Feast Week in college basketball is bringing the goods on Tuesday night.
The semifinals of the Maui Invitational feature two top-10 matchups as No. 2 Purdue takes on No. 7 Tennessee and No. 1 Kansas meets No. 4 Marquette.
Purdue, with reigning national player of the year Zach Edey back at center, knocked off No. 11 Gonzaga on Monday with a dominant second half. The Boilermakers actually trailed by five at halftime before outscoring the Bulldogs 43-28 in the second half en route to a 73-63 victory.
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, going just 4-of-17 from 3-point range, but it shot 54.5% overall from the field in the second half and held Gonzaga to just 37.7% for the game.
Tennessee, meanwhile, cruised past Syracuse, 73-56, and had three players in double figures. Prized transfer Dalton Knecht led the way with 17, while Jonas Aidoo and Josaiah-Jordan James both posted double-doubles. James had 15 points and 12 boards, while Aidoo went for 14 points and 11 rebounds.
For Tuesday night’s showdown, Purdue is a 3.5-point favorite at BetMGM with the total listed at 134.5.
In the later game, Kansas is favored by 4.5 points over Marquette with a much higher total of 157.5.
Kansas easily handled Chaminade on Monday, with Michigan transfer Hunter Dickinson going for 31 points on 15-of-18 shooting. The Jayhawks also got a triple-double from Kevin McCullar, who went off for 22 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in the 83-56 win.
Kansas will get a much tougher test from Marquette, which had a dramatic 71-69 victory over UCLA to advance to the semifinals. Marquette overcame a 12-point second-half deficit and got the win thanks to a clutch 3-pointer from Sean Jones with 36 seconds to play.
Will the momentum from that late-game rally carry over to a matchup with the No. 1 team in the country?
NBA In-Season Tournament continues
The NBA In-Season Tournament is back with five games on Tuesday night and two teams can clinch spots in the quarterfinals. (Dan Devine has a primer right here.)
The Indiana Pacers, 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 on the road. The Los Angeles Lakers, meanwhile, can clinch West Group A if they take care of business at home vs. the Utah Jazz. The Lakers are favored by 7.5 points.
Elsewhere, the Philadelphia 76ers are 7.5-point home favorites over the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Orlando Magic are favored by 1.5 points at home over the Toronto Raptors 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 wraps up this week. There are rivalry games all weekend, highlighted by the showdown between No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Michigan on Saturday.
Before that, we get to enjoy the final two games of midweek MACtion as Western Michigan hosts Bowling Green and Buffalo hosts Eastern Michigan.
Bowling Green (6-5) has clinched bowl eligibility but can lock up its first winning season since 2015 with a road win over a WMU team that has been very competitive in conference play. The Broncos are 4-7 overall but 3-4 vs. MAC opponents with a 5-2 ATS mark in conference games.
Bowling Green is a 2.5-point favorite on the road with the total set at 51.5.
In the other matchup, Eastern Michigan is looking to become bowl eligible for the third straight season and the sixth time in the past eight years. However, EMU is a 5-point underdog vs. Buffalo, which has lost three straight and four of its last five. The total is listed at just 36, so don’t expect many points.
What’s the best bet?
I’m going to go to college football and take Eastern Michigan and 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 clearly is 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, in a game with such a low total I’m inclined to take the points. I’ll grab EMU +5.