If we are being honest, a lot of success in life is simply because of who you know. Or what type of family you come from. I mention this because I wonder how much rope John Thompson III will get at Georgetown simply because he's the son of the former Hoyas coaching legend. Barring a miracle run to the Big East Tournament title, the Hoyas are going to miss the Big Dance for the third time in four years. There's really no excuse for that at Georgetown with its history and all the excellent high school basketball players in that area of the country. If the Hoyas don't close the regular season with some momentum and at least an NIT berth, Thompson III could be gone.
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LSU at No. 15 Kentucky (-23.5)
SEC game at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. Speaking of coaches on the hot seat, I'd be shocked if Johnny Jones is back at LSU next year. He couldn't even get the Tigers into the Big Dance last year when he had 2016 NBA No. 1 overall pick Ben Simmons on the roster. His Tigers are just 1-9 in the SEC this season and have lost eight in a row following an 85-73 home defeat to Texas A&M on Saturday. There was one small positive to take from that: The Tigers led for the first time in three games, a stretch that went back to a 35-point loss to Florida on Jan. 25. When Brandon Sampson made the first basket of the game at the 18:45 mark vs. the Aggies, it had been 117 minutes, 45 seconds since LSU last led. The Tigers did make all 13 free throws, their first time being perfect at the line since Feb. 8, 2012.
Don't look now, but Kentucky doesn't even lead the SEC any longer - South Carolina does. The Cats lost for the third time in four games Saturday , 88-66 at Florida. UK had just seven assists and was clobbered on the boards by a Florida team that was 119th in rebounding margin coming in. De'Aaron Fox returned after missing one game with an illness and led Kentucky with 19 points. UK scored a season-low 26 first-half points. Its season low has decreased each of the last three games. Five times this season Kentucky has failed to average a point per possession. Three of those have occurred in the last four games. This is the only scheduled meeting between UK and LSU.
Key trends: The Tigers are 3-7 against the spread in their past 10 vs. teams with a winning record. The Wildcats are 1-6 ATS in their past seven vs. the SEC. The home team is 4-0 ATS in the past four meetings.
I'm leaning: LSU.
Wake Forest at Notre Dame (-7)
ACC game at 7 p.m. ET on ESPNEWS. Notre Dame was the last ACC team to suffer a conference loss but is 1-5 since , including losses to four ranked teams, to fall out of the Top 25. It dropped a fourth straight Sunday against No. 12 North Carolina in Greensboro, a game that was shifted from Saturday to Sunday and moved from Chapel Hill because of a water issue in that city. Notre Dame was down 63-48 with 12 minutes left and did cut it to just two points but could never get even. Junior forward Bonzie Colson notched his ACC-best 14th double-double of the season with 17 points and 10 rebounds.
Wake Forest is on a two-game winning streak after an 81-69 win over Georgia Tech on Saturday. John Collins had 20 points and 11 rebounds. Collins is the first Demon Deacon to score 20 or more points in six consecutive ACC games since Skip Brown had a 10-game streak in 1974-75. Jackets starting center Ben Lammers, who entered the game averaging more than 15 points and almost 10 rebounds per game, finished with a season-worst seven points and a season-low two field goals in 26 minutes as he was dealing with foul trouble. This is the first time Wake Forest has won back-to-back ACC games on two separate occasions in a single season since 2009-10. It's is the only scheduled meeting between Wake and Notre Dame.
Key trends: The Deacons are 5-2 ATS in their past seven vs. the ACC. The Irish are 7-3-1 ATS in their past 11. The favorite is 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings.
I'm leaning: Wake Forest.
Georgetown at No. 2 Villanova (-14)
Big East game at 7 p.m. ET on Fox Sports 1. The Hoyas had been playing better with upsets of ranked teams Creighton and Butler but had a three-game winning streak snapped Saturday in a 68-66 home overtime loss to Seton Hall. The Hoyas' Rodney Pryor lost the ball with six seconds left. Madison Jones made 1 of 2 free throws for Seton Hall and a rushed Hoya 3-pointer missed. GU was just 1-for-19 from 3-point range and shot 38 percent overall, including 1-for-6 in overtime. Georgetown's previous low in three-point shooting percentage this season had come when it shot 3-for-20 in a 78-72 loss to Arkansas State on Nov. 17. Junior guard L.J. Peak scored 18 points, had seven assists and five rebounds to lead the Hoyas vs. Seton Hall.
Villanova won a third in a row Saturday, 92-79 over St. John's. The Wildcats were up by as many as 26 in the first half, saw that trimmed to nine early in the second, then rebuilt their margin to 24 with 5 minutes, 25 seconds remaining, only for the Johnnies to get it back to nine again in the final minute. Villanova had a season-high 23 turnovers. For the second time this season, Donte DiVincenzo had for a career high for points against St. John's, scoring 20. Coach Jay Wright brought struggling Kris Jenkins, who hit the winning 3-pointer in last year's NCAA title game, off the bench. He was 4-for-10 for 15 points. It's the first meeting between GU and Villanova this year; they close the regular season against one another in D.C.
Key trends: The Hoyas are 3-9 ATS in their past 12 vs. the Big East. The Wildcats are 0-5 ATS in their past five. The home team is 8-1 ATS in the past nine meetings.
I'm leaning: Georgetown.
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