Connecticut Huskies vs. Pittsburgh Panthers
Two of the more disappointing teams in the nation end their regular seasons on Saturday as the UConn Huskies host the Pittsburgh Panthers in Big East college basketball action. The Huskies are -5.5 point favorites over the Panthers with an over/under point total set at 131.
The Connecticut Huskies are the defending National Champions but they are sitting on the bubble of getting back to the NCAA Tournament to defend their title. Connecticut is 7-10 in the Big East, 1204 at home this season, in 10th place in the conference standings, and they have played the toughest schedule in the nation. Jeremy Lamb is averaging 17.7 points and 4.8 rebounds, Shabazz Napier is averaging 12.1 points and 5.9 assists, and Ryan Boatright is averaging 10.6 points, and Andre Drummond is averaging 10.3 points and 7.9 rebounds per game. As a team the Huskies are averaging 68.7 points and they are shooting 45.2 percent while defensively they are allowing 64.1 points and their opponents are shooting 38.5 percent. UConn will probably get a spot in the big dance but if they lose here it will make it very tough on the selection committee.
The Pittsburgh Panthers are hoping to close out the season with back to back wins but nothing is going to ease the pain Jamie Dixon’s team has experienced this year. Pitt is 5-12 in the Big East, 3-7 on the road this season, and they are in 13th place in the conference standings. Ashton Gibbs is averaging 15.5 points, Tray Woodall is averaging 11.5 points and 6.1 assists, and Nasir Robinson is averaging 11 points and 6.7 rebounds. As a team Pittsburgh is averaging 69.2 points and they are shooting 45.2 percent while defensively they are allowing 66.2 points and their opponents are shooting 44.4 percent. Pittsburgh could make a lesser tournament but their only chance at the NCAA’s is to win the Big East Tourney.
UConn is 2-5-1 against the spread following a loss, 3-7-1 against the spread in their last 11 Big East games, and 3-8-1 against the spread in their last 12 games overall. Pittsburgh is 4-1 against the spread following a cover, 1-4 against the spread against a team with a winning record, and 4-1 against the spread in the last five meetings of these two. Pittsburgh has covered in six of their last seven trips to Connecticut.
Pittsburgh hasn’t played well this season but UConn even when they play well don’t beat anyone big and this many points is unlikely.
Pittsburgh Panthers +5.5 Connecticut Huskies