CHAMINADE SILVERSWORDS (3-1)
vs. ILLINOIS FIGHTING ILLINI (4-0)
Maui Invitational Semifinals – Maui, HI
Tip-off: Tuesday, 10:30 p.m. ET
Line: Illinois -14.5, Total: 153.5
Tournament host Division II Chaminade looks to pull off a second straight upset when it faces Illinois Tuesday night.
The Silverswords didn’t just knock off Texas on Monday night, they did it with relative ease. They led by double-digits for most of the second half of their 86-73 win, and got to the line 39 times (where they hit 34, 87.2%). SF De’Andre Haskins (21.5 PPG, 7.5 RPG) was the best player on the court, scoring 32 points and draining 14-of-15 free throws. Illinois, meanwhile, rebounded from a weak effort at Hawaii by blowing away USC, 94-64, despite being a slight underdog. It was an especially encouraging win considering the Illini went just 5-14 SU and 4-14-1 ATS on neutral courts over the final three seasons of the Bruce Weber era.
Will Illinois cruise to an easy win over the upstart tournament hosts? For the answer, connect to College Basketball Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. This season, the experts are a collective 43-36-2 ATS (54.4%) on Best Bets. StatFox Gary is 9-3 ATS in the past seven days and 65% (11-6 ATS) Best Bets for the season. StatFox Dave is 7-1 ATS since Friday, including a perfect 4-0 ATS on Monday. He's at 55% ATS (16-13) for the season. StatFox Scott also had a perfect record on Monday, going 3-0 ATS.
Chaminade has already dropped a game to a Division II opponent this season, losing to defending Division II champion Western Washington in Honolulu last week, 93-83. The up-tempo Swords are a shaky defensive team, having allowed 81.5 PPG on 48.6% FG this year. But they do an excellent job of getting to the line and not fouling themselves. They’ve committed 19.5 fouls per game, compared to 23.8 by opponents. They’ve shot 33.5 FTA per game, hitting them at an excellent 75.4% clip, while allowing opponents to shoot 21.8 per game. Haskins has attempted 9.0 free throws per game and is shooting 86.1% from the charity stripe. The Swords aren’t a great team from behind the arc though. Haskins (43.8%) and PF Rhys Murphy (44.4%) shoot it well, but as a team they’ve shot only 33%. SG Kevin Hu (10.0 PPG) provided a serious spark off the bench in the Texas win, going for 16 points in only 14 minutes.
Illinois was on fire in its victory over USC, jumping out to a 57-26 halftime lead. They shot 53% FG and 45% threes for the game, led by Brandon Paul’s 26 points on 9-of-15 FG and 6-of-9 from downtown. Paul is averaging 21.3 PPG on 50.9% FG in the early going, and sophomore SG Tracy Adams (15.3 PPG, 53.2% FG, 47.1% 3PT) has emerged as a nice No. 2 threat. Their scare at Hawaii, a 78-77 overtime win, came because of some atrocious play from their frontcourt. Illinois was outrebounded 51-31 in that game and allowed 21 offensive rebounds. But Chaminade doesn’t have the frontcourt muscle to take advantage of the Illini’s weakness.