HARVARD CRIMSON (4-3)
at CONNECTICUT HUSKIES (6-2)
Tip-off: Friday, 7:00 p.m. ET
Line: Connecticut -9.5
Connecticut hosts Harvard for a fourth straight year when the teams meet in Storrs, CT on Friday night.
UConn knocked off the Crimson in each of the previous three meetings, and have covered with easy double-digit wins each of the last two years (Jeremy Lin shot them into a close loss three years ago). Since a season-opening upset over Michigan State in Germany, UConn is 0-3-1 ATS. Harvard is just 3-3 ATS this season, but it is coming off a blowout 16-point win at Boston College, a game in which the Crimson were a four-point underdog.
Will the Huskies be able to win by double-digits on their home floor? For the answer, connect to College Basketball Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. The StatFox experts are a collective 52% ATS (103-95-6) in college basketball Best Bets for the season, led by StatFox Gary, who is 9-3 ATS (75%) since Nov. 26 and 63% ATS (22-13) for the season. StatFox Brian is 9-3 ATS (75%) since Nov. 30 and sits at 53% ATS (25-22-2) for the season.
The Huskies are relying heavily on their backcourt this year, especially Shabazz Napier (18.6 PPG) and Ryan Boatright (14.3 PPG, 4.8 APG). Freshman SG Omar Calhoun (10.1 PPG) has been an inconsistent third option. But as a team, they’re shooting just 30.9% on three-point tries, and they’re undermanned up front. Forwards DeAndre Daniels (8.3 PPG, 5.0 RPG) and Tyler Olander (5.4 PPG, 4.7 RPG) have both been inconsistent. C Enosch Wolf (4.3 PPG) is coming off a career game, going for 12 points and nine rebounds over 21 minutes against NC State, and his size gives him a definite edge against an undersized Harvard frontline.
Unlike many successful mid-majors, Harvard has leaned on youth this year. Sophomore swingman Wesley Saunders (16.1 PPG) is having a breakout season after averaging just 3.3 PPG as a freshman. Sophomore PF Jonah Travis (9.9 PPG on 61% FG) teams up with him in an undersized, but effective frontcourt. Freshman PG Siyani Chambers (12.7 PPG, 5.1 APG, 52% 3-pt FG) has provided a steady hand at the point. Chambers had 21 points and six assists in the B.C. win, while Saunders added 18.