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Ness Notes (Jan 18) by Larry Ness



All three of college basketball's remaining unbeatens are in action on Wednesday. No. 1 Duke (16-0) will host North Carolina State (14-2) on ESPN at 7:00 ET. A win will match the school's best-ever start of 17-0, set by the 1991-92 team which opened 17-0 on the way to a second consecutive national title. Duke has beaten NC St in 18 of the last 20 meetings between the schools and has won NINE straight home games, since losing 77-60 exactly 11 years ago today! Duke is favored by 11 points with a total of 145.

My free play is in Wednesday's NBA. Take the San Antonio Spurs over the Milwaukee Bucks at 8:35 ET. I'm ready to extend my current 5-2 CBB mini-run with another 15* CBB winner (4-1 in '06), my first Las Vegas Insider in CBB for '06 and my 10* MAC Game of the Month. In the NBA, get my 1st 15* since late-December! Pay AFTER you win!

No. 12 Florida (16-0) is off to its best-ever start and hosts Savannah St in a non-lined game. You may remember that Savannah St went 0-28 last year. How are the Tigers doing this year? Well they opened with a 63-59 win over Wilberforce (not making that name up!) but have since lost 17 consecutive gamest Let's make the Gators about a 10-point favorite! The nation's third unbeaten team, Pittsburgh (14-0), is at Rutgers (12-4) at 8:00 ET.

The Panthers have opened at least 10-0 in each of the last three seasons and own seven straight wins over the Scarlet Knights. Pitt is favored by 2 1/2 points with a total of 132. Another game of note in tonight's 37-game CBB card is at 8:30 ET on ESPN2, where Wisconsin (14-2) is Ohio State (12-2). The Badgers (4-0) are the lone unbeaten team in the Big-10 and have beaten the Buckeyes in their last five meetings. However, Wisconsin hasn't opened a year 15-2 since the 1929-30 season! Ohio St is a 4 1/2-point favorite with a total of 139 1/2.

ESPN televises the LeBron/Carmelo showdown at 9:05 ET. The Cavs enter on a four-game losing streak (1-3 ATS) and have opened their season-long six-game road trip, 0-3. The Nuggets have won six of their last eight games (7-1 ATS) and are favored by five points with a total of 202 1/2. In five previous meetings between the top-two players from the 2003 draft, the Cavs are 3-2, after beating the Nuggets 94-85 on December 15 in Cleveland.

Interestingly, James is averaging just 20.8 PPG and Anthony just 18.2 PPG in those five meetings, totals far below the players' season averages this year (James is at 31.1 PPG and Anthony at 25.7 PPG). Tonight's NBA card features 12 games and the NHL offers a three-game slate.

My NFL previews were supposed to begin today but I'm running behind. THEY WILL start tomorrow.

Ness Notes is available Monday through Friday by 1:00 ET. Saturday and Sunday's notes are available at 7:00 ET.

About the Author:
Larry Ness is a documented member of the Professional Handicappers League. Read all of his articles at www.procappers.com/Larry_Ness.htm


Other articles by Larry Ness



Ness Notes (Jan 17)
In a week in which 11 of the nation's ranked teams lost, including Arizona and Cincinnati losing twice, the nation's three unbeaten teams remained unscathed. No. 1 Duke and No. 2 Florida both upped their records to a perfect 16-0, while Pittsburgh improved to 14-0 and moved into the nation's top-10 ...more

Ness Notes (Jan 19)
Duke (81-68), Florida (113-62) and Pittsburgh (76-68) all won last night and will head into the weekend as the nation's only three remaining undefeated teams. Illinois won its first 29 games last year before losing its regular season finale at Ohio State, 65-64. The Illini then won the Big-10 ...more

Ness Notes (Jan 20)
Kobe scored 51 points last night in Sacramento (his third 50-plus game this year) but it didn't stop the Lakers from blowing a five-point lead over the last 35 seconds of regulation. LA lost 118-109 in OT and tonight plays in Phoenix against the Suns, as the second half of ESPN's NBA doubleheader ...more

Ness Notes (Jan. 21)
There are 96 college basketball games "on the board" for Saturday, including the added games. It's that time of year and ESPN won't let us college basketball junkies down with FIVE televised games. It starts early (12:00 ET) with No. 23 Iowa (14-4) at No. 11 Michigan State (14-4). MSU is a 7 ...more

Ness Notes (Jan 22)
And then there were NONE! Three Division I teams began Saturday undefeated but by day's end, all three had lost. No. 1 Duke lost at Georgetown (87-84) and No. 2 Florida lost at Tennessee (80-76), both falling to 17-1. No. 9 Pittsburgh (now 15-1) lost at St John's, 55-50. My free play for Sunday ...more