Year Zach Edey back under center, beat No. 11 Gonzaga with a dominant second half on Monday. The Boilermakers actually trailed by five points at halftime before outscoring the Bulldogs 43-28 in the second half to take a 73-63 win.
The 7-foot-4 Edey led the way with 25 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks, while sophomore point guard Braden Smith filled the stat sheet with 13 points, six assists, five steals and four rebounds. Purdue didn’t shoot the ball well from distance, making just 4 of 17 from 3-point range, but shot 54.5% from the field overall in the second half and held Gonzaga to just 37.7% for the game .
Tennessee, meanwhile, edged Syracuse 73-56 and had three players in double figures. Prized transfer Dalton Knecht led the way with 17 hits, while Jonas Aidoo and Josaiah-Jordan James both posted double-doubles. James had 15 points and 12 boards while Aidoo had 14 points and 11 rebounds.
For Tuesday night’s showdown, Purdue is the 3.5-point favorite at BetMGM with a total score of 134.5.
In the later game, Kansas is 4.5 points ahead of Marquette with a much higher total of 157.5.
Kansas easily handled Chaminade on Monday, with Michigan native Hunter Dickinson scoring 31 points on 15 of 18 shooting. The Jayhawks also got a triple-double from Kevin McCullar, who had 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in the 83-56 win.
Kansas will face a much tougher test from Marquette, which secured its place in the semifinals with a dramatic 71-69 victory over UCLA. Marquette overcame a 12-point deficit in the second half and took the win thanks to a game-winning 3-pointer from Sean Jones with 36 seconds left in the game.
Will the momentum from that late-game rally carry over into a matchup with the No. 1 team in the country?
The NBA in-season tournament continues
The NBA In-Season Tournament is back with five games on Tuesday night and two teams can clinch a spot in the quarterfinals.
The Indiana Pacers, who are already 2-0 in the group stage, can win East Group A with a win over the Atlanta Hawks. The Pacers are 3.5 point underdogs away from home. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Lakers can win West Group A if they get through at home against the Utah Jazz. The Lakers have a 7.5 point advantage.
Otherwise, the Philadelphia 76ers are 7.5-point favorites over the Cleveland Cavaliers at home, the Orlando Magic are 1.5 points over the Toronto Raptors at home and the Phoenix Suns are 12.5-point favorites over the Portland Trail Blazers.
College Football: The Conclusion of MACtion
It’s hard to believe, but the college football regular season is coming to an end this week. There are rivalry games throughout the weekend, culminating in Saturday’s showdown between No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Michigan.
Before that, we can enjoy the final two games of the midweek MACtion, with Western Michigan taking on Bowling Green and Buffalo taking on Eastern Michigan.
Bowling Green (6-5) has secured bowl eligibility but can complete its first winning season since 2015 with a road win against a WMU team that was very competitive in conference play. The Broncos are 4-7 overall but 3-4 against MAC opponents with an ATS mark of 5-2 in conference games.
Bowling Green is a 2.5-point favorite on the road with a total of 51.5.
In the other matchup, Eastern Michigan is looking to become bowl eligible for the third straight year and sixth time in the last eight years. However, EMU is a 5-point underdog against Buffalo, which has lost three straight games and four of its last five games. The total score is only 36, so don’t expect many points.
What is the best choice?
I’m going to play college football and play Eastern Michigan and take the points. Maybe I’m missing something, but I’m not sure why Buffalo is favored by more than a field goal here. The motivation is clearly on the EMU side with bowl eligibility on the line.
EMU lost three straight before needing double overtime to beat a bad Akron team at home last week. Still, I tend to take the points in a game with such a low score total. I take EMU +5.